|I’m interested in applying. What resources should I review first?
If your community group is interested in delivering a community-scale battery. We highly recommend reviewing some of the resources below.ANU: Battery Storage Grid Integration Program
The ANU Battery Storage Grid Integration Program was established in 2018 to look at batteries and how they could support decarbonisation efforts. They’ve tackled this challenge by producing several studies looking at them from social, technical and economic perspectives. They worked with the State Government of Victoria to release a knowledge hub bringing together these learnings in an easy format for interested community members.
You can check out the knowledge hub here.
Hepburn Energy: Community-scale Batteries Booklet
Our C4CE member, Hepburn Energy, produced a booklet looking at potential community-scale batteries in Central Victoria.
This booklet highlighted some cautions around the main model being proposed (batteries that are located on the street-level at a transformer) finding that they were prohibitively expensive. Even the best projects would require upwards of 70% grant funding to make senses. And even then, many projects would be unable to cover their running costs, leaving community members to foot the bill. But they did find promising alternative models, including:
- Behind-the-meter batteries located at community or industrial facilities
- Back-up power systems for important community services or to support people in emergencies such as fire, flood or storm events
- Batteries co-located at a community generator like the proposed battery at Hepburn Energy
Hepburn Energy also produced an animation which summarises what they found in this booklet. You can download the booklet here and watch their animation here.
Options for community involvement in community batteries
C4CE worked with the University of Melbourne’s Sustainable Business Clinic to deliver research on the regulation and feasibility of community-owned batteries. This research found that while it’s technically possible for communities to own these batteries, there are issues including:
- Differences in levels of participation across the states
- Energy market regulation and legislation create costs that communities might not be able to cover
- Communities would need to partner with distributors and retailers to deliver energy services and access income streams from these services
- Even with these income streams, batteries at this scale may not be financially viable
For a more detailed summary of these findings you can look at the extract here or the full publication.