March 14 (Renewables Now) - The government of Australia's Victoria state on Tuesday announced a AUD-20-million (USD 15m/EUR 14m) investment to support large-scale storage, while the South Australian government unveiled an energy plan, which includes the construction of a 100-MW battery.
The Victorian government said the new funds, which bring its total commitment to energy storage to AUD 25 million, are aimed at taking the state's energy storage capacity up to 100 MW by the end of 2018. It is now seeking expressions of interest for the deployment of an additional 80 MW of storage capacity from technologies including batteries, pumped hydro or solar thermal.
The announcement was made by premier Daniel Andrews and energy minister Lily D'Ambrosio during a tour of Tesla Inc's (NASDAQ:TSLA) Melbourne headquarters. It follows the state government's call last month to build a 20-MW battery in western Victoria.
At the same time, amid increased power outages concerns, the government of South Australia unveiled a AUD-550-million plan designed to improve security. As part of the plan, the government said it will set up a AUD-150-million fund to support projects that make renewable power available when it is needed. The first project to be backed will be a grid-connected 100-MW battery.
The plan also includes the construction of a government-owned gas-fired power plant to provide emergency back-up power.
"We can’t rely on this broken national market any longer. Our plan will deliver increased local generation and powers to help prevent outages and more competition to put downward pressure on power prices for families and businesses," said energy minister Tom Koutsantonis.
The announcement comes after Tesla's Lyndon Rive said at the Australian launch of the company's second-generation batteries last week, as cited by local media, that Tesla can deliver the battery system needed to tackle South Australian outages in 100 days. Tesla's boss Elon Musk after that said on Twitter "Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free."
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.753/EUR 0.706)