South Australia rolls out first community batteries in new program


In a state first, the South Australian government has confirmed that 150 kW / 405 kWh battery energy storage systems will be deployed in the Adelaide suburbs of Magill and Edwardstown through the emPowering SA program, delivering renewable energy to at least 600 households.

The community batteries – funded as part of the federal government’s $200 million (USD 130.68 million) Community Batteries scheme that aims to support the deployment of 400 community batteries across Australia – will store excess renewable energy from the grid when supply is abundant and make it available during peak demand periods.

Working in conjunction with South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant, the batteries will deliver renewable energy to Housing SA tenants in Magill, Edwardstown and surrounds.

Housing SA tenants living near the Magill and Edwardstown batteries will be invited to voluntarily join the SA VPP scheme by signing up with Australian-owned electricity retailer Energy Locals.

While the community batteries are expected to support increased integration of solar energy and help to stabilise the grid by storing excess energy, the state government has estimated the batteries will reduce individual household electricity bills by up to $562 annually.

South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said every tenant benefiting from the emPowering SA community battery program will be in a home that cannot support its own solar panels or a battery.

“South Australians who rent or are on low or fixed incomes have fewer opportunities to control their electricity bills through the adoption of renewable energy technologies,” he said.

“The Empowering Magill and Empowering Edwardstown will provide real reductions on power bills for the 600 participating households, while supporting the broader uptake of household solar infrastructure not just in South Australia but nationwide.”

Construction on both sites is expected to commence in the first half of this year.

SA Minister for Human Services Nat Cook said the Empowering SA program will help hundreds of households without the private resources to install renewable energy generation or new storage appliances to access the benefits of the clean energy transition.

“Community batteries are helping to share the benefits of this transition with households who need it most but may not be able to install their own devices,” she said, adding that the new community batteries “build on the thousands of homes we’ve already connected to our virtual power plant.”

The SA VPP is a potential network of 50,000 solar and Tesla Powerwall home battery systems across South Australia, which together form Australia’s largest virtual power plant.

The Empowering Magill and Empowering Edwardstown community batteries are funded by a $1 million grant through the Commonwealth’s $200 million Community Batteries for Household Solar initiative.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: