Maldon will soon be home to a community battery that will support more solar exports, maintain reliability and reduce carbon emissions after Powercor successfully secured a $500,000 Federal Government grant under the Community Batteries for Household Solar program.
The 90kW/270kWh battery is designed to soak up excess rooftop solar generation and supply up to 50 nearby properties during peak periods for up to three hours, allowing locals to share in the benefits of solar.
It will be the second community battery to be installed as part of Powercor’s Electric Avenue program, which aims to support customers share power in their community.
Powercor’s General Manager, Electricity Networks, Mark Clarke, said the battery would help enable an additional 112,000 kWh, of solar exports each year, enough power to supply 23 average Australian homes for 12 months.
“The battery will help keep locally generated solar power local,” Mr Clarke said.
“It will allow more homes and businesses to connect and export excess solar from their systems back into the grid, where it can be stored and used at peak times when it’s needed most,” he said.
“The additional solar export capacity created by this battery can displace electricity from the wider grid and reduce carbon emissions by 90 tonnes each year, which is about the same as taking 20 cars off the road.
Around 37% of residential customers in both the 3463 postcode and the Mount Alexander Shire have rooftop solar installed, above the network average of 25%.
Mr Clarke said distribution networks were working hard to enable all forms of distributed energy resources, including community batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and more rooftop solar than ever before.
“Traditionally, we would upgrade or replace power infrastructure to support higher growth, now we are also using batteries as another option to help to reduce costs for all customers.
“We expect community and neighbourhood-scale batteries will become more common on our networks in the future to ensure we help deliver the targeted levels of 95% renewable energy generation by 2035.”
“In the future, we’re going to look at batteries on the network the same way we look at transformers and substations today – as another critical piece of electricity infrastructure that’s providing significant benefits to our customers,” he said.
This follows works to underground powerlines in Maldon in 2021 to improve services and maintain the heritage streetscape. When combined with the community battery, Maldon will have one of the most modern electricity networks available.
Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, celebrated the announcement.
“I was proud to stand in Maldon with the then Shadow Minister Chris Bowen to make this announcement prior to the 2022 Election and it’s great to see this project progress,” Ms Chesters said.
“I know how important a community battery for Maldon will be. It’s going to help stabilise the electricity grid, meaning less disruptions and outages.
“I’m so glad to be part of a government that follows through on its promises and I look forward to seeing this election commitment delivered for our community.”
Powercor will work with the Maldon community, and Mt Alexander Shire Council during the design and construction process, including artwork. Powercor recognises Dja Dja Wurrung as the Traditional Owners of Maldon and will work in partnership with DJARRA (Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation).
Construction is expected to begin next year, with the battery expected to be operating in early 2025.
The batteries used by Powercor are designed to be recycled, further helping to reduce the project’s environmental impact.
For more information about community batteries visit our website.