Queensland scales up its National Battery Testing Centre

National Battery Testing

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick and Energy Minister Mick de Brenni with some of the National Battery Testing Centre team.

The Queensland government will enhance the state’s place in the energy storage revolution via a $15 million investment to scale up the National Battery Testing Centre (NBTC), based in Banyo on Brisbane’s north side.

Treasurer and minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said the NBTC tests multiple types and sizes of battery systems in real-world conditions and will be an essential part of ramping up battery manufacturing in Queensland.

“Energy storage is the key to unlocking Queensland’s renewable energy revolution,” Dick said. “It also represents a chance to build new manufacturing capacity in Queensland, supporting more secure, skilled jobs.

“As we progress towards our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, we want to ensure Queenslanders benefit from the thousands of jobs that will be created in the batteries sector as part of the global transition to a low carbon future. This investment underlines that the state has a strong role to play in battery supply chains both domestically and globally. The development of a responsible battery industry is paramount to Australia’s carbon-reduction efforts.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen, Mick de Brenni, said the $15 million investment reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to establishing energy independence by detaching Queensland energy prices from global impacts.

“What the challenges in the National Energy Market show is that as we move to a more diversified energy system, batteries are absolutely critical to keeping prices low,” de Brenni said.

“Today’s investment in new technology will help capture Queensland’s incredible solar resources and put them into the grid during the peak period each morning and evening.

“Queensland’s publicly-owned power companies are already investing in more than 430MW of batteries with more to come.”

The $15 million investment in the NBTC is expected to leverage up to $35 million in university and industry investment providing a total funding injection of approximately $50 million over five years.

NBTC is a partnership between the state and federal governments, industry and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

NBTC provides validation and safety testing for all types of batteries with various chemistries, including lithium-ion, and the larger, redox flow batteries both made in Australia or internationally.

This enables the deployment of battery systems to meet Queensland’s rapidly growing large-scale energy storage requirements and puts Queensland-based battery manufacturers in the box seat to be market leaders.

Increased support for the NBTC will be one of a range of actions in the Queensland government’s Battery Industry Strategy expected to be released later this year.

“The centre’s growth will create apprenticeship and other employment opportunities with industry partners across battery manufacturing, installation and operation management,” member for Nudgee Leanne Linard said.

“That’s why we are working on this comprehensive strategy to support economic diversification, provide local jobs and skills and help meet global demand for energy storage solutions.”

With co-investment from QUT and industry partners, the government’s investment to expand the NBTC would help it scale up to a truly world-class facility, building on the outstanding expertise and capabilities already developed over the last six years.

Expansion of the centre will:

  • Accelerate early-stage battery storage research into commercial outcomes by incorporating industry-aligned approaches to technology testing and validation;
  • Provide battery cell and system certification to Australian and international standards that is currently not available domestically, saving significant cost and time for Australian manufacturers;
  • Assist Australian battery manufacturers to rapidly develop market-ready products and require Australian battery developers and importers to use our Queensland-based facilities to achieve certification; and
  • Provide testing capability for the validation and deployment of batteries in main grids, micro-grids and other large-scale applications such as electric vehicles, defence applications and mining.

The Treasurer said investing to expand the NBTC would also strengthen Queensland’s skills development and training.

“The NBTC is already working with QUT’s School of Chemistry and Physics to offer industry-relevant projects for undergraduate students, as well as consulting on the redesign of QUT’s Bachelor of Science to strengthen the course’s links to industry and future clean energy practices,” Dick said.

“With major renewable energy investments already flowing into our state from the likes of Fortescue Future Industries, Acciona and Neoen, Queensland is the natural home for the country’s leading battery testing and certification facility.”