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ARENA backs 8 grid-scale batteries worth $2.7 billion

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $176 million in conditional funding to 8 grid-scale battery projects across Australia.

Funded under ARENA’s Large Scale Battery Storage Funding Round, each battery will be equipped with grid-forming inverter technology. This enables them to provide essential system stability services, traditionally provided by fossil fuels such as coal and gas.

With a total project value of $2.7 billion and a capacity of 2.0 GW / 4.2 GWh, these projects represent a tenfold increase in grid-forming electricity storage capacity currently operational in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The new projects ARENA has selected for support will be located in NSW, Victoria (2), Queensland (2) and South Australia (2). In addition, the existing Victorian Big Battery will be retrofitted for grid-forming capability.

The 8 successful projects were chosen from a shortlist of 12 projects announced in July. ARENA received 54 expressions of interest for the competitive funding round.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the batteries represent a transformative portfolio of new storage capacity.

‘Battery storage is an essential technology in the transition to renewable energy, allowing us to smooth out variable generation and store electricity for when it’s needed,’ Mr Miller said.

‘These next-generation grid-scale batteries will underpin this transition, with inverter technology that can maintain grid stability without the need for coal and gas generators. This pipeline of grid-forming projects will help move us closer to an electricity grid that can support 100% renewable energy in the NEM.’

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ARENA media release