National Battery Testing Centre at the Queensland University of Technology

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Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick is including $15 million in funding for the National Battery Testing Centre at the Queensland University of Technology in Tuesday’s state budget. He says he wants his state to be “the natural home” of battery testing and making in Australia.

Australia is going through a significant energy crisis, with states on the eastern seaboard being warned of possible power cuts. The crisis has been brought about by a confluence of a severe cold snap, failing fossil fuel generators, the high cost of gas due to the Russian war, and a decade of policy neglect from the previous federal government. The fix is possible, but is going to take time. One of the mid-term solutions is battery storage for Queensland’s solar output. There is minimal wind output in Queensland. The National Battery Testing Centre writes:

The National Battery Testing Centre (NBTC) was established at Queensland University of Technology to test multiple types and sizes of battery systems in real-world conditions for Australian applications.

NBTC also has unique capabilities to fabricate and test pilot quantities of custom lithium-ion (Li-ion) cells. Our Centre is a part of the Future Battery Industries CRC that brings together 50 partners from Australian industry (raw materials, minerals, chemical precursors, etc.), Federal and State Governments and academics to support Australia’s developing battery storage industry.

“We want to give this centre the ability to certify battery cells and systems, which is something that at the moment can only be done overseas,” Mr Dick said on Wednesday. Queensland is continuing a pre-budget focus on energy storage, with a promise to invest $15 million in battery testing.

Last week, the government earmarked $35 million for study on a second pumped hydro energy storage site. The site would act as a giant battery, using renewable energy to pump water from a reservoir uphill into a hydropower dam to re-generate electricity. Another $13 million will be spent on finalising a study into whether the government should invest in the proposed Borumba Pumped Hydro storage project.

Energy Minister Mick de Brenni said recent pressure on the national electricity market underscored the importance of energy storage.

“Storage is the key to our energy independence, be it in the home, statewide, or as a nation,” he said. RedEarth is a proud supporter of the NBTC and currently works with the Centre for testing of its battery cells and modules.

RedEarth’s Vault battery system.

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David Waterworth

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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