Engie, Eku Energy and Fluence have commissioned the Hazelwood Large Battery, Australia’s first large battery project, on a former power station coalfield in Victoria. The 150 MW battery requires several Australian firsts in its design and operation.
French energy giant Engie and Macquarie Group’s battery storage platform Eku Energy have deployed Australia’s first large-scale battery in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The 150 MW/150 MWh battery has been developed and financed by their joint efforts, marking a significant milestone in its operation at the former coal plant.
The Hazelwood battery is believed to be Australia’s largest privately funded battery to date. Energy Synapse founder Marija Petkovic recently pointed out that Hazelwood’s deployment will bring Australia the first gigawatt of installed battery storage.
Hazelwood’s battery plant has been supplied and operated and maintained by Fluence of the United States. The project is the first to use Fluence’s Gridstack battery system, which the company says is built for “the most demanding applications,” including flexible peak capacity and frequency control. The facility contains 342 modular Fluence cubes. Although the battery life is currently just one hour, the project is believed to grow eventually, in line with the wider Australian trend towards oversized batteries.
“With battery (battery) access for transfer and available space, Hazelwood is the perfect location for an asset that can grow in depth and duration, increasing the capacity to host renewables,” said Engie Australia CEO Rik De Buyserie.
The Hazelwood plant is reported to have 1.6 GW of idle transmission capacity available. The power station was built in the 1960s and closed in 2017. Electricity prices in Victoria rose as a result, and the collapse led to state governments imposing much stricter rules on notice periods for generation retirements.