Australian utility unveils gigawatt-scale battery storage plan


From pv magazine Australia.

AGL has laid out plans for the deployment of around 1.2 GW of utility-scale batteries across multiple locations, including a massive 500 MW battery system at its Liddell coal-fired power plant, the oldest plant in the Australian electricity market scheduled to be closed by April 2023. The energy giant said on Friday it lodged a scoping report with the planning department of New South Wales to install the storage system at the Hunter Valley site by June 2024.

The Liddell Battery is part of the 850 MW multi-site integrated battery system that AGL targets to develop within four years as announced in its FY20 Results as part of its Climate Statement commitments to support the transition from coal generation to renewables.

“Battery storage is critical to enhance the energy system’s flexibility and support the ongoing integration of renewable sources to the NEM,” said AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof. “It removes one of the biggest limiting factors of renewables, by providing electricity anytime but particularly during peak demand. As more renewables come into the energy system, we need to make sure we are supporting the development of storage and firming capacity, like grid-scale batteries.”

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The plan represents a massive extension of AGL’s current portfolio. In addition to some 330 MW in batteries already announced, the company is targeting 850 MW of grid-scale batteries. The previously announced utility-scale battery projects include Wandoan (100 MW) in Queensland, Maoneng (4 x 50 MW) in NSW, and Dalrymple (30 MW) in South Australia. The company currently operates 30 MW of storage systems.

Planning applications are also being developed for a battery connected to Torrens Island Power Station site in Adelaide with other sites under consideration, such as its Loy Yang coal-fired power station. “We believe battery technology is now at a level that allows AGL to lead in Australia’s transition to a smarter and more efficient energy future,” Brokhof said. To support the delivery of its grid-scale target, AGL has invited select suppliers to tender for the procurement of integrated battery systems.


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