Melbourne trials ambitious energy storage project

Wednesday, 14 February, 2024

Melbourne trials ambitious energy storage project

The City of Melbourne is launching the first stage of an ambitious energy storage project that aims to accelerate the city’s transition to 100% renewable energy by 2030, while simultaneously delivering more affordable renewable energy to residents and businesses.

The pilot stage of Power Melbourne will see three battery energy storage systems — with a combined capacity of 450 kW/1 MWh — installed at Library at the Dock, Boyd Community Hub and a Council House site.

The batteries will charge during the day when there is a higher proportion of renewable energy in the grid. Stored energy from the batteries will then be released back into the grid when it’s needed most.

“Storage is the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to providing residents and businesses with access to affordable renewable energy,” said Environment portfolio lead Councillor Rohan Leppert.

The project’s pilot phase will test the Power Melbourne model, gaining insights to inform the expansion of the battery network and retail offering in the future.

More than 85% of Melburnians surveyed by the City of Melbourne supported the installation of community batteries in their local area. The majority of residents and businesses also agreed that urgent action is needed on climate change.

Following a rigorous tender process, Origin Energy was selected to partner with the council to install and operate the batteries. This work will be undertaken by the energy company’s Origin Zero team, which works with large businesses and councils.

“Partnerships are crucial to the success of innovative projects like this — that’s why we’ve teamed up with Origin Energy to build and operate this flagship battery power network,” said Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

“Power Melbourne will benefit residents who live or work in apartment buildings and can’t install their own solar panels, while driving new investment and creating jobs.”

The City of Melbourne is also working with The University of Melbourne, RMIT University and inner-city councils to ensure the Power Melbourne model can be replicated across greater Melbourne and beyond. It will continue to consult with residents and businesses as it tests the initial network.

All three batteries in the Power Melbourne pilot network are expected to be installed by mid-2024.

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