The Victorian Government announced
today that it will build two large-scale batteries in partnership with the
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and
two consortia of energy companies, as part of its Energy Storage
The Initiative was announced in early 2017 to support
projects that deliver large-scale energy storage, to enhance the reliability of
the grid and unlock economic growth in areas experiencing network constraints.
The batteries will be strategically located and will provide
backup power and grid-stabilisation functions. Renewable sources of energy, such
as wind or solar, are intermittent. Batteries are required to bridge the gaps
in generation and balance supply and demand in electricity grids.
The two projects are being delivered by private consortia
led by Edify Energy (Edify)and Spotless
Sustainability Services (Spotless).
The State Government is providing funding of A$25 million which will be matched
by funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
A 25MW / 50MWh Tesla battery – the Gannawarra Energy Storage
System (GESS) – will
be integrated with the 50MW Gannawarra Solar Farm and the battery will
store renewable energy produced on site. Edify and Wirsol Energy will jointly handle the project.
GESS was selected by the Victorian Government under its
Energy Storage Initiative to enhance the reliability of the grid in the North
West region of Victoria and unlock further economic growth.
In addition to the funding from ARENA and the Victorian
Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the
financing of GESS is underpinned by a long-term commercial services agreement
with EnergyAustralia, who will
operate the battery. EnergyAustralia, one of Australia’s leading energy
retailers, is already the long-term offtaker for GSF and it will operate the
combined solar farm and battery facility in a coordinated way to better meet
the requirements of the Victorian energy market than could be achieved by a
stand-alone renewable asset.
When completed, the combined GESS and GSF facility will be
the first combined solar and storage facility in Victoria and among the largest
in the world. It is expected to lead to a reduction in future system costs by
demonstrating integration benefits, deploying battery volume, facilitating
learning and sector confidence.
The 30MW/30MWh system will be connected directly to a vital
grid intersection at a substation at Warrenheip, near Ballarat.
The system will comprise nine purpose-built and engineered
battery enclosures (similar to a standard shipping container) for its
Lithium–Ion batteries, operating system and environmental controls, security
and associated cooling and safety systems.
Spotless is a leading provider of integrated facilities
services in Australia and New Zealand, while AusNet Services owns and operates
the Victorian electricity transmission network, one of the five electricity
distribution networks and one of the three gas distribution networks in
Victoria. Fluence, a Siemens and AES company, is a global energy storage
technology solutions and services company.
Spotless Sustainability Services will manage the design and
construction of the project. The Battery Energy Storage System will be supplied
by Fluence. The system will be an unregulated asset of AusNet Services and will
be installed at its Ballarat Terminal Station, which is the central hub for the
electricity transmission network in western Victoria. and connected to its
electricity transmission network.
After the system has been commissioned and accepted by
AusNet Services and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO),
EnergyAustralia will operate the charge and discharge of the system.
This will be able to deliver crucial power supply, frequency
control and related back-up services in milliseconds to maintain stability in
the network for Western Victoria.
Planning approval has been granted for the project with
construction to commence in March 2018 for completion in November 2018. Both
projects are expected to be operational in time for next summer’s peak.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily
D’Ambrosio said, “We said we would deliver this for Victoria, and that’s
exactly what we’ve done.”
“We are continuing to modernise our electricity grid,
strengthen our energy security and deliver real action on climate change.”