AGL’s $295 million Barker Inlet Power Station (BIPS) has begun generating energy as it nears the final stages of testing, bringing it online in time for the peak summer season.

AGL CEO, Brett Redman, said AGL is proud to be the only company in the market to have built a major dispatchable power station since 2012.

Mr Redman said this new power station provides the firming capacity the market needs.

“AGL’s new power station will provide more affordable, reliable and cleaner energy for South Australian homes and businesses,” Mr Redman said.

“At AGL we’re building new capacity and firming generation because we know this is what the market needs and today we are delivering on this commitment.

“This power station is highly efficient, with generating units capable of operating at full capacity within five minutes of starting. This is something not capable from older coal and gas power stations.

“This is important, because it will allow us to provide a rapid response to changes in renewable generation supply and demand – particularly wind generation here in South Australia.”

The new 210MW power station will help meet the evolving needs of the National Electricity Market, using the largest gas engine on the market to provide dispatchable power that will back-up renewable energy.

This first generation is part of the testing regime, with full commissioning in the coming weeks.

BIPS will deliver fast-start operation, ramping to full-capacity within five minutes, which allows it to respond to the peaks and troughs of demand more efficiently.

Mr Redman said he wanted to congratulate the teams and partners who have worked hard to deliver the project and that AGL looks forward to commercial operations ahead of summer.

“This power station is part of $2 billion worth of generation and firming projects that are currently in our pipeline, which we are progressing to help deliver affordable and reliable power not just now but well into the future,” Mr Redman said.

Federal Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said this is the first gas station to join the National Electricity Market since 2012 and will improve the reliability of the South Australian grid.

“The Barker Inlet Power Station will ensure South Australians have access to increased firm generation that will lower prices and increase supply,” Mr Taylor said.

“The station will be able to operate at full capacity in just five minutes. This rapid response time adds reliability to the grid, ensuring the lights stay on when solar and wind supply decreases.”

South Australian Energy Minister, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said AGL’s investment was good news for the affordability and reliability of electricity supplies in South Australia.

“South Australia is leading the nation in the transition to renewable energy and the Barker Inlet Power Station will have an important role in producing more affordable, reliable and cleaner electricity,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“Modern fast start gas generators burn less gas and provide supply when renewables can’t, meaning lower cost, lower emissions and greater reliability.”

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