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Battery storage ready now to combat power outages

Thu, 08/25/2016 - 11:01 -- paul Crompton
Battery storage ready now to combat power outages

A climate change expert says that large-scale batteries are ready to be used in the electricity grid to help protect from future power crises that could be caused by reliance on wind and solar power.

Professor Ross Garnaut, chairman of Zen Energy, a company based in Adelaide, Australia, is planning to roll out grid-scale battery storage from 2017.

Battery storage is one of a number of potential solutions for a problem illustrated when a power crisis in South Australia last month sent wholesale electricity prices sky high to $14,000 per mWh, more than 100 times normal levels.

Professor Garnaut disagrees with the conventional view that batteries cost too much to be used for mass deployment.

He writes in an article for The Australian Financial Review that "battery storage is ready for immediate deployment".

"The grid-level battery is highly suitable for stabilising against short-term variations in frequency and price that were a large part of the July problem [in South Australia]," he writes.


The crisis passed with the restoration of a high-voltage interconnector to Victoria but "the questions remain."

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