Your friendly neighbourhood battery
Neighborhood batteries, also known as community batteries are changing the face of the Australian energy grid. About the size of a small car, these batteries can be deployed across communities allowing them to take advantage of the existing rooftop solar providing renewable energy in a fair and equitable manner.
Neighbourhood batteries provide a storage solution while absorbing excess solar generated from roof top solar and allowing it to be used to charge EVs or sent back into the power grid if more energy is required.
The batteries can be placed on the ground or atop an existing power pole and aims to lower energy bills, cut emissions, reduce pressure on the electricity grid and enable further distributed solar installations.
Installing community batteries means everyone can have access to renewable energy regardless if they live in an apartment building or a rental property without solar panels or EV chargers.
ARENA + Business Grants Hub
The Albanese Government’s Community Batteries for Household Solar Program was an election commitment that slated 400 community batteries to be installed across Australia. The batteries would help lower household electricity bills, deliver reliable renewable energy and ease pressure on our power grid.
In April this year the Australian Renewable Energy Agency opened Round 1 of the Community Batteries Funding Program. The program had an overwhelming response and received 140 eligible applications across all states and territories. ARENA has shortlisted 31 applications to be invited to submit full applications with projects covering every state and territory. In all ARENA will deliver 342 batteries across Australia.
In addition to the ARENA funded batteries, organisations also have the opportunity to apply to have a batteries installed on their premises through the business grants hub. This opportunity supports organisations to deliver community batteries in eligible locations to support lower electricity bills and emissions, support storage of excess solar energy and reduce pressure on the grid.
Following Ausgrid’s successful installation of the first community battery under the Federal Government’s Community Batteries for Household Solar Program in Cabarita, this week Ausgrid flicked the switch on its second community battery as part of the program.
This community battery, installed in Narara on the Central Coast, marks Ausgrid’s fifth community battery installation and a first for the Central Coast. Delivered in partnership with Central Coast Council, the battery will allow customers in Narara to more efficiently utilise their solar energy. Community batteries also support power quality and voltage in local areas so more customers can install rooftop solar systems and charge their electric vehicles.
These batteries are uniquely placed to allow more renewable energy into the grid while delivering services to the wider energy market and applying downward pressure on energy bills.
As a result of being connected to the distribution network, both small community size and medium scale (<5MW) batteries address the local challenges of higher peak demand and the hollowing out of net system demand during the day; supporting the network during peak times and avoiding the need for network augmentation that would otherwise be necessary to address grid constraints while significantly accelerating installation time.
In addition, the battery has been wrapped in custom artwork created by local first nations artist Emma Peel, titled Travelling across Country. The artwork represents the journey across Ausgrid’s network area, from Oatley to Scone, and the unique landscapes the areas encompass.
As networks services providers all work at pace to ensure our net zero targets are met, community batteries are providing a real and tangible solutions to ensure all Australians have access to renewables energy and its benefits.