United Energy to install Carrum Downs community battery

Sun shines on tiled roof with solar panels (ausgrid microgrid)
Image: Shutterstock

Carrum Downs will soon be home to a community battery that will support more solar exports, maintain reliability and reduce carbon emissions after United Energy successfully secured a $500,000 Federal Government grant under the Community Batteries for Household Solar program.

The 120kW/360kWh battery is designed to soak up excess rooftop solar generation and supply up to 138 nearby properties during peak periods for up to three hours, allowing locals to share in the benefits of solar.

Related article: Ausgrid awarded grant for six new community batteries 

The Carrum Downs battery will be the latest community battery developed by United Energy as part of its Electric Avenue program, which is also rolling out dozens of pole-mounted batteries across the south-eastern suburbs.

United Energy general manager electricity networks Mark Clarke said the battery would help enable an additional 149,000kWh, of solar exports each year, enough power to supply 23 average Australian homes for 12 months.

“The battery will help keep locally generated solar power local,” Clarke said.

“It will allow more homes and businesses to connect and export excess solar from their systems back into the grid, where it can be stored and used at peak times when it’s needed most,” he said.

“The additional solar export capacity created by this battery can displace electricity from the wider grid and reduce carbon emissions by 101 tonnes each year, which is about the same as taking 23 cars off the road.

Around one in five customers in the City of Frankston have rooftop solar installed.

Clarke said distribution networks were working hard to enable all forms of distributed energy resources, including community batteries, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and more rooftop solar than ever before.

“Traditionally, we would upgrade or replace power infrastructure to support higher growth, now we are also using batteries as another option to help to reduce costs for all customers.

“We expect community and neighbourhood-scale batteries will become more common on our networks in the future to ensure we help deliver the targeted levels of 95% renewable energy generation by 2035.”

“In the future, we’re going to look at batteries on the network the same way we look at transformers and substations today—as another critical piece of electricity infrastructure that’s providing significant benefits to our customers,” he said.

Construction is expected to begin next year, with the battery expected to be operating in early 2025.

The batteries used by United Energy are designed to be recycled, further helping to reduce the project’s environmental impact.

Related article: Jemena to build four community batteries in Victoria

United Energy will work with the Carrum Downs community, and City of Frankston during the design and construction process, including artwork. United Energy recognises the Bunurong people as the Traditional Owners of the Carrum Downs area and will work closely with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation on the project.

For more information about community batteries visit Electric Avenue – United Energy.

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