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NSW government awards $8.4 million funding for staff to bring battery storage projects online

Manufacturing News

The NSW government has awarded $3.2 million in new funds to Transgrid and $5.2 million to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to hire more technical staff, which it says will help fast-track grid connections for four battery projects.

The Transgrid grant will fund extra technical staff on grid connections to reduce the risk of delays and establish two dedicated teams of engineers, technicians and customer support staff to provide additional grid connection application review and support.

AEMO’s extra staff will project manage the grid connection process and coordinate with Transgrid and other project proponents to get the supported battery projects up and running by 2025–26.

In a statement on Wednesday, the government said the four projects that could benefit include the Waratah Super Battery (850 megawatt, two-hour storage duration), Liddell Battery Energy Storage System (500 megawatt, two-hour storage duration), Orana ESS (415 megawatt, four-hour storage duration), and Richmond Valley BESS (275 megawatt, eight-hour storage duration.)

The extra funding “will bring forward completion dates of these priority battery projects by as much as 12 months” according to the release.

“The funding to AEMO and Transgrid will reduce the risk of connection to the grid being delayed and help to address the reliability risks identified in AEMO’s recent report,” said. energy minister Penny Sharpe

The total capacity of the four projects represented 15 per cent of the 2023–24 NSW summer peak demand. The latest AEMO data forecasts increased reliability risks in the state to 2028 as coal-fired plants retire and not enough renewables come online to fill the gap.

Picture: credit Marcus Wong/Wikimedia Commons

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