Large-scale energy storage solutions on show in Port Stephens

Port Stephens Councillor Steve Tucker, Alex Post from MGA Thermal, Port Stephens Deputy Mayor Leah Anderson.

LOCAL members of Renew’s Hunter Region Branch attended a Hunter Innovation Festival Roadshow event last Wednesday exploring energy storage systems.

Hosted by Varley Group at their Tomago plant, this special event, supported by Port Stephens Council, recognised the contribution of local businesses to global innovative solutions.

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The event highlighted the large-scale energy storage needed to address not only residential but industrial energy needs as the world transitions to renewable energy.

“To solve the energy crisis, we will need a whole range of different solutions to both renewable generation but more importantly storage, most of which are still emerging,” said Ewa Meyer, Convenor, Renew Hunter Region Branch.

Two local businesses, MGA Thermal and LAVO, presented their innovative solutions.

MGA Thermal is a local company developing high capacity energy storage using bricks containing embedded molten aluminium.

They recently commissioned a new manufacturing plant for their bricks, developed in collaboration with Newcastle University, which can store renewable energy and then provide high temperature steam used for conventional electricity generation.

While they were in the media recently when a fault on their first test plant triggered an emergency services response, the concept and its application of their idea is attracting international interest from large energy suppliers and consumers.

LAVO is another Australian company, also looking at energy storage solutions but with a different focus.

As part of their innovation, they are attacking the longer term storage problem using a range of technologies including green hydrogen generation and patented storage and transport solutions that can deliver for residential and small business up to large scale customers.

They have recently established pilot green hydrogen generation and storage in South Australia and partner with organisations around the world to find solutions to powering industry in a sustainable energy world.

The Hunter Innovation Festival is running until 27 October with roadshow events, then culminating in an Action Summit in Newcastle.

Alex Post from MGA Thermal, Deputy Mayor Leah Anderson, LAVO CEO Alan Yu and Jeff Phillips, Managing Director of Varley Group.

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