WA Gets Another Community Battery

 

wa community battery

Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan and Energy Minister Bill Johnston have launched the latest community solar battery in Port Kennedy, Rockingham. The 464kWh Tesla battery is the fifth community battery installed, this was based on the success of the trials undertaken in Meadow Springs, Falcon, Ellenbrook and Kalgoorlie.

These batteries have been very successful in delivering community wide benefits such as improved power flow, improved power quality and reducing household power bills. Households who already have solar installed will potentially have access to the battery as a virtual storage system. This means households get all the benefits of using a solar battery without incurring the significant upfront cost of actually installing one.

Premier Mark McGowan says, “Western Australia is a great place to harness the sun as a renewable energy source, and we are committed to leading the nation in network storage solutions to continue modernising our electricity mix”.

mark mcgowan wa community battery

Network-connected batteries like this one have reduced in price significantly over the years and are a much smarter solution to network modification compared to other, more traditional methods.

Energy Minister Bill Johnston states: “Port Kennedy’s new community battery will provide immediate benefits for the network by balancing demand, maintaining power quality to local homes and businesses, and allowing more homes in the area to install solar panels.

“Western Power continues to identify other high-solar penetration areas to install more community batteries and I look forward to announcing these locations later this year.”

This is a very exciting time for solar. We hope to see Australia continue to push to be the leading nation for renewable energy, particularly solar. If you’re interested in investing in your future, helping the planet and becoming involved in community initiatives like this, you can install solar panels on your home or business.

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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