Energy Storage Challenge for New South Wales

The government of NSW (New South Wales) is calling for proposals on energy storage on its first round of the Advanced Energy Challenge (AEC).

The Challenge is looking to assist projects that will help in the state’s transition to an affordable, reliable, secure and sustainable energy future. The initiative is designed to progress new ideas, turning them into effective technologies and business models according to Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts.

Instead of providing funding, the Advanced Energy Challenge offers in-kind government support. This assistance may include elements such as advice on navigating government approvals and regulations; and government procurement in testing, demonstrating and commercialising ideas, technologies or business models.

Proposals progressing from a screening stage will then be invited to pitch to an Expert Evaluation Panel. Further evaluation will then whittle down the field; with the Minister for Resources And Energy having final say as whether proposals will progress to negotiation.

Since this is the first round, it acts as the pilot. If this will be successful, the AE Challenge will run further rounds in different energy related areas such as renewables, smart meters, the Internet of Things, and networks.

According to the government, one of the objectives of the challenge is to show the world that New South Wales is the “place to be” to trial or demonstrate advanced energy innovation.

The challenge is part of the state’s Advanced Energy Strategy, which is using a similar process to the one the NSW Government used to develop its Renewable Energy Action Plan.

Energy storage has become a hot topic in New South Wales; particularly with the state’s legacy gross solar feed-in-tariff, the Solar Bonus Scheme, ending in just a couple of weeks. The change affects more than 140,000 participants who joined the program prior to May 2011.

In order to get the most from their solar power systems in a post-Solar Bonus Scheme world, many participants have been investigating various options; including the installation of a new-generation battery system.