Engie begins construction of a large 150 MW battery at the Hazelwood site – pv magazine Australia

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The transformation of the former Hazelwood coal-fired power plant in Victoria has started and French renewable energy giant Engie has announced the start of work on a 150 MW / 150 MWh battery energy storage system which is under construction. construction on site.

With energy storage set to play a key role in Australia’s transition from fossil fuels to renewables, Engie has partnered with the green investment arm of asset manager Macquarie Group to build a large battery of 150 MW / 150 MWh at the site of the former Hazelwood power plant. in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

Engie announced on Wednesday that construction of the Hazelwood Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) had started and grid connection agreements were already in place, with the battery expected to be operational by November 2022.

The project, at an estimated cost of $ 150 million, was funded by Engie and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and will be built, operated and maintained by U.S. energy storage company Fluence Energy, a joint venture between the German electronics group Siemens and the American generator set AES, under a 20-year contract.

The battery, which will connect to the existing grid infrastructure, is expected to provide an hour of energy storage, but the facility is expected to be expanded in the future as the old power plant has access at 1.6 GW of dormant transmission capacity.

Engie and Macquarie said the design of the battery’s first stage, being built at the site of the former Hazelwood coal-fired generator that closed in 2017, and the attributes of the site provide the flexibility to increase the storage “quickly and cost effectively”. ability to meet future grid and market demand.

The companies said the Hazelwood Battery will participate in the Frequency Control Auxiliary Services (FCAS) markets, ensuring the stability of an increasingly renewable network and playing a key role in accelerating the creation of solar and wind resources.

“The Hazelwood battery energy storage system… will play a critical role in increasing the renewable energy capacity in Victoria, while providing greater grid stability to the state,” the companies said in a statement.

It will support the transition to green energy and help “ensure that power grids are resilient, reliable and flexible,” said Greg Callman, global head of energy technology at GIG.

Artist’s impression of the Hazelwood battery energy storage system.

Image: Fluence

The project will be the first in Australia to use Fluence’s Gridstack battery system, incorporating 342 modular Fluence Cubes, a standardized enclosure that houses battery modules as well as inverters, transformers, switchgear and other equipment. factory and integrated on-board control software.

The system will be paired with Fluence’s AI-enabled IQ app to optimize the bidding for Hazelwood battery capacity in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

“The Hazelwood battery will be the product of Fluence’s next generation technology, supported by our rapidly growing team in Victoria and the most widely adopted automated trading platform currently available in Australia,” said Fluence Managing Director. Australia, Aaron McCann.

The project builds on Engie’s Australian portfolio which includes 1.1 GW of operating gas-fired power plants, 165 MW of operating wind farms and a 2 GW pipeline of solar, wind and large-scale batteries under construction. development.

The Hazelwood Battery is the latest utility scale battery to be unveiled in the Latrobe Valley. AGL announced last week that it had received approval for a 200 MW / 800 MWh energy storage system to be developed at its Loy Yang coal-fired power plant site. .

Earlier this year, EnergyAustralia announced plans to build a large, four-hour capacity 350 MW battery at the Yallourn coal-fired power plant site, which is expected to be phased out by mid-2028.

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