Powering The Potential Of Neighbourhood Batteries

The Victorian Government has awarded grants to jumpstart the roll-out of neighbourhood-scale batteries and energy storage studies to maximise benefits of solar for households, businesses and community organisations as the state works to halve emissions by 2030.

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced on Friday 16 groups led by community organisations, local councils and industry will share in $3.68 million in grants through the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative.

The program is funding pilots and demonstrations of a range of neighbourhood battery ownership and operational models to unlock the potential of neighbourhood-scale energy storage in Victoria’s transition to clean energy.

Successful groups include:

Yarra Energy Foundation – $800,000 for construction of a neighbourhood ‘solar sponge’ battery in Fitzroy North. Geelong Sustainability Group – $150,000 to determine the feasibility of establishing a series of neighbourhood batteries across Geelong to help residents to store their excess solar energy. Energy Innovation Co-operative – $150,000 to investigate how neighbourhood batteries could support Phillip Island achieving 100 per cent renewable energy and becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Neighbourhood-scale batteries can benefit Victorian electricity users, networks and communities by soaking up excess output from residential solar systems during the day, and then dispatching it when needed in the evening.

These batteries can maximise access to the power generated by the hundreds of thousands of solar systems across the state, with Victoria’s Solar Homes Program having seen record levels of rooftop solar systems installed.

About 20 per cent of Victorian households now have solar panels, a figure that could grow to 50 per cent by 2030.

The Neighbourhood Battery Initiative is part of the record $1.6 billion clean energy package announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21. The package is delivering household and business energy efficiency initiatives, improve crucial grid infrastructure, drive down emissions and support more Solar Homes.

Information about all successful grants please visit: energy.vic.gov.au/new-energy-technologies

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“Neighbourhood batteries are an important part of our transition to renewable energy. They can soak up energy from household solar and allow for the whole community to benefit from this clean energy.”

“We are building a modernised electricity network to prepare for Victoria’s clean energy revolution and mean that households, businesses and community organisations can benefit from battery technology.”

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