South Australia backs next wave of energy storage projects

Through its $150 million Renewable Technology Fund, South Australia will allocate more than AU$8 million in grants for four selected projects, which range from solar PV and batteries and hydrogen fuel cells to thermal storage using sewage.

Schneider Electric and Planet Ark Power will get a $1.95m grant for their a $13.9m solar PV and battery project at a major distribution centre in Adelaide’s North, which includes a micro-grid management system optimising 5.7MW of solar PV coupled with 2.9MWh of battery storage and integrates with SA Power Networks’ Utility Distribution Management System.

A $1 million grant will go towards a $2.69 million modular and relocatable solar PV and battery storage project at the Heathgate Resources Beverley mine. The project will pair 1MW of solar PV with a 1MW/0.5MWh battery, and integrate with the existing on-site gas power plant, with a view of creating a fleet of such facilities across the country.

A total of $3.6 million grant will be provided to a $7.7 million project at the Mawson Lakes campus, the University of South Australia, that includes hydrogen production and a 50kW hydrogen fuel cell, a 0.45MWh flow battery, 3.2 million litres of chilled water storage and 1.8MW of ground and roof mounted solar PV. The project will cut campus emissions by 35 % and reduce peak demand on the grid and is being deigned as a testing facility.

A $1.6 million grant will go towards a $3.2 million thermal storage project at the Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant using a home grown technology being commercialised by 1414 Degrees. The project will include a 0.25MW/10MWh thermal energy storage device that holds heat generated from the combustion of biogas produced on site.

Announcing the next wave of energy storage projects SA Premier Jay Weatherill said: “The incredible response to the Renewable Technology Fund and the diverse range of technologies represented in this round of funding shows how much potential exists in this industry of the future.“

Established in March with a mission to accelerate SA’s energy transition, the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund has already received over 80 proposals from companies from around the world for technologies that include batteries, bioenergy, pumped hydro, thermal, compressed air and hydrogen.

A portion of the fund has already been allocated to the 100MW/129MWh Tesla battery built by Neoen at the Hornsdale wind farm, which expects its formal opening on Friday.