More than 75% of Melburnians support the installation of neighbourhood batteries in their local area, according to the City of Melbourne’s first Power Melbourne community survey.
Council says the innovative renewable energy initiative will establish a network of neighbourhood-scale batteries across the city and be delivered in partnership with the University of Melbourne and RMIT.
“Power Melbourne is gaining momentum, and it’s clear we have the support of our community to move ahead with this ambitious initiative,” said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.
“We know green technology is the way of the future, which is why we’re committed to achieving our mission of powering our city with 100% renewable energy by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2040.”
She said the project will create jobs and spur innovation in green-tech and position Melbourne as the centre for clean energy in Australia.
“Powering Melbourne with renewable energy sources will make energy more affordable for businesses and residents, deliver jobs and provide a boost to the local economy, reduce our environmental footprint and create a more sustainable future for all Melburnians.”
“Our community is a focus in the development and delivery of Power Melbourne, and we look forward to collaborating with them as the project comes to life,” the Lord Mayor said.
At Tuesday’s Future Melbourne Committee meeting, Councillors will consider the next steps for progressing the ambitious project, based on findings from stakeholder and community consultation.
The community has shown support for the Council-managed proposed battery locations, including Library at the Dock, Boyd Community Hub, Council House 2, the Queen Victoria Market precinct and Kensington Community Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
Council was recently awarded a $750,000 grant through the Victorian State Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative to support the delivery of its first battery at Library at the Dock.
Survey respondents also identified sporting facilities, universities, shopping centres, train stations and traffic islands as alternative battery locations for consideration.
The large majority of those surveyed agreed urgent action is needed on climate change, and that now is the time for Melbourne to accelerate its transition to renewable energy.
Findings highlighted that affordability, reliability and a 100 per cent renewable energy guarantee were critical to ensuring a successful switch to a neighbourhood battery energy plan.
“Power Melbourne will build a neighbourhood-scale battery network, enabling more renewable energy into the grid to reduce emissions and contribute to a more sustainable future,” said Environment portfolio lead, Councillor Rohan Leppert.
“Power Melbourne will help us to transition city businesses and residents to renewables – creating energy efficient urban communities that are sustainable, affordable and inclusive.”
Providing an equal opportunity for Melburnians who need it most to access cleaner, cheaper energy was also identified as a community priority.
The second phase of Power Melbourne community consultation will commence in early 2023.