Battery boost for Broken Hill

Published on 24 September 2021

Another major renewable energy project has been given the green light for Broken Hill, with AGL to construct a grid-scale battery in the city's industrial area.


The battery was ticked off by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) yesterday, with project approval granted for up to 50 megawatts (MW), 100 megawatt-hour (MWh).


It has been designed to be compatible AGL's local Solar Farm and Silverton Wind Farm, and has the potential to improve grid reliability by storing low-cost power for use during times when generation costs are higher.


Stored electricity can also be made available for immediate use when energy demands exceed generation. 


Mayor Darriea Turley AM said the project would provide welcome employment, and represents an important step forward in harnessing the city's renewable energy potential.


"We've seen the rollout of some great renewable energy projects in our region, and this battery will complement them perfectly," said Mayor Turley.


"It will improve energy reliability and ensure renewable energy is stored and available locally, regardless of whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.


"My understanding is that this project will create around 50 jobs during construction and up to three permanent jobs, so that's a great result for our city and our economy.


"This project aligns with Council's own Renewable Energy Action Plan and our vision for the city to be completely powered by renewable energy by 2030."


AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said the Broken Hill project weas one of an 850 MW network of batteries being built to add flexibility to Australia’s energy supply.


“The limiting factor for renewable technology has always been storage but we are taking control of these constraints by turning our attention to firming technology, like batteries," said Mr Brokhof.


“Batteries and energy storage are critical to supporting the increased growth of renewable generation and in turn driving downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.


“We have a proud history in the Far West of NSW, having developed one of Australia’s largest utility-scale solar plants in 2016 and the Silverton Wind Farm in 2018.


“I want to thank the NSW Government for recognising the importance of this project and the input and positive feedback we have had from the community, Broken Hill Council and Broken Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council."


The battery will be located at 74-80 Pinnacles Place, with construction expected to begin later this year and commissioning planned for 2023.