The Turnbull government will power up two large-scale batteries in Victoria, after dismissing a South Australian battery built by entrepreneur Elon Musk as no silver bullet for energy woes.
The federal government’s renewable energy agency will match a $25 million contribution from Victoria for the new batteries near Kerang and Ballarat that will provide 55 megawatts of energy and 80 megawatts per hour of storage capacity.
“They will not only allow currently unused renewable energy to be stored instead of wasted, but also inject electricity into the grid at times of peak demand in an area known for transmission congestion,” Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said in a statement on Thursday.
“Together, they will help lower power prices and stabilise the grid.”
Construction has already begun for the two lithium-ion batteries, expected to be up and running in time for the summer.
“These batteries are in positions in the network where there’s been some weakness and they remedy that,” Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters.
“(It) sits alongside our renewable energy targets in the sense we are adding to the total amount of electricity that’s available … that puts downward pressure on prices”.
The Edify Energy-owned and Tesla-supplied battery near Kerang is expected to provide 25MW and store 50MHw, and will be integrated with the Gannawarra Solar Farm.
The second battery, to be connected directly to the grid at a Warrenheip substation near Ballarat, is set to supply 30MW and store 30MWh.
AusNet Services will own the Ballarat battery storage system once commissioned, following Spotless Sustainability Services’ design and construction.
The operation will be run by EnergyAustralia and supplied by Fluence.
Mr Frydenberg said storage had been the “missing piece of the energy jigsaw”.
Labor senator Doug Cameron was unsurprised the government would play down the South Australian battery, built last year and announced under a state Labor government, while now spruiking its new Victorian investment.