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Hunter Energy Hub takes shape with Liddell grid-scale battery

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AGL’s proposed 500-megawatt (MW), two gigawatt-hour (GWh) grid-scale battery on the site of its Liddell Power Station is one step closer to fruition.

The development was recently granted approval by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).

The Liddell grid-scale battery is part of AGL’s planned national roll-out – and will form a portion of the company’s Hunter Energy Hub that is slated for the site, located between Muswellbrook and Singleton, following the plant’s retirement in 2023.

Chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said the transition of Liddell Power Station into an integrated, low-carbon industrial energy centre would be AGL’s first rehabilitation of a thermal coal facility.

“As we decarbonise, firming technology like this grid-scale battery will become the backbone of the NEM helping to support reliable supply for households and businesses,” he explained.

“This planning approval marks a significant milestone for the transition of the Liddell site.

“We look forward to working with partners to progress other developments on and around the location, including a wind farm, a solar storage system, pumped hydro, a waste-to-energy plant and our recently-announced green hydrogen pilot with Fortescue Future Industries (FFI).

“All of these projects will benefit from the excellent resources and infrastructure these sites feature and create the jobs of the future across many industries, not just energy.”

Mr Brokhof said AGL was following “a trend” that was already occurring overseas.

“More than 150 energy hub projects have been announced globally, all of them aimed at creating new business development opportunities and value creation,” he stated.

“As Australia moves forward and we increase our reliance on renewable generation, batteries will be critical in providing the storage needed to maintain a consistent, reliable and affordable energy system.

“I want to thank NSW DPE for acknowledging the important role that this battery will play in the Liddell energy hub and, with approval now granted, the next step will be reaching a final investment decision before construction begins.”

The first unit of Liddell will close in April 2022, with the following to shut in April 2023, contributing to system reliability over the 2022-23 summer months.

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