Victoria's biggest solar farm connected to grid – now for new Tesla battery | RenewEconomy

Victoria’s biggest solar farm connected to grid – now for new Tesla battery

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Ganawarra solar farm connects to grid, with work to begin on a new Tesla big battery to commence within weeks.

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Victoria’s biggest solar farm – the 60MW Ganawarra project in north-west Victoria – has been connected to the grid, and will soon begin working on the installation of a new Tesla big battery that will make it one of the biggest solar-storage installations in the world.

Ganawarra, jointly owned by Wirsol Energy and Edify Energy, is the first large-scale solar farm to be constructed and grid connected in Victoria. The commissioning process has commenced and full production should be achieved in the next few weeks.

The project, located between Swan Hill and Kerang, will soon begin work on the 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.

This battery – one of three to be installed in Victoria – will be completed before the start of next summer, so by December 1. The output from both the solar farm and the battery storage installation are contracted to EnergyAustralia.

“The Gannawarra solar farm is in every respect a world leading project and is testament to the future role of solar in enhancing energy supply across Australia,”  Mark Hogan, managing director of Wirsol, said in a statement.

“The next step is combining the Gannawarra Energy Storage System powered by a Tesla Powerpack battery to the solar farm, which will set a new benchmark for solar projects in this country.

“The benefits of these types of projects willresonate with Australian consumers and the broader economy for many years.”

Wirsol is also in discussions with investment bankers for an initial public offering on the ASX, according to the AFR. It has reportedly hired bankers from UBS to advise on the transaction.

Note: Paul McArdle, from Global Roam, who do our NEM-Watch widget, notes that the solar farm has actually been exporting to the grid at low levels for a few weeks now. To read graph, please click and expand.

And another 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 latest Solar Insiders podcast, which you can find here.

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  1. Ben Dixon 2 years ago

    A great start

  2. Paul Surguy 2 years ago

    The country needs more of these there are 4 under construction in SA at the moment

  3. Tim Buckley 2 years ago

    Great to see such progress for renewables and battery storage being championed by the state governments of Australia, not withstanding the energy policy chaos being created and prolonged by the fossil fools in the Monash group, or better known as the JAAACKs or the Kelly gang who seem to be trying to run the Federal government. A bunch of rent seeking socialists, all calling for subsidies and regulatory barriers to protect failing previously privatised coal businesses. What a bunch of rearward looking luddittes hell-bent on holding Australia back.

    • Ren Stimpy 2 years ago


    • Steve 2 years ago

      I call them the Ned Ludd group…

  4. Carl Raymond S 2 years ago

    The Saudis are planning a 200GW installation.
    That’s about 3000 of these. Cost is a cool $200 billion, or about the same as 6 NBNs. A lot of bang for buck, really.
    Not belittling Victoria’s progress, rather trying to say that the age of solar has arrived. The article also mentions plans for nuclear power stations, however the smarter commenters are saying they won’t be built, unable to compete with the ever declining cost of solar and storage.
    Why drill for energy when you can just make it?
    The other noticeable thing from comments was how proud the citizens of Soudi Arabia were to be ahead of the curve. Wouldn’t that be something… Mr Frydenberg?

    • Connor 2 years ago

      Kind of ironic that an oil state is making such a bold move into solar, but also a sign of the times.

      • Nick Kemp 2 years ago

        It takes a lot of power to refine oil. I guess it’s cheaper this way although they do have some great solar buildings etc in the Middle East

    • GregS 2 years ago

      The Saudis are really good at announcing grandiose projects, they are not so good at delivering them.

  5. George Darroch 2 years ago

    Absolutely fantastic. I’m so pleased with this.

  6. Ant.. 2 years ago

    For those who like to promote coal there are actually three types. There is Brown Coal, Black Coal and White Coal. Exactly what is White Coal well for those who don’t know it is also known as sunlight because sunlight burns bright during the day and whilst it is burning bright we can not only extract energy from it but also store it for later use. And how exactly can we store it? Pumped Hydro, Lithium and Flow Batteries. There are other sources of Storage like Thermal Solar, Silicon Heat, Compressed Air, Centrifuge, Gravitricity. But this only part of the story because we have over 1.8M domestic solar installation that live on the other side of the meter. But what is really exciting about White Coal is you don’t have to dig it up, transport it to the generator, dispose of the ash and rehabilitate the mine site because as a fuel source it comes at absolutely no cost.

    • Nick Kemp 2 years ago

      Except that if we keep on increasing our usage at the current rate the sun will go dull and stop working properly. If you look at old Bondi beach photo’s the sun was much brighter before all the fancy solar panels popped up all over the place

      • Ant.. 2 years ago

        Should have gone to Specsavers

      • Damian Pasfield 2 years ago

        Hahahahahahahahahah that’s not how it works

      • Hilary 2 years ago

        Ha Ha – brilliant! Love this.

  7. Jon 2 years ago

    Great news
    Looking forward to seeing a bit big slither if solar and some battery showing up on OpenNEM.

  8. Ren Stimpy 2 years ago

    It’s not happening until it shows up on the Live widget 🙂

  9. Nick Kemp 2 years ago

    When you click on that chart and expand it all you have is a blurry mess

  10. palmz 2 years ago

    looking at the open NEM I would say two hours of battery should be able to kill that peak that has been showing up recently from about 17:00 to 19:00. (If that’s what they are for)

    • Jonathan Prendergast 2 years ago

      Interestingly, peak demand appears higher during that period (17:00 to 19:00) as we are in the shoulder season with lower daytime air conditioning load.

      In summer when we hit real peak demand (much higher) around 3pm to 4pm, solar does a great job in reducing peak demand.

      My point: shoulder season peak demand is misleading, which is shown on current OpenNEM, as it is quite a low demand that our hydro and flexibile generation can easily meat. To meet the real peak demand in summer, we just need more solar, distributed geographically (both solar farms and rooftop solar). Batteries are not so necessary yet to meet real (summer) peak demands, and money may be better spent on solar.

      • palmz 2 years ago

        Yes I know but we still have a similar peak in summer (If remember right it is a bit longer)

        It is also predicted that as we electrify things like heating peak demands will move more towards the winter. its in some AEMO documents if I remember right but we are talking about the year 2030.

        Summer peaks should stall due to be hide the meter PV /battery’s. I would link the report but I cannot seem to find it. 🙁

        But thing I notice about this battery is that it is significant. From its scale unlike other ones. what I mean here is 60MW solar farm, 25MW battery so its 40% of the farms production capability (nameplate) AND 50MWH.

        Most large scale battery’s have looked small when you compare what it is being built with.

  11. Greg Hudson 2 years ago

    Click on the image, and you get another blurry image. 🙁

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