AGL and ARENA Lock-in Broken Hill Battery

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Broken Hill Battery Energy Storage System

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AGL has today announced a final investment decision (FID) of $41 million with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for its Broken Hill battery.

The 50 megawatt (MW), 50 megawatt hour (MWh) battery will be supplied by Fluence and its consortium partner Valmec.

The Broken Hill battery will include advanced inverter technology, providing system strength services in weak parts of the grid and is part of AGL’s planned 850 MW grid-scale battery network currently under development.

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said the Broken Hill battery was another step forward as AGL becomes a leading orchestrator of batteries in Australia.

“As Australia moves forward with its energy transition, we know that firming technologies like batteries play an important role in energy storage and supporting renewable energy supply,” Mr Brokhof said.

“Broken Hill’s unique edge-of-grid environment provides an ideal location for this advanced inverter technology to demonstrate how it can facilitate further penetration of renewable energy generation and add to the stability of the wider electricity network.

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“During construction this project will provide up to 50 jobs for engineers, tradespeople and contractors.

“We are proud to have been part of the Broken Hill community since 2015 with our Silverton Wind Farm and Broken Hill Solar Farm and are pleased to be building another critical asset in the region.

“I want to thank the community, Broken Hill Council and Broken Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council who have been instrumental during the planning stages, providing their support and feedback for this project.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the next step for large-scale batteries was to show their capabilities in strengthening the grid as more renewables come online.

“Energy storage has been identified as a key priority technology under the Australian Government’s Low Emissions Technology Statement. We are particularly interested in seeing how AGL’s Broken Hill battery will utilise and demonstrate advanced inverter technology in a weaker section of the energy grid,” Mr Miller said.

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“We look forward to working with AGL and Fluence in highlighting the potential of large-scale batteries to provide a cheaper solution to providing system stability as the grid takes on more renewable energy.”

Fluence General Manager for Australia, Aaron McCann commented that the Broken Hill battery is the first project Fluence is delivering to AGL within the framework agreement announced in January 2021.

“We are excited to support AGL and ARENA to bring Australia’s energy transition to a new level by offering market-leading functionality with advanced grid-forming inverters,” Mr McCann said.

“Broken Hill battery’s full power occurs instantaneously to quickly respond to large changes in voltage and/or frequency, which is the fastest response of all battery energy storage systems currently available in the market.”

The project will be located on industrial land around 6 km northwest of Broken Hill airport, with completion set for early 2023.

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