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Energy storage for a sunny day

What if you could put electricity away in a safe place until it’s needed, just like you deposit money in a bank?

Ta-da you can, and it comes in the form of battery storage systems.

What is a community battery?

A community battery is a large-scale energy storage system, which can provide an additional power supply to households and residents.

The battery converts electrical energy into chemical energy, and then changes back to electricity when it’s needed.

Most batteries are made of lithium ion, with entrepreneurs like Elon Musk leading the way in new lithium ion battery technology and the future of electric vehicles.

The idea of using batteries to store power is gaining momentum, with a 2018 Climate Council report suggesting 74% of people expect home batteries to become common use in the next decade.

Our own customer research backs this up, with customers keen to put their hands up and adopt or seek further information on battery systems within the next 5 years.

While advancements in technology and public interest in this space is helping to reduce the cost of batteries, it is still a big expense to own an individual home battery.

In the future there is potential for customers to store their excess power through shared community batteries. This is a step in the right direction for everyone, as it presents a more affordable and cost-effective way for households to tap into battery systems.

How do shared community batteries work?

A large scale battery is placed within a neighbourhood, which allows a group of properties living in that community to own a share of the battery.

Any excess energy generated from rooftop panels feeds into this battery. During peak periods, households can draw on this energy as needed, with any surplus going back into the network.

What makes it so appealing?

The benefits of community batteries are huge:

  • They can help balance electricity supply and smooth out the power distribution
  • They can be used as a backup power supply, which will assist when there is a fault on the main electricity network, power disruptions due to severe weather, or as part of an independent microgrid
  • They can reduce the high cost of upgrading existing power infrastructure, in areas that have increasing loads during peak demand hours
  • They can help reduce your electricity bill and generate revenue at the same time

We are currently trialling a shared, community battery in Meadow Springs, near Mandurah. The trial is managed in partnership with Synergy and the City of Mandurah, and will provide an alternative energy storage option for trial participants.

Trialling network batteries in regional WA

In a first for Western Australia, Western Power is trialling a network battery to the blackout prone town of Perenjori. It is intended that the grid-connected battery, will kick in when power is cut to the town. This battery works differently to the shared, community battery in that it provides backup for all customers on that line. 

Innovative energy storage is key to a future of renewable energy. Read more about our various projects and trials.