Tesla gets nod for Enova’s shared community battery project


Community-led energy retailer Enova has confirmed it will install a 1.072 MW/2.14 MWh Tesla Megapack battery adjacent to Ausgrid’s Heddon Greta substation, on the outskirts of Kurri Kurri, as part of its ‘Beehive Project’.

“We’re excited to be using a Tesla battery for the Beehive Project, a world-renowned company delivering proven big-battery technology,” Enova CEO Felicity Stening said in a statement.

“We expect Megapack, our Queen Bee, to be on the ground in Heddon Greta in the latter half of this year.”

Enova told pv magazine on Thursday the battery is expected to be commissioned in Q3 2021.

The shared community battery project, being developed in conjunction with Sydney-based software firm Enosi and the University of Newcastle, aims to transform how communities use and share rooftop solar energy and large-scale battery storage.

Participating households – with or without rooftop solar installations – will be able to log into the online platform and share and trade rooftop solar energy with each other and with the battery itself.

Stening said because the project allows for virtual participation in the peer-to-peer scheme, it will be able to open the interest to anyone who is an Enova customer across NSW.

“We’re currently inviting solar and non-solar households to register their interest in participating in this project and so far we’ve had around 550 people register their interest,” she said.

“We’ll soon be going through a selection process to identify the 500 participating households.”

Enova has described the Beehive Project as unique, saying smart technology will allow for the stored energy to be distributed amongst households that don’t have to be located close to the battery. The peer-to-peer trading means participating households can access more renewable energy, at a price they can decide on.

“Not only is it a key strategic initiative for Enova, it’s also the first of its kind in Australia,” Stening said. “Projects like this have the potential to change the face of the electricity system as we know it.”

The project has attracted the support of the State Government, having secured almost $1 million in funding as part of the NSW Government’s Regional Community Energy Fund.

Enova will host a Q&A Zoom meeting about Beehive Project at 6pm on February 16. Those interested can register to attend the Q&A on the project webpage at www.enovaenergy.com.au.

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