AGL announces giant new battery next to power stations on Adelaide’s Torrens Island, Australia

Electricity company AGL Energy, Sydney, Australia, has announced plans to build a grid-scale battery on Adelaide’s Torrens Island, Australia, ABC News reports.

The project will have a capacity of up to 250 megawatts, and is part of the company’s plans to roll out 850 megawatts across the National Energy Market by mid 2024.

It will be bigger than the 150-megawatt Tesla battery at Hornsdale, in South Australia’s Mid North, but smaller than a 500-megawatt battery planned for the site of its closing Liddell coal power station in New South Wales and a 300-megawatt battery planned by Neoen for near Geelong.

State Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the batteries would help stabilise the local supply.

“What they’re really most helpful for is pumping massive amounts of electricity within milliseconds into the grid, or the opposite — sucking it out — and that helps control the flow of electricity in the grid,” he said.

In a statement, AGL chief executive officer and managing director Brett Redman said the new battery would play a leading role in South Australia’s energy generation.

It would help prevent problems that occur when South Australia suffers swings in power generation because of its reliance on wind and solar power, he said. “This battery is another step in the state’s energy transition, while at the same time allowing a rapid response to changes in renewable generation when our customers and communities need it”.

AGL operates two gas-powered power stations on Torrens Island, including the new Barker Inlet station which opened last year, as well as wind farms at Hallett and on the Yorke Peninsula, where it also operates another big battery.

Mr Redman said today’s announcement kept the company on track for its goal of zero nett emissions by 2050.

“We know in order to achieve this target, investment in large-scale energy storage like grid-scale batteries is critical,” he said.

“We also know this is a future South Australians are also committed to achieving and we believe batteries will play a leading role in this transition.”

AGL would not say when it expects the Torrens Island battery to be complete.

The State Government has exempted AGL’s Torrens Island site from needing planning approval for battery developments.

It is also planning an electricity interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales to reduce the state’s reliance on power from Victoria.


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