Victoria welcomes first grid-scale battery

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Victoria’s first grid-scale battery has been officially commissioned in Ballarat.

The 30MW/30MWh Ballarat Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is currently 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. BESS is 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.

The second large-scale battery is the Tesla 25MW/50MWh battery which is integrated with the Gannawarra Solar Farm, south-west of Kerang.

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

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, said the batteries are part of the plan to transition to a more affordable, reliable and clean energy system.

“We’re modernising our electricity grid, strengthening our energy security and delivering real action on climate change.”

Nino Ficca, Managing Director of AusNet Services, said, “The successful energisation of this battery marks a real watershed moment in the continuing modernisation of Victoria’s energy supply.

“Integrating this leading technology into our Ballarat Terminal Station means it is well placed to enhance the stability of the state’s energy supply, especially during the coming summer peak demand periods.”

EnergyAustralia Managing Director, Catherine Tanna, said the project was a great example of the technologies that are underpinning development of a new, modern energy system in Australia.

ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said the Ballarat battery will benefit Victoria during times of peak usage and help to improve grid stability in Western Victoria.

“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.

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

“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,” Mr Miller said.

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