Grid-scale battery reaches completion in Ballarat

Grid-scale battery reaches completion in Ballarat

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced that the first grid-scale battery in Victoria has been officially commissioned in Ballarat.

In March, ARENA committed $25 million to two grid-connected, utility-scale batteries, matching the $25 million committed by the Victorian Government as part of its $50 million energy storage initiative — one located at Warrenheip, a suburb of Ballarat, and the other at the existing 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm.

The 30 MW/30 MWh Ballarat Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is now in the final testing phase before being connected to the grid in time for the approaching summer. A consortium led by Downer Spotless completed the battery, supplied by technology provider Fluence, in October.

Owned by AusNet Services and operated by EnergyAustralia, BESS has been built at AusNet Services’ Ballarat terminal substation, where it will help deliver critical supply and grid stability and security in a constrained and congestion area of the network — avoiding the need for further network investment. The battery is capable of powering more than 20,000 homes for an hour of critical peak demand before being recharged.

“As we have seen with the success of large-scale batteries in South Australia, grid-scale batteries have an important role to play in providing short-term energy storage and providing rapid response injections of power to help stabilise the grid,” noted ARENA CEO Darren Miller.

“This battery will help to ease constraints on transmission lines in Western Victoria that currently curtail the output of wind and solar, while also helping to bring in more renewables to the grid.”

The 25 MW/50 MWh Gannawarra battery system, constructed and owned by Edify Energy and Wirsol and supplied by Tesla, is meanwhile expected to be ready for summer. This battery will also be operated by EnergyAustralia under a long-term offtake agreement.

“BESS is the first grid-scale battery to be commissioned in Victoria,” Miller said. “We congratulate the consortium behind this project, and look forward to seeing the second battery commissioned very soon.”

Image credit: © Townsend

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