Batteries, Government, Policy, Projects, Renewables, Transition to Renewables

New scheme to support energy storage projects in Victoria and SA

The Federal Government has opened registration for the South Australian and Victorian Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS), Australia’s biggest energy storage tender that aims to deliver affordable and reliable energy to those states.

The program will store renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and is set to deliver 600MW of backup clean energy that can be used when needed to keep the electricity grid stable, and ensure Victoria and South Australia have a plentiful supply of cheap, dispatchable power during peak periods.

Australia’s first CIS is already underway in NSW, and now projects in South Australia and Victoria can register with Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Services to be part of the new program.

Once tenders are open, projects can submit a bid with AEMO Services, with leading candidates being invited to submit a full application.

Successful projects will receive a Capacity Investment Scheme Agreement (CISA) lasting up to 15 years.

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“This CIS announcement is about increasing investment in stored renewables that can be quickly dispatched to improve security and reliability of the South Australian and Victorian grid,” said Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen at the CIS launch in Victoria on 11 October, 2023.

“The sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow, but we can store energy from the sun and wind for use when we need it. That’s what this CIS tender is about.

“During the past decade of energy policy chaos under the former government, Australia has seen 4GW of dispatchable energy leave the grid and only 1GW come on. We won’t allow this to continue.

“This tender will ensure we can increase supply, reduce the risk of shortfalls and keep downward pressure on power prices in South Australia and Victoria.”

The CIS program is open for large projects that can store energy for at least two hours and are at least 30MW in size. It will also be open to a variety of energy storage types such as batteries and hydrogen.

“Victoria is already the home of big batteries, and this auction will give projects extra support to get projects online quicker, helping us achieve our ambitious energy storage targets of at least 2.6GW by 2030 and 6.3GW by 2035,” said Victorian Minister for Climate Action Lily d’Ambrosio at the launch.

“Energy storage is critical to reaching Victoria’s renewable energy target of 95 per cent by 2035 and delivering cheaper, more reliable energy to homes and businesses across our state.”

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Tom Koutsantonis said his state also welcomes commencement of the CIS program.

“South Australia welcomes the Commonwealth’s support to increase dispatchable supply, particularly recognition of hydrogen alongside batteries, thermal storage and pumped hydro,” he said.

“This additional capacity will help fill in the gaps and firm supply as we power ahead to net 100 per cent renewables.”

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