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Victoria seeks to build country’s biggest grid-scale battery storage

The Victoria Labor government has announced that it is calling for expressions of interest to build a 20MW battery storage array, in what would likely be Australia’s first grid scale battery storage facility.

The government says the 20MW battery storage facility is being earmarked for western Victoria, where the Australian Energy Market Operator has identified opportunities to improve grid stability, and where many of the state’s wind farms and proposed solar farms are located.

Indeed, the western grid of Victoria has suffered several major faults in the past 15 months, resulting in load shedding, or rolling blackouts in the neighbouring state of South Australia and at the Alcoa aluminium refinery, that were blamed on renewable energy rather than the grid.

The government, which plans to lift the state’s share of renewable energy to 25 per cent by 2020, and to 40 per cent by 2025, says that storage will play a vital role in better integrating renewable energy generation, keeping the lights on and keeping power prices in check.

“We are in the midst of a major global transformation and we’re making sure Victoria is equipped with the next generation of energy technologies that will support a resilient energy system,” state energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said in a statement.

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