Victoria is pressing ahead with full steam to try and bring more Tesla batteries into the state as it capitalizes on a movement to store cleaner energy and combat the effects of climate change.
This news comes just a short time after US tech giant Tesla confirmed the arrival of its first big battery in Victoria. The company unveiled it in Ballarat, well ahead of schedule. The next battery is set to debut at the Gannawarra Solar Farm, and it will provide 25MW of storage capacity.
The developer for this project, Wirsol Energy, hails from Germany. Each of its current projects is ticking the right boxes, and the company has met all its needs for commissioning the new big battery at the Gannawarra location. Its other site, the Wemen Solar Farm, already connects to the grid and is producing 110MW of energy.
The two big batteries will massively help Victoria deal with potential overloads from people using energy at peak times, which tend to be when the average Australian returns home from work. This leads to many power sources turning on at once, which can cause major problems for the grid.
By connecting to the grid through local storage facilities, big batteries can keep energy close to home and running more efficiently. Without them, many costly inefficiencies could occur.
One issue involving energy waste is when a load of solar power feeds into the grid and ships far away before returning to its original location. Big batteries will be able to alleviate this problem.
Given that these big batteries are the first of their kind to arrive in Victoria, Wirsol said that it had to sort out some specific new regulations, but after meeting all the qualifications, it now has the green light to get the process up and running.
Wirsol’s Managing Director, Mark Hogan, said that the company is ‘delighted to reach two crucial milestones at Gannawarra Solar Farm’ and that this is a great moment for renewable energy processes and battery storage in general. Hogan added that Australia is unique in its positioning because of its strong market to attract investors, bountiful surroundings of rural areas and great weather conditions that help see solar energy thrive.
He said that ‘the overall project and how it has evolved is unique to the industry’ and hopes that this will encourage other companies to take up the mantle and begin to develop their own battery storage project offerings. Noting that this is a ‘benchmark for future projects,’ Hogan added that it is great to see a renewable energy opportunity that can ‘optimize the delivery of energy at peak times, supporting demand throughout the daily cycle.’
These are likely to only be some of the first forays into connecting solar farms to the grid with big battery energy storage in Victoria and other states, given the strong success and limited disadvantages experienced so far. Debt finance that the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has signed off on allows these projects to flourish, and similar funding should be available in the future so that companies can get the required liquidity to usher Australia into a new era of energy storage.