Australia’s largest solar and battery farm opened in North Victoria back in June. The farm, at Kerang, features the country’s second-biggest Tesla battery, after the 100MW lithium-ion battery in South Australia.
This new Kerang farm will be able to power 16,000 homes and represents a big step towards the state’s target of 50% renewables by 2030.
The Kerang development received funding from federal and state governments, with each giving $25 million in order to build two 50MW batteries in Victoria (the other is at Ballarat).
This Ballarat system started up in October 2018 and was a huge help during the heatwave in January that saw temperatures of 49C in north-east Victoria. Older power stations, like the Loy Yang station in Latrobe Valley, had problems with functioning in the extreme temperatures. Ballarat, thankfully, stayed stable throughout the hot period.
Growing this reliable source of power further and integrating farms into the grid is vital, as January’s blistering weather saw 200,000 Victorians lose power one the hottest days of the month. Businesses and shops were forced to close and residents advised to stay indoors to avoid heat exhaustion. It wasn’t a good day to be without aircon…
Kerang boosts the local economy
The construction and subsequent operation of the solar farm has been and will continue to be beneficial to the local economy. Kerang has around 4,000 inhabitants and the influx of construction workers brought lots of business to the area, mainly in the form of meals and other provisions. From now on, the workers coming to maintain the farm will bring money and extra life to the small town.
A big drive for renewables
Consumers and businesses alike are turning increasingly to solar and there are eight more large-scale solar projects planned for the region, with one more already in construction. These other projects will provide extra income for existing businesses, as well as attract new businesses to the area.