As part of the drive to reach net zero by 2050 and in the lead up to the state election, the Victorian Government has announced plans to legislate the largest renewable energy storage targets in Australia: 2.6 GW by 2030, increasing to 6.3GW by 2035.
- The Victorian Government has announced plans to legislate a target of 2.6 GW of renewable energy storage capacity by 2030, increasing to 6.3 GW by 2035 (Storage Targets).
- This target will be facilitated by a $157 million funding package, also announced by the Government on Tuesday, to support the development of batteries and grid forming inverters:
- $119 million will be invested from the $540 million Renewable Energy Zone Fund in the 125 MW Koorangie Energy Storage System, a big battery and grid forming inverter; and
- $38.2 million from the Energy Innovation Fund will be invested in four projects using new technology to generate and store clean energy: a battery with grid forming inverter in Terang, a renewable hydrogen electrolyser project in Wollert and two bioenergy projects at farms in Gippsland and Barwon.
The Victorian Government has announced that the proposed Storage Targets will include both short and long-duration energy storage systems. The intent of this mix is to facilitate a range of services, including shifting load and generation to different times of the day, and also to supply power through longer duration power system imbalances. This provides for a broad range of technologies to be eligible for the Storage Target, including batteries, pumped hydro and hydrogen technologies. The Victorian Government has also referred to grant funding to be provided for ‘seed projects’, indicating that there may be some focus on early stage and R&D technologies.
The Storage Target is proposed to be legislated, with the aim of providing certainty to the market and bring forward investments into energy projects. The policy intent is to provide firm capacity to facilitate the development of new renewable energy projects, and to move Victoria’s energy mix from coal generation to renewable energy.
No further detail about the scheme or legislation underpinning Storage Target has been provided at this point. The Victorian Government has announced that a consultation paper will be released later in 2022 and has called for interested parties to be involved in the consultation.
Interested proponents of energy storage projects should continue to monitor as further details of the Storage Target are released, and consider being involved in consultation process.
We will provide further updates and analysis as details of the Storage Target are released.
This article was written by Alison Dodd, Partner and Holly McNaughton, Solicitor.
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