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ARENA offers $3.1m funding to Ecoult’s battery storage technology

Published 14 February 2017

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has offered a funding of AUD4.1m ($3.1m) to a Sydney-based provider Ecoult to support commercialization of its battery storage technology.

The financial support will enable Ecoult to commercialise its UltraBattery technology which was originally developed by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), with ARENA’s support.

In 2013, ARENA supported Ecoult with AU$583,780 (about $448,000) for an early development of its technology, including optimizing it for off-grid applications. As a result, the company developed a kilowatt-scale battery known as UltraFlex.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said that the latest funding will support Ecoult’s AU$10.6m ($8.14m) effort to improve its technology and to work on large-scale commercialisation.

Frischknecht noted that supporting battery storage technologies like the UltraBattery was at the core of ensuring a smooth transition to a renewable energy future.

He said: “ARENA is working hard to accelerate the energy storage revolution as part of its efforts to bring down costs and increase the reliability and security of renewable energy.

“Storage is critical for increasing the reliability of our on-grid and off-grid power systems. It can give customers more control over their energy by storing solar through the day to use during the evening peak.

“Our support for Ecoult demonstrates how ARENA works across the innovation chain to support research and development and build a vital bridge between commercial adoption and uptake.”

According to Ecoult CEO John Wood, the new funding from ARENA can help in expanding the company’s engineering team in Sydney to improve its technology.

Wood said: “Over the past 10 years, since our inception at CSIRO, and with the assistance of the critical funding from ARENA, our team has developed energy storage systems to enhance renewable adoption in Australia at the same time contributing to the global evolution in the way people and companies think about application of energy storage alongside renewable energy.”