|5 August 2016|

Australia

A $20 million project in Australia will deliver the world’s largest battery storage ‘virtual power plant’.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has conditionally committed up to $5 million funding for AGL to install 1,000 centrally controlled batteries in South Australian homes and businesses with a combined 5 MW / 7 MWh storage capacity. The venture will boost grid stability, help reduce power price volatility and support renewable energy.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said: “The $20 million project could point to solutions to South Australia’s grid challenges and reduce the risk of power price shocks in the state.

“Australia is on the cusp of a battery storage revolution as technology costs continue to fall. ARENA is at the forefront of figuring out how batteries can best support renewable energy to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable power,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“When small-scale batteries work together they become more than the sum of their parts.

“AGL plans to operate the batteries as a kind of virtual power plant, installing them alongside solar PV and linking all 1,000 systems with centralised monitoring and management software.

“The result is like adding a 5 MW power station that can quickly deliver enough energy to power 1,000 South Australian homes where and when it’s needed most. This approach can ease local network constraints, displace gas power and complement the Victorian interconnector, especially during times of peak demand.”