|AGL begins process of powering up Torrens Island battery, biggest in South Australia|
Sophie Vorrath 17 November 2022 10
Image: AGL Energy LinkedIn
AGL’s 250MW/250MWh Torrens Island battery – on track to overtake the original Tesla big battery at Hornsdale to be the biggest in South Australia once complete – is one step closer to “full functionality,” after getting the all-clear to start the energisation process.
After breaking ground on the project almost exactly a year ago, AGL said on Wednesday it had received permission from the Australian Energy Market Operator to start energising the battery’s 275kV cable and main transformer.
“That means the battery’s auxiliary equipment can now be progressively energised to facilitate commissioning, a key step before connecting the battery itself,” AGL said in a LinkedIn post.
As RenewEconomy has reported, the $180 million big battery will feature just one hour of storage in its first stage, with a focus on the provision of grid services rather than storing and shifting wind and solar generation.
The 250MW big battery, sized initially at one hour storage but likely to expand to up to four hours storage (1,000MWh), is being built at the site of AGL’s ageing Torrens Island gas plant, where the generators are progressively being shut down or mothballed.
The battery will also act as a “grid forming battery inverter” – one of the biggest in the world, to date – with the ability to operate as a “virtual synchronous machine.”
Big plans for big batteries
For AGL, the Torrens Island battery is the first of many that the gen-tailer is rolling out; it also marks the first step in the re-purposing of the Torrens Island gas facility into a new “energy hub” that will also feature green hydrogen electrolysers.
Further big battery projects include the 50MW/50MWh facility in Broken Hill, on which the company broke ground just this month.
AGL is also planning batteries at its Loy Yang A coal power station in Victoria (200MW), and at its soon to be closed Liddell coal power station in NSW – a project that was recently upsized to 500MW and up to four hours of storage, or a total of two gigawatt hours.
See RenewEconomy’s Big Battery Storage Map of Australia.