AGL and Wärtsilä offer onsite solar and battery solutions to big energy users

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AGL Energy will offer its largest electricity users the opportunity to install on-site renewable energy and storage projects after signing a memorandum of understanding with a provider of energy technologies.

AGL signed the MOU with energy services provider Wärtsilä Energy to develop new technology offerings that integrate renewable energy technologies with behind-the-meter and off-grid technologies that it says can cut emissions and deliver reliable supplies of power to large energy users.

The hybrid energy system offers will be made to commercial and industrial customers which have an instant load of more than 20MW.

“This agreement is another way in which AGL is responding to the evolving needs of our customers to deliver the best technologies and innovations available to create more sustainable and energy efficient operations,” AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said in a statement.

“Our strong trading expertise combined with the best aspects of solar, wind, battery storage and gas-firming technology enables us to orchestrate the assets and provide customers with continuous, reliable supply and energy management solutions.

“These systems will provide customers with certainty and peace of mind – knowing on low generation solar or wind days, flexible firming technologies are in place to meet their demands.”

A growing number of large energy users have opted to take greater control over their energy supplies and are by-passing the big utilities.

Examples include Queensland zinc refinery Sun Metals, which has made significant investments in on-site solar and storage technologies in an effort to reduce both its energy cost and greenhouse gas emissions footprint.

The deal deepens the relationship between AGL and Wärtsilä, with the two companies previously signing a partnership agreement to cooperate on AGL’s plans to deploy as much as 1000MW of big battery storage projects.

President of Wärtsilä Energy, Sushil Purohit, said that the collaboration with AGL Energy would enable customers to adopt low emissions and reliable energy technologies on site.

“Energy storage, balancing engine power plants and intelligent energy management software are needed to support the seamless integration of renewable energy sources into the power system while maintaining system flexibility, network stability and energy security,” said Wärtsilä president Sushil Purohit.

AGL Energy recently announced that it plans to split its business into two, to establish AGL Energy as a carbon neutral provider of energy services and as an operator of wind and solar projects – splitting off its coal and gas business into a new entity.

As part of its plans to evolve its business, AGL said that it wanted to diversify its product offerings, becoming a supplier of electricity, energy services and expanding its involvement in other services like communications.

AGL currently ranks as Australia’s single largest greenhouse gas emitter but has made commitments to significantly reduce the company’s greenhouse gas footprint, including a goal to achieve carbon neutrality for its scope 1 and 2 emissions.

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