AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today announced a $40 million investment in the Clover hydro power station to support Australia’s clean energy supply and the local community in Victoria’s Alpine region.

The Clover Modernisation Project will see significant upgrades to the Clover power station, part of AGL’s Kiewa Hydro Scheme, with design and fabrication works expected to commence in July 2022. The expenditure will be incurred over a five-year period, from 2022 to 2026.

The hydro power station plays a crucial support role in the event of peak demand periods and other outages and, importantly for nearby residents, the Project achieves a seven per cent increase in overall generation with no change to water storage levels.

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof, said the investment in Clover power station’s modernisation would see the output capacity of the Kiewa Hydro Scheme increase by 14 MW, the equivalent of powering the entire Alpine region.

“By making this targeted investment we are able to increase the efficiency of the station and broader scheme to deliver more reliable, clean energy,” Mr Brokhof said.

“Clover is the oldest station in the Kiewa Scheme and was commissioned in 1945.  As some of the kit becomes outdated and inefficient, there are quick wins to be made in increasing generation capacity by replacing old components and systems.

“When we look at return on investment this $40 million investment makes complete sense in terms of decarbonisation and increased capacity – we expect the Kiewa Scheme to be supplying clean energy to our customers well into the future.

“AGL is proud to be the largest private owner of hydro schemes in Australia, which produce about two per cent of the electrical energy consumed in Victoria. While this is a small proportion of the state’s electricity needs, AGL Hydro also provides crucial support to the electricity system in the event of peak demand periods or other generator outages.”

The work to be undertaken includes the replacement of turbines, generators and inlet valves to increase the throughput at Clover from 120 Megalitres per hour (ML/h) to 140ML/h, in turn increasing the entire Kiewa scheme’s ability to run at capacity.

AGL expects the project to create around 25 local jobs during construction and to deliver further economic benefit to local areas, including appointment of local contractors for site mobilisation.

The Clover Modernisation Project builds on the $4.8 billion AGL has invested over the past 20 years in renewable and firming generation and the more than 2,350 MW of new generation capacity added to the grid since 2003.

As Australia’s largest energy generator, owner of the largest portfolio of renewable generation and storage assets of any ASX listed company, and a leading retailer of energy solutions, AGL and its people have a critical role to play in Australia’s transition and decarbonisation.