Ausgrid switches on North Epping community battery

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen, local MP Jerome Laxale, and Ausgrid CEO Marc England pose for photo in front of brightly painted North Epping community battery
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen (centre), local MP Jerome Laxale (left), and Ausgrid CEO Marc England (right)

Ausgrid has successfully installed its third community battery under the Federal Government’s Community Batteries for Household Solar Program.

The North Epping community battery will support more reliable electricity for the local community, put downward pressure on energy bills by feeding back into the grid at peak times and allow more local homes to install solar on their roofs and charge their electric vehicles.

Related article: Ausgrid powers up the first of 400 community batteries

In turning it on, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said community batteries would help households and the broader energy transition.

“Delivering more storage like we’re doing today—enables more households to reliably access the cost-of-living relief offered by solar,” Minister Bowen said.

Community batteries support local power supply quality and voltage by harnessing and storing excess solar from homes, while allowing residents to more effectively use their own solar systems.

Ausgrid CEO Marc England said community batteries were flexible and scalable energy solutions that benefitted both the local communities and customers and the wider energy system.

North Epping community battery painted bright yellow with artwork by artist Leanne "Mulgo" Watson Redpath
The battery features custom artwork by local First Nations artist Leanne “Mulgo” Watson Redpath titled Garad Flying

“Community batteries take advantage of our existing network infrastructure, speeding up installation time and reducing the need for expensive network augmentation,” England said.

“We estimate NSW consumers could save up to $25 billion if community batteries replace just half the expected home batteries, plus they have the added benefits of continuing to put downward pressure on peak energy prices while maintaining grid stability.

“With the right regulatory settings, we could deliver more than 1-2GW of storage across our network, leading to increased electricity system security and reliability for our customers.”

Delivered in partnership with Hornsby Shire Council, the 535kWh community battery is the third as part of the Federal Government’s Community Batteries for Household Solar Program alongside Cabarita and Narara, with three more planned in Warriewood, Bondi and Cammeray.

Related article: Nation’s capital to get three new community batteries

Ausgrid has also installed batteries in Cameron Park, Beacon Hill and Bankstown as part of a previous program, the most of any distributor in NSW.

The battery has been wrapped in custom artwork created by local first nations artist Leanne “Mulgo” Watson Redpath, titled Garad Flying. Yiyura is a Dharug word for people. Ngurra means home, place of belonging or country. Garad is a Dharug word for the yellow-tailed black cockatoo.

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