AGL, one of Australia’s largest and longest-serving polluters, is making rapid headway toward its goal of 850 MW of new large-scale battery storage in its portfolio by FY 2024 with the announcement of a 200 MW large grid-scale battery project based at Loy Yang in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
The project follows hot in the footsteps of last week’s announcement by AGL of a 250 MW, four-hour-duration battery system in development at the site of its Torrens Island Power Station in South Australia. Both projects will form key parts of the larger 850 MW battery storage goal AGL is pursuing in the course of its 2050 net zero emissions ambitions and the replacement of its gradually retiring coal-fired power plants.
“The limiting factor for renewable technology has always been storage and we are taking control of these limitations by turning our attention to batteries,” said AGL CEO and Managing Director, Brett Redman.
“As Australia’s largest private investor in renewable energy, we know in order to deliver for our customers and communities we now need to lead the next phase of the energy transition by developing storage and firming technologies,” continued Redman. “Doing so means we will continue to support the energy industry as it transitions from coal to renewables and helps ensure our customers continue to have reliable and affordable energy.”
The Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio described the development as “a major win for the Latrobe Valley, whose economy has long been powered by energy. It’s clear that big batteries will play a major role in the grid of the future and Victoria’s renewable energy targets are driving this investment.”
This is a major win for the Latrobe Valley, whose economy has long been powered by energy. It's clear that big batteries will play a major role in the grid of the future and Victoria's renewable energy targets are driving this investment. https://t.co/GuWhxl59JM
— Lily D'Ambrosio MP (@LilyDAmbrosioMP) November 23, 2020
Ultimately, it is not only renewables that AGL is looking to firm up with the Loy Yang battery project, but its own financial security. As AGL confirmed in June 2020, an unexpected outage at Unit 2 (the Unit) of the Loy Yang A power station which has left the Unit out of service from May to December 2019 had a significant “material impact on its financial results in FY20.”
AGL also has plans to build a 500 MW battery next to its Liddell coal-fired power station in NSW which is set to retire in 2023. Said battery would supply vital stabilising services to the grid as NSW looks to develop renewable energy zones (REZs) throughout the state.
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