AGL and energy technology group, RayGen have begun construction of a $27 million concentrated solar and thermal storage project set to be one of Australia's largest and lowest-cost renewable energy storage projects.
The first stage of the project is located at Carwarp, Victoria and the second stage is planned for the Liddell power station site.
The system is powered by a field of smart, rotational mirrors whose concentrated solar energy is combined with the energy stored across two water reservoirs to create a 'hot and cold' solar hydro solution.
The Carwarp plant will be able to deliver four megawatts of solar generation and 50 megawatt hours of storage to produce electricity on demand - improving grid stability, as well as supplying reliable, synchronous power.
"We believe the technology can be just as successful in the Hunter region and a key feature of our plans to transition the Liddell site into an Energy Hub, alongside grid-scale batteries and a waste to energy facility," AGL managing director and chief executive Graeme Hunt said.
"AGL has a proud heritage of investment and innovation and we believe Liddell could have an essential role in the energy transition.
"As we transition to a cleaner energy future and meet our Climate Statement commitments, we are looking to make reliable long duration storage combined with solar generation a reality by overcoming traditional barriers for variable, renewable energy deployment."
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency ARENA has invested $15million into the Carpwell project.
"This innovative collaboration between an Australian technology start-up and AGL will help pave the way to a lowest cost, secure and decarbonised grid."
Both companies have worked on the design of the solar and thermal storage site since 2019.
AGL has committed $5 million to help fund the construction at Carwarp as well as agreed to offtake the entirety of the plant's production.
A pre-feasibility study for the Liddell site is now underway.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government was focused on supporting the development of new technologies that deliver reliable and affordable power to Australians, strengthen the economy and reduce emissions.
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"Australia is a world leader in renewable energy technology," Mr Taylor said.
"With one in four Australian homes having solar, making sure our solar assets are backed up by dispatchable generation is vital for energy grid stability and shoring up our long-term supply.
"The Government is backing technology, not taxes, to meet our emissions reduction targets without compromising our energy affordability or security.
"Using innovative technology, RayGen aims to scale up to a 100 megawatt project capable of providing secure, dispatchable power to help support grid stability in Victoria and reduce emissions.
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