An aerial view of the solar-plus-storage plant in Carwarp

RayGen, in partnership with AGL, has opened its solar-plus-storage plant in Carwarp, Victoria, which is expected to add 4MW of solar and 2.8MW/50MWh of storage capacity to the West Murray grid. 

The plant is powered by a field of smart, rotational mirrors whose concentrated solar energy is combined with the energy stored across two water reservoirs to create a ‘hot and cold’ solar hydro solution. 

The plant recently achieved the status of “commissioning complete” and AGL’s offtake agreement with RayGen for the entirety of the plant’s production will soon come into effect.  

The plant is expected to save approximately 7,000t COe emissions per year and is expected to provide enough renewable electricity to power approximately 1,700 average Victorian homes.  

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof, said that the innovative technology is a possible solution to the challenge of long duration energy storage particularly given its potential to be scaled. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of RayGen’s solar-plus-storage plant. This innovative approach to long duration energy storage using concentrated PV and thermal hydro storage greatly improves the efficiency and economics of solar-plus-storage,” Mr Brokhof said.  

“This plant will supply synchronous power with a view to increasing the capacity and flexibility of the local electricity grid. 

“We believe this technology has the potential to be deployed at greater scale and we are progressing our plans for a similar solar-plus-thermal storage plant with RayGen at our Liddell site in the Upper Hunter in New South Wales.”  

RayGen CEO, Richard Payne, said that AGL has been a tremendous partner since RayGen entered the energy storage market. 

“AGL’s advice and commercial agreements helped validate our value proposition and focus our technology development on the most important problems to solve.”

Featured image: An aerial view of the solar-plus-storage plant in Carwarp. Image credit: RayGen.

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