Not displaying correctly? View in browser.
Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA
24 April 2023

Storage Stories

Welcome to ARENA Insights - a newsletter dedicated to sharing knowledge and insights directly with industry.

Forward Insights to a friend.

Advanced inverters and supporting communities

ARENA is supporting a variety of battery storage projects and has recently announced additional funding for community batteries initiatives.

Edify Energy has developed the Darlington Point Energy Storage System, a 25MW/50MWh battery storage system that uses advanced inverters to provide system strength services to the electricity network. The first Knowledge Sharing Report highlights the lessons learned during the connection application process and the construction of the advanced inverter plant.

Canadian Solar undertook a study to determine the feasibility of using grid forming inverters (GFIs) to address grid connection challenges at a 150 MW Solar Farm in Carwarp (VIC). The study concluded that GFIs operating in Virtual Synchronous Mode can support the network sufficiently without the need for conventional synchronous condensers. Although the project was terminated due to various factors, its success in demonstrating the viability of GFIs has paved the way for future implementation.

ARENA has announced $120 million in funding for Round 1 of the Community Batteries Funding Program, which aims to support the deployment of community batteries across Australia to further reduce pressure on the grid, lower energy bills and cut emissions.

Image: Battery Tester


The heat is on

With ARENA’s support, several innovative projects are demonstrating Thermal Energy Storage (TES) technologies, which are expected to play a key role in supporting industry decarbonisation where heat is used in industrial processes.

MGA Thermal has identified the different applications of heat and energy in Australia, and evaluated which ones can be effectively powered by decarbonised energy using their Thermal’s Miscibility Gap Alloy (MGA) technology. The purpose of their first Knowledge Sharing report is to explain the project's rationale within the context of Australia's renewable energy industry.

Glaciem has completed the installation of phase change material (PMC) TES units at three different sites, including Pernod Ricard Winery (SA), Montague Apple Orchard (VIC) and the Reef HQ Aquarium (QLD). Their latest white paper discusses the role of TES in providing continuous energy to run Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning & Refrigeration (HVAC-R) and 24/7 life support systems in aquariums.

Image: Renders of MGA Thermal’s MGA system (left) and Glaciem’s PMC unit (right). 


Pumped Hydro: the next wave of energy storage

Significant progress has been made by ARENA-funded projects in the Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) space, including identifying potential locations, addressing network stability concerns, and finding solutions to operational challenges.

As part of their Short Term Off-River Energy Storage (STORES) project, the Australian National University has produced a map highlighting over 5,500 potential sites for PHES development in Australia, with a storage capacity of 215 TWh.

Meanwhile, the Oven Mountain Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (OMPS PHES) project has shown the benefits of an “off-river” PHES facility in the New England Renewable Energy Zone, improving the system strength by up to 2,350 MVA and 3,150 MWs of inertia in a 900 MW configuration.

The construction of Genex’s Kidston PHES facility is also underway. The project has successfully overcome significant challenges with the design of the main access tunnel and is now on schedule for first energisation in late 2024.

Image: Genex's Kidston PHES site.
Image Source: Genex


New to the Knowledge Bank this month

Low Emissions Metals

  • Bluescope’s latest report provides a site-specific evaluation of potential emissions reduction opportunities at Port Kembla Steelworks and a short list of prioritised options for further consideration. Read Bluescope’s report here.


  • BOC’s Hydrogen Refuelling Guide outlines key considerations for building hydrogen refuelling stations. Read BOC’s Refuelling Guide here.
  • ARK Energy’s lessons learnt report for their Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration for Heavy Transport project, includes insights from the design and development phase of the project. Read ARK Energy’s report here.
  • Horizon Power’s first report on the Denham Hydrogen Demonstration project explains the technical viability of incorporating renewable hydrogen power systems into a microgrid. Read Horizon Power’s report here.

Solar Energy

  • The Desert Knowledge Research Institute’s (DKRI) latest report focuses  on community engagement, highlighting localised considerations and delivery challenges and potential future community engagement challenges. Read DKRI’s report here.
  • Macquarie University has completed its Substitution of Niche-Market PV Production Tools with Cost-Effective Consumer-Electronics project. The final report highlights the research achievements and lessons learnt during the project for reducing the cost of solar PV. Read Macquarie University’s final report here.
  • SunDrive’s Copper Metallisation Demonstration project has also been completed. The project demonstrated the ability of SunDrive’s copper electroplating technology to reduce the cost and environmental impact of solar PV manufacturing by replacing silver with copper in PV cells. Read SunDrive’s final report here.

Renewables for Industry

  • The Australian Industry Energy Transition Initiative (ETI) project has been completed with the release of their Pathways to Industrial Decarbonisation report which details decarbonisation opportunities for five high emissions supply chains. Read ETI's final report here
  • ITP’s final report details lessons learnt throughout their projects to develop a detailed web-based open-source grid integration and optimisation Modelling Tool called openCEM, which allows stakeholders to freely model scenarios relevant to their circumstances. Read ITP’s final report here.
  • Hardwick Processors’  shares lessons learnt  on operational testing of their heat pump integration and additional works including equipment installation and conversion to high voltage supply. Read Hardwick’s report here.
  • Better Building Finance (BBF) has released a program guide for councils to access funds to upgrade buildings to higher levels of environmental sustainability. Read BBF’s program guide here.


  • Renergi’s fourth lessons learnt report for their Energy from Waste through Pyrolysis project analyses delays to construction resulting from total fire bans affecting the demonstration site. Read Renergi’s report here.
  • Logan City Council’sLife Cycle Assessment (LCA) report explains the life cycle of greenhouse gas inputs and emissions during the treatment and disposal of biosolids at Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant. Read Logan City Council’s LCA report here.


  • Ground Source Systems (GSS) Yanderra Shallow Geothermal Solar Systems Demonstration project is demonstrating the use of shallow geothermal energy to decarbonise a poultry farm. Their second lessons learnt report covers the importance of adequate planning around existing commercial poultry operations. Read GSS’s report here.
Australian Government and Energy Innovation Toolkit logos
Australian Government and Energy Innovation Toolkit logos
Australian Government | Australian Renewable Energy Agency | ARENA

ARENA Insights shares knowledge from our open-source library of reports, studies and tools to provide guidance and learnings to benefit future renewable energy projects.

facebook twitter YouTube Linkedin

ARENA © 2023 | Privacy

Unsubscribe here