Hitachi battery replaces diesel generators on Victoria’s Phillip Island


One of Victoria’s most popular tourism destinations, Philip Island, has had its backup diesel generators replaced with a 5 MW/10 MWh Hitachi battery. 

The $10 million (USD 6.677 million) Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System was switched on over the weekend, with the ceremony attended by the Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio.

The battery system is to monitored and maintained by Mondo, a commercial subsidiary of AusNet Services. The project was delivered by TEC-C.

While it has been dubbed a community battery, storing the local’s excess solar power appears to be a second tier priority, coming after the technology’s grid stabilisation services. The battery’s primary tasks include helping the island meet peak demand during summer holidays as well as helping to power the Australian motorcycle Grand Prix, which is held on the island. 

“Over the busy summer period Phillip Island’s population more than quadruples, causing a significant strain on the local electricity network and at times, leads to power dropping out,” Mondo said of the Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System (PICESS).

“The PICESS has been built to provide relief for the network and the local Phillip Island community over this peak period and in time, the system will also be powered by renewable energy,” it added.

The project was partially supported by the Victorian government’s $10.92 million Neighbourhood Battery Initiative. “The initiative strengthens our understanding of neighbourhood-scale batteries’ role in Victoria’s transitioning electricity system,” the state government said in its announcement.

“The government is also delivering 100 more neighbourhood batteries across the state through its Victorian Budget 2023/24 investment of $42.3 million – tripling the number of homes with access to renewable energy storage. Work is underway with community groups, councils, distribution companies to identify locations,” it added.

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