A grid-connected community battery has been deployed in Sydney, Australia, and New South Wales electricity distributor Endeavor Energy is testing the technology to maximize the benefits of rooftop solar.
The launch of the Bungarribee Community Battery in Blacktown, Sydney, marks the start of an Endeavor Energy trial that aims to change the way solar energy is stored in residential areas with high rooftop solar, and also cost-effectively increase the amount of clean energy going into the grid.
The battery trial, which is expected to run for at least 12 months on the Endeavor network, will include 10 community batteries with a total capacity of up to 640kW serving around 350 customers.
Endeavor chief executive Guy Chalkley said the initiative promises to change the way residents consume and store energy, resulting in “significant” cost savings and a more stable energy grid at peak times.
Chalkley said community batteries provide direct benefits to customers and the community, helping residents harness, share and reuse green energy collected from rooftop solar, whether they have solar, own their home or rent.
“It’s an exciting innovation that allows our customers to be both part of and benefit from the energy transition, whether they have rooftop solar or not, whether they own their home or rent,” he said.
The first of these batteries has now been deployed with residents of Bungarribee, who can ‘rent’ part of the community battery for neighborhood solar storage and use for AUD$15 ($10.50) per month. They then receive payments for the energy they store and/or use.
Endeavor said households connected to the battery can store up to 4kWh of solar energy per day. The measuring device records how much energy the participant has stored, and credits are calculated for their energy consumption that day.
The company estimates that solar participants will be paid between $120 and $220 per year, and non-solar customers will earn between $80 and $120 per year.
Origin Energy acts as Endeavor’s retail partner, providing a platform for customers to participate in the trial and channel the energy stored in the battery, including delivery to the wholesale market.
Endeavor, which owns, maintains and operates the electricity distribution network that supplies electricity to 2.6 million households and businesses in Sydney’s Greater West, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, Illawarra and the South Coast, said Bungarribee was an ideal location for the community battery, with 95% of households in the region already having rooftop solar installed.