Hazelwood battery charges up for first time at site of former coal generator
A second very large battery began operations for the first time on Australia’s main grid this week as the country’s transition from fossil fuel based generation to wind, solar and storage made new milestones.
The 150MW, one hour Hazelwood battery is being built near the site of the brown coal generator that – controversially – shut down in early 2017 with little notice, setting in train a period of high power prices and political outrage.
The battery finished construction a few weeks ago and – like the 250MW, one hour Torrens Island battery in South Australia that charged up for the first time on Wednesday – started operations in the same week that the Liddell coal plant in NSW gradually shut down its last remaining units.
The Hazelwood battery is a joint venture of Engie, the French energy giant that owned the Hazelwood coal plant and owns 70 per cent of the project, and Eku Energy, the newly formed big battery subsidiary from Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, which owns 30 per cent.
“Hazelwood completed construction completion a few weeks back and has been in early stage commissioning for a few weeks now,” Eku Energy’s Daniel Burrows told RenewEconomy.
“We are currently moving through hold point testing with AEMO. A big focus for the Engie, Eku Energy and Fluence team is on ensuring the system gets commissioned safely in conjunction with rehab works going on at Hazelwood.
“We are working well with AEMO and (network company) AusNet who have obviously been supportive of getting another 150MW of capacity in the market.”
Hazelwood will initially play in the grid services market, hence the short amount of storage, but as the market for arbitrage grows, and as more coal fired power stations retire, the battery will likely be extended to four hours duration or more, and possibly bigger capacity too.
Hazelwood and Torrens Island are just two of a number of new big batteries that are under construction and soon to be connected to the grid.
These include the Bouldercombe battery in Queensland, the Broken Hill battery in NSW, and the Riverina battery complex in south-west NSW, the Chinchilla battery in Queensland and the Capital battery in the ACT, and the Tailem Bend battery in South Australia.
- ^ Torrens Island battery in South Australia that charged up for the first time on Wednesday (reneweconomy.com.au)
- ^ Big Battery Storage Map of Australia (reneweconomy.com.au)
- ^ Web Story (reneweconomy.com.au)
- ^ Renew Economy (reneweconomy.wpengine.com)
- ^ One Step Off The Grid (onestepoffthegrid.com.au)
- ^ The Driven (thedriven.io)