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Own AGL shares? Here’s why the company has been making news this week

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AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL) shares closed up 0.14% on Tuesday at $7.28.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) listed energy provider trailed the benchmark today, with the ASX 200 closing up 0.86% at 7,341.1 points.

That’s today’s price action.

Now here’s why AGL has been making headlines this week.

200 smart EV charges in pilot plan

AGL is working to increase the attractiveness of owning an electric vehicle (EV) Down Under.

Here’s what the company posted on Twitter yesterday:

We’ve partnered with @ARENA_aus in an #ElectricVehicle trial that will see us install 200 #EV smart chargers in homes across #AUS. As more Aussies choose #EVs, we want to understand how they are charged, and how we can use them to charge other things – like our homes!

The smart chargers in question will help determine when most Aussies opt to charge their EVs at their homes, as well as moving charging times during periods of peak demand.

According to AGL chief customer officer Christine Corbett (quoted by Canstar Blue):

Accelerating the uptake of EVs will be an integral technology pathway for decarbonising Australia’s economy but without careful management we risk overloading the grid at peak times…

In the lead up to the trial, our customer research revealed customers were happy to have their charging controlled as long as they are able to override that control when they require their vehicle.

Corbett said AGL will monitor the results of several different charging scenarios over the next year and receive feedback from its customers.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller added:

The installation of 200 smart chargers across Australian homes is an important milestone for AGL’s project, which will be used to identify how we can best integrate EVs into the grid that benefits both the customer and the electricity system as a whole.

If you own AGL shares you’re also looking at being a part-owner of a 500-megawatt (MW) battery. That’s among the largest batteries in Australia.

As The Australian Financial Review reported, New South Wales regulators granted planning permission for the battery project on 8 March. It’s intended to be located at AGL’s Liddell coal power plant, which is slated for closure in mid-2023. That site will enable the battery to connect directly into the existing transmission infrastructure.

The estimated cost of the project comes in at $763 million.

AGL shares have handily outperformed the benchmark in 2022, gaining more than 15% compared to a loss of 3% posted by the ASX 200.

However, the AGL share price is down around 30% over the past year.

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