AGL & Wärtsilä to Build 250MW Grid-scale BESS in South Australia

Highlights :

  • AGL has announced to invest $180 million for its BESS project in South Australia.
  • The battery is billed as the second largest grid scale battery to come up.

Australian integrated energy company, AGL Energy Ltd. will build a 250 MW grid-scale battery energy storage system at Torrens Islands in South Australia.

The firm has announced an investment of $180 million to construct its first grid-scale BESS project and the second biggest in Australia. AGL has appointed Finnish technology major in marine and energy markets, Wärtsilä to supply a battery energy storage system (BESS) for balancing the supply of energy from renewable sources, thereby maintaining stability and reliability of the grid.

Wärtsilä system will operate initially in grid-following mode before switching at a later date to grid-forming mode (virtual synchronous generation–VSG), making it the largest energy storage solution capable of operating in this mode. The complex solution is supported by Wärtsilä’s advanced GEMS Power Plant Controller and energy management software, according to the firm.

The Torrens Island grid-scale battery will support the growth of intermittent renewable energy in South Australia and will be the first to begin construction within AGL’s planned 850MW national battery roll-out.

The storage duration of the 250MW battery will initially be for one hour (250 MWh), with space for expansion of up to four hours (1000 MWh). The construction is expected to commence by the end of 2021.

Speaking of the project, the CEO of AGL, Mr. Markus Brokhof said, “We are excited to see our grid-scale energy storage plans coming to life, and work with Wärtsilä, a company with a leading position and an impressive track record in energy storage technology, as a project partner.”

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.

As well as supporting the state’s energy transition, we estimate up to 50 local jobs during the peak of the construction phase, in addition to the 400 employees already working at our South Australian sites,” Markus added.

Wärtsilä has earlier supplied a 211 MW power plant for AGL, the Barker Inlet Power Station, also located on Torrens Island. “This is a landmark project, and we are proud to have been selected as the ESS provider. Renewable generation is growing rapidly in South Australia, and the flexibility of our technology and the in-house experience we bring, can together be instrumental in maintaining a reliable and affordable electricity supply for South Australian consumers – both household and business – for years to come,” said Mr. Sushil Purohit, President, Wärtsilä Energy.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.