The fishing town of Mallacoota has been fitted with a community battery system designed to improve energy services in the bushfire-prone area. A long time coming, this battery was planned to have been operational in September 2019, but delays and the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the work.
The community battery system has the potential to provide power to 1,000 homes for approximately two hours or up to one day if combined with a generator. AusNet, who installed the system, said it would keep power running for the town while crews repair damage and restore power to incoming powerlines that suffer from storms and other natural causes, such as wildlife or overgrown vegetation. It’s expected that the town’s power reliability will be improved by up to 90 percent.
Community Batteries in Australia
Community batteries are popping up in towns throughout Australia. Utility companies are beginning to understand the benefits of storing excess residential solar power to stabilize crowded grids throughout the regions. By using solar panels installed on rooftops in these towns to collect energy and then storing it in the battery system, the community has power available to them when an emergency occurs.
Western Australia led the way with shared power storage, and other regions are quickly following suit, with Mallacoota adding to the trend in Victoria. Partnerships between CitiPower and Yarra Energy Foundation have allowed community batteries to be installed in Melbourne and the suburbs.
Sharing solar batteries can help energy customers make the most of their residential solar panel investments. It benefits not only the customers with the panels but all customers, as it reduces the cost of building more network capacity. This, in turn, can help lower energy rates, improve the quality of the electrical network and manage peak demand, according to the Yarra Energy Foundation.
How Can the Community Help?
For residents that are interested in helping with the community battery projects, they can get solar panels installed on their roofs. And now is the time to do it. The Australian government is offering incentives to help people with the initial cost. Once installed, the actual electric bill in these homes is minimal, if it exists at all, and you can sell your extra solar power back to the electric companies for use in the community batteries.
Solar Miner installs residential solar panels in Melbourne and across the state of Victoria. If you are interested in becoming part of the community battery project, contact our experts today for a consultation.