Second community battery unveiled in NSW trial

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The Bankstown community battery is part of a two-year trial being run by Ausgrid, which seeks to shift the way solar power is being utilised in the state, ultimately allowing for more renewables on the grid, while also decreasing costs for residents and stabilising local grids.

Ausgrid is yet to put out an official media release about Bankstown’s new community battery, but it appears to be a Tesla PowerPack. This is different from the first community battery installed in February at Beacon Hill, north of Sydney, which was a  a 150 kW / 267 kWh MTU Energy Pack QS.

The community batteries will enable Bankstown residents to participate in the trial, which will see them able to store up to 10 kWh of excess solar energy each day at no cost. This excess energy will be credited against their electricity use for that day, and eventually credits will be paid to the participant each quarter via bank transfer.

“Our battery will harness and store solar power from local homes, providing savings and allowing for more renewable energy into the grid,” Ausgrid said in its Twitter post about the launch.

“Put simply, a community battery allows multiple households within a certain radius to ‘share’ a storage system for the excess energy generated by solar panels. This can save households thousands of dollars on the upfront cost of an individual battery, and allow them to effectively use more of the solar energy their home systems generate – bringing down their electricity costs,” Ausgrid CEO Richard Gross previously said of the trial.

The trial is in a similar vein to those underway other states, most notably Western Australia. Run by retailer Synergy and network operator Western Power, WA’s highly successful PowerBank trial last week announced its expansion. Its latest edition, PowerBank 3, is the largest in the scheme to date with up to 600 Western Australian households able to leverage battery storage technology. It follows the installation of nine 116 kW batteries across the state late last year.

Likewise, Victoria’s CitiPower and Yarra Energy Foundation announced in January they will parter to create a community battery network in the Melbourne CBD and inner-city suburbs.

To register to participate in the trial, visit http://ausgrid.com.au/sharedbattery

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