WA Government rolls out first community battery in Perth

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston has launched Perth’s first community battery storage system for customers in Ellenbrook.

Ellenbrook residents can apply to take part in the PowerBank 2 trial, which will enable them to ‘virtually’ store excess energy generated from their solar panels in a 464kWh Tesla battery to use in the afternoon and evening peak time.

Customers will be allocated 6kWH or 8kWh of virtual storage costing $1.60 or $1.90 a day.

The Ellenbrook trial follows on from the successful trial in Meadow Springs in 2018, where customers collectively saved around $11,000 off their power bills.

A trial in Falcon is also currently taking place, with 59 customers subscribed.

Western Power has identified other local government sites where community batteries could be installed this year.  

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PowerBank is the first time in Australia that a utility-scale battery has been integrated into an established major metropolitan network, providing an alternative storage option for residents.

WA Energy Minister Bill Johnston said he is thrilled Ellenbrook residents will be the first people in Perth to take advantage of community battery storage, without having to outlay a significant up-front cost.

“The PowerBank trial demonstrates the successful integration of a utility-scale battery into an established network and how Western Australia is a leader in the technology space,” he said.

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“It builds on the work being done by Synergy and Western Power to progress energy storage, such as Synergy’s Alkimos Beach energy storage trial.”

Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw said, “Ellenbrook has embraced renewable solar energy, we have one of the highest rooftop solar installation rates in the State. However, batteries to store solar power are often too expensive for many households.

“This distribution battery will make electricity storage so much more affordable for local families and will help deliver more reliable power for our whole community. 

“I’m also excited by the job opportunities associated with this new technology.”