A community-level solar battery that will benefit renters, unit owners, and other residents of The Gap who can’t install rooftop solar panels has been pledged as part of the “Powering Australia” plan.
Community batteries would mean that households who can’t install solar would be able to draw excess electricity from these power sources. And this is what Labor Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen has promised to deliver, as part of Labor’s “Powering Australia” plan, when he visited a community in The Gap.
Under the plan, Labor pledges to install 400 community batteries across Australia that will cost $200 million to deliver and will benefit up to 100,000 households.
“Australia is perfect for rooftop solar, with more than 1 in 5 Australian households already joining the solar revolution,” the Labor Party said.
“That’s the highest uptake in the world. But just 1 in 60 households has battery storage – because the upfront costs are still just too high.”
What exactly is a community battery?
About the size of a 4WD vehicle, a community battery provides approximately 500kWH of storage and can support up to 250 households. The Commonwealth will fund these community batteries and will be operated by network operators who will invite households to participate, much like how they are offering solar and battery schemes today.
Power generated from solar households will be fed to the community battery which will then draw the stored energy at night whilst excess electricity can be sold into the grid during peak hours. Households will benefit from these community batteries by cutting down electricity bills, cutting emissions and reducing pressure on the grid.
“Community batteries are being rolled out in various locations around Australia. Labor’s support will accelerate the rollout to the benefit of households and the environment.”
Labor said that their ‘Powering Australia” plan will create 604,000 jobs, with 5 out of 6 new jobs to be created in the regions, spur $76 billion of investment, and cut power bills for families and businesses by $275 a year for homes by 2025.