November 1 (Renewables Now) - The Australian government has pledged to provide AUD 1 billion (USD 689.8m/EUR 618.4m) for projects that improve the reliability of the power grid in a move it says will give households and businesses “a fair deal on energy.”
The financing will be extended to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and will back investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure projects, the government said on Wednesday. It will be disbursed through a newly set-up fund, called Grid Reliability Fund, that will be administered by CEFC.
“It is no secret that the National Electricity Market is under pressure – this fund is designed to tackle that and is part of a suite of initiatives that the Government is delivering to ensure when people flick the switch, the lights come on and stay on,” said Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction.
The projects eligible to apply for financing will be split into three main categories: energy storage projects, including pumped hydro and batteries; transmission and distribution infrastructure; and grid stabilising technologies. Priority will be given to investments in jurisdictions where state and territory governments are partnering with the Commonwealth government towards an agreed reliability goal.
The establishment of the fund is expected to spur private-sector investment for projects aiming to keep the stability of the electricity network and put downward pressure on prices, the government noted.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.690/EUR 0.618)