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Mega Battery to be Built at Disused Coal Plant by Power Major AGL

Large-scale power company AGL Energy plans to build a grid-scale battery on the site of the decommissioned Liddell coal-fired power station, while the NSW government supports numerous other renewable energy and storage projects.

Under pressure from Mike Cannon-Brookes, its largest shareholder, AGL is planning to accelerate the spread of renewable energy. Early in the next year, work on building the 500 megawatt battery, which will add to its portfolio of 930 megawatts of approved and operational batteries, will begin.

Approximately 200,000 average homes could be powered for two hours with a two-hour battery. The $750 million Liddell battery project is anticipated to be operational by 2026.

After nearly 52 years of operation, AGL closed Liddell in NSW’s Upper Hunter in April. This shutdown was part of an increasing trend of coal-fired power closures due to high running costs and less expensive renewable energy sources that are eroding the viability of fossil fuels.

Due to the declining appeal of generator ownership, the Australian Energy Market Operator issued a warning on Friday stating that the nation’s final coal plant would close in 2038—five years sooner than it had anticipated just two years prior.

In the meantime, the Minnesota government’s third round of tenders for generating and long-duration storage facilities has awarded long-term energy service agreements to five projects, including a private renewable energy business owned by mining mogul Andrew Forrest.

By offering generators the choice to sell electricity at a minimum predetermined price to support their projects financially and guarantee there is enough power to keep the lights on, the agreements underwrite private investment in renewable energy sources.

The 400 megawatt Uungula wind farm will be constructed by Forrest’s Squadron Energy in Wellington, west of Sydney. The 93 turbines on the farm will provide enough electricity to power 220,000 homes.