Banking on renewable energy storage

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced $1.4 million support for the University of Adelaide to develop an online Australian energy storage knowledge bank and build a mobile energy storage test facility.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the collaborative project led by the University of Adelaide was an important next step for energy storage development and would build on other efforts already underway.

“Reliable, cost effective storage has a vital role to play in smoothing out energy supply and increasing the amount of renewable energy used in Australia,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“The new knowledge bank will act as a central repository of energy storage expertise, bringing together reports and case studies, along with information on regulation, reliability, safety, operation and performance of energy storage systems in Australia.

“The new mobile facility will be able to conduct independent simulated and field testing of energy storage technologies and generate high resolution data for the knowledge bank.

“This project is set to build industry confidence in energy storage technologies and has the potential to accelerate investment in grid connected and remote locations, particularly where there are high levels of renewable energy generation.

“It demonstrates ARENA’s commitment to funding knowledge sharing activities and will play a key role advancing Australia’s energy storage market both on and off the grid.”

Project leader Associate Professor Nesimi Ertugrul, from the University of Adelaide, said industry participation would be critical to the success of the project.

“We expect battery storage to become a major industry over the next 5-10 years, offering solutions from small domestic to very large-scale applications,” Associate Professor Ertugrul said.

“The University of Adelaide is pleased to be leading this project that will provide technology developers with valuable resources and assist electricity infrastructure operators to better manage the integration of renewable energy into power systems.”

SA Power Networks, Energy Networks Association, Solar Storage Australia and the South Australian Government are collectively contributing $650,000 towards the project.

Integration specialists Power and Drive Solutions and ZEN Energy Systems are providing in-kind expertise and support to build the test facility, which is scheduled for deployment at the first site on the SA Power Networks grid by early 2016.

About the University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide is one of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities and is consistently ranked among the top 1 per cent of universities in the world. The University’s reputation for world-leading original research was highlighted with 60 research areas rated at or above world class in the 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia process. Much of the research at the University of Adelaide is driven by the biggest challenges facing our world.

ARENA media contacts

James Webber – 0410 028 899
Judith Ion – 0434 169 037

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