The first of more than 400 Tesla Powerpack batteries have begun arriving at Victoria’s Gannawarra Solar Farm, as work gets underway on what will be one of the biggest solar and storage installations in the world.
The 60MW Ganawarra PV project in north-west Victoria – which was connected to the grid just under two months ago – is the first large-scale solar farm to be constructed and switched on in Victoria, and is jointly owned by Wirsol Energy and Edify Energy.
The batteries will make up the adjoining Gannawarra Energy Storage System – which will be a 25MW/50MWh Tesla Powerpack battery that will enable some of the solar plant’s output to be time shifted into the evening, or peak demand periods.
Special delivery! Excited for the first for more than 400 #Tesla PowerPacks to be delivered for the #Gannawarra Energy Storage project. These will help store energy from the Gannawarra #Solar Farm to provide clean solar energy at night! pic.twitter.com/cs2xH7AIl0
— Edify Energy (@edify_energy) June 12, 2018
This battery – one of three to be installed in Victoria this coming year, two of them through the state Labor government’s energy storage auction – will be completed before the start of next summer, by December 1.
The output from both the solar farm and the battery storage installation are contracted to EnergyAustralia.
— Lily D’Ambrosio MP (@LilyDAmbrosioMP) June 12, 2018
Mark Hogan, managing director of Wirsol, said in April that adding the Tesla battery storage system to Gannawarra would set a new benchmark for solar projects in Australia.
“The benefits of these types of projects will resonate with Australian consumers and the broader economy for many years,” he said.
The other big battery to be installed in Victoria under its recent auction will be an installation from Fluence at Ballarat, providing network services.
A third battery storage facility, to be built as part of the Bulgana energy hub that will include a wind farm and 20MW/34MWh of battery storage to power a new greenhouse near Stawell, will be completed next year. That, too, will be a Tesla battery.
And in South Australia, another big battery is also coming on line, with commissioning taking place now of the 30MW/8MWh battery at the Dalrymple sub-station, near the Wattle Point wind farm, to provide grid services and act as a renewables-based micro-grid in case of broader outages.
Note: To hear an interview with Angus Gemmell, of Solar Choice, who initiated the development of Ganawarra and several other big projects in Victoria and Queensland, please listen to our April 11 Solar Insiders podcast, which you can find here.
You can also listen to this latest Energy Insiders podcast which includes an interview with rival battery storage firm Fluence, and the plunging cost of solar and battery storage, and why they can beat gas generators as peaking plants.
Sophie is editor of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and deputy editor of its sister site, RenewEconomy.com.au. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.