Victoria announces new community battery funding round, new grant winners

Artist’s impression of Jemena community battery. Credit: Jemena

The Victorian government has announced a third round of winners of grant funding from its $10.9 million Neighbourhood Battery Initiative, and launched the first round of a new beefed up program that promises to help deliver 100 more community batteries across the state.

State energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on Monday that the first round of grants under the new $42.2 million Neighbourhood Battery Program is now open to public entities, private businesses and agencies, educational institutions, local government, co-operatives, and not-for-profit organisations.

The first round of the new program, a campaign promise made by Victorian Labor during the state election last November, will offer a total of $10 million, with up to $300,000 of project funding available per battery.

At the time, a short-list of 28 locations pinpointed for community batteries includes regional centres like Ballarat, East Gippsland, Greater Bendigo, Wangaratta and Mornington Peninsula.

In the suburbs, Greater Dandenong, Knox, Moonee Valley and Port Phillip Bay were among those listed.

For the remaining 72 locations, Andrews said his government would work with community organisations, local governments and distribution companies to identify the best places for the batteries.

Neighbourhood batteries are considered to be a key part of Australia’s shift to renewable electricity, sitting somewhere between solar batteries installed behind the meter in households and massive, grid-scale batteries.

Batteries installed on distribution networks aim to soak up excess rooftop solar during the day and shift it in to the evening peak, making sure the locally generated power is used locally and sharing it among households that may not be able to install solar themselves.

The Andrews government has already allocated funding for neighbourhood batteries in 29 local government areas through its $10.92 million Neighbourhood Battery Initiative (NBI) – with another nine successful recipients announced on Monday.

D’Ambrosio says round three of the NBI has funded nine community battery projects, including eight business cases and the implementation-ready Alphington Community Battery project.

That project, which is being delivered by community-owned social enterprise Village Power with Darebin Council, will have 300kWh of storage capacity to support about 100 households with solar panels.

To apply for the current round of funding visit,

Get up to 3 quotes from pre-vetted solar (and battery) installers.