By studying the successes and challenges experienced by overseas projects and markets, and using them to inform better policy and decision-making, Australia’s energy market transformation could be the best-practice example that other countries seek to emulate, according to AES Energy Storage Asia market leader Mark Leslie (pictured).
AES Energy Storage has been deploying utility-scale energy storage into electric grids for nearly a decade and recently built both the single largest lithium-ion energy storage array in the world, a 30MW array in Escondido, California, and a second smaller array totalling 7.5MW in El Cajon, in just six months.
In his upcoming presentation Lessons Learned from the Rapid Deployment of the Largest Energy Storage Array to Solve Grid Reliability in Southern California, which will take place at the Australian Energy Storage Conference running June 14-15 at the International Convention Centre Sydney, Leslie will explore the knowledge gained over the course of this landmark project and how Australian energy storage stakeholders can employ it in an Australian context.
According to Leslie, a long-term view to create a sustainable market for energy storage, as opposed to “boom and bust”, will be key to the success of Australia’s energy market transition.
“Some of the markets outside of Australia began with strong forethought and good intentions,” Leslie says.
“However, sometimes as markets evolve, market strategists secure short-term gains but don’t think about long-term market stability and reliability. The parties driving Australia’s transformation to a cleaner, affordable and reliable future should seek to learn from other markets’ choices and outcomes.”
Leslie believes that successfully transforming the market within Australia will require energy storage to be part of the main planning toolkit for all generation, transmission and distribution sectors. Additionally, Australia will need to modify market mechanisms to deliver longer-term pricing signals to encourage high-quality, long-term infrastructure investment, such as energy storage.
“Australia and the NEM are at a critical juncture where strategy, direction and policies can help drive grid-scale energy storage adoption and enable the NEM to be the global model other markets follow,” he says.