A 5MW/10MWh lithium-ion phosphate battery energy system installed on Phillip Island off the coast of southeastern Victoria has been switched on, ready to help power the popular tourist destination through holiday peaks.
The Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System, or PICESS, was installed by AusNet Services and its renewables-focused offshoot Mondo Power as the Bass Coast island’s first major step to sourcing 100 per cent renewables.
As One Step Off The Grid reported in October 2021, the project has received up to $55,000 in grants from the Victorian government through its Neighbourhood Battery Initiative grant program.
With the capacity to power more than 8,000 homes for two hours, or 700 homes for one day, the Hitachi battery will replace the diesel generators previously used to shore up the Island’s electricity supply during holiday peaks and annual events like the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
The developers also hope the PICESS project will open up opportunities for further renewables development on the Island, which is best known for hosting the largest Little Penguin colony in the world.
“The population of Phillip Island more than quadruples over summer, which puts a strain on the local electricity network, and at times, leads to power dropping out,” said said AusNet CEO Tony Narvaez at the launch of the battery on the weekend, also attended by Victoria energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
“This battery, which in time will be powered by renewable energy, will help solve this issue.”
Totally Renewable Phillip Island (TRPI) and the Energy Innovation Cooperative (EI Coop) have worked closely with AusNet, Mondo, and the Bass Coast Shire Council to deliver the battery.
“This project is the first of its kind on Phillip Island and it has helped us build a greater understanding of how batteries fit into the broader energy transition from coal-generated electricity to renewables,” added Navarez.
“Replacing generators with the big battery will stabilise electricity supply on the Island when it’s needed most.”
The Hitachi 5MW/10MWh lithium-ion phosphate battery energy system has the capacity to power more than 8,000 homes for 2 hours or 700 homes for a day. It is located in a 38m x 34m fenced high voltage compound and is connected to the electricity grid via underground cables.
“Twenty-five local jobs were created in the region during construction, with the project providing Phillip Island residents with new energy job opportunities,” said Mr Narvaez.