In March 2021 the Queensland (QLD) government announced plans to install five large-scale, network-connected batteries in regions across the state as part of a community battery trial. With a combined capacity of 40 MWh, the batteries will be installed at substations in Townsville, Yeppoon, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay and Toowoomba.
The installation of the grid-connected battery near Bundaberg is now nearing completion. QLD Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said the Tesla battery installation would help residents around Bargara and Bundaberg get the most out of their solar panels.
“Queensland has one of the highest rates of rooftop solar installation in the world, and there are times on sunny days when generation far outstrips demand,” said the Treasurer.
“Batteries like this one being installed near Bargara allow us to store that excess energy for use in the evening,” Dick continued. “In total, these network-connected batteries will collectively store up to 40MWh, enough energy to power 2,400 households.”
Currently, 20% of Queensland’s energy mix comes from renewables. The government are aiming to bring that up to 50% by 2030 – and is clearly hopeful that capturing low-cost renewable energy during the day and distributing into the market in peak evening periods will accelerate its energy sector’s decarbonisation.
Around 18 staff from Yurika, part of Energy Queensland, have been involved in the installation of the Tesla Megapack, which should be fully energised in June, a boon for the “thousands of local residents and businesses around Bargara who stand to benefit from more cheap solar power.”
Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the Bargara battery would place the local community firmly at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution.
“The Bargara battery will store excess low-cost solar power produced in the middle of the day before supplying it back to the local community during peak consumption in the evening,” said Smith, who noted the energy stored in the Tesla Megapack “is enough to run 478 average homes for one day”.
“Distribution-connected batteries will be critical to enabling Queensland’s renewable energy target of 50% by 2030” continued Smith. “By basing the batteries in the community, it means renewable energy will be generated locally, stored locally, and then used locally, avoiding network energy losses.”
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