Sharing energy with your neighbours could be as easy as lending a cup of sugar or borrowing the lawn mower on the weekend.
Western Power is supporting Curtin University to trial a shared energy model that will make sharing power between neighbours possible through a solar-powered microgrid and battery storage system.
The system is being built into a new residential complex in White Gum Valley, near Fremantle.
The residents of the 80 dwellings, including units and townhouses, will be part of a microgrid that will make use of energy captured through their solar panels and topped up by the main electricity network.
The system will allow peer to peer sharing of electricity between residents using the Power Ledger platform and is expected to provide about 70 per cent of the energy needs of the complex.
There will also be the option to allow any excess electricity to be exported to retailers via the Western Power network.
Backed by Federal Government funding, the project is breaking new ground by incorporating the innovative power system as part of the overall property development.
It could revolutionise future strata developments, as project developers increasingly include solar panels in their designs.
The setup includes a 300kWh battery storage system and 150kW of solar panels.
It will allow residents to balance their energy use between their local grid and the main electricity network and is an important test for the Western Power network in sharing energy between households.
The energy sharing trial is in its early stages – two of the strata developments have been constructed and are ready for sale.
In addition to network and engineering expertise, we have provided funding for a PhD student to research the project’s impacts and benefits for the electricity network, so we can plan for a future where shared energy systems can be optimised for the whole community.