Eraring power station.

Origin has agreed to a pilot a new long duration battery at Eraring Power Station which uses water-based technology.

As part of the pilot agreement Origin has acquired a five per cent equity in Allegro Energy, who will have designed the Redox Flow Battery (RFB) set to be deployed at Eraring.

Origin Head of Energy Supply and Operations, Greg Jarvis, was pleased to be making an investment in what Origin views as a very promising technology. 

“We believe long duration storage will ultimately play an important role in the energy mix, and we look forward to watching the progress of this trial and seeing how this technology could complement other storage projects within Origin’s portfolio,” Mr Jarvis said. 

“Long duration storage could supplement the high demand peak period covered by the 460MW Eraring battery currently under development and add to the overnight generation availability provided by the Shoalhaven Hydro Scheme.

“Our investment in Allegro is a great example of our teams seeking out solutions to some of the challenges presented by Australia’s energy transition. It is also particularly pleasing for Origin to work with an innovative, local firm as we look to further transform the Eraring site for the future,” Mr Jarvis said.

The agreement provides options for Origin to support Allegro throughout its growth and development. Once an initial 100KW (800kWh) RFB module is successfully deployed at Eraring, a 5MW (60MWh) battery is planned, which, if successful, will provide 12 hours of energy storage capacity. The Eraring site requires minimal preparation works prior to installation, which are expected to commence in August 2023, with the battery set to be commissioned in late 2024.

In April 2023, Origin confirmed a $600 million investment to support delivery of the first stage of a large-scale battery in Eraring. Works on the 460MW two-hour dispatch duration battery storage are expected to commence in July 2023.

The RFB batteries contain no scarce materials, and all key components are recyclable,making it a safer and more environmentally friendly option than other battery technologies. 

On 17 February 2022, Origin submitted notice to the Australian Energy Market Operator indicating the potential early retirement of the Eraring coal-fired power station at the end of the required three-and-a-half year notice period. Origin will continue to assess the market over time, and this will help inform the final timing for closure of all four units at Eraring. Origin will also continue to actively engage with the market operator, New South Wales Government, our people, and the local community regarding plans for Eraring’s closure.

Allegro co-founder and CEO, Professor Thomas Nann, said this was a powerful endorsement of Allegro’s proprietary battery technology and an exciting moment for the company’s team. 

“Origin’s support will help us develop large-scale manufacturing of our RFBs which will deliver a cleaner, cheaper and safer global storage solution to the worldwide energy market,” Mr Nann said. 

“Origin’s stake in Allegro provides strong evidence of the need by energy retailers and others in the sector to answer the long duration energy storage challenge, which McKinsey has estimated represents a total addressable market of US$3.5 trillion.”

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