AGL commences construction of the new Broken Hill BESS

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Image credit: AGL, LinkedIn

AGL starts the construction for the $41 million grid-scale battery-based energy storage system (BESS) at Broken Hill commences.

In a statement, AGL said midway through 2023, the 50-megawatt (MW), 50-megawatt hour (MWh) lithium-ion battery will be in use, giving the people of Broken Hill more reliable energy.

The Broken Hill BESS was developed in collaboration with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and features inverter technology, which can strengthen the grid in areas where it is weak and also improve the stability of the larger energy network.

AGL General Manager Energy Hubs Travis Hughes stated during an official sod-turning ceremony in Broken Hill that the building of the Broken Hill BESS is a significant step towards AGL achieving its 5GW target of wind, battery, pumped hydro, and other low carbon firming projects by 2030.

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“The new Broken Hill battery is another exciting step for AGL, with the battery playing a crucial role in supporting renewable energy supply, and ensuring communities in western New South Wales have access to reliable energy,” Hughes said.

Hughes added that through the Silverton Wind Farm and Broken Hill Solar Plant, AGL had been a part of the community since 2015, noting AGL is proud to keep providing sustainable energy to residents and businesses.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller applauded the start of the battery’s construction and the advantages it will bring to the grid.

“As Australia’s electricity system switches to higher rates of renewables it will be increasingly important to deliver storage solutions that have the capabilities to stabilise the grid,” Miller said.

According to Miller, AGL’s Broken Hill Battery enables ARENA to test modern inverter technologies in some of the most difficult grid circumstances, while simultaneously boosting system security and stability in the region.

The battery, which will be built by global energy storage technology provider Fluence and consortium partner Valmec, is of the most recent generation and reflects AGL’s commitment to investing in battery-based energy storage in Australia.

Achal Sondhi, Fluence General Manager of Australia and Vice President Growth APAC, was in Broken Hill for the sod-turning event and stated that the Broken Hill battery is a leading project for Fluence, AGL, ARENA, and the entire industry. 

“We are excited to bring our latest product, proven technology and more than 14 years of global deployment experience to support the energy transition in Australia,” Sondhi said.

Up to 50 jobs for engineers, craftspeople, and other contractors are anticipated to be created by the project throughout construction.