We’re helping you share power in your local communities. The Electric Avenue pole top battery program is Australia’s largest rollout of community-based batteries.
Between 2021 and 2023, 40 batteries will be installed across Melbourne’s east, south east and the Mornington Peninsula as part of an $11 million program – funded with $7 million from us and $4 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
This innovative project provides an opportunity for customers to act locally and participate in a clean energy future. The batteries provide benefits for local customers – no matter if they have solar or not – by storing energy from both our network and nearby solar panels that can then be used locally when needed.
Batteries are an important part of us maintaining the reliability of our electricity supply, and they support those with rooftop solar to get the most out of their investment. In particular, the batteries will improve the quality and reliability of electricity during peak demand days when everyone is using power.
The batteries will charge at times of the day when there is low electricity demand or when local rooftop solar systems are exporting into our network. Power from the batteries can then be used later in the day to make more power available when demand is high and solar systems are no longer generating.
Each of the 30kW batteries has the capacity to service local homes and businesses with up to two hours of energy (66kWh). When complete, the fleet of batteries – which have an expected life span of around 15 years – will store 1.2MW of power and support up to 5,000 customers.
Our project partners include councils, community groups, energy retailer Simply Energy, local battery suppliers, Thycon and ARENA.
Electric Avenue in action
Watch a short video to see how this innovative program will help communities share power.
1. Access to energy storage.
We know that rooftop solar is becoming increasingly popular, as is the use of batteries alongside solar systems to store power to be used during the evening. But these batteries can be expensive. With pole-top batteries, excess solar power generated can be exported into our network and stored for use by the local community
2. Access to local renewable energy.
Pole top batteries are a way for all connected customers to use more renewable energy whether they have solar on their roof or not.
3. High power reliability.
It’s an important way for us to make sure all UE customers enjoy high levels of power reliability. When rolled out, the 40 Electric Avenue batteries will store 1.2MW of power to support an estimated 5,000 customers.
We chose locations that would see the most benefit from an improvement in the quality and reliability of energy during peak demand times when everyone is using power – for example on hot days.
We also developed criteria to ensure the pole-top batteries have minimal impacts on customers. In addition to network design factors, we take into consideration:
- Density: The density of housing in the area, how far homes are set back from the road and their distance from the kerbside power poles.
- Visual amenity: The potential for impacts to views around the neighbourhood.
- High traffic areas: The distance from areas like school zones or child-care centres.
- Vegetation: Any trees and shrubbery in the area that can help shield the visual impact.
- Cumulative impact: Other infrastructure already in the neighbourhood such as mobile phone towers.
- Proximity: Location of poles based on the width of the street, as well as proximity to private driveways and other essential infrastructure like traffic lights.
Electric Avenue documents and resources
Electric Avenue FAQs
Find answers to a range of common questions about the Electric Avenue project.
Electric Avenue factsheet
Key information about the Electric Avenue project, including a map of battery locations.