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Apply for a 100 Neighbourhood Batteries grant

The grants for the 100 Neighbourhood Batteries Program play a crucial role in enhancing renewable energy storage capacity within local communities. These grants will be available again from August 2024.

For details on how to apply and key dates, please revisit the information starting June this year.

Application guidelines

Eligible organisations

The following organisations and individuals can apply for funding:

  • public entities
  • private sector businesses and agencies
  • educational institutions
  • local government authorities
  • co-operatives
  • not for profit organisations.

Important: to be eligible for funding applicants must be:

  • an incorporated body, co-operative or association (including business associations), and
  • financially solvent.

Single entities or consortiums

If you’re a single entity or consortium, you must nominate a ‘lead organisation’ in your application. The role of the lead organisation is to:

  • endorse the application
  • verify any commitment of funds for the project
  • authorise to enter into a funding agreement with the State if successful.

A duly authorised representative of the lead organisation must approve the application. Individuals are not eligible to apply as a lead organisation.

The lead organisation must:

  • have an Australian Business Number and registered for GST
  • be able to show at least 3 years’ operating history. This applies to the lead organisation or their parent company
  • be able to provide 3 years of financial reports (preferably audited). This applies to the lead organisation or their parent company.

Please note:

  • We will only fund the lead organisation for the duration of the project.
  • We may request that you audit and resubmit unaudited financial reports. This will happen during the assessment process.

Who cannot apply?

The following organisations and individuals cannot apply for funding:

  • individuals
  • government departments and administrative offices.

The following types of projects are eligible for funding:

Stream 1: Delivering network benefits

DEECA will provide funding (of up to $300,000 per battery) for project(s) that:

  • put in place one or more neighbourhood batteries (including installation and commissioning)
  • prove quantified benefits for both the electricity network and local electricity consumers
  • include at least a 30% cash co-contribution
  • each battery must be a chemical battery of a minimum size 25kW/50kWh and maximum 5MW/10MWh
  • will complete the project delivery by 1 August 2025.

Stream 2: Delivering community benefits

DEECA will provide funding (of up to $300,000 per battery) for project(s) that:

  • put in place 1 or more neighbourhood battery(s) (including installation and commissioning)
  • prove quantified benefits for local electricity consumers
  • include at least a 10% cash co-contribution
  • each battery must be a chemical battery of a minimum size 50kW/100kWh and maximum 5MW/10MWh
  • will complete project delivery by 1 August 2025.

Co-contributions

You must have a cash co-contribution. This must meet the criteria of the relevant funding stream. You must secure:

  • a cash contribution towards the project, or
  • have evidence of a commitment to provide a cash contribution.

Extra funding can:

  • come from any source. This might include Commonwealth or Local Government grants
  • in part or as a whole, fund the mandatory cash co-contribution.

You must not use this funding for the same items of eligible expenditure funded by this grant program.

Applications with more than one battery

If you are seeking funding for more than one battery, please submit a single application. The combined funding sought must equal no more than the total funding eligible per battery.

Example: if you seek $120,000 funding for one battery project and $330,000 funding for another. You can make a single application for $450,000.

DEECA funding considerations

We reserve the right to re-allocate applications between streams. We will do this if an application better aligns with the eligibility of a different round.

We will take a portfolio approach to selecting applications for funding. We will consider how each project contributes to the 100NB Program outcomes.

There might be situations where we may choose not to fund an otherwise suitable application. This might happen if the aims or outcomes of that application are the same as, or like:

  • the aims and outcomes of a project that had funded before, or
  • an application that we intend to fund under the 100NB Program or another funding source.

Such funding considerations may include, but are not limited to:

  • geographic spread
  • proponent diversity
  • beneficiary diversity
  • supply chain or market constraints to support installations in any given area.

We will give priority to projects with one or more of the following attributes.

The project:

  • delivers benefits to low income and vulnerable households
  • delivers benefits to households with no access to solar PV generation. For example, renters and apartment-dwellers
  • adds to finished or scheduled works that increase electrification in local communities and/or at the battery location
  • demonstrates increased benefits for local electricity consumers. This is via a novel battery operational and/or commercial models
  • is in network areas with poor reliability. This is important for regional areas where a battery will increase energy reliability
  • is in constrained networks with solar export limits. The battery’s purpose is to reduce network constraints and increase local hosting capacity for solar
  • is within one or more of the 29 Local Government Areas committed to by the Victorian Government
  • delivers a greater number of batteries and faster deployment timelines.

We will deem applications with any of the following activities ineligible for funding. The 100NB Program will not fund the following activities:

  • business as usual costs, including existing or ongoing staff salaries
  • routine or ongoing maintenance activities. This might include but is not limited to, operational and/or maintenance costs of a battery
  • land acquisition and related expenses
  • expenditure on other projects
  • projects that have already commenced construction
  • where duplicate services are in operation or planned for in a targeted community
  • the use of any new or nascent technologies that are lower than Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 9
  • feasibility studies or business cases
  • installation, operation or maintenance of generation technologies (e.g. solar panels, diesel generators)
  • activities located outside the State of Victoria
  • projects that we have funded before for the same or similar activities or outcomes.

DEECA provides:

  • no guarantee that we will fund any projects applied for
  • no undertaking on the amount of individual or total grant monies that will be provided.

We check applications:

  1. for eligibility. This is to ensure that the applicant and their activities are eligible for funding
  2. using the criteria listed below.

We will give each of the following criterion a percentage weighting. This indicates its relative importance in the assessment process.

Important: your application should address all 4 criteria.

Criteria 1: How the project aligns with the intended outcomes of the 100NB Program

Weighting: 30%

Requirements:

You must describe—and quantify where possible—how your project will contribute to the intended outcomes of the program.

This includes:

  • benefits from local renewable energy and energy storage being passed on to consumers. This includes lowering household energy bills
  • increased energy reliability
  • reduced costs of network upgrades
  • communities feel they are contributing to Victoria’s energy transition
  • scaled up delivery of operational models for neighbourhood-scale batteries.

Applicants must:

  • provide an assessment of how their battery will benefit the community and/or network over its lifetime
  • identify all assumptions underpinning their calculations.

Hint:

  1. Make sure you read the Priorities for funding section.
  2. Identify which of these priorities your project will address and how it will do this.

Criteria 2: What is the capability and capacity of the applicant(s)?

Weighting: 20%
Requirements:

Applicants must:

  • list key project partners and their proposed roles and responsibilities. This is for both the duration of the project and the lifetime of the battery
  • provide details of the full-time equivalent (FTE) and remuneration for each role
  • describe the skills and experience of individual personnel and project partners
  • provide letter(s) of support from project partners. This can include Aboriginal businesses and Traditional Owners where appropriate
  • provide a letter of support from the DSNP, where you need a grid connection agreement. This should include, but is not limited to, the size and location(s) of the battery(s).

Criteria 3: What will the project deliver?

Weighting: 30%
Requirements:

Applicants must describe the project design and deliverables including the provision of a detailed Project Plan containing:

  • summary of the project. To include a description of the proposed technology type, size and location of the battery(s)
  • project schedule outlining key milestones, delivery dates and dependencies
  • timeline for the project, including key milestones
  • a map showing the neighbourhood battery(s) installation site
  • status of grid connection applications (if applicable)
  • status of land access for the proposed project location(s) (if applicable)
  • details on the proposed operations and maintenance for the lifetime of the battery(s)
  • details on your proposed battery safety plan. This should include steps to prevent and manage fire risk
  • your plan to manage decommissioning and disposal of the battery(s) at the end of its operational life
  • work already undertaken with the community. This should include:
    • how you will engage with the community and Traditional Owners. This should include how your project provides local benefit
    • your notification of construction periods or any other relevant information
  • a completed project risk register. This should outline key risks and your approach manage and mitigate them
  • evidence of an intention to secure appropriate insurance for the project activities
  • a report that shows outcomes to further the development of neighbourhood batteries in Victoria
  • project budget using DEECA’s cash flow template. This must include installation costs and show a minimum cash co-contribution. 30 per cent for Stream 1 and 10 per cent for Stream 2
  • evidence to support budget estimates
  • an outline of the source of funds required for the project. This includes in-kind and cash-contributions secured from your organisation or other project partners
  • approach to managing potential cost overruns, and amount of contingency allowed
  • approach to using local content and suppliers. Your project should align with the principles of the Local Jobs First Policy and the Victorian Social Procurement Framework, including:
    • suppliers in Victoria
    • manufacturers in Australia
    • other businesses and organisations based and operating in Victoria (such as installation trades)
    • any purchasing, supplies or services from Aboriginal businesses and Traditional Owners Corporations.

Note: If you have several batteries and faster deployment times you will score higher on this criterion.

Criteria 4: What is the lifetime value of the battery(s)?

Weighting: 20%
Requirements:

You must provide evidence of a financial model that includes (at a minimum):

  • expected return on investment over the life of the battery(s)
  • expected revenues over the life of the battery(s). This should include the source of these revenue projections
  • expected costs over the lifetime of the battery(s). This should have a clear breakdown of cost categories
  • calculation of the battery(s) capital cost per kilowatt hour
  • calculation of the total project cost per kilowatt hour of total installed battery(s)
  • clear identification of all assumptions underpinning your model.

Funding agreements

Successful applicants must enter into a funding agreement with DEECA.

We use the 100NB R1 funding agreement template.

Please note: this funding agreement template is subject to change.

You must sign the funding agreements within one month of notification of a successful grant application. Failure to sign within this timeframe may result in loss of grant funding.

You must not use funding for political campaigning or advocacy for political parties.

 

Legislative and regulatory requirements

In delivering the activity you must follow all relevant Commonwealth and state/territory legislations and regulations. These include but are not limited to:

  • Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)
  • Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004  
  • Planning and Environment Act 1987
  • Climate Change Act 2017
  • Electricity Safety Act 1998
  • National Electricity (Victoria) Act 2005
  • Electricity Industry Act 2000.

Tax implications

On any tax implications arising from grant funding, you should consult:

  • the Australian Taxation Office, or
  • seek professional advice.

We will offer funding as a GST exclusive amount.

For non-government organisations with an ABN who are GST registered, the payment will include GST.

Recipients are responsible for determining their tax liabilities for grant payments. Grants provided by DEECA are classified as income and tax may be payable by recipients.

You are responsible to investigate your own tax structure and treatment.

Acknowledging the Victorian Government’s support

Successful applicants must:

Payments

We will make payments as long as:

  • the funding agreement has been signed by both parties
  • you provide reports as required, or (as agreed by us) show activity is progressing as expected
  • you continue to meet other terms and conditions of the funding.

Monitoring

You must monitor and report on your project as outlined in the funding agreement. This may include progress reports, site inspections, completion reports and acquittal documentation.

You are responsible for the delivery of the project. This includes any project cost overruns should they occur.

We reserve the right to cancel the grant and, if applicable, recoup payments where you:

  • delay a project for an unreasonable length of time
  • make changes to the scope of your project, without approval, after we have approved funding, or
  • fail to deliver a project.

Cost

We are not liable for any costs, expenses, losses, claims or damages that you may incur when applying for grant funding. This includes:

  • in preparing or submitting an application
  • providing further information to DEECA, or
  • participating in negotiations with DEECA.

Probity for application procedures

For any person involved in the application process you or your associates must not:

  • offer them any incentive, or
  • attempt to influence them.

This also applies to awarding any later contract.

If we determine that you or any of your associates have violated this condition, we may disqualify you from further consideration. This is at DEECA’s absolute discretion.

By submitting an application, you consent for DEECA to perform probity and financial checks on you or your associates.

You agree, if requested by DEECA, to seek consent from individuals to allow such checks.

Privacy

We will collect your personal information to administer your grant application. We may also inform Members of Parliament of successful applications.

We may also disclose your personal information to external experts. This may include members of assessment panels, or other Government departments. We may disclose this information for assessment, reporting, advice, comment or for discussions about alternative or collaborative grant funding opportunities.

If you intend to include a third party’s personal information in your application, please ensure they know the contents of this privacy statement.

We will collect, hold, manage, use, disclose or transfer your personal information or a third party under the provisions of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and other applicable laws.

DEECA is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information. DEECA’s Privacy Policy.

You can request access to the information about you held by DEECA by writing to:

Page last updated: 05/06/24