Australia’s largest battery retrofitted to solar farm powers up in Gannawarra

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Only weeks after Victoria’s first big battery was unveiled in Ballarat, the retrofitted 25 MW/50 MWh Tesla powerpack battery at the Gannawarra Solar Farm is now officially exporting and importing electricity to the grid, as Australia’s largest battery to be integrated with a solar farm.

The battery is owned by Australia’s renewables developer Edify Energy and Germany’s Wirsol and operated by EnergyAustralia under a long-term off-take agreement.

As confirmed by Wirsol to pv magazine Australia earlier this week, the Gannawarra Battery Storage had been commissioned ahead of schedule and registered with AEMO.

Although it was completed efficiently, Edify Energy and Wirsol say that they have overcome some unique regulatory and technical challenges to deliver the first battery storage system that has been retrofitted to an existing solar farm.

The Gannawarra announcement comes hot on the heels of the official commissioning of the 30 MW / 30 MWh Ballarat Battery Energy Storage System – Victoria’s first big battery, supplied by Fluence and owned by AusNet.

In March, on behalf of the Australian government, ARENA committed $25 million to two grid-connected, utility-scale batteries, matching the $25 million committed by the Victorian Government as part of its $50 million energy storage initiative.

Meanwhile, the 60 MW Gannawarra Solar Farm has started operating at full capacity, having received approval from the AEMO for successfully passing all commissioning tests, Wirsol confirmed.

The Gannawarra solar+battery project is an innovative model for incorporating batteries into retail and corporate offtake arrangements, providing a new commercial model for other renewable and storage facilities in Australia.