Tuesday, 23 October 2018 14:14

Victoria’s first grid scale battery commissioned

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Victoria’s first grid scale battery commissioned Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The first grid scale battery in Victoria has been officially commissioned in Ballarat as part of the Victorian Government’s $50 million energy storage initiative in partnership with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Completion of the project follows the commitment in March, on behalf of the Australian Government, by ARENA of $25 million to two grid-connected, utility-scale batteries, matching the $25 million committed by the Victorian Government.

The 30 MW / 30 MWh 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, in October.

BESS is owned by AusNet Services and operated by EnergyAustralia and 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.

Under the joint initiative, ARENA has also funded a second large-scale battery in Gannawarra near Kerang, and co-located at the 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm.

The 25 MW / 50 MWh Gannawarra battery, system, 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.

ARENA chief executive Darren Miller said the Ballarat battery would 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," he said.

“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."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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