Australia Repurposes Retired Thermal Power Project Site for 150 MWh BESS Project

The BESS can store an hour of energy generated from rooftop solar systems of 30,000 homes


Global technology-enabled energy storage business Eku Energy has commissioned a 150 MW/ 150 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) at the site of the former Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria in Australia, in collaboration with France-based multinational utility firm ENGIE and global storage products and services provider Fluence.

Hazelwood is the first coal-fired power station to retire in Australia to host a BESS, to be set as an example for repurposing former thermal assets for renewable energy technologies, the company said in a statement.

The Hazelwood battery energy storage project is jointly funded and developed by ENGIE and Eku and is said to be the country’s largest privately funded utility-scale battery.

The BESS can store the equivalent of an hour of energy generated from the rooftop solar systems of 30,000 homes.

It is expected to play a critical role in increasing renewable energy capacity in Victoria while delivering essential system services to the grid.

The Hazelwood Power Station was built in the 1960s and retired in 2017 after 50 years of operation.

Chief Investment Officer and Head of Asia Pacific for Eku Energy Daniel Burrows said, “The Hazelwood battery is an example of how strong partnerships can support the deployment of battery storage systems at strategic grid locations as Australia’s existing generation fleet transitions towards higher penetrations of renewable energy resources.”

Fluence will supply, operate, and maintain the Hazelwood BESS project.

The project is also the first in Australia to use Fluence’s Gridstack product, designed for the most demanding applications, including flexible peaking capacity, frequency regulation, renewable integration, transmission, and distribution enhancement.

Achal Sondhi, Vice President for Market Growth, APAC & General Manager for Australia at Fluence, said: “Fluence Mosaic bidding software allows the Hazelwood battery to react quickly and efficiently to grid needs and maximize the revenue while allowing the integration of more clean energy. Our rapidly growing Fluence team in Australia is committed to the country’s energy transition.”

Last December, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced AU$ 176 million (~$118 million) in conditional funding to support eight grid-scale battery projects across Australia. With a total capacity of 2 GW/ 4.2 GWh, the projects represent a tenfold rise in grid-forming power storage capacity, which is operational in the National Electricity Market.

Meanwhile, the think tank Climate Energy Fund projected that Australia could be an alternative to China and become a potential supply chain partner for the global renewables sector, given the abundance of minerals available in Australia that are critical to clean energy technologies.