AGL says it will carry out a study into the feasibility of neighbourhood-scale batteries on the Mornington Peninsula. The energy provider has received a State Government grant that it says will enable it to investigate whether the batteries could support system reliability and meet network needs while enabling greater production of solar energy by households and businesses.
AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said in a statement this morning that the study would allow the company to identify the optimal battery strategy to maximise value for the energy system at large as well as for network services and the energy market. “We are excited by the prospects of neighbourhood-scale batteries to facilitate further uptake of rooftop solar in communities like the lower Mornington Peninsula,” Mr Brokhof said.
“Smaller than grid-scale batteries and larger than household batteries, these batteries remove the need for more poles and wires, alleviate network constraint and create a more efficient and low-emission system which will be beneficial for the customer. By soaking up energy generated by existing rooftop solar and releasing that energy later, these batteries can help the system accommodate more capacity.
“Currently, our customers use household-scale batteries to contribute to and participate in our Virtual Power Plant; this project will investigate the technical viability of integrating neighbourhood-scale batteries in a similar way. We want to continue to unlock the benefits of new energy storage models which will help to drive the energy transition while meeting both AGL’s climate statement commitments and the Victorian Government’s vision of a sustainable and secure energy future for Victorians.”
Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said neighbourhood batteries were an important part of the transition to renewable energy. “Neighbourhood-scale batteries can soak up energy from local solar and make it available to the whole community,” Ms D’Ambrosio said. “Through programs like the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative, we are building an electricity network that will make sure that every Victorian benefits from the transition to renewable energy while delivering our commitment to halve our carbon emissions by 2030 and creating new jobs.”
Last month, United Energy said it planned to begin installing 40 community batteries across Melbourne’s east and southeast – including Frankston and the Peninsula – later this year. When complete, the fleet of batteries will be able to store the electricity needed to support 3000 homes as part of an $11 million investment in new energy technology.
AGL’s grant is part of the $1.6 billion clean energy package announced by the government and aims to fund projects demonstrating the role neighbourhood-scale batteries play in Victoria’s transitioning electricity system.