Perth residents can now participate in an Australian-first PowerBank battery storage trial, facilitated by Synergy and Western Power.
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.
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.”
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.
Western Australia Energy Minister, Bill Johnston said, “I’m thrilled that 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.”
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.
Synergy CEO, Jason Waters, said the importance of Synergy and Western Power joining forces to develop the PowerBank was imperative, as it provides valuable learnings as to how battery storage technology can be beneficial to customers.
“There is so much to learn about how to integrate battery storage technology into the sector, as we move away from the traditional centralised generation and network model, to a future that increasingly incorporates distributed energy resources, such as battery storage deployed at individual customer and community-scale levels,” Mr Waters said.
“We know more of our customers want to know how they can benefit from battery storage technology in the future and want Synergy to partner with them directly to find solutions.
“There is a natural link to their requirements, as they are already effectively selling their excess solar PV electricity output to Synergy through the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme and buy electricity from the grid when their solar panels are no longer generating.
“We know those customers are seeking an alternative to store and use that excess energy, to help them manage their household energy consumption more efficiently.”
Western Power acting Chief Executive Officer, Dave Fyfe, said the investment in grid-connected community batteries, like the PowerBank trial, would continue as it delivered benefits beyond just battery storage.
“Community batteries don’t only provide immediate, cost-effective solar storage options, they also have a collective benefit of smoothing out power supply to all customers in the area and opening up the capacity for more solar to be installed in the future,” Mr Fyfe said.
Western Power has identified other local government sites where community batteries could be installed in 2020.