Powercor has installed its first neighbourhood 120kW/360kWh battery in Melbourne’s western suburbs, which will supply energy to about 170 nearby homes for up to three hours during peak electricity demand periods.

The project received $800,000 funding from the Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative (NBI) and planning support from Wyndham City Council. The battery will be charged by both network electricity and local rooftop solar generation. 

Powercor Chief Executive Officer Tim Rourke and Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio visited Gleneagles Avenue Park in Tarneit to mark the completion of the battery and artwork.

Mr Rourke said batteries will assist Powercor in providing reliable, safe and affordable power to homes and businesses in a clean energy future.

“As more Victorians choose to electrify their homes, we expect batteries will become important assets on the network to help meet the demands of our customers at peak times,” Mr Rourke said.

“Batteries also play a role in supporting growing communities and their solar connections, while minimising the cost of network upgrades.

“In Tarneit and the surrounding suburbs, almost one in two homes has rooftop solar, making this an ideal location for our first neighbourhood battery,” Mr Rourke said.

The battery was developed under Powercor’s Electric Avenue project model for neighbourhood batteries on the low voltage network. This prioritises site selection based on a range of community-centric criteria and draws on local artists to beautify the battery as a public asset.

Tarneit residents were consulted on the artwork style preferred for the battery and a neighbouring electrical kiosk. Artist 23rd Key was selected with a design depicting the flora and fauna of the local environment.

In 2022, an Electric Avenue Feasibility Study led by Powercor found that demand for action on carbon emissions reduction and climate change are the top reasons why both urban and regional communities are calling for neighbourhood batteries as part of their electricity distribution networks.

“As the transition to renewable energy continues and the take-up of consumer energy generation escalates, Powercor intends to support this need and where suitable, energy storage in all its forms,” Mr Rourke said.

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