August 14 (Renewables Now) - The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced today it will provide up to AUD 40 million (USD 27m/EUR 24m) in funding to fast track the development of South Australia’s first pumped hydro energy storage project.
ARENA said in a statement that four proposed large-scale projects of this type have sought funding from the agency, which now expects their developers to present plans on how to reach financial close by June 30, 2020. These proposals should be submitted by October so that ARENA can make a funding decision later this year.
The agency noted that in any case the successful funding recipient will have a capacity of at least 200 MW. It will support the development in cooperation with the Australian government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) programme and the South Australian government’s AUD-50-million Grid Scale Storage Fund (GSSF).
“With 50 per cent of total energy generation in South Australia coming from variable renewable energy in 2018, and an expectation that this will increase in the next two years, there is an increasing requirement for energy storage to firm and balance the system in that state,” stated ARENA CEO Darren Miller.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.676/EUR 0.604)