Australia is geologically equipped to become a battery critical-minerals hub but the nation is stumbling upon sticky structural issues. Sensitive diplomatic and trade ties, delicate forests and ecosystems, and a devotion to free markets and small government are among the major hurdles, writes Bella Peacock.
Canadian firm Hydrostor has struck a deal to provide back-up power to the remote New South Wales outback town of Broken Hill using a compressed air energy storage plant that will be built in an underground cavern at one of the region’s closed mines.
Australian commercial solar outfit CleanPeak Energy will deliver at least four new solar farms in regional New South Wales after striking a green energy deal with the state government that will ensure the long-term carbon neutrality of Sydney’s Barangaroo precinct.
A “major influx” of new renewable generation and storage capacity is poised to connect to Australia’s main grid with the energy market operator revealing almost 150 projects representing more than 31 GW of new capacity are in the application and pre-registration stages.
Australia’s largest electricity transmission project has hit a snag with a major union alleging transmission line workers delivering the New South Wales stretch of the $2 billion-plus (USD 1.32 billion) Project EnergyConnect electricity interconnector have been working in unsafe and non-compliant conditions.
Victorian network operator AusNet has commenced construction of a transmission network upgrade that is expected to reduce generation constraints and improve network stability in the state’s southwest, unlocking 1.5 GW of additional renewable energy generation capacity.
One of Australia’s largest property developers has joined forces with Energy Bay, which specialises in distributed renewable energy solutions for property landlords. Energy Bay is making it possible for Stockland to utilise the energy produced at its properties with large rooftops and low energy use, such as its warehouses, to provide extra energy for its high-energy use properties.
EnergyAustralia has released the concept design for a 335 MW pumped hydro energy storage and generation project it plans to develop at Lake Lyell near Lithgow in central western New South Wales.
Australia ranks as the fifth most attractive destination for green investment and development opportunities according to multinational consultancy EY’s latest renewable energy country attractiveness index.
Another small-scale solar farm has connected to the grid in Victoria with developer Bison Energy announcing that the 4.95 MW Cosgrove Solar Farm near Shepperton has powered up, marking the commencement of its commissioning phase.