The journey to 100 per cent renewables by north-eastern Victorian town Yackandandah is making steady progress towards its 2022 target, with works underway on the installation and commissioning of a community-scale battery energy storage system.
The project, led by Totally Renewable Yackandandah and Indigo Power – a company established with the aim of building a network of community solar and storage hubs across regional Victoria – is installing a 274kWh battery at the town as part of its goal to shift entirely to solar and storage by 2022.
TRY and Indigo Power raised $250,000 towards the project with additional funding coming from a $171,000 grant through the state Labor government’s New Energy Jobs Fund in October of last year.
TRY’s Juliette Millbank confirmed to One Step this week that the community battery was currently being installed in the town and was expected to be switched on in the coming month.
Yackandandah’s years-long solar and storage effort – which in 2019 saw 10 public buildings flick the switch to solar – has also attracted the support of local grid operator Ausnet, which is interested in how to manage the shift to distributed energy.
Ausnet and its offshoot Mondo – a subsidiary launched to help Victorian regional communities shift to renewables – previously won a Clean Energy Council innovation award for the work in Yackandandah, and an earlier Victoria government grant contributed $104,000 from the Renewable Communities Program to match $84,000 raised locally.
The town currently has three functioning microgrids, 191 buildings contributing to the minigrid and a rooftop solar density approaching 60% of buildings, according to the TRY website.
It also has the previously mentioned public virtual power plant, with solar installations on 10 public buildings and small-scale batteries at three of them.