South Australia’s even bigger battery is now under construction (250MW)

After making worldwide headlines with their first Big Battery, South Australia has just broken ground on their second big battery. South Australian Premier shared the news on his social media channels this afternoon.

The project is owned by energy provider AGL and the battery will have a 250 MW capacity, which is a significant increase on the 150MW capacity of the successful Hornsdale project.

After the first big battery became a tourist attraction, many of you will be keen to know the site of the new big battery and add that to the bucket list. South Australia’s second big battery will be located on Torrens Island, around 20km from Adelaide and forms part of the Torrens Island Energy Hub which is driving renewable energy generation in South Australia.

The storage duration of the 250MW battery will initially be for one hour (250 MWh), with space for expansion of up to four hours (1000 MWh) in the future. The rendered image below shows the expected layout of the big battery, which is expected to be around the size of Adelaide oval.

The Torrens Island battery will be the first of AGL’s national roll-out of 850 MW of grid-scale batteries to get underway.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to commence our battery program in South Australia. Today’s milestone is an important step in bringing to life our vision for the low-carbon industrial energy hubs required for Australia’s energy future.

As Australia’s largest energy generator, we understand the importance of enabling flexibility and ensuring reliability across the National Electricity Market as we continue to integrate renewable generation. 

We anticipate the Torrens Island energy hub will bring together various industry sectors and a combination of technologies to deliver South Australia’s energy future, and this battery is the first step toward that goal.

With South Australia generating more power from renewable sources than any other state, this battery will further reinforce a reliable energy supply for households and businesses.

I’d like to thank the South Australian Government and in particular, Deputy Premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan for his continued support and encouragement for this project.”

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof

This move by AGL is supported by the SA Government which helps them achieve their election promise of delivering cleaner, more affordable and more reliable power. The state has an aggressive target of achieving 100% renewable energy generation by 2030 and fits with AGL’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050 across Australia.

The project cost A$180 million will include up to 50 local jobs during the peak of the construction phase.

When it comes to the battery technology used, this will be one of a few big batteries in Australia that aren’t using Tesla’s Megapack, instead opting for a solution from Wärtsilä.

The Wärtsilä system will operate initially in grid-following mode before switching at a later date (no timeline yet) to grid-forming mode (virtual synchronous generation–VSG), enabling very fast response times. The complex solution is supported by Wärtsilä’s advanced GEMS Power Plant Controller and energy management software.

Wärtsilä will supply a battery energy storage system (BESS) to AGL Energy Limited. It will be AGL’s first grid-scale BESS project, and the second biggest in Australia. While Victoria’s big battery is going online this summer, it is expected SA’s second big battery project will be operational in the early part of 2023.

Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwright
Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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