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CEFC, South Australia team up for massive battery project

Australia’s green bank will work with the state on a financing package for the country’s largest grid-scale battery storage scheme.

Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation is working on financing the country’s largest grid-scale battery storage project for the South Australian energy market.

The South Australian government will tap funding from its A$150 ($115 million, €107 million) Renewable Technology Fund for the 100MW battery, which will store energy from wind and solar sources, and has opened a two-week “expression of interest” period for companies looking to build the facility. CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates said the project “will efficiently demonstrate how battery storage can play a part in the competitive future of our energy system”.

The CEFC, a clean energy bank launched in 2012, said it has been in talks with several large-scale battery providers. Yates called the grid-scale batteries “an essential part of a strong electricity system”.

South Australia has been the country’s pacesetter in clean energy, drawing more than 40 percent of its power from renewable sources in 2015, according to the Clean Energy Council.

“We are also confident we can create a model that can be used in other states as they seek to integrate growing renewable energy capacity into a cleaner, cheaper and reliable energy system,” Yates said.

The CEFC has had an active month. Earlier in March, the organisation committed A$281 million to seven large-scale solar projects in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

The announcement comes a month after the Victorian government put out calls for interest in developing a utility-scale battery storage facility. The projects follow calls from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year for the CEFC and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to work together to fund large-scale storage projects.