The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $1.27 million to Newcastle-based company MGA Thermal to develop a 5 MWh thermal energy storage system.
The $2.85 million project will see the construction of a pilot unit to showcase steam generation from stored thermal energy. The technology has the capacity to provide a new form of medium-term energy storage.
The project uses MGA Thermal’s proprietary Miscibility Gap Alloy technology, a unique material that stores heat for days with minimal energy loss.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) indicates the National Electricity Market will need more than 60 GW of dispatchable generation and storage by 2050 to support uptake of renewables.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the government was proud to be supporting MGA Thermal.
‘The company’s unique technology has potential for major advances in medium-term storage that are vital for decarbonising industrial energy use and electricity generation in Australia and the world,’ the Minster said.
The project will have positive effects for the Hunter region, including delivering 22 high-skill jobs.