AGL announces giant new battery next to power stations on Adelaide’s Torrens Island

Electricity company AGL has announced plans to build a grid-scale battery on Adelaide’s Torrens Island.

The initiative will be built in stages and have a capacity of up to 250 megawatts, and is part of the company’s plans to roll out 850 megawatts across the National Energy Market by mid 2024.

It will be bigger than the 150-megawatt Tesla battery at Hornsdale, in South Australia’s Mid North, but smaller than a 500-megawatt battery planned for the site of its closing Liddell coal power station in NSW and a 300-megawatt battery planned by Neoen for near Geelong.

State Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the batteries would help stabilise the local supply.

“What they’re really most helpful for is pumping massive amounts of electricity within milliseconds into the grid, or the opposite — sucking it out — and that helps control the flow of electricity in the grid,” he said.

In a statement, AGL chief executive officer and managing director Brett Redman said the new battery would play a leading role in South Australia’s energy generation.

It would help prevent problems that occur when South Australia suffers swings in power generation because of its reliance on wind and solar power, he said.

AGL operates two gas-powered power stations on Torrens Island, including the new Barker Inlet station which opened last year, as well as wind farms at Hallett and on the Yorke Peninsula, where it also operates another big battery.

The Torrens Island power station owned by AGL.(ABC News: Carl Saville)

Mr Redman said today’s announcement kept the company on track for its goal of zero nett emissions by 2050.

“We know in order to achieve this target, investment in large-scale energy storage like grid-scale batteries is critical,” he said.

“We also know this is a future South Australians are also committed to achieving and we believe batteries will play a leading role in this transition.”

AGL would not say when it expects the Torrens Island battery to be complete.

The State Government has exempted AGL’s Torrens Island site from needing planning approval for battery developments.

It is also planning an electricity interconnector between South Australia and NSW to reduce the state’s reliance on power from Victoria.

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Torrens University’s sale shines a light on things to come

Australia’s 43 universities are sitting down on a real estate goldmine — a supply of uncomplicated bucks the federal government should be tempted by.

Torrens University in Adelaide (Image: Wikimedia)

The news very last 7 days that US team Strategic Education and learning will acquire Adelaide’s Torrens University, together with Believe Education and learning and Design Media in New Zealand, for about $900 million, was undoubtedly a surprise in larger education and learning circles.

It arrives amid unprecedented doom and gloom about the sector, with about $16 billion in international scholar revenue at danger simply because of COVID-19.

On best of it becoming a extremely fantastic price for the university’s operator, Laureate Global Universities, the simple fact that 53% of its pupils are overseas at current signifies the offer raises far more questions than responses.

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River Torrens ices over again amid freezing temperatures across South Australia

The River Torrens has frozen over for the second morning in a row amid more frosty conditions and subzero temperatures across South Australia.

Adelaide Hills feijoa farmer Caralyn Marsland filmed herself about 11:00am cracking ice off the river close to her home near Birdwood, north-east of the city.

She said it was only the second time she had seen the river frozen since moving to her farm about 10 years ago — the first time was yesterday.

“It is incredible,” Ms Marsland said.

“We do get our pipes freezing in the walls but this is definitely the first time — well second time now — that it’s frozen over.”

Ms Marsland lives not far from the edge of the Cudlee Creek fireground, which was blackened when a deadly blaze broke out in extreme heat late last year.

But her video shows a very different Adelaide Hills scene, with an icy layer widespread across the river’s surface.

Subzero temperatures were recorded across South Australia overnight including minus 3.2 degrees Celsius at Yunta, and minus 1.7C at Nuriootpa.

The mercury dropped to a slightly less chilly 1.3C at Adelaide’s West Terrace weather station this morning after falling to 0.9C yesterday.

Frost on plants at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.(Instagram: capturingcandids_hm)

That is the coldest it has been at the central Adelaide site since 1944 and follows more chilly mornings earlier in the week.

It comes as scientists reveal that snow was once a more common sight in parts of South Australia, including the Adelaide Hills, at the start of the 20th century.

Meteorologist Hilary Wilson said it had been “very, very cold” this week due to a “very persistent” high pressure system.

“We don’t have any of that around at the moment so we’ve had this very persistent run of cold temperatures.”

Call for ‘code blue’ declaration

Shelter SA has joined calls for the State Government to declare a “code blue” in order to ensure there are shelters and services available overnight for rough sleepers during extreme winter weather.


A code blue response is triggered by certain criteria which includes a predicted night-time low of 6C, significant rainfall and damaging wind gusts.

Shelter SA director Alice Clark said the criteria were too stringent.

“We have to have not only cold temperatures, but wind and rain and they have to be over five consecutive days.”

Human Services Minister Michelle Lensink said a code blue had not been called because the State Government had placed people experiencing homelessness in temporary accommodation in response to COVID-19.

With the high moving away and a cold front approaching on Saturday, the cold temperatures are expected to be replaced with wind and rain.

A low of 8C is predicted for Friday morning.

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Adelaide CBD records coldest morning since 1944 as ice forms on River Torrens

Parts of South Australia turned white with frost overnight — and the surface of the River Torrens froze over — as Adelaide’s CBD shivered through its coldest morning in 76 years.

The mercury dropped to 0.9 degrees Celsius at Adelaide’s central West Terrace weather station about 5:20am — the coldest temperature in the city since June 24, 1944.

The record low at the site is 0.6C on July 24, 1908, although even colder temperatures have been recorded at the former main weather station at Kent Town.

The temperature at Parafield Airport in Adelaide’s northern suburbs dipped to minus 2.4C, its lowest minimum since local records began.

Adelaide Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Jenny Horvat told ABC Radio Adelaide a high east of the city was keeping temperatures down.

An icy fence post in Myponga.(Supplied: Liz Soper)

South Australia’s coldest overnight temperature was minus 4.6C at Gluepot, north of Waikerie.

Footage also emerged this morning of ice on the surface of Adelaide’s River Torrens.

ABC listener Caralyn said she stopped along the upper Torrens with her children just before 9:00am when they noticed the icy layer on the river.

“[The] kids were all late for school while we explored.”

Subzero temperatures in the Riverland over the past few days have damaged citrus crops.

Sunlands grower Peter Walker said the mercury has dropped to as low as minus 4.5C for the past couple of nights.

He has been applying molasses to his trees, as well as watering the canopy, to prevent further frost damage.

“They’ll recover. It’s not the end of the world just yet.

“I can remember in 1982 where we had minus 6C for over a week and that was devastating to the region. We’re a fair way away from that.”

Warmer overnight temperatures are expected in Adelaide on Thursday and Friday, the BOM said.

Grass covered in frost
Donna Buss’s frosty yard in Cudlee Creek.(Supplied: Donna Buss)

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