A 274kWh community battery that will underpin the 100 per cent renewable plans of the Victorian regional town of Yackandandah has been officially launched in the state’s north-east, alongside a 64kW rooftop solar array.
The Totally Renewable Yackandandah (TRY) Community Battery and the Twist Creek Microgrid were both declared open on Thursday by Victorian energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio, marking the town’s latest step to being powered entirely by solar and storage by 2022.
The battery – which is Victoria’s first behind-the-meter, community-owned solar and battery system – will store solar from the 64kW array and have the capacity to power up to 40 Yackandandah households, including into the evening peak.
TRY has dubbed the project Yack01 and describes it as “a pilot project to demonstrate the feasibility of a behind-the-meter community battery and it’s integration into a minigrid, in addition to contributing towards our 100% renewable energy goal.”
According to TRY website, both the battery and the solar panels were installed by locally based company Solar Integrity alongside other local contractors, while the battery is being commissioned by the manufacturer, SunGrow.
The microgrid project, led by TRY and community retailer Indigo Power, has had more than $550,000 in financial support from the Labor Andrews government, including $171,000 from the New Energy Jobs Fund and $380,000 from the Microgrid Demonstration Initiative. TRY and Indigo Power have themselves raised $250,000 towards its installation.
All told, TRY – since its establishment in 2014 – has developed three functioning microgrids, a 10-building virtual power plant made of solar and behind-the-meter battery storage, and driven the uptake of rooftop solar on 60% of buildings in the Yack valley.
Plans are also underway to expand the public VPP and promote the replacement of old and inefficient hot water systems with high-efficiency, low-emissions options.
“Totally Renewable Yackandandah and Indigo Power are setting a great example with their ambitious targets and work to get Yackandandah on 100 per cent renewable energy by the end of next year,” said D’Ambrosio on Thursday.
“Projects like these show the community is keen to embrace renewables. This grassroots enthusiasm is so important as Victoria works to halve its emissions by 2030.”