Gannawarra battery now operating in North Western Victoria

Australia’s largest integrated battery and solar farm is now storing clean energy from the Gannawarra Solar Farm and providing power to the Victoria’s energy grid.

The Andrews Labor Government invested $25 million into two large batteries in North Western Victoria, including the Gannawarra Energy Storage System – a 25-megawatt/50-megawatt hour system using Tesla batteries which are integrated with the Gannawarra solar farm.

This is Tesla’s second biggest battery in Australia and among the largest of its kind in the world – big enough to power 16,000 households for 2 hours during peak demand.

The 7500 m2 battery is charged by the solar farm and stores 100 per cent renewable energy – to be injected into the electricity grid at key times.

Along with being able to store and quickly release energy the big batteries will also help integrate new renewable energy into the Victorian grid.

State energy, environment and climate change minister Lily D’Ambrosio visited the Gannawarra Energy Storage System outside Kerang for the official opening and to see the battery in operation.

“Big batteries help to stabilise our power grid and provide much-needed backup power – which is vital to maintaining a reliable and affordable energy supply for Victoria,” Ambrosio said.

“We’re proud to make Victoria the leader in renewable energy – that’s why we’re increasing our Victorian Renewable Energy Target to 50 per cent by 2030.”

The Labor Government’s investment in large-scale battery storage projects in western Victoria is helping to address known stress points in the electricity network.

Two projects were chosen to receive funding as part of this initiative – the Gannawarra Energy Storage System and the Ballarat Energy Storage System.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency also provided $25 million to co-fund these projects, with close to $20 million invested from private equity.

Both batteries have been operating since summer 2018/19, with the Gannawarra battery providing invaluable power during the extreme heat events of late January, by exporting 80 megawatt hours of stored energy to the grid.