Australia’s largest integrated battery and solar farm has opened in North Western Victoria, able to store clean energy from the Gannawarra Solar Farm and provide much-needed power to the state’s energy grid.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, visited the Gannawarra Energy Storage System outside Kerang for the official opening and to see the big battery in operation.

The Victorian Government invested $25 million into two big batteries in North Western Victoria, including the Gannawarra Energy Storage System – a 25MW/50MW hour system using Tesla batteries which are integrated with the Gannawarra solar farm.

“Big batteries help to stabilise our power grid and provide much-needed backup power – which is vital to maintaining a reliable and affordable energy supply for Victoria,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.

“We’re proud to make Victoria the leader in renewable energy – that’s why we’re increasing our Victorian Renewable Energy Target to 50 per cent by 2030.

“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.”

This is Tesla’s second biggest battery in Australia and among the largest of its kind in the world – big enough to power 16,000 households for two hours during peak demand.

The 7500m2 battery is charged by the solar farm and stores 100 per cent renewable energy – to be injected into the electricity grid at key times.

Along with being able to store and quickly release energy the big batteries will also help integrate new renewable energy into the Victorian grid.

The Victorian Government’s investment in large-scale battery storage projects in western Victoria is helping to address known stress points in the electricity network.

Two projects were chosen to receive funding as part of this initiative – the Gannawarra Energy Storage System and the Ballarat Energy Storage System.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency also provided $25 million to co-fund these projects, with close to $20 million invested from private equity.

Both batteries have been operating since summer 2018/19, with the Gannawarra battery providing invaluable power during the extreme heat events of late January, by exporting 80MW hours of stored energy to the grid.

Before joining the Utility team, Eliza worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years. Eliza has the rare talent of being able to find the nuggets of gold in otherwise average source material, and like any self-respecting member of gen-Y is a whiz when it comes to social media marketing and management.

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