Potential community battery a win for renewable energy across shire
Published on 19 September 2023
Mount Alexander Shire Council is a key partner in an exciting new project to potentially secure a community battery for the shire in the future.
The project, called the ‘Regional Greenhouse Alliance Neighbourhood Battery Investigation Project’, is one of nine projects to receive funding through the Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative.
The aim of the project is to develop a business case for a community battery in Mount Alexander Shire, as well as community batteries in 17 other local government areas across regional Victoria.
This means that, should the project be successful, a community battery may be made available to Mount Alexander Shire Council.
Community batteries store energy from solar panels to be used at a later date, and would be an enormous benefit to the entire community.
Mount Alexander Shire Council’s Climate Change Coordinator, Melanie Marshall, said that there’s a lot of potential to community batteries that Council is looking forward to exploring.
“Through developing this business case, we’ll explore how a community battery could increase the resilience of an Emergency Relief Centre or Neighbourhood Safer Space,” said Ms Marshall.
“A battery would allow us to store power and supply it in an emergency, even if the grid goes down."
“We’ll also explore how a battery could reduce greenhouse emissions by acting as a ‘solar sponge’. This means it could capture solar power when the sun is shining and distribute it to the grid after the sun goes down."
“Currently, if solar is produced but not used right away, that energy is lost."
“There is a lot of potential in a community battery, but there are also limitations and complexities."
“This feasibility study is a great opportunity for us to better understand the role a community battery could play in our shire – in terms of community safety and equitable access to renewable energy.”"
The project is led by the Central Greenhouse Alliance, Goulburn Murray Climate Alliance and Gippsland Alliance for Climate Action, in partnership with Indigo Power.
Council thanks the Victorian Government for supporting this innovative regional project which will run from September 2023 to August 2024.