A new $2.3 million grant program in Victoria is set to support urban renewable energy with the installation of neighbourhood batteries to store solar energy.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, celebrated World Environment Day on 5 June, by announcing more than $2.3 million for a new grant program for neighbourhood batteries, supercharging the clean energy transition in communities across Victoria.

Victorian applications for the grants are now open to a broad range of organisations to prioritise projects that focus on equity of access to affordable renewable energy, for example to renters or apartment dwellers without access to solar panels.

The program funded Victoria’s first community battery in Fitzroy North which was unveiled by Yarra City Council on 5 June.

The Fitzroy North battery will soak up excess rooftop solar and supply surrounding homes with local renewable energy. The project has a sustainable commercial model with the potential for future community ownership. The battery has been decorated by a mural entitled ‘Set the controls to harness the sun’ by artist Hayden Dewar.

“Victoria’s first community battery is empowering the local community to drive down their power bills with access to cheap local renewable energy and also be part of halving emissions by 2030,” Ms D’Ambrosio said. 

“Neighbourhoods across Victoria will soon have batteries – not only helping slash carbon emissions and energy prices but letting communities by part of their transition to clean energy.”

The Yarra Energy Foundation received $800,000 from the NBI for the 110kW/284kWh battery system.

The Government has invested almost $11 million in the NBI with nearly $4 million in grants already invested to pilot the role neighbourhood batteries will play in Victoria’s transitioning electricity system. Batteries are already being built in Tarneit, Phillip Island and Yackandandah.

Neighbourhood batteries store excess energy produced by solar panels on local homes during the day and can then provide energy back to the community when people turn the lights on at night.

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Image courtesty of Yarra City Council. 

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