The City of Melbourne is seeking partners to help establish a network of “neighbourhood-scale” battery energy storage systems, up to a potential capacity of 5MW (MWh unspecified), as part of a pilot project planned for 2022.
Dubbed the Power Melbourne project, the council-led scheme would install mid-sized battery systems across the city, with an initial focus on existing Council infrastructure and the Melbourne Innovation District in the CBD’s north.
Future battery locations would be proposed for areas where network demand was constrained or was expected to increase over the coming decades, the Council said.
For now, however, the business case for the pilot battery network was being developed with a potential future capacity of 5MW (MWh not specified) by 2024.
City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the battery rollout promised to pave the way for greater uptake of renewables, create new opportunities for research, training and jobs, and help build Melbourne’s reputation as a centre for clean energy innovation.
“Power Melbourne is one way we can contribute to a greener future, but we won’t be able to do this alone, so we will be calling on government and the private sector to get involved,” Capp said.
The Council has allocated $300,000 to deliver the pilot, which aimed to establish a model for urban battery network development that would be replicable across the country.
“Power Melbourne will deliver a huge amount of insight and data into how we can best reform our electricity networks to encourage more renewables and battery storage,” said City of Melbourne environment portfolio lead Councillor Rohan Leppert.
“Energy storage will help make more efficient use of the network, and will play an important role in accelerating our transition to a highly renewable electricity grid and low carbon economy.
“The neighbourhood-scale batteries will be coordinated to deliver sustainable energy back into the grid when it is needed most,” Leppert said.
The City of Melbourne has been a strong supporter of renewables and, in early 2019, became Australia’s first capital city council to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, via a ground-breaking energy procurement scheme.
That scheme, first launched back in 2014, gathered together other large energy users and used the collective buying power to attract competitively priced renewable energy proposals.
The MREP – Melbourne Renewable Energy Project – was a resounding success, resulting in a first tender, for 88GWh a year of renewable energy, which helped to underwrite construction of Pacific Hydro’s 80MW Crowlands wind farm, near Ararat.