Article by ausgrid.com.au
Ausgrid today confirmed its long-term commitment to renewable energy announcing it intends to progress plans to trial shared community batteries, in what could be a first for NSW.
Speaking at the AFR Summit today, Chief Customer Officer Rob Amphlett Lewis confirmed Ausgrid had been assessing the feasibility of ‘community batteries’ – a shared neighbourhood battery solution where solar energy could be stored and shared. Offering an alternative to individual households purchasing their own battery storage system, saving them thousands of dollars and improving the state’s clean energy supply.
We know one of the biggest barriers to home battery systems is the cost. If you own a solar panel system without storage, you are only able to get real benefits from your system when the sun is out.
Imagine if we could change that, if instead of investing what could be an additional $10,000 in a battery system at your home, you saved that money and shared a storage system with your neighbours at the end of the street. Your energy is stored in the community battery for you to draw on when you need it, plus you could sell back to the grid the energy you don’t use.
Rob Amphlett Lewis, Chief Customer Officer
Ausgrid is conducting a feasibility study in collaboration with customer groups to determine the best approach to a future with community batteries and is now asking customers and the community to engage with the project in the next phase to establish customers appetite for this service.
“There is no doubt, there are regulatory challenges and technical complexities to making these community batteries a reality, but we think it’s worth investigating,” Mr Amphlett Lewis said.
Customers subscribing to a community battery could enjoy benefits that don’t apply to customers who have installed a home battery system. These benefits could include:
No upfront and installation costs
No maintenance costs
The potential to offer a range of different storage size options
Flexibility to change storage sizes if photovoltaic (PV) system size increases, or consumption patterns change.