The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced that the first grid-scale battery in Victoria has been officially commissioned in Ballarat.
In March, on behalf of the Australian government, ARENA committed $25 million for the development of two grid-connected, utility-scale batteries, matching the $25 million committed by the Victorian government as part of its $50 million energy storage initiative.
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.
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.
Under the joint initiative, ARENA has also funded a second large-scale battery in Gannawarra near Kerang. The 25 MW / 50 MWh Gannawarra battery system is co-located at the 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm. 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.
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.