AGL and Wärtsilä Collaborate on Hybrid Energy Project

AGL and Wärtsilä Collaborate on Hybrid Energy Project

AGL, Australia’s biggest energy retailer and climate polluter, is making a real effort to clean up. It announced today that it has signed an MOU with Finnish energy services provider Wärtsilä to develop new hybrid energy systems that integrate renewable behind-the-meter and off-grid technologies so as to provide its commercial and industrial customers having requirements above 20 MW, with a broad range of sustainable options which will help reduce emissions without impeding security of supply. 

“This agreement is another way in which AGL is responding to the evolving needs of our customers to deliver the best technologies and innovations available to create more sustainable and energy efficient operations,” AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said in a statement. The “innovative systems” will integrate solar, wind, battery storage and gas-firming technology, allowing the users to install on-site renewable energy and storage projects. Increasingly, many large energy users are paying more attention to their energy supplies and are by-passing the big utilities. For instance, Sun Metals, a zinc refinery housed in Queensland, has invested sizeably in on-site solar and storage technologies to bring down its energy cost and greenhouse gas emissions footprint. 

This is not the first time AGL and Wärtsilä have collaborated on a project. In January this year, the two companies signed a partnership agreement to cooperate on AGL’s plans to supply up to 1000 MW of grid-scale batteries across Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM). In March, AGL acquired Epho and Solgen Energy Group, and consequently rose to become the nation’s largest solar provider. The same month, the company also announced plans to divide itself into two energy businesses with separate strategies- AGL Energy as a carbon neutral provider of energy services and as an operator of wind and solar projects, and another entity to handle its coal and gas business- in the face of mounting criticism over its environmental destruction. The company is trying to diversify its product offerings and become an electricity and energy services supplier, as well as be involved in services like communication.

The MOU with Wärtsilä will help AGL fulfil its Climate Change commitments, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Wärtsilä Energy’s President, Sushil Purohit, said in a statement, “AGL is a long-term and valued customer for Wärtsilä and we are happy to collaborate on developing a hybrid solution that will be a key in enabling a stable and reliable grid, while lowering emissions and system level costs.”  

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.