The race to develop battery storage as a solution to the key problem of reliability, which critics of renewable energy are always keen to point out, appears to be on in earnest amid Australian state governments. Victorian premier Daniel Andrews just announced an extra $20 million to roll out energy storage in the state.
The government wants to boost energy storage capacity in Victoria up to 100MW – the same size as South Australia’s storage plan announced today – by the end of 2018.
“Victoria will remain a net exporter of energy, but investments like this will ensure our state stays as one of the most reliable energy producers in the world,” the premier said.
He added that a 20MW battery could power a town the size of Bendigo or Ballarat for up to four hours to help prevent blackouts during peak demand.
Victorian energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the move takes funding for energy storage to $25 million. The government is seeking expressions of interest for second round tenders by April 15.
The announcement comes just a fortnight before the massive, 1600MW Hazelwood coal-fired power station closes down at the end of the month.
The government announced it has also launched an energy taskforce in Cabinet, which meets for the first time today.
Victoria has set emissions reduction targets of 20% by 2020, 40% by 2025 and zero emissions by 2050.
The federal government has accused the Labor states of being too ambitious in their targets and criticised them for being too dependent on renewable energy.