A pilot community battery is planned for Warriewoood as part of the Federal Government’s program to deploy 400 community batteries across Australia. It is very early days in the program in terms of how the batteries will work within communities and some confusion as to the difference between them and having your own solar storage battery in a Virtual Power Plant. We hope these brief explanations help:
Community batteries are typically installed in centralised areas within neighbourhoods where there is a high concentration of solar installations. This setup allows for excess solar energy to be fed into the grid during peak generation periods. The community battery then stores this excess energy for later use.
During times when the grid is under stress, such as when residents return home from work and electricity demand increases, the community battery can discharge its stored energy back onto the grid. By doing so, it helps meet the increased demand and reduces the strain on the grid infrastructure.
The primary benefits of community batteries may not necessarily be financial for the community members. Instead, they focus on enhancing grid reliability and reducing the likelihood of grid outages. The centralised energy management associated with the community battery determines how and when the stored energy is distributed to support the local grid. It’s important to note that community batteries are not intended to replace the individual benefits of having one’s own solar battery.
Your solar battery gives you independence and money-making options. You can use most of your self-generated energy. If you need to purchase from the grid, you can do it at the lowest rates. And with battery back-up you can keep your power on when the grid is down. You can also make money by joining a Virtual Power Plant.
The main constraint for people is that a solar battery can cost as much as the solar power system itself. Solarpro has recently introduced a 6.6kW solar and 10kWh battery package which includes 16 solar panels and costs less than some individual batteries. We’ve also added good quality, lower priced batteries to our range, and have no-upfront-cost loans available.
With the cost of electricity, customers are finding, even with the loan repayments, they can save money. We can crunch the figures for you before you decide to buy. We are also partners with an energy retailer in Ausgrid’s two-way tariff trial. Through this. Solarpro customers get the full value of what their energy is worth in the wholesale market plus a $0.30 cent feed-in tariff bonus when they export to the grid. Through partnerships we are also able to facilitate Solarpro customers in joining a VPP.
Virtual Power Plants
VPPs are changing the future of energy storage and distribution, providing a cloud-based bridge between renewable energy and the coal-based electricity grid, enabling better demand management and lower electricity prices. If you own a solar battery, you can join a VPP. They are typically ‘opt-in, opt-out’ so you are not tied in. The network of connected homes in a VPP join to support the grid, either by releasing power onto it, or storing power from it. In return, participants are paid an incentive each time their battery storage is required.
The amount of money participants can earn depends on a variety of factors including the number of times power is required from their battery and the structure of customer incentives established by the different VPPs. The goal of a VPP is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels through the reliable use of renewable energy such as solar power. This ultimately means lower electricity prices for all.
For more info on the Warriewood shared battery, visit yoursay.ausgrid.com.au/sharedbatterywarriewood.
Give us a call to discuss what solar can do for you.