YEF wins community battery grant from Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative
- YEF is very excited to have won a grant from the Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative to trial a community battery in the City of Yarra.
- YEF plans to use the grant to kickstart the installation of community batteries—or “solar sponges”—across Melbourne, starting with a trial in the City of Yarra, to accelerate the transition to net zero emissions.
- The project is focused on empowering everyday people with better energy options, including how to access and share renewable community energy.
The race is on for community batteries in Victoria
The Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF) has won a $800,000 grant from the Victorian Government to trial a community battery in North Fitzroy located northeast of Melbourne’s CBD in the City of Yarra.
A community battery will alleviate points of congestion in the grid, enable more rooftop solar, and lower energy prices for residents. Under the project’s new energy sharing model, all energy-users connected to the battery could benefit—including renters—not just those with rooftop solar.
Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, made the announcement today.
“Neighbourhood batteries are an important part of our transition to renewable energy. They can soak up energy from household solar and allow for the whole community to benefit from this clean energy,” said the Minister.
YEF will lead the landmark trial in partnership with electricity distributor, CitiPower, the Battery Storage & Grid Integration Program (BSGIP) at the Australian National University (ANU), and Yarra City Council.
YEF’s CEO Dean Kline said the goal is to make the Yarra battery the first of many in a network of community batteries across the CitiPower network.
“We’re at a tipping point for community batteries,” said Mr Kline. “The race is now on to find the most equitable and cost-effective model to rapidly deploy batteries across Melbourne.”
“By working closely with our partner and electricity distributor, CitiPower, we have been able to identify the areas in the most need of a community battery,” said Mr Kline. “We see these batteries as solar sponges because they absorb excess solar during the day and release it at night, or when people need it most.”
“To decarbonise our power we have to provide people with solutions that are sustainable, scalable, and fair for everyone, especially tenants and those in multi-unit housing,” said Mr Kline. “Community batteries can provide those benefits for everyone.”
By 2022, the YEF-led trial aims to develop a commercially viable model for community batteries which would allow them to be deployed at scale.
“It’s widely accepted that community batteries will become a common feature of our neighbourhoods,” said Mr Kline. “How quickly and equitably we deploy them, what they look like, and how the community engages with them is what we plan to learn from this trial over the next 12 months.”
Community members are invited to participate in the first of many information and Q&A sessions on 1st of September and the 11th of September 2021 to ask questions and learn more about the project.
“Community is at the heart of this community battery trial,” said Mr Kline. “Over the next year we will be organising meetings, drop-in sessions, and public consultation sessions to hear how the community wants to embrace batteries and better energy storage solutions.”
For further information contact
Timothy Shue, Communications & Marketing Manager, Yarra Energy Foundation
P: +61 404 799 166
Dean Kline, CEO, Yarra Energy Foundation
P: +61 478 212 995
Chris Wallin, Community Battery Project Manager, Yarra Energy Foundation
P: +61 413 002 208
Community members are also invited to give their feedback on community batteries via a 3-minute survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H5BVMGF
Yarra Community Battery Trial – information and Q&A sessions: 1st and 11th September 2021.