As Australia’s energy mix continues to evolve and demand for flexible and firming capacity increases, investing in energy generation remains a priority for us – but equally important is the relationships AGL builds and maintains within the community.
Located four hours from Melbourne, Mount Beauty is home to just over 800 residents. AGL has operated in the Mount Beauty area since taking control of the Kiewa Hydro scheme in 2005 and is an employer for residents of the Alpine Shire in which it sits.
The stunning landscape of Mount Beauty lends itself to a very active, outdoorsy lifestyle, and organisations like Team Mount Beauty Mountain Biking Club have a passionate membership, according to club president Michael Whipps.
‘AGL has a huge history here in Mount Beauty,’ Michael said. ‘A lot of the members of our mountain biking club are AGL staff.’
‘There’s a long history of AGL supporting our club and we really benefit from them.’
These benefits are also seen on the roof of the Mount Beauty Neighbourhood Centre, where AGL has installed solar panels for the community place. Centre manager Trish Dixon says the panels have slashed one of their biggest overheads.
‘It’s great to have the solar panels here,’ she said. ‘Now we can put all those savings into extra programs that we do at the Neighbourhood Centre.'
AGL’s involvement in the community runs through the close relationship it has with Mount Beauty High School. AGL has invited the school on multiple excursions of our power stations, and, according to deputy principal Ross Wilson, it was recently an integral part of the school’s STEM-based ‘Trike Race’ at Maryborough against 180 other local schools.
‘AGL’s sponsorship gave us the ability to buy a brand-new trike for the kids last year to read and compete in,’ he said. ‘Last year we actually won “Best First Year School” at the event out of the 180 schools.’
AGL is proud to be a major sponsor of Australia’s premier long-distance cross-country ski race, the Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek – one of only three Worldloppet Ski Federation-standard skiing events in the Southern Hemisphere.
Kangaroo Hoppet organiser Alan Marsland OAM says that while AGL are the major sponsor of the event, their impact in the community runs deeper than that.
‘They really are a big part of the community as our major employer,’ he said. ‘They also put a lot back into community activities.’
Next year will be the 30th annual Kangaroo Hoppet, and AGL will again stand side-by-side with this amazing community to showcase this incredible international event - but also to continue to support the Mount Beauty community every day.
Hydroelectricity an important contributor to energy security
Hydroelectricity serves a critical role in maintaining energy security. While hydro represents a relatively small proportion of the total electricity generated in Australia, its ability to respond to rapid changes in demand is extremely valuable.
AGL has active hydro assets spread across NSW and Victoria, and in July 2019 we signed an agreement to undertake an engineering feasibility for AGL’s proposed 250MW pumped hydro project at Bells Mountain, near Muswellbrook.
Additionally in April 2019, AGL announced it had secured the right to develop, own and operate a 250-megawatt pumped hydro energy storage project at Hillgrove Resources Limited’s Kanmantoo copper mine in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills region.