The largest integrated solar and battery farm officially opened in North Victoria last month.
The Kerang solar farm is Tesla’s second-biggest battery farm in Oz and it can power up to 16,000 homes. The company’s largest battery is the 100mW lithium-ion battery in South Australia. It’s hoped that the farm will help the state to achieve its 50% renewable energy target by 2030.
What’s more is that the area has planning permission for a total of eight large-scale solar farms in the future.
Kerang is 100% renewable
The 50mW battery system at Kerang stores energy that’s 100% renewable and feeds it directly into the state’s power grid.
Lily d’Ambrosio, the Energy Minister for Victoria, believes the new farm will be a huge step for the state in its journey towards a renewable future.
The Kerang farm was funded, alongside a similar 50mW development in Ballarat, by the Victorian Government and the Federal Government. Both governments donated $25 million towards the farms.
Victoria is already feeling the benefits
The Ballarat system has been running since last October and was a big help to the state during the heatwave of last year. Extremely high temperatures – up to 49C – meant that older energy sources struggled to cope with the extra demands placed on them.
The projects are boosting local economies
The manager for economic development at Gannawarra Shire Council, Roger Griffith, believes that the projects are helping to boost the small towns around the farms.
These projects are employing people in the construction phase, with both Kerang and Ballarat giving around 180 people jobs for a year. Once up and running, the farms are creating jobs, both onsite and downstream, giving the towns a better economic profile than they had in recent decades.
Everyone loves renewables
The farms are drawing other businesses to the region, too. There was some opposition to the farm at Kerang, but in the main, people are embracing change.