Banking on storage

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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has 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.

The agency’s CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the collaborative project led by the university 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,” he said.

“The 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 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,” Mr Frischknecht said.

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 in the next five-10 years, offering solutions from small domestic to very large-scale applications,” he said.

SA Power Networks, Energy Networks Association, Solar Storage Australia and the South Australian Government are collectively contributing $650,000 towards the project, which is scheduled for deployment at the first site on the SA Power Networks grid by early 2016.