AGL Energy starts the 50MW energy storage project in Australia

AGL Energy starts the 50MW/50MWh energy storage project in Australia

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AGL Energy starts construction of 50MW battery energy storage system

Recently, AGL Energy, a major energy generation retailer in Australia, started construction of a 50MW/50MWh battery energy storage system in Broken Hill, NSW, and plans to put it into use by the middle of 2023.

As a mining city, Broken Hill has a long history of development. In recent years, more and more solar power generation facilities and wind power generation facilities have been built and deployed in the region, including the 53MW Broken Hill solar power plant deployed by AGL Energy, which was put into operation in 2016.

Another 200MW Silverton wind farm deployed by the company was put into operation one year later. However, because the Broken Hill mining area is located in a remote area and its connection to the power grid is weak, the renewable energy produced locally is often cut down when there is excess power.

Therefore, this site has been selected as an ideal place to test the functions of intelligent inverter to help balance the local power grid operation.

ARENA funded AGL Energy’s energy storage project with AUD14.83 million

According to industry media reports in March this year, the energy storage project, which cost 41 million Australian dollars (26.32 million dollars), was funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) of 14.83 million AUD.

AGL Energy’s battery energy storage project will demonstrate and test how advanced inverters can provide inertia to the grid, which is traditionally provided by fossil fuel power generation facilities. As Australia’s power system uses more renewable power, it will become increasingly important to provide energy storage solutions with stable grid operation capabilities.

The Brooken Hill battery energy storage system being deployed by AGL Energy will test advanced inverter technology under some of the most challenging grid conditions, and also improve the security and stability of the power system in the region.

Fluence, the energy storage technology supplier and system integrator, will provide battery energy storage system for the energy storage project. Its battery storage system will be set to the grid mode, which can cope with changes in network voltage and frequency, and provide inertia through the “virtual machine mode” in the company software and control system.

ARENA funded AGL Energy's energy storage project with AUD14.83 million

This demonstration project funded by ARENA aims to accelerate the commercialization of large-scale battery energy storage systems using grid specific inverters in areas with weak grid power supply, provide cheaper alternatives for some expensive grid infrastructure, help reduce the investment risk of renewable energy, and let grid operators, utility companies and other stakeholders understand the functions of smart inverters.

A larger energy storage system may be deployed in Broken Hill

The battery energy storage system project to be built by AGL Energy will also be used to evaluate whether it is necessary to standardize the equipment and protocol of grid connected battery energy storage system.

This is very important because the Broken Hill battery energy storage system is one of many battery energy storage projects with advanced inverters. Some existing large battery energy storage projects (such as the Hornsdale Battery Energy Storage Project in South Australia) have been retrofitted with them.

At the same time, ARENA is funding the development of other advanced battery energy storage projects and launched a competitive bidding earlier this year.

In September this year, the Victorian government announced the provision of A $126 million for two grid connected battery energy storage projects. The Broken Hill battery energy storage system will also take advantage of applications in the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM), such as Frequency Control Assisted Services (FCAS) and wholesale arbitrage.

In a few years, the city of Broken Hill may deploy a larger energy storage system that uses another parameter storage technology. Hydrostor Canada is developing a 200MW/1600MWh advanced compressed air energy storage system (A-CAES) in the city.

ARENA committed to invest AUD45 million in the Silver City Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage Project of Hydrostor last month. Transgrid, a transmission network operator in New South Wales, has chosen it as the preferred option to provide back-up power to the City of Broken Hill. Hydrostor hopes to complete the financial settlement of the project next year.

Broken Hill City may deploy a larger energy storage system

European energy storage integrators deploy battery energy storage systems

In Europe, several energy storage integrators specially deploy the secondary battery of electric vehicles to the battery energy storage system, including Connected Energy (UK), Evyon (Norway), Battery Loop (Sweden), Octave (Belgium), Tricera, Encore and Stabl Energy (all German companies).

At the same time, North America has only one energy storage integrator, Moment Energy, headquartered in Canada. This is because North America has put forward stricter requirements for automotive OEMs. No matter the batteries used in electric vehicles are recycled or reused, solutions must be found for them.

In the United States, this is the responsibility of the end user. Consumers cannot afford the high cost of battery recycling, and the federal government and California are vigorously pursuing this policy.

But another decisive reason is that the deployment of the secondary battery energy storage system in the United States requires UL 1974 certification, which is a standard specially formulated by the certification authority for the secondary battery energy storage system.

Moment Energy is deploying a battery energy storage system in British Columbia, Canada, which will be the first battery energy storage system built with secondary batteries to obtain this certification in North America.

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