Another round of funding for community batteries has opened as part of the push to get coal-fired power out of the national electricity grid.

The federal program is building community-scale batteries that would store excess solar power generated from rooftop panels and share it with other households and businesses during peak times.

The scheme aims to lower electricity bills by reducing network costs, easing pressure on the electricity grid and cutting emissions.

“One in three households in Australia now has solar panels on their roofs,” Energy Minister Chris Bowen said on Tuesday.

“We have the highest uptake in the world, and we can take advantage of that for our grid and for household energy bills.”

Mr Bowen said the batteries would help nearby residents by reducing network charges, regardless of whether they have a rooftop solar system.

He said the Australian Renewable Energy Agency would split $120 million among distributed service network providers (DNSPs), which are organisations that own and manage energy network hardware, and other project proponents.

Applications are open for up to $20 million to build a minimum of five batteries.

Projects can range in size from 50 kilowatts to 5 megawatts.

Grant guidelines for the first 58 community batteries were released last year, and the aim is to get that total to 400 – covering up to 100,000 households.


Marion Rae
(Australian Associated Press)

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