Two Australian states embrace grid-scale storage for power reliability

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On Tuesday, the South Australian government announced a plan to take charge of the state's energy future.

Tensions between the federal Australian government and the state of South Australia reached new heights at a press conference today, where the state's Prime Minister attacked the federal Energy Minister for supporting a US$1.54-billion (A$2 billion) hydropower project amid a growing threat of power shortages in the south and east of the country.

A fund worth $150 million will be used with an aim to the country's largest energy storage battery.

"We've seen the State Government back the wrong horse today, backing gas and fossil fuels over the abundance of renewable capacity here in our state", said Senator Hanson-Young.

'We will be having a very frank conversation with the energy companies, ' he said.

South Australian Power for South Australians will ensure more of the State's power is sourced, generated and controlled in South Australia.

According to Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis the grid-scale battery will modernise South Australia's energy grid and begin the transformation to the next generation of renewable energy technologies.

It could help solve the issue of storing its intermittent clean energy.

"The package is a serious response to the state's problems".

Weatherill called the national energy market broken.

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Mr Willox said some of the impact on rising prices would be lost, particularly on gas, if other states retained their bans. This comes on the heels of the Government's strategy to bring power prices down and introduce energy stability.

Minister Frydenberg this morning said a short-term solution would be for companies to release existing supplies to the domestic market, while a longer-term solution would be to increase production.

The Prime Minister and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will be urging gas companies to step up production after a report by the energy market regulator last week predicted a shortage of gas could lead to widespread power shortages as soon as next year.

But having signed big and lucrative contracts - with correspondingly damaging penalties for failing to meet them - Australia's big gas exporters stand accused of robbing the domestic market to help ensure they meet their worldwide obligations.

"The timeframe for implementation is already extremely tight and we have seen the impact of this in the drafting of legislation".

Adelaide-based oil and gas producer Beach Energy, which focuses operations on the Cooper Basin, applauded the plan.

"Our gas industry simply balances our New Zealand market".

But he said jobs were under threat because of state and territory bans on gas development.

"The state government has taken decisive action to ensure natural gas is once again playing a major role in meeting the energy needs of South Australia", Mr Doman said.

"It is less clear how much these initiatives will help with SA's other energy crisis, affordability", said AIG chief excecutive Innes Willox".

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