January 7, 2022: The Australian government’s renewable energy agency ARENA has put up A$100 million ($71.5 million) for grid-scale battery projects that meet certain requirements, it said on December 24.
One of the requirements will be the inclusion of advanced inverter technology, which are touted as having the ability to replace the inertia traditionally provided by synchronous generation from sources such as coal or gas.
Bids must be for battery storage projects of 70MW or more to operate in the National Electricity Market or Western Australia’s Wholesale Electricity Market. Funding will also be available to existing grid-scale batteries for retrofitting with advanced inverter capability.
A maximum of A$35 million will be handed per project, which means at least three will qualify.
“The funding round aims to incentivize and de-risk private sector investment and overcome barriers to the deployment of advanced inverter technology,” says ARENA. “By funding this technology at scale, ARENA hopes to provide valuable insights into the operations and emerging capabilities of advanced inverters.”
All battery chemistries will be eligible to bid for the cash, as long as they are equipped with the inverters, which are being seen as vital for maintaining grid stability with the growing shift towards unreliable sources of energy such as wind.
“This funding round will demonstrate the role of advanced inverters in grid-scale batteries to provide system stability, facilitating a more efficient transition and accelerate the uptake of renewable generation,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller.