Australia’s largest grid-forming battery approved for construction in NSW

Image credit: AGL | ARENA

AGL has reached a final investment decision (FID) to build Australia’s largest battery with grid-forming inverter capabilities in Liddell, New South Wales. 

Set to be built on the site of the retired Liddell power station, the grid-scale battery will form part of AGL’s Hunter Energy Hub. AGL doubled the original size of the battery to help provide important systems services to the Hunter region. 

Announced in 2022, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) allocated $35 million in funding for the project as part of the $176 million Large Scale Battery Storage Funding Round. 

ARENA CEO Darren Miller commended the AGL’s FID, highlighting the importance of using all the capabilities available from renewable energy technologies. 

“As new solar and wind connects to our grids, we’re going to need increasing amounts of energy storage to continue to provide reliable electricity to our households and businesses. However, as coal and gas generators retire, or start to play a lesser role, we’ll also need these new batteries to provide the crucial system security services that are currently provided by these traditional generators,” Miller said. 

“This is why it is important to fund batteries like AGL’s that are equipped with smart inverter technology which can help stabilise the grid as we transition to renewables.”

“We look forward to the construction of AGL’s battery in Liddell and expect to see the other ARENA-funded grid-forming batteries reach similar milestones in 2024.”

AGL’s Liddell battery is slated to begin construction in early 2024. 

“We are excited to approve another major grid battery project in our development pipeline, supporting the local economy and creating energy transition jobs at our Hunter Energy Hub,” said Damien Nicks, managing director and CEO at AGL. 

The Large Scale Battery Storage Funding Round awarded conditional funding to eight grid-scale battery projects across Australia in 2022.

Each battery in the program will feature grid-forming inverter technology, which will enable them to provide essential system stability services traditionally provided by synchronous generation such as coal and gas. 

At the time, the new battery projects from AGL, Origin, Neoen, FRV, Risen, and TagEnergy represented a tenfold increase in grid-forming electricity storage capacity operating in the National Electricity Market.