Australian Outback Gains Systems to Store Solar and Wind Energy

VRB Power Systems Inc. announced that AUS $1.83 million [US$1.5 million] has been made available by the Australian Government under the Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies program (AEST) to provide funding towards the deployment of a number of VRB Energy Storage Systems in remote solar and wind applications across Australia.

With an initial focus on Windy Harbour, a remote community in Western Australia, this funding has been made available to VRB Power’s Australian distributor, Cougar Energy Limited (formerly Pinnacle VRB Limited), which intends to use the funding to incentivize purchases of up to 90 VRB-ESS units at suitable sites across Australia over the next three years. “VRB Energy Storage Systems, which can store electricity produced by solar or wind generators, are ideally suited to Windy Harbour where residents run diesel or petrol generators to meet their electricity needs,” said Dr. Len Walker, Managing Director of Cougar Energy. “Renewable energy electricity generation sources, primarily solar photovoltaic or small wind turbines, coupled with appropriately sized VRB Energy Storage Systems and power conversion equipment, will be used to create a number of reliable, environmentally friendly and continuously available high quality power systems.” “We are very pleased with this development,” said Tim Hennessy, CEO of VRB Power. “We believe that Australia is a great market for our products with lots of opportunities in solar and wind applications both on and off grid. We are also pleased to see the Australian government recognizing the need for energy storage in order to maximize Australia’s renewable resources.” The five-year, Aus $20.4 million, Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies (AEST) program was announced in June 2004 and seeks to identify and promote strategically important advanced storage technologies in order to increase the ability of renewable energy-based electricity generation to contribute to Australia’s electricity supply system.
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