Accelerating the Transition to Net-Zero: Neighbourhood Battery Initiative Round Three
The Victorian Government opened a third round of the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative yesterday (27/02/2023), with up to $2.3 million in grants available for the development of business cases and implementation of neighbourhood batteries. This is a great opportunity for communities across Victoria to benefit from the government’s commitment to renewable energy solutions.
The Initiative was created in response to the State’s rising commitment to renewable energy and electrification. The installation of these batteries will help more Victorians take control of their energy bills by increasing renewable energy storage capacity in their neighbourhoods.
The Neighbourhood Battery Initiative (NBI) is working towards the following objectives:
- Uncover the benefits that neighbourhood-scale batteries can offer.
- Identify and overcome barriers that could hinder the deployment of neighbourhood-scale batteries.
- Provide valuable insights for regulatory reform efforts.
- Identify which neighbourhood-scale battery models may best suit the Victorian electricity system.
- Optimising distributed energy generation in the low voltage network.
- Supporting the decarbonisation of Victoria’s electricity system, a critical step in addressing climate change.
YEF are incredibly excited about this third round of the program and the projects it will bring. The NBI has been vital to building a knowledge base of how neighbourhood batteries can operate, the value they provide, and how stakeholders – especially local communities – can be involved.
YEF were fortunate enough to participate in both stream one and two of the NBI, which funded Australia’s first inner-city neighbourhood battery in Fitzroy North last year.
But that’s not all. The Government is also investing a further $42 million to install 100 more neighbourhood batteries across Victoria, tripling the number of homes with access to renewable energy storage.
Tarneit Neighbourhood Battery
Powercor’s Tarneit neighbourhood battery, which received $800,000 through the NBI, is a 120kW/360kWh battery that will soak up excess rooftop solar energy during the day and deliver it back to residents when it is needed.
It will help alleviate solar power export constraints and be able to supply about 170 nearby homes for up to three hours during peak electricity demand periods.
This battery is in an area with one of the highest penetration of rooftop solar across Victoria, with almost 14,000 solar households making up about 42 per cent of all customers.
As industry peers, YEF were invited to the launch of the Tarneit community battery, which we’ve been following very closely. We’d like to congratulate Powercor and all parties involved on all they’ve achieved with the project and the artist, Jess Kease on the stunning artwork.
Thanks to programs such as the NBI, YEF believes community batteries can help ease grid congestion, store and distribute local renewable energy, and ultimately accelerate our transition to net-zero neighbourhoods.
Beyond the commercial aspects, community batteries also provide a true sense of energy independence and energy equity in increasingly uncertain times, providing communities with a shared asset on a pathway to a renewable energy future.
These neighbourhood batteries are also a vital step towards meeting Victoria’s renewable energy storage targets of 2.6 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and 6.3 GW by 2035.
“[Community batteries] are helping Victorians be part of the renewable energy revolution by storing power from rooftop solar during the day and deploying it in the evening.” – Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio.