Community battery to help orchestrate WA’s Project Symphony

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The commissioning of the Harrisdale community battery, which was completed last week, marks the first time a large-scale community battery has been integrated with customer-owned batteries in the state. The 1.3 MW battery will store excess solar energy generated by rooftop PV systems during the day, discharging it back into the grid during periods of peak demand at night.

Western Australian Energy Minister Bill Johnston said the community battery is an important step in ensuring the state is maximising its rooftop solar resources.

“Project Symphony’s new community battery will provide valuable insights into how we can unlock greater economic and environmental benefits for the Western Australian community as we continue to transform the energy sector on our way to net zero,” Johnston said in a statement.

“In the face of a rapidly changing energy industry, customer’s rooftop solar systems, batteries, air conditioning and community batteries orchestrated together can play an important role in enabling the greater connection of renewables and the continued running of a secure and stable electricity system.”

About: Project Symphony

Project Symphony is a collaboration between the WA government, state-owned system operator Western Power and retailer Synergy, the Australian Energy Market operator (AEMO) and Energy Policy WA.

The virtual power plant (VPP) involves more than 900 customer assets – including rooftop solar, batteries and large appliances – across 500 households and businesses in Perth’s Southern River area, where more than 50% of homes have rooftop solar. Rooftop solar accounts for about 2 GW of renewable energy capacity across the state.

The $35.5 million (USD 23.7 million) project was announced in 2021 as part of the state government’s distributed energy resources DER Roadmap, and has already undergone significant successful system testing as part of its expansion.

Project Symphony has also received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of its Advancing Renewables Program.

Author: Chad Bennett

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