Big battery deals

Company News

by Glenn Dyer

In the past couple of days, several significant battery deals have been unveiled in New South Wales.

AGL (ASX:AGL) has given the final investment green light for its $750 million battery project, to be constructed at Liddell in the Hunter Valley. This project is set to become Australia's largest battery, boasting grid-forming inverter capabilities and a massive capacity of 500 MW/1,000 MWh. Situated on the grounds of the retired Liddell power station, it will be a vital component of AGL's Hunter Energy Hub development. Originally planned at half its size, AGL's decision to expand the battery's capacity to 500 MW/1,000 MWh will help provide essential system services to the Hunter region. Funding for this project will come from AGL's balance sheet, including operating cash flows and existing debt facilities.

AGL's CEO, Damien Nicks, expressed excitement about the project, emphasising its role in achieving their interim target of approximately 5GW of new renewables and firming capacity by 2030. This initiative adds to AGL's growing portfolio of grid-scale battery assets, including the 250 MW Torrens Island battery and the upcoming 50 MW Broken Hill battery. Construction is scheduled to commence in early 2024, with completion anticipated two years later. The project has received conditional funding approval of up to $35 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

In another development, two eight-hour lithium batteries have secured contracts through the NSW government's long-duration storage tender. One of these projects, led by Ark Energy, a subsidiary of the Korea Zinc group, will see the construction of a 275 MW, 2,200 MWh lithium-iron phosphate battery at Myrtle Creek, near the town of Casino in northern NSW. Once completed, it is poised to become one of the largest battery projects in Australia in terms of megawatt hours of storage, surpassing several existing projects, and is expected to cost around $1.3 billion.

Additionally, Lightsource bp will build the Goulburn River project, an eight-hour lithium battery sized at 49 MW and 392 MWh, in the Upper Hunter Valley next to a proposed solar farm. These developments mark significant strides in the expansion of battery storage capacity in NSW.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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