SA government announces plans for clean energy auction with focus on batteries & ‘dispatchable’ renewables

The South Australian government has announced plans for a new clean energy auction, saying it intends to target battery storage and other “dispatchable” renewables to supply around one-quarter of the government’s electricity needs.

The government earlier this year called for expressions of interest in a tender for all of its electricity needs – or around 481GWh – from “low carbon” energy, but the results of that tender have not been announced.

The decision to hold a new tender targeting “dispatchable” renewable energy generation is interesting, particularly in regards to the recent coverage of the so-called “energy crisis” in South Australia.

SA energy minister Tom Koutsantonis said those suppliers who submitted proposals to the original expressions of interest in response to the EOI would be invited to tender.

He said dispatchable renewable energy sources included bioenergy, solar PV with battery, solar thermal and solar PV behind the meter with battery, but he focused his comments on battery storage.

“By procuring one-quarter of the state government’s electricity requirements from renewable energy sources that use battery storage technology we can dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and at the same time incentivise technological developments in this industry,” Koutsantonis said.

“Battery storage of renewables is the future of energy generation and is an extremely exciting proposition for a state with abundant renewable energy resources. We have an opportunity here to create investment and jobs in this space in South Australia before anywhere else.

“As these technologies develop we will see downward pressure on prices because our extremely cheap wind and solar power will be able to be delivered in a targeted way when it is needed most, not just when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.”

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