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Community batteries delivering big benefits

Batteries: An energy storage solution

With the network undergoing an exciting transformation, we’re evolving to give customers more choice around how they generate, use and store energy. One way we’re doing this, is with community batteries.

As part of our community battery program, we’re rolling out various batteries across Perth metro and regional WA to deliver immediate benefits to the local community and the grid. There are currently 13 community batteries across the network and there’s more to come!

So what is a community battery?

Watch the video to find out…

Batteries are transforming the grid

Batteries play a big part in connecting WA to a brighter energy future. There are currently three types of large-scale energy storage systems being used across our network:

  • large network batteries that form part of a microgrid, like the one in Perenjori

  • Community batteries located in suburbs. They store unused solar power to smooth power flows

  • PowerBank batteries used in our PowerBank trials. These allow customers to store their excess solar energy and then use it later in the afternoon or evening when energy use peaks.

Batteries benefit customers by improving power reliability, but they also benefit the grid by smoothing the load and helping to integrate renewables.

Watch this video to find out more…

How does a community battery work?

Community batteries benefit the entire community, whether you have solar panels or not.

This is because they are placed in areas where the network needs upgrading or adjusting to maintain power reliability and quality. For example, for an older part of the network, there might be too much pressure on a transformer to accept two-way flow of power.

Community batteries solve this problem. They soak up any excess solar power and smooth the flow, improving power reliability and quality to customers.

It’s a win-win for customers and the grid. One of the benefits is that it provides opportunities for residents to trial innovative storage solutions, such as a PowerBank battery This virtual storage option allows households to feed their excess solar energy into the battery, then draw the energy back to power their homes during peak times.

Are community batteries and PowerBank batteries the same thing?

What makes it so appealing?

Some of the benefits of community batteries include:

  • they can help balance electricity supply and smooth out the flow of power on the grid
  • in the case of a microgrid battery like in Perenjori, they can be used as a backup power supply, which will assist when there is a fault on the main electricity network, power disruptions due to severe weather, or as part of an independent microgrid
  • they can reduce the high cost of upgrading existing power infrastructure, in areas that have high energy demand during peak demand hours
  • for some instances in PowerBank batteries, they can help reduce your electricity bill and generate revenue at the same time
  • support a higher uptake of renewable energy allowing more homes to install solar panels
  • Community storage – mutual attraction

    "The time for community batteries is now", says Brenton Laws, Business Development Manager. Why?

    Read on to find out more...

  • Battery standards - what you need to know

    Thinking about getting an in-home battery? Before you do, make sure you know about the standards.

    Read on to find out more...

Where are we going next?

With more community batteries being rolled out across Perth metro and regional WA, where the next community battery be located?

Well, that’s a good question.

The location of a community battery is carefully considered and based on a number of factors. One of the key factors is where there is a significant network need for a battery and making sure it will provide optimal benefit for local customers as well as the grid.

For example, in suburbs with a lot of rooftop solar, the battery would help soak up the excess solar power. But it’s not always the obvious locations that are in most need of a battery as Revana Boodhraj, our Senior Business Development Analyst, explains.

Read on to find out how we determine the best battery location...

Community batteries - the PowerBank trials

In partnership with Synergy, we’re currently trialling PowerBank batteries in Ellenbrook, Falcon and Meadow Springs. These trials will provide participants with an alternative energy storage option to expensive in-home batteries.

The PowerBank batteries use Tesla battery technology made of lithium ion. Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk (Tesla's founder) are leading the way in new lithium ion battery technology and the future of electric vehicles.

Watch the video to find out about our latest community battery PowerBank trial in Ellenbrook.

Read more about our PowerBank projects here....