A 105kW (420kWh) Tesla battery owned and operated by Western Power and Synergy and connected to the grid in Meadow Springs will be an Australian-first trial to integrate bulk battery storage into the existing grid.

The PowerBank trial will be the first time in Australia that a utility-scale battery is integrated into an already-established major metropolitan network, to allow a shared storage service to meet an individual customer’s needs.

Customers participating in the 24-month trial will be able to virtually store excess power they generate during the day from their solar PV systems in the battery, and then draw down on that power during the peak evening period.

These customers will be able to use 8kWhs of the PowerBank battery storage without having to outlay upfront costs for a behind the meter battery storage system. 8kWhs is enough to power the average suburban home for over one hour during peak time.

Western Australian Minister for Energy, Ben Wyatt, said the PowerBank is an ‘in front of the meter’ storage trial which allows invited local customers to store excess electricity from already installed solar PV systems to then use it during peak times.

“This is another Australian milestone for the application of utility-scale batteries for the benefit for customers, drawing on the groundbreaking work by Synergy in its Alkimos Beach energy storage trial, “ Mr Wyatt said.

“For the first time in Australia, a utility-scale battery will be integrated into an established suburb’s network, like Meadow Springs, that has a high level of existing solar PV uptake.

PowerBank trial participants will be given greater access to their usage patterns and daily storage data online via the Synergy website, while maintaining reliability of supply from their Western Power grid connection during overcast days.

Homes taking part in the trial will not be locked into the program, which will allow them continuing flexibility and choice in deciding how they meet their individual electricity needs.

Customers will also receive a quarterly activity statement advising of savings to date, using a system developed by Synergy.

Lauren Butler

Lauren ‘LJ’ Butler is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and has been part of the team at Monkey Media since 2018.

After completing a Bachelor of Media, Communications and Professional Writing at the University of Wollongong in 2014, and prior to writing about the utility sector, LJ worked as a Journalist and Sub Editor across the horticulture, hardware, power equipment, construction and accommodation industries with publishers such as Glenvale Publications, Multimedia Publishing and Bean Media Group.

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