A NSW Government website

Emerging Energy program

About the initiative

The $75 million NSW Emerging Energy program provides grant funding to assist with the development of innovative, large-scale electricity and storage projects in NSW. By reducing barriers to invest in emerging technologies, the Program supports affordable, reliable and clean energy across the State.

There are two funding streams to support activities that accelerate the development of on-demand, electricity projects:

  1. Capital Projects: activities that will assist with the construction of a dispatchable electricity project. 
  2. Pre-Investment Studies: activities that will lead to the development of a dispatchable electricity project.

Grants have now been awarded to five Capital Projects with a combined capacity of 220MW and nine investigative projects with the potential to deliver 2,700MW under the Pre-Investment Studies stream. At the completion of each project recipients will share their project learnings to support the growth of new technologies and business models in NSW.

Capital projects

In the capital projects stream, grant funding of approximately $47.5 million is being provided to five projects totalling 220 megawatts (MW). Three different technologies are being supported through the grants, which include; a gas-battery hybrid, a virtual power plant and three large-scale lithium batteries. 

Supporting a range of technologies will help diversify the energy supply mix in NSW, driving competition in the market and lowering prices for customers. These projects will provide reliable supply in NSW into the future and leverage almost $366 million in private investment.

Below are the details of five projects selected for capital projects funding. 

RecipientProject titleTechnologyDispatchable electricity capacityLocation (closest town)
TransGridWallgrove GridBattery50 MWEastern Creek
Jointly funded by the program and ARENA, this will be the first battery in NSW to provide grid scale Fast Frequency Response services to the network as a form of synthetic inertia. The 50 MW battery will be configured to monitor and respond to frequency deviations on the network to test the effectiveness of batteries in maintaining frequency stability. Test results will be shared publicly and could potentially provide a foundation for third-party battery providers to submit credible options to TransGrid in future Regulatory Investment Tests for transmission.

The Wallgrove battery will be owned, constructed and maintained by TransGrid, with commercial operations expected to commence in 2021. Infigen will have dispatch control of the battery and will receive all spot market revenue relating to its operations. Infigen’s agreement with TransGrid is for a period of 10 years following the commissioning of the battery.

CWP RenewablesSapphire Battery FacilityBattery30 MWGlen Innes
CWP will build a 30 MW battery next to the 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm near Glen Innes in the Northern Tablelands region. The lithium-ion battery will store excess renewable energy and put it back into the grid when it’s needed most, providing clean energy at a lower cost.
UPC\AC Renewables AustraliaNew England Solar Farm BatteryBattery50 MWUralla
UPC\AC will develop a 720 MW solar farm near Uralla in northern NSW. This supports the co-location of a 50 MW lithium-ion battery to stabilise the energy output of the farm. The project will be Australia’s largest hybrid solar and battery energy storage facility.
Goldwind AustraliaHybrid projectGas/battery84 MW 
Goldwind Australia plans to build a hybrid renewable energy project that will provide NSW with new firm energy. Goldwind plans to integrate 72MW of highly flexible gas reciprocating engines and a 12 MW battery (with a total capacity of 84MW) into an existing renewable energy farm. This project showcases hybrid gas and battery plants operating with greater flexibility and faster start-up speeds than conventional gas reciprocating engines.
SolarHubSmart Distributed BatteriesVirtual Power Plant6 MWSouth Coast
The project is a first for NSW and will develop a 6 MW Virtual Power Plant (VPP) to strengthen the NSW electricity network and lower electricity costs for consumers. Solarhub will aggregate the energy from the group of distributed batteries to create a virtual network of connected batteries. The combined energy can then be strategically deployed to lower grid pressure during peak energy demand, such as summer, when the grid struggles due to high air-conditioning use.

Pre-investment studies

In the pre-investment studies stream, almost $10.1 million of grant funding has been awarded to 9 electricity projects to undertake pre-feasibility and pre-investment activities. The recipients are investigating projects with the potential to deliver 2,700 MW of on-demand electricity in NSW and leverage over $2.7 billion in private investment.

Below are the pre-investment studies that have been awarded grant funding.

RecipientProject titleTechnologyDispatchable electricity capacityLocation (closest town
Centennial Coal Company Pty LtdCentennial Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project – Technical Feasibility StudyPumped Hydro600 MWLake Macquarie
Centennial Coal Company Limited is assessing the potential for a 600-megawatt pumped hydro energy storage system within the existing underground mine workings at one of its locations near Lake Macquarie in New South Wales. Results will be shared publicly and will focus on risks such as water quality impact on turbine life, fluid dynamics modelling and mine void risks. The Project has the potential to be highly replicable across disused underground coal mines in NSW.
Solar AnalyticsConsumer-led Distributed Energy ProjectVirtual Power Plant (VPP)20 MWVarious locations
Solar Analytics is creating a simulation using 1,000 homes and businesses to determine what is required to deliver local energy support during peak times. This customer-focused model aims to lower costs as it leverages the infrastructure paid for by customers and to incentivise customers to participate. Solar Analytics will focus on a combination of four technologies to demonstrate the potential of distributed resources for dispatchable electricity services for the networks and market:
1. Rooftop solar
2. Residential battery storage
3. Demand response
4. Consumer engagement
Firm PowerWestern Sydney Smart BatteryBattery30 MWSydney
Firm Power seeks to use large-scale batteries to manage local critical peak demand and defer capital upgrades to the Riverstone and Penrith Zone Substations. Firm Power will create a commercial model, contractual framework and private / public investment test case that can be replicated across New South Wales and the wider national electricity market.
Hydrostor AustraliaBroken Hill Compressed Air Energy StorageCompressed Air Energy Storage200 MWBroken Hill
Hydrostor is assessing the geotechnical, engineering and commercial requirements for Australia’s first at-scale advanced compressed air energy storage project. The knowledge gained will quantify benefits to the grid, identify optimal site locations to maximize benefits to the Far West region and investigate opportunities to re-purpose mining infrastructure.
OMPS Pty Ltd (with Alinta Energy)Oven Mountain Pumped Hydro StoragePumped Hydro600 MWArmidale
OMPS is assessing the commercial, engineering and operational potential of a location near Armidale in the Northern Tablelands region to build a hydroelectric storage site. This project aims to provide substantial energy firming and system security services.
UPC\AC Renewables AustraliaNew England Pumped HydroPumped Hydro400 MWArmidale
UPC\AC is undertaking geotechnical and engineering analysis to develop a pumped hydro energy storage project, co-located with its proposed New England Solar Farm. The project intends to capture the advantages of co-locating solar and pumped hydro to maximise the significant renewable energy potential in the Northern Tablelands region.
Renew EstateBuronga Energy Park BatteryBattery250 MWBuronga
Renew Estate is assessing the opportunity for a 250 MW battery location to provide low-cost, low emissions dispatchable electricity and services. This will support the transmission of power from generators to customers across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Walcha EnergyDungowan Dam Pumped HydroPumped Hydro500 MWTamworth
In partnership with Tamworth Regional Council, Renew Estate’s feasibility study will explore electricity generation and storage options for the existing Dungowan Dam. It aims to bring long-term, dispatchable energy and water security to the North Western region in the form of a pumped hydro station.
Walcha EnergyUralla Renewable Energy Hub BatteryBattery100 MWArmidale
Walcha Energy will investigate developing a utility scale dispatchable battery to feed into the Uralla Renewable Energy Hub. The study will identify how a renewable energy hub can be developed as a critical part of a network to enhance energy system security and reliability.

Further information

At this stage there are no further funding rounds scheduled for either streams. Updates on future rounds will be provided on this website.

To learn more about the above initiative, read the program guidelines. If you have any questions, get in contact with us at [email protected].