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  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announces the allocation of $100 million to develop the next generation of grid-scale batteries
  • The government body’s funding will be used for new battery energy storage projects of 70 megawatts or larger operating within national or West Australian electricity markets
  • The funding is competitive and will be allotted to a minimum of three projects that can each apply for a grant of up to $35 million
  • Expressions of interest for the funding will open next February and will shut on March 31, any papers who get selected will then submit a full application later in the year

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced the allocation of $100 million to develop the next generation of grid-scale batteries equipped with advanced inverters to support the grid.

The government body’s funding will be used for new battery energy storage projects of 70 megawatts or larger operating within the National Electricity Market or Western Australia’s Wholesale Electricity Market.

In addition, the funding will also be used to retrofit advanced inverter capability for existing grid-scale batteries.

The funding is competitive and will be allotted to a minimum of three projects that can each apply for a grant of up to $35 million.

In the announcement, ARENA shared the funding aimed to incentivise and de-risk private sector investments and the hurdles of deploying advanced inverter technology.

In addition, the generation of stability to the electrical systems will help the grids operate with higher shares of varying renewable energy.

The Australian Energy Market Operator published its ‘white paper’ about advanced inverters and highlighted the value of grid-scale batteries with advanced inverters in the pursuit of transitioning energy sources.

“Grid-scale batteries and other types of energy storage technology will be vital to support our future electricity system powered by renewables,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said.

“This funding round will demonstrate the role of advanced inverters in grid-scale batteries to provide system stability, facilitating a more efficient transition and accelerating the uptake of renewable generation.”

ARENA had funded six grid-scale batteries since 2017, of which two of the largest projects are based in South Australia.

“We’re confident that ARENA funding will help drive the uptake of this technology and provide valuable lessons that will benefit the industry as a whole,” Mr Miller said.

Expressions of interest for the funding will open next February and will shut on March 31, any papers who get selected will then submit a full application later in the year.

“We’ve seen promising signs that advanced inverters can support system stability, but it’s clear public sector investment is still needed to prove the technology at scale,” Mr Miller concluded.

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