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Victoria is undergoing an energy transformation, aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050. The Victorian Government’s support for neighbourhood-scale batteries is one way it supports clean, reliable and affordable electricity for Victorians.

What are neighbourhood batteries?

Neighbourhood batteries (or community batteries) are an energy storage model with the potential to provide many benefits to consumers, communities and the electricity system. They can be owned by electricity distribution businesses or third parties such as community energy groups, electricity retailers, aggregators and private investors.

They are larger than household solar batteries. Typical household solar batteries have a power capacity of about 10 kilowatts (kW), while neighbourhood-scale batteries range from 100 kW to 5 megawatts (MW).

Neighbourhood batteries enable the network to support more rooftop solar by storing solar-generated electricity during the day and discharging it during the evenings when demand is highest. This enables consumers to generate and consume more renewable energy locally and supports Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy targets.

Neighbourhood battery projects

Victoria’s neighbourhood battery initiative (NBI) supports trials of a range of neighbourhood battery models in Victoria, from feasibility to implementation. The initiative strengthens our understanding of neighbourhood-scale batteries' role in Victoria’s transitioning electricity system.

Victoria's first ever inner urban community battery

Melbourne’s first community-owned neighbourhood battery in Fitzroy North was unveiled on 5 June 2022. The battery project was delivered through the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative. The battery will soak up excess rooftop solar and supply surrounding homes with local renewable energy.

A battery painted with Australian native designs
'Set the controls to harness the sun' by artist Hayden Dewar

The Yarra Energy Foundation received $800,000 from the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative for the 110kW/284kWh battery system. The battery has been decorated by a mural entitled 'Set the controls to harness the sun' by artist Hayden Dewar.

Australian National University Battery Storage Integration Grid Program

The Australian National University Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program was established in April 2018. It pioneers pathways for integrating and optimising energy storage globally in the electricity grid and markets. Visit the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program website for more information about their program and research.

Interactive map of current NBI projects

Find out more about the current NBI projects:

  1. Zoom into the location you are interested in. Each pin represents a project. Note that exact Stream 1 project locations are being established and are estimated by a town location or the centre of the relevant local government area.
  2. Select the pin to see the following information:
    1. Project name
    2. lead organisation
    3. grant stream
    4. further website information
    5. short project summary.

You can filter NBI projects by their grant stream or use the search function to sort by project name.

Neighbourhood Battery Initiative Industry and Community Report

We asked you to share your perspective and experiences about the role of neighbourhood batteries in your community. Here are some insights:

  • Over 1,000 visitors to the site
  • 350 surveys completed
  • 90% of community respondents were in favour of participating in a neighbourhood battery trial
  • industry responses featured community energy groups, local government, energy professionals, electricity retailers, Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) and peak bodies.

Top things the industry agreed on:

  • different neighbourhood battery models need to be tested and supported
  • knowledge sharing is essential
  • regulatory and other barriers to neighbourhood battery deployment need to be addressed.

Read the Victorian Neighbourhood Battery Initiative Consultation

Common questions

Want to read more about neighbourhood batteries?

Visit the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Knowledge Bank for battery storage for reports, studies, multimedia and tools that provide guidance and learning to benefit future renewable energy projects.

Visit Yarra Energy Foundation Community Battery Resources for a suite of webinars, reports, more FAQs, news about community batteries and updates about the YESS project.

Visit Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program to subscribe to their e-newsletter and learn more through their projects, publications and educational videos.

Glossary

Page last updated: 13/09/22