AGL Energy (ASX: AGL) has given the go-ahead to start construction early next year on a $750 million grid-scale battery project on the site of the former Liddell power station in the Hunter Valley in the company’s first rehabilitation of a thermal coal facility.
After gaining NSW Government approval for the project early last year, AGL has today announced it has reached a final investment decision on the project, giving it the green light to proceed.
Located in AGL’s Hunter Energy Hub, the facility will comprise a 500-megawatt (MW) grid-scale battery of two-hour duration with the battery expected to have a 20-year lifespan.
With construction set to start early next year, AGL says the battery is expected to be operational by mid-2026.
“The final investment decision on the Liddell battery project marks another significant milestone in AGL’s decarbonisation pathway and the transition of its energy portfolio,” says AGL’s managing director Damien Nicks.
“We are excited to approve another major grid-scale battery project in our development pipeline, supporting the local economy and creating energy transition jobs at our Hunter Energy Hub.
“Importantly, the Liddell battery will be a key component of achieving our interim target of approximately 5 GW of new renewables and firming capacity in place by 2030.”
Nicks says that once completed, the Liddell battery will add to AGL’s existing suite of grid scale battery assets and contracted capacity from third parties.
The company this year commissioned the 250 MW Torrens Island battery in South Australia and is gearing up to deliver a 50 MW battery at Broken Hill shortly.
Last year AGL commissioned Queensland’s largest operational battery, the Wandoan South Battery Energy Storage System in the Western Downs region, delivering a 100 MW capacity to the grid and storing 150-megawatt hours of renewable energy.
AGL has appointed energy storage specialist Fluence as the preferred engineering, procurement and construction provider for the project.
The company says the Liddell project will be funded on the AGL balance sheet via operating cash flows and existing debt facilities including the company’s new green capex loans.
The project, which is also being supported by a $35 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, will boost AGL’s network to 900 MW of grid-scale batteries by 2026.
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