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PowerBank brings bulk battery storage to WA homes in Australian-first trial

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt released the following media statement today:

  • Australian-first trial to integrate bulk battery storage into existing grid
  • A 105kW (420kWh) Tesla battery will be installed in Meadow Springs and accessed by 52 families
  • Collaboration between Western Power and Synergy to provide innovative energy solutions for Western Australians
  • Customers will be allocated a maximum of 8kWh of virtual storage at the cost of $1 per day

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt is pleased to announce an exciting new trial by Western Power and Synergy, which will make battery storage more accessible and manageable for Western Australians.

The PowerBank trial will be the first time in Australia that a utility-scale battery is integrated into an already-established major metropolitan network, to allow a shared storage service to meet an individual customer’s needs.

A 105kW (420kWh) Tesla battery will be owned and operated by Western Power and Synergy and connected to the grid in Meadow Springs, allowing households with solar panels to maximise their existing grid connection.

Customers participating in the 24-month trial will be able to virtually store excess power they generate during the day from their solar PV systems in the battery, and then draw down on that power during the peak evening period.

These customers will be able to use 8kWh of the PowerBank battery storage without having to outlay upfront costs for a behind the meter battery storage system.

PowerBank trial participants will be given greater access to their usage patterns and daily storage data online via the Synergy website, while maintaining reliability of supply from their Western Power grid connection during overcast days.

Homes taking part in the trial will not be locked into the program, which will allow them continuing flexibility and choice in deciding how they meet their individual electricity needs.

Customers will also receive a quarterly activity statement advising of savings to date using a system developed by Synergy.

“PowerBank is an ‘in front of the meter’ storage trial which allows invited local customers to store excess electricity from already installed solar PV systems to then use it during peak times," said Energy Minister Wyatt.

“PowerBank is another Australian milestone for the application of utility-scale batteries for the benefit for customers, drawing on the ground-breaking work by Synergy in its Alkimos Beach energy storage trial.

“This is the first time in Australia that a utility scale battery will be integrated into an established suburb’s network, like Meadow Springs, that has a high level of existing solar PV uptake.

“For one dollar a day, customers will have access to 8kWh of battery storage to use any time after 3pm each day.

“Western Power and Synergy are constantly investing in infrastructure to support the growing and varied needs of customers. PowerBank is an example of smarter, more tactical investment that maximises existing connections to the network and better manages changing generation sources.

“Storage isn’t necessarily the best solution for every Western Australian with solar on their roof, but this innovative product offering increases choice for customers here in the west.”