3 April 2018

Gannawarra Solar Farm and battery project

A 25 MW / 50 MWh battery system integrated with the Gannawarra Solar Farm, located near Kerang in north western Victoria, was announced on 22 March 20181. The large scale, grid connected battery system and the solar farm are connected via a 33 kV/66 kV transformer to the PowerCor 66 kV network.

The project proponent, being a joint venture between Edify Energy and Wirsol Energy, engaged DIgSILENT Pacific to support them with the connection studies of both the solar farm and the battery. This is the first large scale solar farm and battery combination in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and this presented a number of technical and regulatory challenges, including the need to move the point of connection from the 66 kV to the 33 kV.

Technical studies conducted by the DIgSILENT team included:

  • Development of an electrical model of both the solar farm and the battery system
  • Assessment of the impact of the two generating systems on the surrounding network
  • Analysis of the power quality, as affected by the pv inverters of the solar and battery systems
  • Dynamic simulations showing the solar farm and battery performances such as responses to system faults

There were also many regulatory challenges in finalising the Generator Performance Standards, requiring last-minute adjustments.

Joseph Leung led the DIgSILENT team undertaking the connections studies and had to deal with several unprecedented issues and near-impossible timelines. This project was made possible through the collaboration among Victorian Government, ARENA, Edify Energy, Wirsol Energy, SMA, Tesla, AEMO and PowerCor. Joseph, and all at DIgSILENT, are very pleased with the outcome and we can use the valuable experience to support future solar farms, which are much more likely to have batteries associated with them. We look forward to an ongoing association with Edify Energy and Wirsol Energy, one of the largest solar farm developers in the NEM.

Edify/Wirsol Gannawarra Solar Farm near Kerang in Victoria (picture courtesy of Edify)

1. https://arena.gov.au/news/arena-provide-25-million-jointly-fund-victorias-first-large-scale-grid-connected-batteries/, and https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/delivering-more-large-scale-battery-storage-for-victoria/