Charging up Victoria's batteries and electricity grid

The Gannawarra Energy Storage System has been officially opened in north-west Victoria, featuring Tesla's second biggest lithium ion battery in Australia, one of the largest in the world.
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Charging up Victoria's batteries and electricity grid

The Gannawarra Energy Storage System has been officially opened in north-west Victoria, featuring Tesla's second biggest lithium ion battery in Australia, one of the largest in the world.

The Gannawarra Solar Farm, 60.0 MW DC single-axis tracking project in Kerang, was developed by Edify Energy and retrofitted with the 25 MW / 50 MWh battery to create the Gannawarra Energy Storage System (GESS).

"This is the first time a utility-scale battery system has been retrofitted to an existing solar project," Edify Energy said.

"[It provides] a new commercial model for other renewable and storage facilities in Australia."

The Tesla Powerpack battery is charged by the solar farm and stores 100% renewable energy which is injected into Victoria's electricity grid at key times. GESS is capable of powering 16,000 households for two hours during peak periods before being recharged, Edify Energy said.

Energy retailer EnergyAustralia will charge and dispatch energy from the facility until 2030 while the developer is responsible for its long-term asset management. State Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D'Ambrosio, revealed 2030 is also the deadline for Victoria's increased renewable energy target which now stands at 50%.

"By investing in renewable energy and storage technology we are continuing to modernise our electricity grid, strengthen our energy security and deliver real action on climate change."

Victoria has also invested in another project, the Ballarat Energy Storage System, a 30 MW / 30 MWh large-scale grid- connected lithium ion battery at Ballarat Electricity Station capable of powering 20,000 homes for an hour.

"[Both] projects will help ease constraints on transmission lines in western Victoria that currently curtail the output of existing wind and solar farms and will also help to support future renewable generation," ARENA stated.

Image: Gannawarra Solar Farm. Source: Edify Energy.