Essential Energy marks renewable energy milestone

02 February 2023

Essential Energy has installed its first battery on the electricity network, allowing more renewable energy into the grid and more efficient network management.

The 2MWh battery technology was developed in partnership with AGL. Its storage capability will address future network constraints and manage power variability in the trial area of Sovereign Hills, a residential area in Port Macquarie on NSW’s Mid-North Coast.

The fast-growth area was identified as an ideal location due to anticipated network capacity and reliability issues, with estimated future population growth of around 5-10% by 2031.

The network battery will enable the Sovereign Hills community to maximise solar generation and exports and drive better network utilisation.

Essential Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, John Cleland, said Essential Energy’s first grid-scale battery trial will provide learnings that will lead to further deployment of the technology, supporting the energy transition of regional, rural and remote NSW.

“We expect this trial to support our capability growth to own and operate electricity storage across the network, solving local voltage variation, capacity limitations and broaden export capability.

“Working with AGL in this trial supports us to deliver these technology solutions under the current regulatory framework,” Mr Cleland said.

AGL Chief Customer Officer Jo Egan said that AGL is proud to be supporting Essential Energy in trialling this technology to help ease congestion on the grid.

“As the operator of the largest portfolio of renewable generation and storage assets of any ASX-listed company, AGL is pleased to support Essential Energy in this innovative network battery trial by constructing, commissioning and orchestrating the battery,” Ms Egan said.

Mr Cleland continued, “We are investing in new technologies and building smarter networks across our network to provide more reliable, cost-effective energy to support energy reliability and the transition to a net zero energy market. Our customers have told us that they expect Essential Energy to support their renewable energy ambitions and we are transforming our business to help deliver on that.”