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ARENA fields $3.7 billion in battery storage proposals

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More than three GW of battery storage projects with a combined value of $3.7 billion are in competition for government funding through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

ARENA today announced that 12 projects had been invited to submit full applications to a Large Scale Battery Storage funding Round which will support grid scale batteries to be equipped with advanced inverter technologies.

Advanced inverters, also known as grid-forming inverters, enable batteries to provide essential system services traditionally provided by synchronous generation such as coal or gas.

In total $100 million is to be made available as grants to projects with each battery to be at least 70 MW.

Together, the 12 shortlisted grid-scale batteries shortlisted from 54 Expressions of Interest (EOIs) have an aggregate capacity of 3,050 MW/7,000 MWh and have requested a total ARENA grant of $297 million.

ARENA Acting CEO Chris Faris said: “We are really encouraged by the number and quality of applications to the round – it’s shaping up to be very competitive.”

AEMO’s 2022 Integrated System Plan identified a growing need for electricity storage, outlining a trebling of firming capacity in the National Electricity Market with more than 60 GW of dispatchable generation and storage required by 2050.

ARENA has previously supported seven grid scale batteries, including four equipped with advanced inverters. Electranet’s ESCRI project remains the largest operating grid-forming battery in Australia, while the Hornsdale Power Reserve (pictured) and Wallgrove are both expected to implement advanced inverter capability before the end of the year. More recently, ARENA announced funding for AGL’s Broken Hill battery, which will demonstrate the benefits of grid forming batteries in remote fringe-of-grid locations.


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