AGL Energy, a major player in the power industry, has announced plans to build a substantial grid-scale battery on the premises of the former Liddell coal-fired power station. This decision aligns with the increasing support from the New South Wales (NSW) government for various renewable and storage projects. Under the influence of its prominent shareholder, Mike Cannon-Brookes, urging an accelerated transition to renewables, AGL is set to commence the construction of a two-hour duration, 500-megawatt battery in early next year. This addition will expand AGL’s existing portfolio, which already includes 930 megawatts of approved and operational batteries.
Expected to be operational by 2026, the Liddell battery represents an investment of $750 million. A two-hour battery of this magnitude can generate enough energy to power approximately 200,000 typical households for a duration of two hours. The closure of the Liddell coal-fired power station in April, after nearly 52 years in operation, was part of a broader trend of coal plant shutdowns due to high operating costs and the increasing competitiveness of renewable energy.
In a related development, the Australian Energy Market Operator cautioned that the country’s last remaining coal plant is likely to close in 2038, five years earlier than predicted just two years ago. This accelerated timeline is attributed to the diminishing attractiveness of generator ownership as renewable alternatives continue to undermine the profitability of fossil fuels.