Hunter launches first community battery

Hunter launches first community battery

Enova Community Energy’s first shared community battery will be installed at a site in Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Region of NSW, in an innovative peer-to-peer solar energy trading initiative known as The Beehive Project.

The 1-megawatt battery will be installed at the Ausgrid substation on the outskirts of Kurri Kurri later this year.

About the size of a shipping container the battery will be operated by Enova to maximise its value at the wholesale level and deliver benefits to energy customers and the community.

The project is a unique pilot, to be analysed and documented with outcomes widely shared by the University of Newcastle.

Enova received funding from the NSW Regional Community Energy Fund to support the implementation of the battery. It will be paired with online platform Powertracer, developed by technology company Enosi, that will enable peer-to-peer energy trading between participants and the battery.

The peer-to-peer program will enable 500 participants to buy and sell (or trade) rooftop solar energy from each other and trade with the battery itself.

Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, said it’s great to see the regional community energy sector taking control of their own projects and embracing clean energy.

“Innovative renewable energy projects like the Enova shared community battery will help to make electricity more reliable and affordable for our regional communities,” he said.

Enova Community Energy CEO, Felicity Stening said the project is one of a kind and could change the way we use and manage electricity in Australia.

“This project is unique. Not only is it a key strategic initiative for Enova, it’s also the first of its kind in Australia. Projects like this have the potential to change the face of the electricity system as we know it,” she said.

“With our partners Enosi and University of Newcastle, we’re looking forward to generating great results and learnings that can be shared with the broader community, so that the capability to generate, store and share renewable energy can start to be part of the new normal.”

In welcoming the project location, Cessnock Council Mayor Bob Pynset said they were proud to be chosen as the home to such a forward-thinking project and that he is excited to see how this could be a real shift to more renewable energy in the region.

“This community battery project is a ground-breaking initiative, there’s nothing else like it in

Australia. I’m proud that Cessnock City Council has played its part in giving it a home,” he said.

“The Hunter region is navigating its way from being seen as only a coal producing region, toward a region of opportunity. This opportunity to support a community energy asset could not have come at a more important time. We’re thrilled to invite our community to get involved by registering to participate.”

Ausgrid Chief Customer Officer, Rob Amphlett Lewis said they are excited by the opportunities solar energy could provide customers and that they are proud to partner with Enova to give this project a site in the Hunter.

“Ausgrid is committed to empowering customers to have greater control of their energy use by harnessing the energy generated by their solar panels,” Rob said.

“We are pleased to be able to work with Enova to provide access to our site and the grid for this project.”

Kurri Kurri locals and Hunter region residents are invited to register their application to participate in the shared community battery project, by visiting Enova Energy’s website.

Enova will invite at least 500 households with and without roof top solar to participate. Project participants can live anywhere in New South Wales. The project will enable them to share and trade rooftop solar energy with each other and with the battery itself.

IMAGE | University of Newcastle Researchers on ENOVA project.

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