20 March 2013
Cost-effective battery storage for residential and commercial renewable energy systems is a step closer following an Australian Government investment of $480,000 to test a world-leading battery technology.
The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, today announced Project funding for Ecoult, a CSIRO spin-off company, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Emerging Renewables Program, to optimise CSIRO’s UltraBattery technology.
“In residential areas with a large volume of rooftop solar photovoltaics, or in off grid and remote communities that are trying to displace diesel through renewables, battery technology will be crucial to maximising electricity from renewable energy resources,” Minister Ferguson said.
“One of the benefits of the CSIRO’s UltraBattery technology is its suitability for managing energy intermittencies, smoothing power from irregular sources and shifting energy availability over time to ensure more regular availability.
“That’s why the Australian Government, through ARENA, will be investing in a 30 month project using the UltraBattery technology to determine whether it can lower operating and storage costs, by conducting testing on a storage pilot at CSIRO’s Newcastle facilities.
“Testing the UltraBattery technology for both off grid and distributed technology environments will allow us to learn how we can reduce power fluctuations, which can otherwise act as a barrier to connecting additional solar installations to the electricity grid.”
The $1.16 million project aims to optimise the UltraBattery technology for use in a range of settings, including residential locations with a high number of household solar installations; in remote areas not connected to the national electricity grid; and in hybrid diesel systems.
Applying the technology to hybrid diesel systems will help to improve fuel efficiencies, while in remote areas it will help provide electricity to communities when renewable energy sources are not available.
ARENA is a $3.2 billion Australian Government commitment to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia. It is part of the Government’s Clean Energy Future package.