Broken Hill big battery gets ARENA boost

Joint media release with the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction the Hon Angus Taylor MP and Member for Parkes the Hon Mark Coulton MP

The Morrison Government is teaming up with AGL to construct a large-scale battery at Broken Hill which will improve energy security in regional New South Wales and help to maintain downward pressure on prices. 

A $14.84 million grant through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) enable construction of a 50MW / 50 MWh lithium-ion large scale battery equipped with grid forming inverters to improve system strength and support increased levels of renewable energy generation in the area. 

AGL has engaged energy storage provider Fluence and its consortium partner Valmec to supply the battery for the $41 million project.

Broken Hill was selected as an optimal location for grid-forming capabilities due to its location at the fringe of the grid, which results in low system strength.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Morrison Government had prioritised energy storage in Australia's Technology Investment Roadmap as one of the key solutions to lowering emissions while keeping the lights on.

“The combination of large-scale batteries with grid-forming inverters will not only improve grid stability, but will also put downward pressure on electricity prices,” Minister Taylor said.

“This battery will help stabilise the system, which is particularly important for areas such as Broken Hill that are at the edge of the electricity grid.

“This is the 35th ARENA project we’ve invested in across New South Wales since January 2020.

“This brings total Commonwealth investment under that agreement to date to $99.22 million.”

Assistant Minister to the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Tim Wilson said the development of next generation batteries will help support our electricity grids as it incorporates an increasing amount of energy from renewables. 

“The Broken Hill Battery will help unlock the potential of clean power generation to be delivered to households and businesses on demand,” Assistant Minister Wilson said. 

“The Morrison Government has ensured that battery infrastructure is being developed in the right areas according to the needs of households and businesses. This cannot be said of Labor’s battery plan, which has been outed as just a cash-splash for marginal seats under threat from the Greens.”

Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the project would be a game-changer for Broken Hill.

“The Parkes electorate is helping to lead the way when it comes to reducing emissions and delivering new renewables, and this battery project will play a big role in helping to power Broken Hill,” Mr Coulton said.

“It will supplement the Broken Hill solar plant and Silverton wind farm, storing clean power to ensure the lights remain on across town, while also allowing for further expansion of renewables.

“This project will also create employment opportunities for locals during construction, providing an economic boost to the city.”

The project is expected to provide up to 50 jobs during construction for engineers, tradespeople and contractors in the region. 

AGL’s Broken Hill Battery is set to be fully operational in 2023. 

Through ARENA, the Morrison Government is currently running a $100 million funding round of grid-forming large-scale batteries with advanced inverter technologies. 

More information about this project and other ARENA-funded grid scale batteries are available on ARENA’s website.  

Media contact: 

Assistant Minister Wilson’s office 02 6277 2392