Australian JV to Build Country’s Largest Privately Funded Battery

Highlights :

  • Engie, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), and Fluence have partnered to deliver Australia’s largest privately-funded and owned utility-scale battery.
  • The project will connect to existing network infrastructure to support the transition to renewable energy at the site of the former Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley.

Engie, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), and Fluence have partnered to deliver Australia’s largest privately-funded and owned utility-scale battery. The project will connect to existing network infrastructure to support the transition to renewable energy at the site of the former Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley.

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Providing 150 MW/150 MWh of flexible energy, the Hazelwood Battery Energy Storage System has the capacity to store the equivalent of an hour of energy generation from the rooftop solar systems of 30,000 homes, said an official statement.

The battery project, privately funded by ENGIE and GIG, will be built, operated, and maintained over a 20- year period by Fluence, a company that provides energy storage products and services and digital applications for renewables and storage. As an established power generation site with access to 1,600 MW of dormant transmission capacity, Hazelwood is uniquely placed to accommodate this first stage of the battery, says ENGIE.

Construction of the Hazelwood Battery is already underway and network connection agreements have been executed, with the battery scheduled to be operational by November 2022 to align with increasing demand in the summer months. The battery’s innovative design and the Hazelwood site’s unique location provide the flexibility to scale up storage capacity quickly and cost-effectively in order to respond to network and market demand, including additional capacity for future contracts, say the companies.

Battery storage serves a key role in accelerating the build-out of solar and wind resources, capturing excess power during periods of high renewable generation while discharging to meet peak demand and reduce reliance on high-carbon energy. The Hazelwood Battery will also participate in frequency control ancillary service markets, delivering critical stability to a grid increasingly comprised of intermittent renewable sources.

“ENGIE’s long-term commitment to Hazelwood and the Latrobe Valley started as a power station operator, then as investor in a multi-million-dollar rehabilitation project and now as the builder and owner of a new energy asset that helps with the decarbonisation of the energy system,” said Augustin Honorat, ENGIE ANZ CEO.

“GIG is committed to supporting the green energy transition and storage is critical in enabling ever-expanding renewables capacity and use, to ensure that electricity networks are resilient, reliable and flexible. We’re delighted to invest alongside ENGIE in this project which will help service households and businesses in Victoria, through access to reliable renewable energy,” commented Greg Callman, Global Head of Energy Technology, GIG.

Fluence will utilise its sixth-generation Gridstack product in delivering the full turnkey project, the first Gridstack system to be deployed in Australia. Once operational, the consortium will use Fluence’s AI-enabled IQ Application to optimise the bidding of the Hazelwood Battery capacity in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

“Fluence is proud to support Macquarie’s GIG and ENGIE as they take energy storage to its next phase in Australia: privately-financed large-scale batteries for grid flexibility, the key to an orderly energy transition for the NEM. The Hazelwood Battery will be the product of Fluence’s latestgeneration technology, supported by our rapidly growing team in Victoria and the most widely adopted automated trading platform available in Australia today,” said Aaron McCann, Fluence General Manager for Australia.

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