AGL, RayGen open world’s largest solar-plus-storage plant

Solar heliostats at RayGen's Carwarp flagship project (AGL)
Solar heliostats at RayGen's Carwarp flagship project

Australian energy company AGL and energy technology group RayGen have opened RayGen’s solar-plus-storage plant in Carwarp, Victoria.

The RayGen Carwarp Power Plant will add 4MW of solar and 2.8MW/50MWh (17 hours) of storage capacity to the West Murray grid.

Related article: RayGen connects flagship Carwarp solar to grid

AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof heralded the innovative technology as a possible solution to the challenge of long duration energy storage particularly given its potential to be scaled.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of RayGen’s solar-plus-storage plant. This innovative approach to long duration energy storage using concentrated PV and thermal hydro storage greatly improves the efficiency and economics of solar plus storage, providing a potential solution for long duration energy storage,” Brokhof said.

“This plant will supply synchronous power with a view to increasing the capacity and flexibility of the local electricity grid.

“We believe this technology has the potential to be deployed at greater scale and we are progressing our plans for a similar solar-plus-thermal storage plant with RayGen at our Liddell site in the Upper Hunter, NSW.”

The plant is powered by a field of smart, rotational mirrors whose concentrated solar energy is combined with the energy stored across two water reservoirs to create a ‘hot and cold’ solar hydro solution.

The plant recently achieved the status of ‘commissioning complete’ and AGL’s offtake agreement with RayGen for the entirety of the plant’s production will soon come into effect.

Related article: AGL to keep Loy Yang A running until mid-2035

The plant is expected to save approximately 7,000 tonnes CO2e emissions per year and is expected to provide enough renewable electricity to power approximately 1,700 average Victorian homes.

RayGen CEO, Richard Payne said, “AGL has been a tremendous partner since RayGen entered the energy storage market. AGL’s advice and commercial agreements helped validate our value proposition and focus our technology development on the most important problems to solve.”

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