Tesla, Fluence to build 55 MW/80 MWh of battery storage in Victoria

A combined $50 million will be directed to the deployment of a 25 MW/50MWh battery, which will be supplied by Tesla and owned by Edify Energy and its partner Wirsol, and a 30 MW/30 MWh grid-connected battery located at the Ballarat terminal station, which will be supplied by Fluence and owned by AusNet.

Tesla’s battery, which will be co-located and integrated with the 50 MW Gannawarra solar farm near Kerang, will be the company’s third large-scale battery project in Australia, following the 100 MW/129 MWh Hornsdale project in South Australia and the 20 MW/34 MWh project, which will be built in conjunction with the Bulgana wind farm in Victoria. 

The financing of the Gannawarra storage project is underpinned by a long-term commercial services agreement with EnergyAustralia, which will operate the battery and is already the off-taker for the existing solar farm that has started feeding electricity into the grid.

“We are very proud to have designed and delivered the first combined utility-scale solar and storage facility in Victoria,” Edify Energy CEO John Cole said in a statement. “It is unprecedented in Australia at this scale and is among the largest in the world.”

Construction at Gannawarra is due to commence this month, so that the battery could be commissioned in time before the summer peak.

Meanwhile, the 30 MW battery will be fully designed, constructed and operated by a consortium comprising Spotless, AusNet Services, EnergyAustralia and Fluence.

“We’re proud to partner with this supergroup of Australia’s energy companies and together help Victoria create an energy network that can weather any challenge,” said Fluence CEO Stephen Coughlin. “With this new project, Australia becomes the 16th country in which we’ve deployed our industrial-strength energy storage solutions over the last decade, and we look forward to delivering many more Australian storage projects in the future.”

It will be able to power more than 20,000 homes for an hour of critical peak demand before being recharged, demonstrating how storage systems can help provide reliable and stable power supply.

According to the consortium, planning approval has been granted for the project with construction to commence in March 2018 for completion in November 2018.

Commenting on the announcements, Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the projects would ease pressure on the grid and lower the prices.

“Storage has been the missing piece of the energy jigsaw for a long time. Whether it’s Snowy 2.0 in New South Wales and Victoria, the Battery of the Nation projects in Tasmania or various initiatives, including a 30 MW battery, in South Australia, we are expanding, exploring and funding energy storage right across the country,” he noted.