Public Works Committee:
The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (11:46): I certainly support this report from the very capable Chair of the Public Works Committee. I want to put on the record the importance of this development. It is not a development on its own; we now have four grid-scale batteries in South Australia, which is something we called for very strongly while in opposition throughout the debate on energy policy. Energy policy was one of the key features leading up to the last election but extended for around two or three years before the election.
This battery, which is being reported on today, is in Lake Bonney in the South-East. We also have another battery at Dalrymple at the bottom of Yorke Peninsula, one in Lincoln Gap near Port Augusta, and everyone would be aware of the 100-megawatt battery in Hornsdale, near Jamestown. That battery will soon become 150 megawatts, or I think a total of around 195 megawatt hours of capacity.
This is important because it is part of our government’s policy to harness renewable energy. Renewable energy is fantastic. It is absolutely terrific for so many reasons we are all aware of, but we need to harness it so that it works for consumers and so that it is affordable, reliable and dispatchable on demand. Grid-scale storage is a key part of that, but grid-scale storage does much more: it has the capacity to help with frequency control, voltage control and also with providing synthetic inertia.
Those things will help us avoid a significant number of blackouts. We have had blackouts in this state at times when we have not had enough electricity to meet demand and also at times when there were shocks to the system. These are usually caused by under or over frequency, under or over voltage, and insufficient inertia.
I hope and expect that over time there will be more of these batteries. They are a critical part of the Marshall government’s energy policy and they will remain incredibly valuable in providing a range of services in our electricity system for decades to come.