Neighbours to share solar in Melbourne

·1-min read

A neighbourhood battery will be installed in Melbourne's outer west to soak up excess rooftop solar and supply 150 surrounding homes with extra power as part of a state government trial.

Electricity supplier Powercor plans to install a 150kW/388kWh battery in Tarneit to allow customers to share their rooftop solar supply to surrounding homes during peak electricity periods by June next year.

The initiative is part of a Victorian government trial to investigate the use of community-scale battery ownership and operation models, with the government chipping in $800,000 towards the cost.

Tarneit has been chosen because it has the most solar connections in Powercor's network, with 42 per cent of all customers in Tarneit, Hoppers Crossing and Truganina connecting solar to the network.

Powercor Electricity Networks general manager Mark Clarke said the battery will improve the reliability of electricity during peak times.

"Solar is booming in Tarneit and this battery will allow more homes to connect and export excess solar from their systems back into the grid," he said.

Once installed, Powercor hopes to trial new tariffs to allow energy retailers to offer new products to customers.

Construction is expected to begin this year, with the battery operational by June 2022.

Powercor is also working with 12 councils and community groups to scout out the best locations for more community batteries in places like Bendigo, Geelong, the Macedon Ranges, Apollo Bay, the Otways and Melbourne CBD.

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