AGL gets green light for Torrens Island big battery


AGL’s $180 million Torrens Island battery energy storage system is approaching commercial operation with South Australia’s electricity transmission network owner ElectraNet confirming it has executed the transmission connection agreement following the approval of performance standards by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

The one-hour-duration battery is being developed at the site of AGL’s gas-fired Torrens Island power station and will be used to support South Australia’s energy transition, providing essential capacity when renewable generation is impacted and during periods of high demand.

“Full energisation and commissioning activities for AGL’s Torrens Island battery will happen in the next few weeks.” Electranet’s Manager Customer Connections Niketan Tyagi said.

“We have been providing essential support in the testing and commissioning of the auxiliary load of this project while waiting for the required performance standards to be approved by the Australia Energy Market Operator and our team.”

AGL’s project director for the battery, Thomas Hill, said the execution of the connection agreement is a significant milestone for the energy storage system, which features grid-forming technology and will initially focus on providing grid services.

The Torrens Island energy storage system comprises 109 inverters and 218 battery units.

Image: Wärtsilä

The battery, being delivered by Finnish technology company Wärtsilä, is initially sized at 250 MW and 250 MWh but expansion plans allow for up to 1,000 MWh, or four hours of storage capacity.

“The Torrens Island battery is an important asset, both for AGL’s portfolio and the state of South Australia,” Hill said.

“The battery will support the uptake of greater levels of renewable energy, improve the security and reliability of the grid and help to put downward pressure on power prices. It’s also a key pillar of our plan to transition the Torrens Island site into an integrated, low-carbon industrial energy hub.”

The Torrens Island project forms part of AGL’s ambition to have 5 GW of new renewables and firming in place by 2030, expanding upon a 2.9 GW pipeline of renewable generation and energy storage projects in active planning and development.

Among the company’s other energy storage projects is a 200 MW, four-hour duration grid-scale battery to be built at the Loy Yang A power station site in Victoria, and a 500 MW/2 GWh battery at the soon-to-be-closed Liddell power station in New South Wales.

It has received the tick of approval from NSW planning authorities for a 50MW/100MWh battery in Broken Hill, and It has announced a deal with Maoneng Group to buy capacity from four 50 MW /100 MWh batteries in NSW and is already operating the 100 MW/150 MWh Wandoan South battery in Queensland and the 30 MW/8MWh BESS at Dalrymple in South Australia.

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