A reserve in one of Melbourne’s western suburbs will soon be home to the first neighbourhood battery on the Powercor network to support households to share in the benefits of the area’s booming rooftop solar connections.
Electricity distribution system operator Powercor will install the 120kW/360kWh battery in the north-west corner of Gleneagles Avenue Park, Tarneit, with work expected to begin in the coming months. The battery will be positioned next to an electrical substation already in the reserve.
The site was selected following consultation with the Victorian Government, Wyndham City and local residents, with the position selected to maximise benefits to the network, while avoiding impacts to public amenity.
The battery, which is supported by the Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Battery program, is expected to be operating by the end of 2022.
Powercor’s Head of Non-Network Solutions Greg Hannan said the transition to more renewable energy sources means electricity is more abundant in the middle of the day when the sun is shining. Batteries on the Powercor network will enable any power not used to be stored and then supplied to local homes later in the day when electricity demand is typically higher.
“The Tarneit and surrounding community is leading Victoria’s renewable energy boom with more than 40% of local homes connecting solar panels to our network,” Mr Hannan said.
“The battery will soak up excess solar being generated by households during the day and deliver it back to all customers when electricity demand is high. It will provide benefits to up to 170 homes connected to this part of the network, whether they have solar or not.
“In this way, the battery also helps improve reliability in the area, reduce carbon emissions and paves the way for more households to connect and share locally generated solar with their neighbours in the future.”
Local residents are invited to attend a community event at Gleneagles Avenue Park on 9 June between 10am and 2pm to learn more about the project.
Residents will also have an opportunity to have their say on what the battery area will look like once the installation is complete.
Mr Hannan said projects like this are helping to shape the future of the electricity network.
“By enabling access to more renewables in communities, our network is a crucial gateway to a clean energy future to support our customers and the environment.
Tarneit and the surrounding suburbs have the highest penetration of solar connections in the Powercor network. In the 3029 postcode (Tarneit, Hoppers Crossing and Truganina), more than 13,800 customers have connected solar to the network, making up about 42% of all customers in the area.
It’s expected the new battery will enable up to an additional 129,600kWh of solar exports per annum in the area – enough for an additional 30 solar customers to export their excess energy back into the network.
Update: February 2023. The community battery has been installed at Tarneit. For more information, visit Electric Avenue.