Energy companies complete joint financing for new battery
Renewable energy companies Edify Energy and Wirsol Energy have completed a second joint landmark financing, this time for a large battery, the Gannawarra Energy Storage System (GESS), which will be integrated with the Gannawarra Solar Farm (GSF).
GESS was selected by the Victorian Government under its Energy Storage Initiative to integrate a 25MW/50MWh Tesla Powerpack battery with the 50MW GSF to enhance the reliability of the grid in the North West region of Victoria and unlock further economic growth.
In conjunction with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is supporting GESS with $25m in grant funding.
When complete, the combined GESS and GSF facility will aim to achieve a range of positive outcomes, such as:
- The first combined solar and storage facility in Victoria and among the largest in the world, setting a precedent for future equivalent installations;
- A tangible benefit to an area of the network that has been identified as requiring upgrade by better managing the dispatch of GSF;
- A reduction in future system costs by demonstrating integration benefits, deploying battery volume, facilitating learning and sector confidence, and reducing the cost of financing in a manner that is consistent with the findings of the Finkel Review;
- The development of local expertise, skills and capability that may be applied further in the Victorian and Australian markets and exported to overseas markets; and,
The creation of 20-25 jobs during construction and 1-2 jobs during operations.
“We at WIRSOL are thrilled to be associated with a project of such global significance, which will contribute to the ongoing development of Australia’s critical energy infrastructure,” WIRSOL Energy managing director Mark Hogan says.
“This further demonstrates the enormous potential for integrating large-scale energy storage systems with solar. It is another major milestone for WIRSOL in our path to furthering our business and footprint within Australia.
“We consider ourselves very fortunate to be at the forefront of this world-leading project with the support of ARENA, DELWP and our partner Edify Energy, as we continue to invest in this exciting renewable energy revolution.”
Edify Energy chief executive John Cole also commented: “We are very proud to have designed and financed the first combined utility scale solar and storage facility in Victoria.
“It is unprecedented in Australia at this scale and is among the largest in the world. The team has worked tirelessly to overcome many regulatory, technical and commercial challenges and create a very cool project – one that can deploy solar power at night.
“Without a doubt as the cost of battery storage falls, we see solar and storage becoming a ‘category killer’ in the energy sector and accelerating Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.”