Electricity distributor United Energy will explore opportunities to locate community batteries across parts of Bayside, Mornington Peninsula and Manningham local government areas and other eastern and south-eastern municipalities as part of a new study being funded by the Victorian Government.

The $150,000 study, funded as part of the Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative, will be developed with councils and community energy and greenhouse alliance groups across Victoria. It will examine the best locations for batteries, considering factors such the community benefits and local power demand and constraints.

United Energy General Manager Mark Clarke welcomed the Victorian Government funding and support for the study that would bring together expert electricity network engineers and local communities to collaborate and explore the potential of installing community batteries at scale.

“By combining this work across so many different groups and different council areas, we can be much more efficient and create a better understanding of how community batteries can best support our customers,” Mr Clarke said.

Mr Clarke said community-based batteries have already been trialled on the United Energy network and this study would look at slightly larger batteries, each able to support up to about 280 homes.

“Community batteries can play a part by supporting more people export their excess rooftop solar, helping us avoid costly network upgrades and reducing greenhouse emissions,” Mr Clarke said.

“This technology also has enormous benefits for reliability and maintaining power quality within neighbourhoods, helping keep power reliable and safe for all of our customers.”

Work on the feasibility study, which will also include electricity distributors CitiPower and Powercor, will begin this year and is due to be complete in 2022.

United Energy also looks forward to working with other successful recipients of grants for neighbourhood battery initiatives and studies across Melbourne’s South East and the Peninsula, as part of our role in enabling and supporting the transition to a cleaner energy future.

Groups involved in the United Energy led community battery feasibility study:

  • Bayside City Council
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire
  • Manningham City Council
  • Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action
  • Melbourne City Council
  • Geelong Sustainability
  • Southern Otways Sustainable
  • Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce
  • Bendigo Sustainability Group
  • Hobsons Bay City Council
  • Moreland City Council
  • Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group