Australian network company AusNet Services has teamed up with its renewable energy-focused offshoot, Mondo Power, to develop the first community-scale battery energy storage system on Phillip Island, a Victorian Bass Coast community’s first major step to sourcing 100 per cent renewables.
The Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System (PICESS), a 10MWh lithium-ion phosphate battery storage system, has been proposed by AusNet Services and Mondo as a means to shore up electricity supply reliability for the Island – especially important during peak holiday periods and events like the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Phillip Island Circuit.
The developers also hope that the PICESS project will open up opportunities for greater renewable energy development on the Island, which is best known for hosting the largest Little Penguin colony in the world, providing the foundations for a future ecosystem of locally generated electricity.
“Mondo is excited to be supporting the co-design of the future of energy for the residents of Phillip Island and believe in the value of distributed energy resources …for customers and communities alike,” said Jodie Hallam, general manager of energy services at Mondo.
Mondo Power was spun out of AusNet as a fully independent subsidiary geared towards helping communities shift to locally sourced clean power. It has been working closely with Totally Renewable Yackandandah on that north-eastern Victorian town’s journey to 100 per cent renewables.
Backing the PICESS project is up to $55,000 in grants from the Victorian government through its Neighbourhood Battery Initiative grant program which will help fund feasibility studies and trials.
The first such grant will be used to fund the investigation and installation of up to ten street level low voltage batteries to further stabilise Phillip Island’s power and increase the electricity network’s capacity to host renewable energy sources.
The second funding grant will trial ways electricity tariffs can be used in combination with the PICESS to provide Phillip Island locals with “virtual battery storage”.
AusNet Services and Mondo will work together with local community groups Totally Renewable Phillip Island (TRPI) and the Energy Innovation Cooperative. The Bass Coast Shire Council will also work with Mondo to review suitable locations for the PICESS project.
“The announcement of this battery is thrilling for the member groups of Totally Renewable Phillip Island,” said Mary Whelan, Chair of TRPI.
“It is terrific to see our plans and targets take shape, and we are looking forward to cooperatively uncovering the ways the battery being introduced by AusNet and Mondo, can turbo charge our sprint toward 100% renewable energy.”