AGL microgrid helping Santos decarbonise

Santos plant in Cooper Basin at sunset (AER)
Santos gas plant in the Cooper Basin

AGL is helping Santos to achieve its goal of becoming net-zero by 2040 with the completion of a hybrid microgrid that will power 13 oil pump loads in South Australia’s Cooper Basin.

In partnership with Santos, AGL has installed a microgrid that utilises solar, battery storage, generators and a monitoring and control system designed to respond to dynamic changes and power requirements.

AGL chief customer officer Christine Corbett said AGL’s micro-grid would help Santos to shift to sustainable and reliable energy sources, improving both the commercial performance and overall environmental impact of its oil wells included in the project. 

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“Santos was seeking an energy solution that was less carbon intensive and more cost-effective to maintain in a remote location,” she said.

“We developed an intelligent microgrid control system that reduces the safety risks for remote area work and ensures reliable and sustainable supply.

“The system will reduce maintenance time, improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and most importantly use renewable energy, supporting Santos in lowering its emissions.

“An area like South Australia’s Cooper Basin can often be exposed to unexpected weather events and by using a multi-sourced system we are ensuring Santos has a more reliable source of energy.  

“During the day, energy is largely provided from solar and generators and overnight the generators and the battery continue to provide essential supply.

“This project is an excellent example of how distributed energy resources can create an efficient and sustainable solution for businesses. 

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“As Australia’s largest provider of commercial solar, we are committed to helping businesses reach their sustainability targets by using the best technology and end-to-end services to help drive a cleaner energy future for all. I want to thank all our people who worked on this project for more than 12,000 hours.” 

The microgrid is made up of a centralised 130kW solar PV system, a 437kWh battery storage system, a 500kVA pad-mounted step-up transformer and two new 450kVA generators connected to oil pump sites via a six-kilometre-high voltage transmission power line and step-down transformers.

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