The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced an agreement with the South Australia government that could help deliver energy storage projects in the state.
The South Australian government this week announced its $50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund (GSSF) which offers funding to help accelerate the deployment of new grid-scale energy storage infrastructure assets capable of addressing the intermittency of South Australia’s electricity system.
ARENA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the South Australian government with a view to coordinating the assessment of projects that may be eligible for joint funding.
Applications shortlisted for the GSSF may also be eligible for funding from ARENA under the Advancing Renewables Program (ARP).
Applicants interested in applying for both programs will be required to register and complete a second application to ARENA through the ARP portal to be considered for joint funding.
ARENA and the South Australian government have also agreed to share knowledge about the projects.
The $50 million in South Australian funding will be divided into two streams for both behind the meter assets and grid scale assets. The technology neutral fund may support projects such as pumped hydro, hydrogen, gas storage, solar thermal, bioenergy and battery storage.
Under the GSSF, applicants must be able to match funding dollar-for-dollar and preference will be given to projects targeting financial close by the end of 2019.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller welcome the commitment from the South Australian Minister to help bridge the commerciality gap for grid scale storage projects.
“The $50 million funding commitment from the South Australian Government will help to realise a number of ground breaking projects that will help provide stable, reliable and dispatchable power to the state.
“ARENA has worked closely with the South Australian government to ensure projects that meet our criteria can benefit from this opportunity, and get off the ground sooner,” he said.
“ARENA has already committed up to $110 million in funding to support a wide range of projects in South Australia, including innovative energy storage projects. As more of our electricity is generated from solar and wind, it is clear that storage technologies will play a key role in delivering secure, reliable and affordable electricity,” he said.
On behalf of the Australian government, ARENA is already supporting feasibility studies for two prospective pumped hydro plants at Cultana and Middleback Ranges, two virtual power plants trials and has contributed towards two grid scale batteries – Infigen’s Lake Bonney battery and the ESCRI battery in Dalrymple.