Edify pioneers with largest energy storage system in Australia

Edify Energy has released the Knowledge Sharing Report for Gannawarra Energy Storage System (GESS), to share some of the lessons learned throughout the development of this pioneering project with the industry.

GESS is a pioneering project in Australia’s National Electricity Market. It is the first attempt at retrofitting a battery behind the existing point of connection of a utility scale renewable energy power plant, and at the time of writing GESS is the largest integrated renewable energy and battery system in Australia and among the largest in the world.

The deployment of GESS unearthed several complex and multifaceted challenges, in a classic example of technology outpacing regulatory reforms. The issues faced demanded new regulatory, commercial and technical pathways. The Knowledge Sharing Report released stands to disseminate these learnings, to benefit the broader sector in the future development of hybrid systems.

Over the course of its development, Edify worked closely with its project partners, AEMO, the AER, Powercor, DELWP, ARENA and WIRCON to pave a regulatory, commercial and technical pathway to enable GESS’s deployment. In doing so, a number of lessons were learned, which are outlined in the  Knowledge Sharing Report for the benefit of the broader sector.

Principal among these lessons is that GESS is a classic example of technological development outpacing that of the regulatory reforms required to enable it. Retrofitting batteries to renewable assets was, and remains, a complex task that will require a renegotiation of existing connection arrangements and Generator Performance Standards. Depending on the chosen implementation model, the risk profile of the existing asset could be affected by altering its classification to a scheduled generator. This complexity and risk can create impediments and barriers to the uptake of battery systems, which may result in lost opportunities and ultimately a less cost-efficient power system. Fortunately, and largely informed by learnings from GESS, reforms are underway at present to better enable regulatory frameworks for hybrid battery systems.

In the report, Edify Energy states:

“As large-scale solar and wind continue to cement their place as the cheapest source of electricity in Australia and globally, with speed to market advantages over conventional power plant, the use of batteries and other storage technologies will play an increasingly important role in their continued deployment at pace and scale. 

“As a sector, we need to identify the most efficient regulatory, physical and commercial solutions to achieve this. Edify will continue to play a market-leading role in pursuit of this vision by continuing to bring into operation a portfolio of renewable and storage projects generating more sustainable, reliable and affordable energy to Australian electricity consumers. Edify aims to deliver many more projects similar to GESS and GSF.”

To read the full Knowledge Sharing Report, click here.

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