Australia retires first coal-fired power station; makes way for utility-scale battery storage system
Marking a new era in Australia's energy transition journey, the former Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria commissioned the Hazelwood Battery Energy Storage System – repurposing the former thermal assets to renewable energy technologies.
Jointly funded and developed by ENGIE and Eku Energy the 150 MW/150 MWh Hazelwood Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) was officially opened on Wednesday (June 14) by the Hon. Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Victorian Minister for Energy & Resources, with Rik De Buyserie, CEO, ENGIE Australia & New Zealand; Daniel Burrows, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Asia Pacific, Eku Energy, and Achal Sondhi, Vice President for Market Growth, APAC & General Manager for Australia, Fluence.
"Victoria is leading the nation in delivering battery and energy storage projects, with our ambitious energy storage targets ensuring that Victoria continues to attract industry investment and collaboration opportunities like this," said Lily D'Ambrosio MP, Minister for Energy & Resources, Government of Victoria.
"The Latrobe Valley has been the home of Victoria's energy generation for decades and new investment in technologies like energy storage will help solidify its role in our renewable energy future."
Post commissioning, the Hazelwood Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) stands as the largest privately funded utility-scale battery in Australia. The Hazelwood battery has the capacity to store the equivalent of an hour of energy generated from the rooftop solar systems of 30,000 homes and is expected to play a crucial role in increasing RE capacity while delivering essential system services to the Australian grid.
"ENGIE's delivery of the Hazelwood battery is part of our commitment to building long-term, reliable assets that play a key role in the future of Australia's energy transition," said Rik De Buyserie, CEO of ENGIE ANZ.
"With its access to transmission and available space at site, Hazelwood is the perfect location for an asset that can grow in depth and duration, increasing the hosting capacity for renewables."
As part of the partnership, leading battery storage solution provider, Fluence will be using its propriety Gridstack product for the first time in Australia. With Fluence Gridstack it will also be using Fluence Mosaic bidding software which will enable the battery to react quickly and efficiently to meet the grid needs and maximize the revenue while allowing the integration of more clean energy.
"As the first project in Australia to deploy Fluence Gridstack, an energy storage product which is designed for the most demanding market applications, the Hazelwood battery is a major milestone for us," said Achal Sondhi, Vice President for Market Growth, APAC & General Manager for Australia.
For Eku Energy's global energy storage portfolio, the commissioning of the Hazelwood battery marks the commissioning of 150 MW of safe, secure, and reliable battery capacity to accelerate the energy transition.
"Hazelwood battery is an example of how strong partnerships can support the deployment of battery storage systems at strategic grid locations as Australia's existing generation fleet transitions towards higher penetrations of renewable energy resources," said Daniel Burrows, Chief Investment Officer and Head of Asia Pacific, Eku Energy commenting on the latest milestone.