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Community Batteries

What is a community battery?

A community battery, or neighbourhood battery, is a mid-scale energy storage unit (typically about the size of a small 4WD vehicle). It is designed for a neighbourhood, which allows the wider community to access and store renewable energy.

Yarra Community Battery Trial

The Yarra community battery trial will be the testing grounds for metropolitan Melbourne’s first community battery. The trial aims to demonstrate the operational and commercial viability of a community battery model. Read more about the trial here.


What problems does a community battery solve?

Rapid uptake in solar is causing ‘congestion’ in the electricity network, that is, more renewable energy than the grid can handle. Unfortunately, if renewable energy can’t be used, exported to the grid, or stored, it is wasted.

Community batteries address this problem by absorbing and storing excess energy from rooftop solar and releasing it during peak times when it is needed most.

At the neighbourhood-scale, costs are shared, making energy supply and storage more affordable for everybody.

With community batteries, we can make our energy system more resilient, climate friendly, equitable, and affordable.


Problem Solution
‘Solar waste’ — excess energy produced by local residents’ solar systems which is not utilised. The battery will capture and charge up during the day when solar export energy is highest, and release it during peak times or at night.
‘Energy inequity’ — not everyone is able to: install solar, access renewable and affordable energy, benefit from renewable energy, engage with the energy system. The battery will help to redistribute renewable energy across the community. All homes within the network catchment area, not just homes with solar, could choose to use renewable energy from the battery.
‘Export limiting’ — blockages in the electricity network restricting more homes from connecting solar to the grid. The battery would help remove restrictions on homes that want to export solar to the grid. This would increase the payback on solar if homes are able to export energy.
‘Energy affordability’ — electricity prices contribute to bill pressure, exacerbating already vulnerable people and households. The battery would apply downward pressure on the cost of electricity. As local supply of renewable energy increases and demand remains the same, electricity prices should become more affordable.
‘Batteries are expensive’ — batteries are not yet cost-effective at the household scale. The battery would operate at the “neighbourhood scale”, leverage economies of scale, offer a more cost effective way to deploy battery storage.



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We’d love to hear from you! If you have questions or simply want to know more, email information@yef.org.au or complete the form below:



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