Community batteries are connected to the distribution network which services nearby residents and small businesses. The battery stores and distributes electricity from the local grid to share with the local community and wider energy system.
Community batteries help use more solar energy locally, allow more solar onto the local network, support wider renewable energy adoption and prepare for increasing electricity use from electric vehicle charging. This technology can solve local issues, such as power quality issues, network constraints (or a lack of network capacity) and offers a flexible alternative to traditional poles and wires investment and can therefore reduce network costs and place downward pressure on energy prices.
Batteries are key to supporting the energy system as we continue to rely on more renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Community batteries in particular can provide benefits in the local area they are connected to, allowing more rooftop solar and more electric devices, such as electric vehicle chargers, to be connected.
Customers can share or use more excess rooftop solar energy produced locally without having to invest in their own battery.
Prepares the network for increasing electricity use from electric vehicle charging.
Community batteries help to strengthen the grid. A stronger grid reduces the need to limit (curtail) solar exports and helps customers maximise their personal solar investment.
Helps enable more solar within the local grid, including for use by households that don’t have their own solar.
Creates a positive impact on wholesale electricity prices that could eventually flow as savings through to retailers electricity prices.
Helps to regulate voltage on the network and improves network quality in the local area.
Offers a flexible alternative to traditional poles and wires investment, helping to lower network costs.
There is no sign-up process and individual households do not directly interact with the battery.
Communities will automatically receive the benefits of a stronger network and better solar hosting capacity. This means the network can support customers to export more solar to the grid which increases the renewable energy available.
Communities or Councils can register their interest in future community battery projects with Ausgrid by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You do not have to formally partner with Ausgrid to install a community battery.
If you wish to obtain in-principle agreement from Ausgrid for a suitable network connection point, please submit a preliminary enquiry. You can also choose to directly progress to the connections applications process and avoid the additional cost of a preliminary enquiry – however for speculative projects the preliminary enquiry provides more flexibility. We will respond to your enquiry within 10 business days. Undertaking a preliminary enquiry has an upfront non-refundable fee of $473.07, so we recommend that you assess all other criteria before submitting your enquiry.
Ausgrid considers several factors in determining an appropriate battery site including safety, accessibility, traffic conditions and motorist visibility, environmental considerations, and the network constraints in the area.
Community batteries vary in size and design. They can consist of several modular units or a single box unit and in general fit within 4m (L) x 3m (W) x 2.5m (H). Community batteries can range in capacity between 0.1-5MW.
Ausgrid’s specifications for battery suppliers are technology neutral. Suppliers are generally offering lithium-ion batteries for this type of product. We assess suppliers on their commitment to sustainability through the battery life cycle and ability to offer end of life services such as repurposing and recycling.
Yes, they are safe. Ausgrid will work with our partners to deliver and maintain community batteries under the same unconditional commitment to safety as we do for any of our network assets. Ausgrid is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the community batteries. Electromagnetic field (EMF) levels will be within Ausgrid’s existing network standards and guidelines recommended by Australia’s health authorities.
The batteries have remote monitoring capabilities and will be monitored by Ausgrid’s 24/7 control room. If abnormal conditions are detected, the battery and power conversion equipment will disconnect to protect the local electrical network.
Community impacts have been carefully considered to finalise battery site locations. We have taken the same approach as we do for constructing any network equipment. Residents who live within the vicinity of the batteries were consulted on noise levels prior to installation of the battery unit.
Batteries are wrapped in an anti-graffiti coating and Ausgrid will monitor and clean graffiti, in line with our existing asset management. Community members can report posters or graffiti online through our Graffiti Removal Request Form or by calling us on 13 13 65.
If you’d like to speak to a friendly member of our team, please reach out through our details below: