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Melbourne’s Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF) has chosen a battery design for its community battery project, to be located in the city’s inner-north. 

After months of technical analysis and ongoing community feedback, YEF’s experts have identified Norwegian manufacturer Pixii’s PowerShaper BESS (100kW/250kWh) as the best option for a community battery designed for an inner-urban environment.

Led by the not-for-profit YEF, the Yarra Community Battery project is one of three pilot projects funded by the Victorian Government through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative.

In Australia, community batteries have only been tried in regional and outer-suburban areas, but advances in design and technology mean they could soon become a common sight in more densely populated areas.

Chris Wallin, YEF’s Community Battery Project Manager, said, “We’re delighted to announce today that we have selected a Pixii PowerShaper for our community battery pilot project in the City of Yarra.

“The Pixii PowerShaper ranked highest in terms of energy density and small footprint. It was also the quietest, making it ideal for densely populated inner-urban environments. We also discovered that it had by far the best environmental footprint, made from 95 per cent recyclable battery cells, produced with 100 per cent renewables.”

YEF assessed dozens of batteries from a range of Australian and international manufacturers.

Managing Director at Pixii Australia, Neil Ewen, said, “It’s great news that Pixii was chosen for this project. The Yarra Energy Foundation is leading the way in establishing commercially viable BESS solutions for the community. 

“Projects like this are not only helping reduce the reliance on fossil fuels but they also provide the community with options for ownership of a tangible asset contributing to the goal of net-zero.”

The battery is due to be installed as part of the Yarra Community Battery project in mid-2022.

“The system will be installed below our benchmark of $1,000/kWh, proving without a doubt that community batteries are more cost-effective and efficient than household batteries,” Mr Wallin said. 

“What we’ve learned through our ongoing community engagement is that safety, noise and visual impacts are high priorities, so we embedded this community feedback into our decision-making and identified Pixii’s PowerShaper as the most suitable with its outstanding design.

“Aside from meeting all technical requirements, we’ve assessed that Pixii’s unit will deliver the best outcomes for communities, enable more local solar generation, reduce emissions and power neighbourhoods with renewable energy.”

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