Victoria’s first of two grid scale batteries unveiled at Ballarat

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AusNet Services and EnergyAustralia have officially commissioned Victoria’s first grid scale battery project in Ballarat.

Located at AusNet Services’ Ballarat terminal substation, the 30 MW / 30 MWh Ballarat Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is capable of powering more than 20,000 homes for an hour of critical peak demand before being recharged.

The battery for the project was supplied by technology provider Fluence, and completed by a consortium led by Downer Spotless.

Currently in the final testing phase, BESS is one of two large-scale batteries projects announced for regional Victoria, the second being the Tesla-supplied 25 MW / 50 MWh Gannawarra battery system which is co-located at the 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm.

Like BESS, the Gannawarra battery, which is owned by Edify and Wirsol, will also be operated by EnergyAustralia and is also expected to be ready for summer.

The Victorian Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have provided $25 million each for the two large-scale batteries under a joint initiative aimed at improving grid stability in the state.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the Ballarat battery 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.

“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,” Mr Miller 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.”

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said the project was part of the Government’s plan to ease the 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,” the Minister concluded.

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