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Victoria tenders Australia’s largest battery project

The country’s two renewables agencies are also working on upcoming funding rounds for energy storage schemes including pumped hydro facilities.

The Victorian government is calling for expressions of interest in developing the country’s first utility-scale battery storage facility. 

The 20MW scheme, located in the north-west or south-west of Victoria, follows the announcement by the state government last month that it would unlock A$5 million ($3.84 million; €3.65 million) to support large-scale energy storage projects. The move is part of its efforts to cut energy use during peak periods and meet unmet demand with up to 5.4GW of new renewables projects in the state. 

It will feed into a large-scale storage and flexible capacity expression of interest process being undertaken by two state-run renewables agencies, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. ARENA has agreed that it will fund the project as long as it meets its selection criteria. 

“The 20MW battery will be the first of its kind for Australia, it will help to modernise Victoria’s electricity grid, enhance energy security and deliver affordable energy,” said Lily D’Ambrosio, the state's Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. 

Would-be contenders in the process are asked to express their interest to the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning by 1 March. 

Meanwhile, ARENA is finalising a grant to local electricity company EnergyAustralia for developing a pumped hydro energy storage project in the Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia. 

The agency has also teamed up with the CEFC to help Genex Power investigate the feasibility of another pumped hydro energy storage facility at the disused Kidston gold mine in North Queensland, with a potential capacity of up to 250MW. The facility is part of a larger project that will utilise a former gold mining site to combine solar power generation with pumped hydro energy storage.