Port Kennedy community battery gives power to locals

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WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston and Premier Mark McGowan

WA Premier Mark McGowan and Energy Minister Bill Johnston have launched Western Power’s latest Tesla 464 kilowatt hour community battery installations at Salamanca Reserve in Port Kennedy.

The Rockingham community battery follows the trials in Meadow Springs, Falcon, Ellenbrook and Kalgoorlie, which have so far been successful in delivering community-wide benefits and keeping downward pressure on household electricity bills.

Hundreds of residents and businesses in the area will benefit directly from the battery, which will improve power flow and quality.

Households that have solar already installed will have the potential to access the battery as a virtual storage system, which helps them keep their energy bills down.

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Community batteries are a large-scale energy storage system, which can provide additional power and improved power quality delivery to local homes, businesses and the neighbourhood.

The battery converts electrical energy into chemical energy, and then changes back to electricity when it is needed.

Network-connected batteries have reduced in price substantially in recent years and are a smarter solution for network modification, compared to other traditional network solutions.

The speed of the battery rollout has been made easier through the Electricity Industry Amendment Bill 2019 and the release of the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, which lists battery storage as an important component of Western Australia’s energy future.

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Other community batteries have been installed in Busselton, Ellenbrook (Perth), Meadow Springs and Falcon (Mandurah), and Kalgoorlie.

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said Port Kennedy’s new community battery will provide immediate benefits for the network by balancing demand, maintaining power quality to local homes and businesses, and allowing more homes in the area to install solar panels.

“Western Power continues to identify other high-solar penetration areas to install more community batteries and I look forward to announcing these locations later this year,” he said.

“The extra potential that community batteries unlock for customers is another reason why we are supporting further roll outs across the network and why we’re encouraging energy storage trials, like the PowerBank model.”