Construction to start on grid-scale battery at Liddell in matter of weeks

Construction will start on the huge grid-scale battery on the old Liddell Power Station site next year now finances are locked away.

AGL has reached a Final Investment Decision on their 500 MW battery located at the Hunter Energy Hub on the old power station site at Muswellbrook.

Construction work for the battery is expected to begin in early 2024, with the commencement of operations targeted for mid-2026. The expected asset life of the battery is 20 years.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has chipped in a $35 million grant as part of its Advancing Renewables Program and a Long-Term Energy Service Agreement (LTESA), arranged by AEMO Services on behalf of the NSW Government.

The battery will cost about $750 million from start to finish and be funded on AGL’s balance sheet, utilising operating cash flows and existing debt facilities including AGL’s recently secured green capex loans.

AGL Chief Operating Officer Markus Brokhof said the Liddell and Bayswater power station sites will be transformed into the Hunter Energy Hub over the next 10 years.

“In April, this year we closed the Liddell Power Station after 52 years of providing electricity for the NSW grid, and now we are set to build the 500 MW Liddell battery on that site. We are committed to building out the new renewables, batteries, and associated industries that will be needed to make the energy transition a success right here in the Hunter.”

AGL’s Managing Director and CEO, Damien Nicks, said the Final Investment Decision marks another significant milestone in AGL’s decarbonisation pathway and the transition of its energy portfolio.

“Importantly, the Liddell battery will be a key component of achieving our interim target of approximately 5 GW of new renewables and firming capacity in place by 2030.

“Once completed, the Liddell battery will add to AGL’s existing suite of grid scale battery assets and contracted capacity from third parties. This includes the 250 MW Torrens Island battery, which commenced operations in August 2023, and the 50 MW Broken Hill battery which will commence operations shortly. We will continue to leverage our innovative, in-house capabilities to optimise the performance of our grid-scale battery assets.”