February 23, 2023: Australia needs urgent investment in long-duration energy storage systems as part of its plans to meet the country’s power supply needs over the next decade, the Australian Energy Market Operator said on February 21.
CEO Daniel Westerman (pictured), in a reliability update to AEMO’s 2022 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) report, reiterated the “critical need for timely investment in generation, long duration storage and transmission” to fill forecast reliability gaps as Australia moves rapidly away from its traditional dependency on coal generation.
Since publishing the 2022 ESOO last August, short-term forecast reliability gaps in South Australia (2023-24) and Victoria (2024-25) have been filled by new gas, wind and battery developments, along with a delay to the retirement of an existing gas generator, Westerman said.
He warned that reliability gaps begin to emerge from 2025 onwards.
Since the 2022 ESOO, Westerman said 1,326MW of wind and 461MW (604MWh) of battery storage projects across the national electricity market have met AEMO’s commitment criteria.
The national electricity market has a strong pipeline of proposed generation and storage projects, totalling three times today’s generation capacity, with large-scale solar, wind and batteries accounting for 86%, Westerman said.
“Investment in firming generation, such as pumped hydro, gas and long-duration batteries, is critical to complement our growing fleet of weather-dependent renewable generation to meet electricity demand without coal generation.”
Energy Storage Journal reported last December on Australia’s announcement of financial backing for seven new grid-scale battery projects across the country, plus the retrofitting of an existing BESS, with a combined storage capacity of 2GW/4.2GWh at a total cost of AUD2.7 billion ($1.8bn).
On January 16, Recharge Industries announced that Accenture, the Dublin-based information technology services firm, would be its engineering and design provider to build a lithium ion battery cells gigafactory in the Australian state of Victoria.