Tesla’s big battery completed at Gannawarra solar farm

Marking another milestone in Australia’s transition to renewables, Tesla’s second big battery in Australia has reached completion at the Gannawarra Solar Farm. The completion of the Ganawarra Energy Storage System (GESS) also marks the largest pairing of a solar farm and a battery in not only the country, but the world.

The system is a 25 megawatt (MW)/50 megawatt-hour (MWh) lithium-ion battery co-located with the 60 MW(DC) Gannawarra Solar Farm (GSF) located west of Kerang in north western Victoria. The GSF connects into the 66kV network on site, with a larger 175MW second stage of the project readied to connect into the 220kV transmission lines that traverse the site.

Solar Choice was the originating developer of the Gannawarra Solar Farm having

secured the site and planning approval back in 2013, subsequently working closely with Edify Energy to clear land matters such as pre-construction conditions, EPBC approvals and fulfilments of indigenous heritage duty of care in the lead up to financial close in March 2017. Solar Choice remains actively engaged on further stages across additional land within the wider Gannawarra site. The site was developed alongside Edify Energy who financed the construction in a consortium with Wirsol Energy as co-investors.

This project demonstrates how an existing solar farm can be retrofitted with battery storage. The battery stores energy at times of relatively low value and it will use this stored energy at times of relatively high value. The project also provides other grid services such as frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) and much like the Hornsdale Power Reserve in SA has provided Fast Frequency Response (FFR) this project is likely to do the same.

“Solar plus storage is a ‘category killer’,” said John Cole, the CEO of consortium leader Edify Energy, which oversaw the construction of the project. Source – Renew Economy.

“The entire sector is aware of the potential for storage projects to not only provide invaluable services to the market and the grid, but also to enable the roll out of more and more clean and cheap renewable energy.

“We intend to continue our roll out of storage and renewables projects and help our corporate and other customers achieve their energy and sustainability objectives.”

Much like the Tesla big battery at the Hornsdale Power Reserve that has not only defied skeptics, but has emphatically proven its worth – faster, quicker, more accurate, more reliable and more flexible than even the market operator thought possible, the GESS is expected to do the same. We are looking forward to seeing its performance this summer.