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Another big battery to be built in SA

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The state and federal governments will provide $10 million towards a ‘big battery’ to be connected to Infigen Energy’s Lake Bonney Wind Farm in South Australia’s South-East.

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Infigen announced today that construction of the 25MW/52MWh battery – using Tesla Powerpack technology – would begin within weeks.

The $38 million facility is backed by $5 million from the State Government, provided through the renewable technology fund set up by the previous administration, and $5 million from the Federal Government’s renewable energy agency, ARENA.

Infigen said the facility will be connected to the national electricity grid via the Mayurra substation and would provide “firming” services (allowing energy to be guaranteed for a committed time), as well as system security and ancillary services.

The State Government described the announcement as another step towards cheaper electricity prices.

“The Marshall Government is a strong supporter of increasing battery storage to harness the full potential of South Australia’s abundant renewable energy to deliver lower prices to households and businesses,” said Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“South Australia needs substantial investment in multiple battery storage systems to ensure the continued transition to renewable energy produces more affordable and reliable electricity.

“Infigen’s investment in South Australia is welcome news to businesses in the state as it will increase the competitiveness of electricity prices for customers with high energy demand.”

The Infigen battery is one of a growing number of such facilities pledged or installed in South Australia.

Last year, a State Government-backed Tesla battery (100MW/129MWh) began operating at the Hornsdale Power Reserve near Jamestown, and ARENA subsidised Electranet to built a 30MW/8MWh system near Stansbury on Yorke Peninsula.

Tilt Renewables is also planning to build a 44MW solar farm and 21MW/26MWh battery storage system connected to its wind farm near Snowtown.

Billionaire industrial Sanjeev Gupta is promising a battery facility that will be larger than Hornsdale.

After mocking South Australia’s Tesla battery last year, the Federal Government has funded a number of similar projects, including spending $25 million to support two large-scale batteries in Victoria.

Last year, federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg urged caution about the impact of the South Australian project, saying the Tesla battery solution was “small compared to the scale of the problem”.

Treasurer Scott Morrison was dismissive about the then Labor administration’s move, comparing the Jamestown facility to the “the world’s biggest banana” and saying it was a distraction that would not solve the problem it was seeking to fix.

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