A step ahead Down Under – AGL Energy Limited invests in fast-start balancing capacity

AGL Energy Limited, Australia Barker Inlet Power Station

South Australia

211 MW

With plenty of wind and sun, South Australia has become a forerunner in renewable energy. A high share of renewables needs, however, to be balanced by flexible power generation. To improve its energy reliability, AGL Energy Limited, one of Australia’s leading integrated energy companies, turned to Wärtsilä for dispatchable power. In addition to reliability, Wärtsilä’s fast-starting high-efficiency reciprocating engines provide superior value to AGL’s portfolio in the changing Australian energy market.

South Australia has a high penetration of renewables. That is how we see the rest of the market developing. This flexible power plant is a real proof of how Wärtsilä reciprocating engines can help enable a high penetration of renewables, while contributing to reliability.
Suraj Narayan, Sales Director, Australia & Oceania, Wärtsilä Energy Business
THE CHALLENGE
Need for reliability in South Australia due to high share of renewable energy sources
Need for profitable and environmentally friendly generation capacity to replace old technology
Need to meet new market rules of five-minute settlement regime
WÄRTSILÄ'S SOLUTION
Multi-unit Wärtsilä 50DF power plant with high operational flexibility
High-efficiency engines with low sensitivity to ambient temperature, with negligible water consumption
Ultra-flexible reciprocating engines, capable of reaching full load within a few minutes
BENEFIT
Fast-starting power production to balance renewable energy and ensure energy reliability
Lower operating and lifecycle costs (even at part load) secured with a 10-year maintenance services agreement. Lower carbon footprint 
Maximising revenue with power plant capable of being dispatched exactly as needed

Main data

Customer
AGL Energy Limited
Type
Wärtsilä 50DF flexible power plant
Operating Mode
Dispatchable fast-start and high-efficiency gas power generation to balance variable renewable generation
Gensets
12 x Wärtsilä 50DF
Total Output
211 MW
Fuel
Dual fuel (DF) – primarily operating on natural gas, capable of liquid fuel operation
Scope
EPC with 10-year maintenance services agreement
Delivery
2019

AGL reference picture

AGL is Australia’s largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and the country’s biggest developer of the firming capacity needed to support renewables. Barker Inlet Power Station (BIPS) will play an important role in the utility’s portfolio, as the plant’s main task will be to ensure reliability in the renewable-heavy South Australian power system and to balance the stochastic production of the renewables. The Wärtsilä engine generating sets can reach full output in a matter of minutes, providing the fast-start capability needed to rapidly respond to the fluctuations inherent to solar and wind power.

Being fuel-efficient, the reciprocating engines at BIPS are both cost-saving and environmentally sound: the new power plant requires 28% less fuel than its predecessor turbine plant and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 35-50%. The engines have low sensitivity to ambient temperature and can produce full power, even at 40 degrees Celsius. The engines’ negligible water consumption and their low fuel gas pressure create further operational cost savings.

 

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