NSW to fund four new big battery projects as it prepares to switch from coal

The New South Wales Liberal government has announced funding support for four new big battery projects in the state as it flicks the switch on the transition from coal to a grid dominated by “on-demand” renewables and storage.

State energy minister Matt Kean unveiled the four chosen “construction” projects on Saturday morning. They include big batteries at the Sapphire wind project and the Uralla renewable energy hub in New England, another fast-start gas project, and a 6MW “virtual power plant” featuring multiple batteries on the south coast.

More projects could be funded pending negotiations with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. And the NSW government is supporting another six large scale storage projects in “development”, including the newly announced compressed air energy storage project at Broken Hill,  three large pumped hydro projects, also in northern NSW (Barnaby Joyce will be thrilled!) and another two big batteries.

In all, these projects would produce more 2,200MW of “on-demand” capacity. For the energy wonks, the hours of storage are not revealed and will presumably be decided once the studies are completed on the opportunities for the location and the “value-stack” for the individual projects.

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