Wärtsilä and AGL complete 250 MW battery in Australia

26 September 2023

Wärtsilä and AGL Energy report completion of construction at the Torrens Island grid scale battery energy storage system (ESS) in South Australia. The 250 MW/250 MWh lithium–ion ESS installed at Torrens is the second-largest operational battery in Australia, after the Victorian Big Battery, 300 MW/450 MWh (but soon to be dwarfed by the Waratah Super battery under construction in New South Wales, 850 MW/1680 MWh).

Above: The Wa¨rtsila¨-supplied AGL energy storage system at Torrens Island and the previously delivered Barker Inlet power station. © Wa¨rtsila¨

The Torrens Island battery system will operate in grid-following mode, transitioning to grid-forming mode (virtual synchronous generation – VSG) later. This “groundbreaking feature”, says Wa¨rtsila¨, means it the largest energy storage installation to date capable of operating in VSG mode, enabling fast response times and future-proofing operations for the Torrens Island facility. The battery system is supported by Wa¨rtsila¨’s advanced GEMS power plant controller.

AGL chief executive officer, Damien Nicks said, “This is a significant milestone in AGL’s transition journey as we continue to accelerate the build out of up to 12 GW of renewable and firming capacity by 2035, playing our part in Australia’s energy transition...This battery was constructed within 18 months – a great example of what can be achieved when government, regulators and the private sector are all working together.”

The Torrens Island ESS is the latest Wa¨rtsila¨ project in support of Australia’s decarbonisation goals. The company has previously supplied a 211 MW balancing power plant for AGL, the Barker Inlet power station, also located on Torrens Island. In addition, Wa¨rtsila¨ is delivering a 460 MW/920 MWh battery, in partnership with Origin, at the Eraring coal-fired power plant power site to support grid security and reliability in New South Wales.

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