Ausgrid backs community battery to boost network stability

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Ausgrid said the 250 kW / 535 kWh battery energy storage system installed in the Sydney suburb of North Epping will enable households without rooftop PV to reap the benefits of renewable energy, while easing pressure on the grid by absorbing excess solar-generated electricity.

Ausgrid Chief Executive Marc England said the benefits of community batteries are immense, providing a flexible and scalable energy solution that benefits both the local communities they are built within, and the wider energy system.

“Batteries like this support power quality and voltage in the local area, they enable residents to install more solar and feed this solar energy into the grid, and support home electrification and electric vehicle charging,” he said.

“The battery will also provide system-wide benefits, supporting more intermittent renewable energy generation by bridging the gap between when that energy is generated and when it is needed.”

England said that with the right regulatory settings, Ausgrid could deliver more than 1 GW to 2 GW of storage across its network which he reasoned would lead to increased electricity system security and reliability for customers.

The North Epping community battery is the third delivered by Ausgrid as part of the federal government’s Community Batteries for Household Solar program that is investing $200 million (USD 133 million) to install 400 community batteries across Australia.

Ausgrid has also installed batteries at Cabarita in western Sydney and Narara on the Central Coast as part of the program, with three more to be rolled out in the Sydney suburbs of Warriewood, Bondi and Cammeray over the coming months.

The distributor has also installed batteries in the Sydney suburbs of Cameron Park, Beacon Hill and Bankstown as part of a previous program.

England said the community batteries are another important step toward retailers providing a community storage service to their customers, so everyone can access the benefit of battery storage.

“These batteries are uniquely placed to allow more renewable energy into the grid while delivering services to the wider energy market and applying downward pressure on energy bills,” he said.

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