Energy storage potential growing in Australia


Sydney and Melbourne, Australia – 22 March, 2013.  – Two new projects and other recent market developments indicate growing interest and potential for energy storage in Australia.

As part of the Smart Grid, Smart City program, Ausgrid is launching a battery storage project in the Sydney suburb of Newington to test how the technology can be used to manage peak demand. The battery, of lithium-ion type, will be fed from more than 1,000 rooftop solar systems and the stored power will then be used for local homes during peak demand times.

The battery has an energy storage capacity of 120 kWh, which should help reduce peak demand for around 15 homes. It is installed in a standard shipping container, making it easily transportable after the trial finishes in October 2013.

As part of this project, monitoring equipment and smart meters have also been installed at the homes to evaluate the impacts of a concentration of solar PV systems on the power supply.

The second project, to be conducted by Australian energy storage company Ecoult with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is to develop a battery storage system using Deka UltraBattery technology.

The project will develop a prototype for three types of deficit charge/distributed energy applications – off-grid renewable power solutions, distributed grid connected storage to support voltage and power fluctuations that arise where there is dense concentration of small rooftop solar installations in residential areas, and hybrid generation (such as diesel plus renewables) to improve fuel efficiencies.

Other participants will include Ecoult’s US-based parent company East Penn Manufacturing, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), which invented the Deka UltraBattery technology.

In the third market development online Australian energy retailer Click Energy is to promote the California-based energy optimization service provider Stem’s Energy System to its customers. The energy management and storage system will provide high resolution data to Click to analyze and profile its customer base. Customers will have the opportunity to model upcoming pricing structures to see how advanced energy storage can affect their bills.

Click Energy has more than 30,000 customers in Victoria and Queensland.