March 22, 2018

EnergyAustralia, one of Australia’s leading energy retailers, today announced it had signed agreements worth around $50 million to operate two utility-scale battery storage systems in a program backed by the Victorian government and Australia Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Under the agreements, EnergyAustralia will hold rights to charge and dispatch energy from the battery storage systems at Gannawarra and Ballarat into the National Electricity Market until 2030 and 2033 respectively. The two consortia-led projects by Edify Energy, with joint investment from Wirsol Energy, and Spotless Sustainability Services are part of the Victorian Government Energy Storage Initiative.

The Ballarat terminal station and Gannawarra solar farm battery represent combined storage of 80 megawatt-hours (MWh), giving EnergyAustralia the largest battery trading portfolio of any retailer in the National Electricity Market.

EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna congratulated the Victorian government, ARENA and the project consortia for their commitment to providing families and businesses with reliable, affordable and cleaner energy.

The projects at Ballarat and Gannawarra are great examples of the technologies that are underpinning development of a new, modern energy system in Australia, she said.

“Renewable energy is an obvious contributor to filling the gap left by the retirement of coal power plants, but it has to be available when it’s needed, even at cloudy and windless times,” Ms Tanna said. “That’s where battery storage comes into its own, with its ability to store wind and solar energy for quick release, keeping the lights on and costs down.

“Utility-scale batteries, demand response, pumped hydro and energy recovery – all the ingredients are there for a modern energy system that can deliver reliable, affordable and cleaner energy for customers. The challenge is planning: getting the right balance and mix of energy and doing it at least cost,” she said.

EnergyAustralia recently completed a program to underpin development of 500 MW of new wind and solar projects on Australia’s east coast. The company’s focus has now turned to projects that help provide stability to the national energy system.

EnergyAustralia has more than 5,000 MW in its generation portfolio, including rights to more than 1,000 MW of renewable energy. The company is also assessing potential firming projects including sea-water pumped hydro in South Australia, energy recovery at the Mt Piper power station in New South Wales and gas-fired generation opportunities in New South Wales and Victoria.