Policy, Projects, Renewables, Storage

Joint 5.7m initiative trials long-duration batteries in WA

The Australian and Western Australian (WA) governments have announced a joint $5.7 million initiative to trial long-duration battery technologies in regional communities powered by microgrids.

The trials aim to boost reliable and affordable renewable energy storage in off-grid areas.

Regional utility Horizon Power will pilot two cutting-edge battery systems in the remote towns of Carnarvon andNullagine, with contributions of $2.85 million each from the federal Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the WA government.

In Carnarvon, a 250 kilowatt (KW) sodium sulfur battery from BASF will be the first of its kind in Australia to connect to a regulated network and a distributed energy management systems (DERMS). Meanwhile, Redflow’s 100KW zinc bromine flow battery will be tested in the extreme summer heat of Nullagine, with temperatures regularly exceeding 40°C.

Federal Energy Minister Chris Bowen said the trials will help ensure long-term reliable and affordable power for hundreds of thousands of Australians living off-grid, as part of sweeping efforts in the energy transformation.

“We are committed to investing in technologies like microgrids, to improve reliability and resilience of electricity supply for regional and remote communities – getting renewable energy to people where and when they need it,” he said.

WA Energy Minister Reece Whitby said the trials will provide valuable operational experience with new long-duration storage tech adapted to regional conditions, supporting the state’s journey to net zero emissions by 2050.

Both battery systems are expected to be deployed and integrated with Horizon Power’s expanding DERMS platform across 34 regional areas by early 2025.

Successful trials could help roll out these technologies more broadly in Australia’s harsh climates.

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