Ausgrid unveils new community battery project in Sydney’s Bankstown

Residents of the Sydney suburb of Bankstown will be able to tap into a new community battery project completed as part of a trial being conducted by Ausgrid.

The community batteries will be used as part of a trial to allow households to use a common battery to store their excess solar power, drawing from the battery as required.

The use of a centralised battery can help reduce the cost for households wanting to store excess solar power by sharing the use of a bigger battery while also providing utility companies with an opportunity to use the battery to manage load in distribution networks.

Under the community battery arrangement, households will receive credits for each unit of excess solar electricity that is stored in the community battery, up to a cap of 10kWh per day. Ausgrid expects participating households could save between $50 to $250 per year by participating in the trial.

Ausgrid is trialling two different types of battery systems as part of the trial, including two Tesla PowerPack 2 batteries, which each deliver up to 130kW of power and 232kWh of storage, alongside an MTU Energy Pack QS, which provides around 320kW/550kWh of storage capacity.

Up to 250 households will be able to participate in the trial of the Bankstown community battery.

“I’m thrilled to be here launching Ausgrid’s second community battery this year. We’re confident our community battery project will transform the way solar energy is stored, reduce resident’s hip pocket costs, reduce peak demand and support the use of renewable energy,” chief customer officer Rob Amphlett Lewis said.

“This shows that people are excited about the community battery concept, which allows multiple households in a certain area to ‘share’ a storage system for the excess energy generated by solar panels, and is a big step towards cost effectively increasing the amount of clean energy which goes into the grid.”

“Community batteries are cheaper for the customer, better for the community and greener for the grid. It’s a win, win, win,” Amphlett Lewis added.

Mayor of Canterbury-Bankstown, Khal Asfour, welcomed the selection of Bankstown as a host for the community battery, saying it followed a recent increase in the uptake of solar panels across the area.

“We’ve seen a big uptake in rooftop solar panels in the Canterbury-Bankstown area recently, and this fantastic initiative will allow people to store their excess solar power without having to spend thousands of dollars on the upfront cost of an individual battery,” Asfour said.

“This valuable new community asset will allow residents to use more of the clean energy they generate, save on electricity costs and get more value from their solar investments.”

The Bankstown battery follows the completion of a similar community battery project in Beacon Hill, and Ausgrid is planning to install a third battery in the Lake Macquarie City Council area in the coming months.

You can listen to an interview with Amphlett Lewis from a recent episode of our Energy Insiders podcast.

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