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Battery Storage Coming to Victoria


The Australian Federal Government have announced support for two new battery storage facilities in Victoria.  Importantly, these batteries are slated to be online for summer, and will plug into local renewable energy generators in the west of the state.

Here in Victoria we have an old and unreliable electricity network, fed largely by failure-prone coal fired power stations.  Burning moist, brown coal, these are also some of the world's dirtiest generators, and are in the process of being phased out.  The other thing we have here is hot summers, and when temperatures soar so does energy demand. And then the grid goes down.

In 2017 the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) stepped in very late in the year to bolster the state's electricity supplies for summer, in a move that included contracts to bring in air and noise polluting diesel generators to the LaTrobe Valley.  The move was so close to summer that battery power wasn't thought feasible.  Local residents were concerned about the diesel generators at the time - I was interviewed about this by local radio and the local paper - and will likely be furious that they missed out on the newly announced battery storage facilities, which could connect into the existing grid infrastructure in the region, provide green power jobs, and accelerate the development of renewable power generation in an area which needs new industries to come in and replace coal.  I can't imagine the electorate will be happy with the state Labor government's inaction in this area, and the move by their political opponents at the federal level looks highly strategic given it is an election year in Victoria.

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