NSW network operator puts community battery tech to test
The launch of the Bungarribee Community Battery at Blacktown in western Sydney marks the start of an Endeavour Energy trial that aims to transform the way solar energy is stored in neighbourhoods with a high concentration of rooftop PV, and to also cost effectively increase the amount of clean energy that goes into the grid.
Expected to continue for at least 12 months across the Endeavour network, the battery trial will involve 10 community batteries with a total capacity of up to 640 kW, serving about 350 customers.
Endeavour Chief Executive Officer Guy Chalkley said the initiative promises to change the way residents consume and store energy, leading to “substantial” cost savings and a more stable energy grid during peak times.
Chalkley said the community batteries will deliver direct benefits for customers and community, helping residents to harness, share and reuse the green energy collected from rooftop solar, whether they have solar, own their home, or are renting.
“It is an exciting innovation that will see our customers both be a part of, and benefit from the energy transition, whether they have rooftop solar or not, and whether they own their home or are renting,” he said.
The first of those batteries has now gone live with residents in Bungarribee able to ‘rent’ a portion of the community battery to virtually store and access neighbourhood solar energy for $15 per month. They will then receive payments for the energy they store and/or use.
Endeavour said households connected to the battery can store up to 4 kWh of solar energy a day. A measurement device will record how much energy a participant has stored, and credits will be applied against their energy usage that day.
The company estimates that participants with solar will receive a payment of between $120 to $220 per year, and non-solar customers will earn between $80 to $120 per year.
Origin Energy will serve as Endeavour’s retail partner, providing the platform for customers to participate in the trial and will orchestrate the energy stored in the battery including dispatch to the wholesale market.
Endeavour, which owns, maintains and operates the electrical distribution network supplying 2.6 million people in households and businesses across Sydney’s Greater West, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands the Illawarra and the South Coast, said Bungarribee is the ideal site for a community battery with 95% of households in the area having already installed rooftop solar.
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