Australian utility to deliver hybrid energy systems to C&I customers


From pv magazine Australia

Sydney-based AGL has announced plans to partner with Finland's Wärtsilä to develop systems for commercial and industrial customers who have paired renewables with behind-the-meter and off-grid technologies, as Australia’s biggest energy retailer seeks to distance itself from its reputation as the nation's biggest climate polluter.

AGL and Wärtsilä aim to provide a broader range of options to consumers with energy requirements above 20 MW. In March, AGL acquired Epho and Solgen Energy Group. The merger transformed AGL into the largest commercial solar supplier in Australia. And its new partnership with Wärtsilä will further expand the possibilities for C&I customers to embrace renewables. 

The two companies will provide “innovative systems” that integrate solar, wind, battery storage and gas-firming technologies. Wärtsilä Energy President Sushil Purohit said that intelligent energy-management software and balancing engine power plants will also be needed to support the integration of renewables into power systems in ways that maintain system flexibility, network stability and energy security.

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“These systems will provide customers with certainty and peace of mind – knowing on low generation solar or wind days, flexible firming technologies are in place to meet their demands,” said AGL Chief Operating Officer Markus Brokhof.

In March, AGL announced plans to partition itself into two energy businesses with separate strategies (one green, one brown). The move followed intense pressure over its poor environmental record and slumping fossil fuel assets. The announcement was met with little enthusiasm from the market, but it came off the back of news that the company would expedite the retirement of Australia’s dirtiest coal power station, Loy Yang, so it can replace it with a 200 MW big battery.

In January, AGL also secured a non-exclusive framework agreement with Wärtsilä to supply up to 1 GW of grid-scale batteries across Australia's National Electricity Market.

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