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Renew Economy:

Australian energy giant AGL has chosen Finland-based technology group Wärtsilä to build a 250MW big battery at Torrens Island near Adelaide, the first of what is expected to be a massive rollout of large scale battery storage by the company across the country.

The 250MW big battery, sized initially at one hour storage but likely to expand to up to four hours storage (1,000MWh), is being built at the site of its ageing Torrens Island gas plant, where the ageing gas generators are progressively being shut down or mothballed.

AGL expects to begin construction of the battery later this year. It will be the first of a planned 850MW (with varying hours of storage) to be built by the company, mostly at the sites of its ageing coal and gas generators that also include the soon to be closed Liddell and Loy Yang A.

AGL has also signed contracts to have dispatch control over the output of other battery storage installations, including the nearly complete 100MW/150MWh Wandoan South battery in Queensland, and two big battery projects near Balranald and Lismore to be built by Australian developer Maoneng.

“This grid-scale battery will support South Australia’s energy transition, providing essential capacity when renewable generation is impacted and during periods of high demand, demonstrating once more that AGL is taking a leading role in reshaping the energy future,” AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said in a statement.

The battery will play roles already pioneered by other batteries, such as frequency control and time-shifting the output of renewables.

[Giles Parkinson]

More: AGL picks Wartsila to build its first 250MW big battery at ageing gas plant

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