Giant Japanese energy company JERA is backing Lyon Solar’s $150 million solar battery project in Cape York, the first of several grid-changing clean energy projects planned by Lyon worth nearly $2 billion.

Lyon chairman David Green said the Cape York Battery Power Plant would be the first in Australia to fully integrate a grid battery to supply dispatchable clean energy to the grid.

“We see this as a really crucial step to being able to provide that dispatchability and over a long duration that the market needs to accommodate the penetration of renewables to satisfy the target that the government is setting,” Mr Green said in an interview. The plant includes 55 megawatts of solar panels and a 20 MW battery with four hours’ storage.

State and federal energy ministers meet in Adelaide on Wednesday to discuss a reliability obligation for the National Electricity Market, which is struggling to absorb a flood of variable wind and solar farms into a grid designed for a centralised power system.

Adding batteries to wind and solar projects is one way to help deal with such problems by providing energy storage to supply power when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun has gone down, rapid injections of power to stabilise the grid during supply interruptions, and other services.

Read more on the AFR.

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