Electric Avenue pole-top battery program

Electric Avenue pole-top battery program

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.

electric avenue pole top battery program

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.

Customer benefits

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.

Battery locations

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.

Battery installation stages

Batteries will be installed in several tranches or stages. We have already completed installation of the batteries in the first stage of the project and are currently underway with installing the batteries in the second stage.

In the first stage of the project, we have already completed installations in:

  • Dingely Village
  • McCrea
  • Forest Hill
  • Vermont
  • Mount Waverley
  • Bentleigh East
  • Pearcedale
  • Blairgowrie
  • Brighton East
  • Rosebud

As part of the second stage of the project we have already completed the installation of batteries across:

  • Eumemmering
  • Keysborough
  • Hampton East
  • Dingley Village

We will soon be installing more batteries as part of the second stage of the project across:

  • Frankston South
  • Hampton
  • Frankston
  • Noble Park
  • Mulgrave

With more installations at later stages in these locations:

  • Dingley Village
  • Langwarrin

For more information

If you’re interested in getting involved or have any questions about the program, contact us on 1300 131 689.

If you’re interested in signing up for the project and you are living in an area supported by the batteries, you can contact our retail partner Simply Energy on 13 88 08.