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Australian state pushes for biggest energy storage target; to invest $157 million to cut emissions

A photo of the Australian Big Battery project in Victoria. Image courtesy: Victorian Big Battery

Australia's Victoria state on Tuesday (Sept. 27)  announced that it would introduce the biggest energy storage target in Australia and support the nation-leading target with a $157 million package supporting renewable energy generation and storage projects across the state.

Victoria's new energy storage targets include both short and long-duration energy storage systems which can store up to 8 hours of energy and includes batteries, hydroelectricity, and hydrogen technologies.

"Victoria is already the renewable energy capital of Australia, and now, we'll have the biggest energy storage targets in the country too," said Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria.

"We've cut emissions by more than any other state, tripled the amount of renewable energy and created thousands of jobs. We're not just talking about climate action – we're getting on with it."

The state is expected to reach 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy storage by the end of the decade, with an increased target of 6.3GW of storage by 2035, Victoria will have enough renewable energy to power half of its current homes during the peak energy hours. The newly announced targets are aimed at cutting emissions, bringing down power bills, boosting renewable energy investments, alongside creating thousands of new jobs in Victoria.

According to the official statement, to support these targets, the Labor Government is investing $119 million from the $540 million Renewable Energy Zone Fund in a 125MW big battery and grid forming inverter in the Murray Renewable Energy Zone, between Bendigo and Red Cliffs.

Continuing its drive to meet the RE target of 50 percent by 2030 the government also announced $38.2 million from the Energy Innovation Fund (EIF) to be given to four projects using new technology to generate and store clean energy.

The latest EIF round, the government noted, will provide $7 million for a 100MW battery and inverter in Terang, as well as $19.3 million for two bioenergy projects at farms in Gippsland and Barwon. Yarra Valley Water will receive $11.9 million to install an electrolyzer to make renewable hydrogen using recycled water in Wollert.

Australia's Victoria state is already home to the largest battery in the Southern Hemisphere - the Victorian Big Battery - a 300 MW battery energy storage project near Geelong.

More recently, Community Batteries are also starting to come up across the state backed by the $11 million for the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative. The Government's $1.3 billion Solar Homes program, the official release stated,  has already helped almost 10,000 Victorian households install a battery.

"Our new energy storage targets will deliver up to 12,700 jobs for Victorians – but most importantly, they'll save Victorian families money on their energy bills, and slash our state's emissions for generations to come," said Lily D'Ambrosio, Minister of Energy.

Author : Shraddha Kakade
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