Plans for a community battery

Plans for a community battery
Sean Car

Federal Member for the seat of Maribyrnong Bill Shorten has announced that a victorious Labor Government would provide residents of the Flemington Public Housing Estate with direct access to renewable energy through the installation of a new community battery.

Federal Labor’s “Power to the People” program would allow households that don’t have rooftop solar, such as renters and public housing residents, to draw from community batteries by “paying a small fee”.

To demonstrate the concept, Labor has selected the Flemington Public Housing Estate as one of the first indicative locations for a community battery should opposition leader Anthony Albanese and his team win government in May.

While only 12 per cent of households in the Moonee Valley municipality currently have rooftop solar, nearby households with solar will feed electricity into a battery location at, or near, the estate.

Those households, and Estate residents who choose to participate, will then draw electricity from the battery before resorting to the grid.

While community batteries usually work “like a sponge” to absorb excess renewable energy, the municipality’s low solar levels would require a variety of appropriate locations to be identified locally for an array of solar to be installed, as well as other forms of remote energy generation.

Labor said it would work with the Victorian Government, Moonee Valley City Council, the Estate, the local community and the local electricity distributor Jemena to finalise details and determine an appropriate location for the battery •

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