Melbourne partners with Origin Zero on city-wide battery project


Origin Zero, the renewable energy business unit of gentailer Origin Energy, will install and operate three battery energy storage systems with a combined capacity of 450 kW / 1 MWh as part of the City of Melbourne’s Power Melbourne community battery scheme.

The three batteries will serve as a pilot phase for the Power Melbourne project which would establish a network of neighbourhood batteries that could eventually be scaled up to 5 MW of energy storage.

The city said the battery network will help accelerate the transition to a renewable-powered city and maximise the benefits of its growing rooftop solar sector. Data provided by the City of Melbourne shows about 1,235 residential solar systems, with a total installed capacity of more than 1.3 MW, have already been installed in the city.

Origin Zero Executive General Manager James Magill said the pilot stage will see three batteries installed at council-owned locations, including a library, community hub and a residential site. The batteries will charge during the day when there is a higher proportion of renewable energy in the grid. Stored energy will then be released back into the grid when it’s needed most.

“We are looking forward to commencing work on this first trial phase,” Magill said. “This first stage will see our Origin Zero team, which works with large businesses and councils, install three batteries with a combined capacity of 450 kW / 1 MWh, equivalent to powering more than 70 homes each day.”

City of Melbourne Environment Portfolio Lead Rohan Leppert said the pilot phase is an opportunity to test the Power Melbourne model, and gain insights to inform the expansion of the battery network and retail offering in the future.

“Storage is the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to providing residents and businesses with access to affordable renewable energy,” he said.

Leppert said the pilot will also support the city’s ambition of 100% renewable energy by 2030.

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