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Our community battery storage trials

How shared battery storage benefits customers and the grid

Imagine being able to bank your excess solar energy in a shared battery.

Well that’s what we’re trialling with our PowerBank community battery project.

In 2018, we partnered with Synergy to install three community-scale batteries utilising Tesla technology. 

Watch the video to see how it works.

PowerBank: an Australian-first trial

The PowerBank is a form of community battery.

It integrates bulk solar battery storage into the existing electricity grid, while also providing customers with virtual storage for their excess solar energy.

This means that eligible customers who generate solar energy through panels on their rooftops can virtually store their excess solar energy in the battery. Then later on, when the sun isn't shining, they can withdraw their energy for use. 

How much storage does the PowerBank provide?

Households who are part of the PowerBank trials can automatically store up to 6kwh or 8kwh of excess or unused solar power in the battery.

The storage capacity that will be recommended to you is based on your existing household energy usage.

We own and maintain the battery, meaning customers don’t have to outlay the costs of purchasing an in-home (or behind-the-meter) battery.

How much does it cost? Can anyone get involved in the PowerBank trial? Will it save me money?

We've answered these questions and more in our PowerBank FAQs.

 

Where are the PowerBank trials?

The first trial was in Meadow Springs (105kW/420kWh battery) followed by a second trial in Falcon and Ellenbrook (each with a 116kW/464kWh battery).

We’ve learnt a lot from the first two trials and made improvements to give participating customers more flexibility and more choice. 

In 2021, a third PowerBank trial was announced which will see nine existing community batteries transition to PowerBanks.  

The full list of our community battery locations can be found here.

 

Results of the Meadow Springs PowerBank trial
The PowerBank provides a cost-effective and shared solution to energy storage that benefits both customers and the grid. Check out these statistics from the first year of the Meadow Springs trial...
11,000
Collectively saved on power bills across the whole trial*
7.38 KW
The amount of stored solar energy per day
5.23 KW
Consumed back per day
228
saved on average per resident

Meadow Springs - the first PowerBank trial

The first PowerBank trial was in Meadow Springs, near Mandurah. The trial involved 44 residents who were able to virtually store their excess energy in the PowerBank community battery and draw the energy back out for use when needed. The residents saved an average of $228* each and had a collective saving of $11,000* across the trial.

Watch the video to find out more....

* Estimated savings only calculated by comparing consumption and costs incurred by individual trial participants on the PowerBank Trial and the A1 Home Plan over the same period. Variances in export and consumption will affect individual costs and potential savings.

An innovative alternative to solar battery storage at home

Across the first three PowerBank battery projects, up to 192 households had access to between 6-8kWh of virtual storage.

At the cost of $1 to $2 per day, participants were able to store their excess solar energy in the battery and draw it back out when needed.

In the first year of the Meadow Springs trial, 95 per cent of customers saved money on their power bills.

The project also supported the region’s power supply during times of peak demand – when electricity consumption is at its highest – which is a smarter, customer-focused approach to infrastructure investment in the area.

Is a PowerBank better than having my own in home battery?

We own and maintain the battery, meaning you don't have any purchase or ongoing maintenance costs.

There are no lock-in contracts and it’s around 30% cheaper than buying a battery for your home (over the course of the battery’s lifespan).  A home battery system generally costs between $8,000 to $13,000. 

Having access to a PowerBank battery, means you get the right size battery for your needs and, as its virtual, you don’t need to find extra space on your property to accommodate the battery. It also means you don't have to worry about complying with the Australian standards for home battery installation.

Our FAQs have more info on being part of the PowerBank trials.

Is your suburb in the top 10 for solar? 

The PowerBank trial in Meadow Springs, near Mandurah, was an Australian-first in bulk battery storage.

Other suburbs around Mandurah are some of Western Australia’s leaders in the uptake of solar panels. And they're not the only communities wanting to integrate cleaner, greener energy alternatives into their lives.

But how do other suburbs measure up in the solar stakes?

Did your suburb make the top 10 solar suburbs in Perth?

A few things to know about the PowerBank trial

There are limited places available for customers to participate in this pilot. Synergy intends to accept applications from eligible customers who apply online in response to an invitation. Synergy will accept online applications until the storage options selected meet the battery capacity for each pilot, as determined by Synergy in its sole discretion.

By virtual, we mean the battery is connected to the customer through the existing network, there is not a specific connection direct from the PowerBank customer to the battery. Individual customers are allocated virtual storage capacity in the battery based on the storage option selected and the PowerBank Saver Plan terms and conditions.

Your daily interval consumption data in your Synergy ‘My Account’ portal may be up to 48 hours behind.

Terms and conditions apply – please go to the Synergy website for more information.