South Australia’s Labor government has committed to introducing Australia’s first storage target if re-elected at next month’s state election, aiming to install 750MW of storage by 2025.
Energy minister Tom Koutsantonis says the “25 per cent Renewable Storage Target” will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and comes as the government lifts its renewables target to a 75 per cent share of generation by 2025.
The target is the first of its kind in Australia, and follows similar initiatives by sub-national governments in California and NewYork, who also have much higher renewable targets than their federal government.
Indeed, Koutsantonis said the Renewable Storage Target is based is based on the California model, which aims for some 1,300MW of storage by 2020. Arizona is looking at an even more ambitious target.
(Please note: Governments and government authorities habitually make storage targets in terms of megawatts rather than megawatt hours).
“We have seen the impact of storage technology in South Australia, with the Tesla battery at Jamestown wiping tens of millions of dollars off the cost of electricity in South Australia in its first few months of operation,” Koutsantonis said in a statement.
“Through the Renewable Storage Target, Labor will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and lower bills for South Australians.
“Renewable energy is cheap because the fuel source is free, and by partnering with storage companies to drive investment in new projects we can lower energy bills for South Australian families and businesses.”
South Australia is already well on its way to 750MW of storage, with the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery already complete, and another 30MW/8MWh battery under construction next to the Wattle Point wind farm.
It has also unveiled a Tesla-led virtual power plant with 650MWh of battery storage distributed across 50,000 homes, and later this year, construction will start on the 150MW solar tower and molten salt storage facility near Port Augusta, another 10MW battery near the Lincoln Gap wind farm, and a 21MW battery next to the Snowtown wind farm and soon-to-be-built Snowtown solar farm.
The state government also announced on Wednesday $3 million in funding for a 2MW/500kWh Battery Energy Storage system (BESS) to create a mini-grid at the old General Motors Holden site in Elizabeth.
The battery system will be installed by Carnegie Clean Energy, following its recent mini-grid tender win for Kalbarri in Western Australia.
Additionally, the state government has announced funding for feasibility studies in five different large pumped hydro storage projects, and numerous other developers plan some sort of storage with their new wind and solar plants.
The federal government announced on Wednesday that it would provide funds for two of those pumped hydro projects through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, including the 225MW/1770MWh Cultana project, which could be the world’s biggest sea-water pumped hydro facility.
It will also spend $500,000 furthering a feasibility study for GFG Alliance’s plans for a 90MW/390MW pumped hydro plant in the old iron Duchess iron ore mine in the Middlebank Ranges, part of Sanjeev Gupta’s plans to build 1GW of solar and storage to power the Whyalla steelworks and other big energy users.
Both ARENA grants match similar funding made by the South Australia state government.
The South Australia Renewable Storage Target will draw monies from the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund, launched in March last year as part of the State Labor Government’s energy plan.
The government said the fund has already leveraged more than $1.2 billion in private investment and will create almost 1000 jobs in South Australia through supporting a number of storage projects, including:
- H2U green hydrogen power plant near Port Lincoln
- Tesla and Neoen big battery at Jamestown
- Tesla Virtual Power Plant
- Tilt solar farm and big battery at Snowtown
- SIMEC ZEC pumped hydro project near Whyalla
- Altura pumped hydro project near Port Augusta
- Rise pumped Hydro project near Port Germein
- EnergyAustralia pumped hydro project near Whyalla
- 1414 Degrees bioenergy storage at the Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant
- Sunshift solar storage project
- Planet Ark Schneider solar storage project Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill
Giles Parkinson is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the former editor of Climate Spectator.