AGL’s Broken Hill battery gets planning go-ahead

Aerial shot of Broken Hill
Image: Shutterstock

AGL’s proposed grid-scale battery in Broken Hill has made another major step forward with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) granting approval for up to 50MW, 100MWh project. 

The company says the battery system will help to improve the reliability of energy supply in Broken Hill, as well as providing storage and firming capacity to the National Energy Market (NEM). 

AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said AGL was leading the energy transition by developing an 850MW network of batteries to add flexibility to Australia’s energy supply. 

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“With the green light on planning, we can now proceed to investment decision—another important step to become the leading orchestrator of batteries,” Brokhof said.  

“The limiting factor for renewable technology has always been storage but we are taking control of these constraints by turning our attention to firming technology, like batteries.

“Batteries and energy storage are critical to supporting the increased growth of renewable generation and in turn driving downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.

“During construction, we expect the project to create up to 50 direct jobs, providing direct financial benefits to local businesses and the wider community. 

“We have a proud history in the Far West of NSW, having developed one of Australia’s largest utility-scale solar plants in 2016 and the Silverton Wind Farm in 2018.

“Together these assets, provide more than 250 MW of capacity and power around 158,000 average Australian homes. 

“AGL’s grid-scale battery projects are ensuring we have energy storage and firming capacity at the ready to enable a seamless transition from thermal generation to renewables.  

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“I want to thank the NSW Government for recognising the importance of this project and the input and positive feedback we have had from the community, Broken Hill Council and Broken Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council.”

The project will be located on industrial land, near the Broken Hill substation and around 6km southeast of the Broken Hill airport.

A final investment decision on the project is subject to the finalisation of contracts and approvals. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with commissioning planned for 2023.