Australia’s market leader in renewable energy and storage development, Edify Energy, has celebrated the completion of Gannawarra Energy Storage System (GESS).
Edify was joined on site with key project partners, local council and community members, landowners and the Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio, Energy Minister for Victoria, to applaud the completion of GESS.
“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,” D’Ambrosio said.
GESS is an ambitious and ground-breaking project that was the recipient of a $25 million grant jointly provided by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Victorian Government.
It was developed and financed by Edify Energy in a consortium with Wirsol Energy as co-investors, Tesla as battery provider and EnergyAustralia as the long-term operator.
The 25MW/50MWh battery is retrofitted to the existing 50MW Gannawarra Solar Farm located west of Kerang in north-west Victoria.
A key outcome of the project was overcoming the challenges of integrating battery storage with solar energy and paving a way for others in the sector to do the same.
Leveraging the existing infrastructure at Gannawarra Solar Farm, GESS demonstrates how battery storage can be retrofitted to an existing solar farm and overcome the unique regulatory and technical challenges in doing so.
The first of its kind in Australia, GESS is a successful story on how the marriage of solar and batteries can be developed for future applications and will continue to demonstrate insights through its operational phase.
“We are very proud to have designed and delivered the first combined utility scale solar and storage facility in Victoria. It is unprecedented in Australia at this scale and is among the largest in the world.”
“The team has worked tirelessly to overcome many regulatory, technical and commercial challenges and create a very cool project – one that can deploy solar power at night. Without a doubt as the cost of battery storage falls, we see solar and storage becoming a ‘category killer’ in the energy sector and accelerating Australia’s transition to a clean energy future,” said John Cole, Edify Energy CEO.
The GESS battery has a wide range of capabilities. Its operation is flexible and will likely change over time to suit the evolving needs of Victoria’s power system.
Currently, the battery is shifting electricity during daylight hours from the Gannawarra Solar Farm into the evening when demand is highest and the grid needs the most power.
The integrated system produces enough energy to power approximately 18,000 homes in the region, whilst preventing the emission of approx. 63,000 tonnes of CO2.