Ausgrid community batteries set to help energy market

Ausgrid workers installing a green community battery (batteries arena)
Ausgrid workers installing a community battery

Ausgrid has signed an agreement with energy retailer Simply Energy to operate its three community batteries in the National Energy Market (NEM).

The new agreement will extend benefits of Ausgrid’s community batteries beyond the just the trial participants to customers across the grid. When not needed for network support, battery capacity is made available to Simply Energy, who will operate the batteries in the National Energy Market, helping to support the continued growth of renewable energy. 

Related article: Ausgrid proposes Merriwa for new microgrid trial

Since the batteries were installed, customers have been benefiting from a virtual storage service, providing them with credits for energy exported to the battery in the daytime and consumed from the battery at other times. 

At the same time, Ausgrid has been testing the ability of the batteries to manage grid voltage and add further power capacity in areas with high solar penetration. 

Ausgrid chief customer officer Rob Amphlett Lewis said as the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is predicting a seven-fold increase in energy storage required by 2030 to support renewable energy, community batteries are expected to play an important role in the transition. 

“I’m thrilled to have Simply Energy join our Community Battery trial, the first of its kind on Australia’s east coast,” Amphlett Lewis said.    

“The ability to have community batteries participate in the energy market is the final piece of the puzzle for our trial and one that really demonstrates how the industry can work together to provide the storage services that are urgently needed to meet our net-zero goals. 

Related article: New data shows surge in large-scale storage investment

“These batteries are secure and sophisticated enough to provide valuable market services while located to provide optimal customer benefits,” he said.

“Community batteries are cheaper for our customers, better for the community and greener for the grid. It’s a win, win, win.”

Click here for more information on Ausgrid’s Community Battery trial.

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