The Victorian government has announced it will install two large-scale grid-connected batteries to help ensure reliability before next summer.
The government, along with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, are providing $50 million for the projects that together will provide 55 megawatts of power and 80 megawatt-hours of storage capacity.
Tesla will provide a 25MW/50MWh battery to be integrated with the 60MW Gannawarra Solar Farm in rural Victoria. Under the deal, $25 million will be provided to Edify Energy and partner Wirso to build and own the project.
Fluence will provide a 30MW/30MWh that will be connected to a grid intersection at a substation at Warrenheip, near Ballarat, which will help to provide power supply, frequency control and related back-up services. The project will be built by a consortium led by Spotless Sustainability Services, which was also awarded $25 million.
Both batteries will be operated by EnergyAustralia under long-term offtake agreements.
The projects were launched on Thursday by Victorian energy environment and climate change minister Lily D’Ambrosio and federal environment and energy minister Josh Frydenberg.
“We are continuing to modernise our electricity grid, strengthen our energy security and deliver real action on climate change,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Mr Frydenberg said the batteries would help with reliability and affordability.
“They will not only allow currently unused renewable energy to be stored instead of wasted, but also inject electricity into the grid at times of peak demand in an area known for transmission congestion,” he said.
“Together, they will help lower power prices and stabilise the grid.”
ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said Australia was now a world leader in battery storage.
“Battery storage will play a crucial role in the future energy mix, alongside other forms of storage and in conjunction with variable renewables and demand management,” he said.
The news was welcomed by the Climate Council, which said it would help keep Victoria meet climate targets while helping manage climate-related events.
“The construction of these batteries will keep Victoria’s energy grid stable and fully charged, especially during extreme weather events, such as severe summer heatwaves,” climate and energy solutions analyst Petra Stock said.
“These big batteries will also enable the state to push closer to its renewable energy targets continuing Australia’s transition away from aging, polluting and inefficient coal and gas generation. It’s a no brainer.”