PICESS battery ready to power up Phillip Island

AusNet and Mondo officials walk through the Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System

AusNet Services has switched on a giant battery at Phillip Island that can power 8,000 homes and secure energy supply for the tourist hot spot during peak periods. 

The $10 million Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System (PICESS) will replace diesel generators previously used to provide back-up power to the region over summer to support peak demand.

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“Replacing generators with the big battery will stabilise electricity supply on the Island when it’s needed most,” AusNet CEO Tony Narvaez said.

“The population of Phillip Island more than quadruples over summer, which puts a strain on the local electricity network, and at times, leads to power dropping out. This battery, which in time will be powered by renewable energy, will help solve this issue.”

The Hitachi 5MW/10MWh lithium-ion phosphate battery energy system has the capacity to power more than 8,000 homes for two hours or 700 homes for a day. It is located in a 38m x 34m fenced high voltage compound and is connected to the electricity grid via underground cables. 

“Twenty-five local jobs were created in the region during construction, with the project providing Phillip Island residents with new energy job opportunities,” Narvaez said.

Totally Renewable Phillip Island (TRPI) and the Energy Innovation Cooperative (EI Coop) have worked closely with AusNet, Mondo, and the Bass Coast Shire Council to deliver the battery.

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“This project is the first of its kind on Phillip Island and it has helped us build a greater understanding of how batteries fit into the broader energy transition from coal-generated electricity to renewables,” Narvaez said.  

The PICESS project will go towards meeting Victoria’s strong renewable energy targets, which will see 50% of electricity come from renewables by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. 

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