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Through a partnership with AGL, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing a $14.84 million grant to construct a 50MW/50MWh lithium-ion large-scale battery in New South Wales.

The battery will be constructed in Broken Hill, which will improve energy security in regional New South Wales and help to maintain downward pressure on prices. 

The large-scale battery will be equipped with grid forming inverters to improve system strength and support increased levels of renewable energy generation in the area. 

AGL has engaged energy storage provider Fluence and its consortium partner Valmec to supply the battery for the $41 million project.

Broken Hill was selected as an optimal location for grid-forming capabilities due to its location at the fringe of the grid, which results in low system strength.

Federal Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the Federal Government had prioritised energy storage in Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap as one of the key solutions to lowering emissions while keeping the lights on.

“The combination of large-scale batteries with grid-forming inverters will not only improve grid stability, but will also put downward pressure on electricity prices,” Mr Taylor said.

“This battery will help stabilise the system, which is particularly important for areas such as Broken Hill that are at the edge of the electricity grid.”

This will be the 35th ARENA project the Federal Government has invested in across New South Wales since January 2020, and will bring the total Commonwealth investment under that agreement to $99.22 million.

Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Tim Wilson, said the development of next generation batteries will help support Australia’s electricity grids as it incorporates an increasing amount of energy from renewables. 

“The Broken Hill Battery will help unlock the potential of clean power generation to be delivered to households and businesses on demand,” Mr Wilson said. 

“The Federal Government has ensured that battery infrastructure is being developed in the right areas according to the needs of households and businesses.”

Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, said the project would be a game-changer for Broken Hill.

“The Parkes electorate is helping to lead the way when it comes to reducing emissions and delivering new renewables, and this battery project will play a big role in helping to power Broken Hill,” Mr Coulton said.

“It will supplement the Broken Hill solar plant and Silverton wind farm, storing clean power to ensure the lights remain on across town, while also allowing for further expansion of renewables.”

The project is expected to provide up to 50 jobs during construction for engineers, tradespeople and contractors in the region. 

AGL’s Broken Hill Battery is set to be fully operational in 2023. 

Through ARENA, the Federal Government is currently running a $100 million funding round of grid-forming large-scale batteries with advanced inverter technologies. 

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