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Broken Hill Battery Energy Storage System

Grid-scale battery in Broken Hill NSW.

Broken Hill Battery Energy Storage System

AGL has commenced construction of a 50 MW / 100 MWh Large-Scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facility with advanced grid-forming inverters at 74 – 76 Pinnacles Place, Broken Hill. The Project will support the reliable supply of electricity to Broken Hill in the event of line failure and provide efficient grid support for the region. The Project will also provide storage and firming capacity to the National Energy Market (NEM) as well as additional services to assist grid stability.

The key features for the approved Project include:

  • Construction and operation of a BESS of a nominal capacity of approximately 50 MW and up to 100 MWh;
  • Connection of the BESS to the nearby Transgrid Broken Hill substation via a 22 kV overhead powerline connecting through a 22 kV busbar at the substation.

The electricity sector is in the process of significant change. As the market moves away from coal, emerging technologies such as battery storage are increasingly needed to facilitate the transition to renewable energy generation by allowing electricity to be dispatched to the grid as needed. Over the past decade, there has been a progressive increase in installed renewable generators within the NEM. Renewable generation (in particular wind and solar) is intermittent in nature, generating electricity only when wind and solar resources are available. The need for storage capacity is expected to increase in the next 20 years, in line with the progressive retirement of thermal generators from the NEM. The approved Project will provide storage and firming capacity to the NEM, as well as additional services to assist grid stability including frequency control ancillary services.

The project will demonstrate the ability of large-scale batteries to be equipped with grid forming inverters to improve system strength and facilitate higher penetrations of variable renewable energy generation at the lowest cost.

Broken Hill has been selected as a highly suitable location for testing grid-forming capabilities due to its location at the fringe of the grid, which results in low system strength.

Advanced inverters enable grid batteries to provide system stability services traditionally provided by synchronous generation, such as coal or gas. Finding new ways of providing stability to the electricity system will enable the grid to operate with higher shares of variable renewable energy. Grid-forming inverters offer a promising solution to improve system strength, but have not been previously demonstrated at utility scale in weak parts of the grid.

The Broken Hill Battery Project received funding from ARENA as part of ARENA's Advancing Renewables Program. See Project knowledge Sharing Reports here.


The BESS is located at 74-76 Pinnacles Place, Broken Hill, approximately 6 km south east of the Broken Hill airport.

Construction update

AGL was scheduled to commence construction on the BESS in June 2022. A number of factors, including COVID-19 related supply chain issues, delayed commencement of construction until October 2022. Now that construction is underway, there may be some increased traffic on roads surrounding the project site, as locally sourced construction workers travel to work or as deliveries of materials increase from January 2023. AGL and our contractors will manage these changes through the approved Traffic Management Plans for the project and will work closely with Broken Hill City Council for any changes that may have an impact on local roads, such as where traffic controllers may be required.

AGL recently sought approval from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment to extend the approved working hours for the duration of the project. DPE granted this approval following an extensive community consultation process, on 28th February 2023. The changed working hours are shown in the table below.

Monday - Saturday

7am - 6pm

Sunday & NSW Public holidays

8am - 1pm

To minimise the impact on the community, we will avoid the following activities on Saturday after 1pm, Sundays and NSW public holidays:

  • delivery of materials that may disrupt local roads
  • noisy activities, such as pile driving, jack hammering, and the use of air compressors.

Noise reducing strategies and noise monitoring (weekly and during peak workloads) will be undertaken to ensure noise levels do not exceed the permitted noise levels.

The extended working hours would be used to carry out activities such as laying cables, cable terminations and testing, equipment fit out, and preparation for concrete works.

If the NSW Department of Planning and Environment approve the extended working hours, they would be in place until the BESS project has been fully constructed. 

Planning and Environmental Approvals

AGL submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this Project to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) in May 2021. The EIS was assessed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Development Consent was granted in September 2021.

To view the EIS, please visit the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Major Projects’ portal.

An EPBC referral was submitted for the Project in January 2021. The EPBC referral was determined on 7 May 2021, which confirmed that the Project did not constitute a controlled action (EPBC 2021/8918).


AGL believe Australia’s future energy needs will be delivered through a combination of technologies - gas, hydrogen, pumped-hydro, renewables, firming technologies and industrial developments - all of which will play a role in the energy transition.

AGL has a proud history in Broken Hill, having developed one of Australia’s largest utility-scale solar plants in 2016 and the Silverton Wind Farm in 2018 with a combined capacity of over 250 MW, together powering around 158,000 average Australian homes. 


A BESS collects energy from the grid, stores it and discharges that energy to provide electricity when needed. When there is an oversupply of electricity or low demand, grid-scale batteries can store electricity so that it can be dispatched when supply decreases or demand is high. A BESS can stabilise the grid during frequency disruptions and immediately dispatch stored electricity when there is a temporary loss of supply (either unexpected or regulated). When there is a supply imbalance, a BESS can reduce the frequency of blackouts and need for load shedding. However, a BESS cannot stop blackouts where the electricity network has been affected by a storm that would impact poles and wires, and electricity cannot be physically supplied.

AGL is leading the energy transition by developing a network of batteries to modernise Australia’s energy supply. To achieve this and firm up capacity, AGL has announced the development of grid-scale battery projects in NSW, SA and Victoria. The limiting factor for renewable technology has always been storage and AGL is taking control of these limitations by turning our attention to batteries. Grid-scale battery projects align with the commitments we made in our Climate Statement, which sets our target for net zero emissions by 2050.

The location for the proposed BESS is 74 to 80 Pinnacles Place, Broken Hill, approximately 6 km south east of the Broken Hill airport.

The facility will be an orderly arrangement of battery cabinets, inverters and control systems including electrical and data cabling. The battery packs are enclosed in custom designed, dust and waterproof ‘cabinets’ made of steel. The cabinet is light coloured to assist with heat management and each cabinet has its own internal thermal management system. Once completed, the 50MW and 100 MWh battery will cover around 0.5 hectare of land. It will be no higher than 2.5 metres.

The BESS has the potential to improve the reliability of the grid by storing low-cost power for use during times when generation costs are higher. Stored electricity can also be made available for immediate dispatch when energy demands exceed generation. Grid-scale batteries are comparable to peaking generation mechanisms (such as gas peaking plants) as they can be deployed instantaneously, allowing more efficient use of the network. This would have the potential to keep downward pressure on power bills and reduce network costs. 

AGL expects the BESS could provide up to 50 jobs during the construction phase and up to 3 jobs during operation.

AGL is engaging with the local community, state and federal government, Broken Hill Council, Broken Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council and residents and business owners in the region about the Project.

AGL submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this Project to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) and it is on public display from 2 to 29 June 2021. During this time, anyone can review the document and make a written submission on the Project to the DPIE. AGL will address any issues or questions in a Submissions Report and will work closely with the community and key stakeholders throughout this process.

Go to to view the EIS and find out how to make a submission. 

Community complaints and enquiries

AGL understands that we don’t always get it right, and we want to be informed when we don’t. If you would like to provide any feedback, good or bad, or simply ask some questions, please feel free to get in touch via the following channels:

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Complaints and Enquiries Hotline

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AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries,
Locked Bag 14120 MCMC,
Melbourne VIC 8001

Learn more  about how we handle general customer complaints on our complaints page.