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ARENA to provide $19m funding for battery storage projects in Victoria

CTBR Staff Writer Published 23 March 2018

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has stated that it will provide A$25m ($19.3m) funding for two large-scale grid connected battery projects in Victoria, Australia.

The two battery projects will also receive $19.3m in funding from the Victorian Government. Together, the projects will deliver 55MW of power and can provide nearly 80MWh of energy storage capacity.

The lithium-ion batteries will be located at the Gannawarra solar farm near Kerang and in Warrenheip, Ballarat. Together, these projects can help in easing constraints on transmission lines in Western Victoria that presently curtail the output of the existing wind and solar farms.

A consortium led by Spotless Sustainability Services will receive a funding of A$25m ($19.3m) to build a 30MW/30MWh grid connected battery located at the Ballarat terminal station. Battery for the storage system will be supplied by Fluence and owned by AusNet.

A further A$25m ($19.3m) will be used for funding a second battery at Gannawarra near Kerang, Victoria. It will be a 25MW/50MWh battery, which will be co-located and integrated with the 60MW Gannawarra Solar Farm.

While Edify Energy and its partner Wirsol will own the battery, Telsa will be the supplier of the battery. 

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said: “ARENA is excited to be demonstrating the capabilities that these new batteries will provide in securing reliable electricity for western Victoria and to facilitate the Victoria’s transition to renewable energy.”

“Battery storage will play a crucial role in the future energy mix, alongside other forms of storage and in conjunction with variable renewables and demand management.”

The two systems will be operated by EnergyAustralia under long-term offtake agreements. Construction on the battery storage systems will start this month.

Spotless CEO Dana Nelson said: “It’s an exciting time for Spotless and the utilities industry. Spotless is pleased to take a lead role to introduce renewable energy solutions. We’ve brought together leading utilities experience and proven energy storage technology to deliver this Victorian first.”

Image: ARENA to support battery system installation in Australia. Photo: Courtesy of Australian Renewable Energy Agency.