Australian partnership for battery storage system

Article by Amanda Jasi

ENGIE, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG), and Fluence have partnered to deliver a large-scale battery for renewable energy storage at the site of Engie’s decommissioned Hazelwood coal power station in Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia.

Engie and GIG are jointly funding the project, while Fluence will build, operate, and maintain the project over a 20-year period.

Engie closed the Hazelwood power station in 2017, in line with its strategy to gradually end its coal activities. Demolition and rehabilitation activities at the site are ongoing to transition it to a low carbon future and support commercial and recreational uses.

The Hazelwood Battery Energy Storage System will provide 150 MW/150 MWh of flexible energy, with the capacity to store the equivalent of an hour of energy generation from the rooftop solar systems of 30,000 homes. The partners say it will be Australia’s largest privately funded and owned utility-scale battery. They also expect it to play a critical role in increasing renewable energy capacity in Victoria, while helping to further stabilise the grid.

It will rely on Fluence’s sixth generation, gridscale, industrial-strength energy storage product, Gridstack, in delivering the full turnkey project. Fluence provides energy storage and services and digital applications for renewables and storage.

At the Hazelwood site, the project will have access to 1,600 MW of dormant transition capacity, helping to accommodate this first stage of the battery. The site will also allow the project flexibility to scale up storage capacity quickly and cost-effectively respond to network and market demand, including additional capacity for future contracts.

Construction is already under way and network connection agreements have been executed. The battery is scheduled to be operational by November 2022, which would align with increasing demand in the summer months in the Southern Hemisphere.

According to the partners, battery storage plays a key role in accelerating 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 be used in frequency control ancillary service markets to deliver critical stability to a grid increasingly compromised by intermittent renewable sources.

Once the project is operational, the collaborators will use Fluence’s AI enabled IQ application to optimise bidding of Hazelwood Battery capacity in the National Electricity Market.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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