12 September 2019

ACT includes big battery in new renewable power push

| Ian Bushnell
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The Coonooer Bridge wind farm

The Coonooer Bridge wind farm in Victoria that supplies electricity to the ACT. Photo: Windlab.

The ACT will conduct a renewable electricity ‘reverse auction’ to secure 250 megawatts of new supply, and construct a large-scale battery in the Territory that will support the grid and provide back-up power during blackouts.

Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said the total battery storage required would be 20 megawatts and 40 megawatt hours and could power 25,000 houses for two hours.

“It will also support the ACT electricity grid, helping to manage fluctuations in grid voltage and frequency, remove the need to upgrade network infrastructure, store excess electricity from renewable electricity sources, and provide power to help avoid blackouts during periods of high demand and when large fossil fuel generators fail in heatwave conditions,” he said.

Mr Rattenbury said the new renewable energy generation, which could come from anywhere in Australia, would ensure the ACT maintained at least 100 per cent renewable electricity into the mid-2020s.

The auction would be launched on 15 November and he hoped contracts would be signed in the first half of next year, with a two-year timeline for the project.

The move follows the passing of legislation earlier this year to guarantee the ACT will maintain 100 per cent renewable electricity into the future.

“We’ll soon reach 100 per cent renewable electricity in the ACT, which is a great achievement. But our city will keep growing, and we’ll be transitioning buildings and vehicles to be all electric. This is expected to increase electricity consumption, so we’re contracting more renewable electricity generation to ensure we stay at 100 per cent,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“In the ACT we’re committed to climate change action, and we’re planning ahead to ensure we only use renewable electricity. The renewables auction will also allow the ACT to further develop our renewable energy industry, expand our economy and job growth, and provide significant boosts in local investments.”

Mr Rattenbury will soon announce the next major phase of climate action in the ACT.

“The Strategy will outline how we move to renewable energy solutions and what will drive the decarbonisation of the region up to 2025 and beyond,” he said.

The ACT’s reverse auction scheme to reach 100 per cent renewable electricity has already leveraged more than $2 billion of investment into 10 large-scale renewable energy projects around Australia, and more than $500 million in the ACT.

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Wow see the right wing loonies are out.

just what we need, another excuse not to do any infrastructure maintenance.

Stupid idea. Flywheel storage is better

Capital Retro5:58 pm 06 Oct 19

Agree entirely, but batteries are sexier and more expensive.

HiddenDragon5:44 pm 12 Sep 19

“…..and could power 25,000 houses for two hours…..”

I suppose this is better than nothing, but unless some mastermind somewhere comes up with much, much more efficient large-scale battery technology in the near future, eastern Australia is going to be in a lot of trouble when Liddell and the other remaining coal-fired stations close.

Two hours for 25,000 homes presumably equates to about 15-20 minutes for all the homes (>100,000?), businesses and government buildings in Canberra.

Capital Retro9:27 pm 12 Sep 19

What happens when it is a flat battery and there is no renewable electricity available from the grid to recharge it?

Except it’s a blatant lie. You can’t discharge a battery that quickly. See the red herring from SA for evidence. These large scale batteries are useless. Just virtue signalling.

Capital Retro10:01 am 12 Sep 19

I suggest that the “big battery” be constructed at the MLRMC so when it claps out it can be easily bulldozed into the land fill section.

More money pissed up the wall to make the local pollies feel well good inside – the transformation of the power grid should be being delivered centrally from a federal level, and not on the hocus pocus approach we have now. But wait a minute, the luddites on the hill are too busy cuddling their coal at night and looking after their buddies to do what would be right for the nation.

What’s even worse for the community is its not even being funded through taxes collected by the Government…. but rather directly from our own pockets through electricity bills. The goal is laudable, the mechanism laughable and completely lacking in reasonable transperancy and an easily gained understanding for the community of what this is actually directly costing them to pursue.

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