The Australian National University (ANU) will establish an international research program to improve ways to store renewable energy that can be integrated into the electricity grid under a new $8 million partnership with the ACT Government.
The ACT Government and ANU will jointly invest the funds over five years for a new Battery Storage and Integration Research Program.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC thanked the ACT Government for contributing up to $5 million to support the program, which would help to establish Australian research leadership in the integration of battery material technology with electricity network storage.
“I want to congratulate the ACT Government on its commitment to renewable energy and innovative energy solutions,” Professor Schmidt said.
“The funding will enable the ANU Energy Change Institute (ECI), which will coordinate the research program, to build a critical mass of research in the area and focus on commercialisation of new technologies.
“We’ll now begin a worldwide search for a team leader in battery storage and integration to spearhead the research program.
“The ECI comprises more than 200 staff and PhD students from all seven ANU colleges, and is supported with more than $100 million in infrastructure and facilities.
Professor Schmidt said the University would support the program with $3 million in cash and in-kind contributions, including $2 million for new laboratory infrastructure to support battery storage and integration research.
“The ANU Energy Change Institute will engage with the emerging renewable energy sector in the ACT and will develop international renewable energy partnerships,” he said.
“The ACT is one of the world’s leading jurisdictions and the leader in Australia when it comes to renewable energy policy, as exemplified by the innovative wind and solar reverse auctions.”
Professor Ken Baldwin, Director of the ANU Energy Change Institute, welcomed the announcement.
“As the proportion of renewables in the grid grows, battery storage and its integration are becoming increasingly important to address intermittency in renewable energy supply,” Professor Baldwin said.
“The new ANU Battery Storage and Integration Research Program will feed into existing cutting-edge energy research at ANU and in the ACT, facilitating the transition to a broader low-carbon electricity system.
“The Government’s funding will generate enormous economic benefits for the ACT. It will enhance local industry capability and competitiveness, attracting innovative energy companies to the ACT and building the ACT’s reputation as a global leader in renewable energy and storage,” Professor Baldwin said.
The ACT Government funded the Battery Storage and Integration Research Program through the Renewable Energy Innovation Fund.