A 50mWh grid-scale battery from Tesla has finally been commissioned at its new-found home at the Gannawarra solar power plant based in Melbourne, Victoria state, Australia. Victoria state can now boast of hosting Australia’s largest facility retrofitted with a power storage battery. Just recently, a 30mWh battery, whose operationalization is expected to begin before the next summer, was installed at the Ballarat power plant, which is also based in Victoria.
According to PV Magazine, Edify Energy, an Australian renewable energy developer, has partnered with Wirsol of Germany in the venture. The battery is operated by EnergyAustralia, which has signed a long-term power purchase deal with the two companies. The two batteries cost $50 million, a grant from the Victorian state government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Each of them contributed $25 million.
The commissioning of the installation of the Gannawarra solar battery was done ahead of schedule. The battery was operationalized immediately it was declared ready. In spite of the timely installation, the two companies behind the project, Wirsol and Edify Energy, faced unique technical and regulatory challenges in their endeavour to deliver the battery, the first one of its kind in the country. As much as the Australian government is still undecided about shifting its energy policy from coal to renewables, state governments are taking advantage of it, establishing new models for renewables, as well as energy storage in the country.
This is may seem quite unfair. Why on earth are they doing that? Are they seeking to reap enormous financial rewards by saddling new burdensome utility rates upon their citizens? One wonders whether green energy activists have finally had their way, brainwashing the state governments while playing socialist games.
But no, the benefits of renewables are immense. It makes more economic sense for a country to invest in renewables and power storage than in conventional power generating sources. As compared to traditional methods of power generation and distribution, renewables are more resilient. Australia is very rich in coal deposits. In fact, it is the global leader in coal deposits. Most citizens wonder why the government can’t dig it all up and export it to wherever in the world it is on demand, say in India, China or Vietnam.
If you wanted to achieve a social goal by asking people to change their behaviour, you are bound to hit a brick wall. However, if your goal is to achieve financial savings for the people, they will change their behaviour as soon as they are asked to do so. That is exactly what is happening in the states of Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia, and Northern Territories. With state governments’ rise to fill the void left by the policy shift by the national government, citizens will soon be reaping big with the new commercial energy models.
The national government has now become toothless as far as renewables and power storage is concerned, making itself quite irrelevant as regards the Australian energy policy. In the end, all this proves that ideology alone cannot suffice; it takes money to make great ideas workable.
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