EGAT builds knowledge on energy storage in Australia

CSIRO with EGAT at Energy Renaissance Australia
Adam Best, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO at Energy Renaissance, showing EGAT the lithium ion batteries and technology produced at Australia’s first advanced manufacturing Gigafactory in Newcastle. Credit: Energy Renaissance

Engineers from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) have travelled to Australia to build capability in battery energy storage systems and assist the transition to net zero emissions.

Through Partnerships for Infrastructure (P4I), Australia supported the travel of 30 technical staff from EGAT between 23 October to 2 November 2022. The trip was part of a battery energy storage system capacity building program co-designed by P4I and Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO.

Thailand has committed to achieving net zero by 2065 by increasing the proportion of renewable energy in power generation to 50% by 2040 and increasing energy efficiency to more than 30% through new technology and innovation.

As more variable renewable energy is introduced to Thailand, energy storage will play a key role in grid stability, efficiency, and affordability. EGAT is Thailand’s leading state-owned power utility under the Ministry of Energy and has been tasked with integrating batteries and other storage technologies into the energy sector.

EGAT requested the support of Australia through P4I to share knowledge in battery energy storage system design, planning, operations and maintenance. Drawing on the expertise of CSIRO, a 7-month program was developed to help EGAT build capacity on battery energy storage systems.

The Australian Ambassador to Thailand, Dr Angela Macdonald, said Australia’s energy support to Thailand is part of a Strategic Partnership between the two countries to enhance cooperation on shared priorities.

“As a leader in battery energy storage systems, Australia has a range of expertise and experience to share with Thailand,” said Ambassador Macdonald.

“Energy storage technology presents many opportunities for Thailand to meet its renewable energy goals, increase energy security and resilience, and expand energy access across the country.”

The week-long visit to Australia began in Adelaide, with the EGAT team presenting at the Integration of Renewable and Distributed Energy Resources Conference. They also heard from the South Australian Government about their clean energy transformation plans and visited the SA Power Networks Innovation Network Centre.

They then flew to Sydney to tour a real-time digital simulation laboratory at the University of New South Wales and a battery rack assembly at CSIRO. The program also took delegates north to see a community battery servicing 50 homes, then to the CSIRO Energy Centre in Newcastle and Energy Renaissance, before finishing at the Wallgrove Grid Battery.

The technical team visit follows a similar knowledge exchange program with 12 senior EGAT executives in September, led by Deputy Governor of Power Plant Development and Renewable Energy, Mr Prasertsak Cherngchawano. The executives met with energy stakeholders and toured energy operators, including the Victorian Big Battery, Battery Technology Research and Innovation Hub, the community battery in Fitzroy, and CSIRO's Australian Manufacturing and Materials Precinct.

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