Media release: Scouting future community battery sites across Central and Western Victoria

23 August, 2021

Electricity distributors CitiPower and Powercor will explore opportunities to locate community batteries across parts of Geelong, Bendigo and the Macedon Ranges, as well as Melbourne’s CBD, as part of a new study being funded by the Victorian Government.

The $150,000 study, funded as part of the Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative, will be developed with councils and community energy and greenhouse alliance groups across Victoria. It will examine the best locations for batteries, considering factors such as the community benefits and local power demand and network constraints.

CitiPower and Powercor General Manager Electricity Networks Mark Clarke welcomed the Victorian Government funding and support for the study that would bring together expert electricity network engineers and local communities to collaborate and explore the potential of installing community batteries at scale.

“By combining this work across so many different groups and different council areas, we can be much more efficient and create a better understanding of how community batteries can best support our customers,” Mr Clarke said.

Mr Clarke said community-based batteries of varying sizes have already been trialled in some parts of Victoria and in other Australian states, with the new feasibility study set to identify locations for batteries able to support neighbourhoods to make the most of their solar systems and share the benefits of battery storage.

“Community batteries can play a part by supporting more people export their excess rooftop solar, helping us avoid costly network upgrades and reducing greenhouse emissions,” Mr Clarke said.

“This technology also has enormous benefits for reliability and maintaining power quality within neighbourhoods helping keep power reliable and safe for all of our customers.”

Work on the feasibility study, which will also include electricity distributor United Energy, will begin this year and is due to be complete in 2022.

CitiPower and Powercor also look forward to working with a range of other successful recipients of grants for neighbourhood battery initiatives and studies across Central and Western Victoria, as part of our role in enabling and supporting the transition to a cleaner energy future.

Groups involved in the CitiPower and Powercor-led community battery feasibility study:

  • Bayside City Council
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire
  • Manningham City Council
  • Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action
  • Melbourne City Council
  • Geelong Sustainability
  • Southern Otways Sustainable
  • Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce
  • Bendigo Sustainability Group
  • Hobsons Bay City Council
  • Moreland City Council
  • Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group