Around 500 households in Warrawong and Dapto, including those without solar panels, will reap the benefits of renewable energy when community batteries are installed in the suburbs.
The batteries will help lower household electricity bills, reduce emissions and deliver reliable renewable energy for local residents.
Endeavour Energy will receive $1 million in the first round of grant funding from the Federal Government to install community batteries, which will support Warrawong and Dapto with affordable energy by storing renewable energy generated during the day for distribution in the evening when energy is more expensive.
A 720-kilowatt hour battery will be installed in Warrawong, while Dapto will receive a 1040-kilowatt hour battery as part of the Government’s $200 million Community Batteries program, which will see 400 units installed across the country.
A community battery is a locally shared battery within a community that enables storage of excess rooftop solar generated electricity, which can be used at a later time.
Batteries enable the community to use the stored electricity instead of importing it from the grid. They are about the size of a 4WD and store the equivalent of around 25-45 average household batteries.
Community batteries also enable households without solar panels to reap the benefits of renewable energy, while reducing emissions and easing pressure on the grid by absorbing excess solar generated electricity.
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said around one in three Australian households had installed rooftop solar, which made us a global leader, but far fewer had batteries to store their energy for later use.
He said the Community Batteries program was about unlocking storage and cleaner cheaper energy for more households.
“Renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy, and ensuring Australians can have access to it is a priority for the Government, guaranteeing we can take advantage of Australia’s abundant solar energy and save on power bills,” Minister Bowen said.
Member for Cunningham Alison Byrnes said the rollout was “a great win for people in Warrawong, a community of around 500 households with some of the most vulnerable people in our region, who are now set to benefit from the Labor Government’s investment in community batteries”.
Community batteries are just one of the steps the Albanese Government is taking to drive down household and business energy costs and make homes and businesses cheaper to run.
The Government’s Energy Price Relief Plan capped skyrocketing coal and gas prices, reducing wholesale electricity prices by 50 per cent since October, and more than five million households and one million small businesses will be eligible for Energy Price Relief Rebates from 1 July, relief the Liberals and Nationals voted against.
The 2023-24 Budget delivered more than $1.6 billion for energy saving upgrades for homes, businesses and social housing. This investment will help people with older homes and appliances that don’t meet modern energy standards to upgrade and keep money from leaking out the door.
With Endeavour Energy given the green light, work will now begin to formalise the battery location, engage with the local community and start works in coming months to plug the battery into the grid.
The remaining 342 community batteries are being delivered through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) now, with expressions of interest open until 30 June 2023.
For more information on the Community Batteries Program visit the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) website.