Saturday, September 18, 2021

Mildura sparks community battery project

The Mildura region has been part of a successful bid for inclusion in the Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative to identify potential locations for community batteries in the municipality.

Mildura Rural City Council was among seven municipalities included in the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance’s (CVGA) successful funding bid, which will also see a preliminary study on a potential community battery site in the Mildura region.

Councillor for Environment and Sustainability, Jodi Reynolds said neighbourhood batteries capitalised on the increasing prevalence of solar systems, soaking up excess output from residential and commercial solar systems during the day, and then dispatching it when needed to provide stability in the electricity grid.

“Funding from the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative will allow us to assess and plan for the best locations for these batteries across our region,” Cr Reynolds said.

“Our region is perfectly positioned to benefit from this program given the strong take up of rooftop solar PV systems, including many Council buildings and facilities, as well as our climate and hours of sunshine each year.”

CVGA Executive Officer, Rob Law said the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative would allow projects to be tailored to meet specific communities’ needs.

“With the right model, community batteries have the potential to improve energy resilience and part of our job will be to see what works best for the different communities and how we can maximise those benefits,” Mr Law said. 

According to the Victorian Government, around 20% of Victorian households now have solar panels – a figure which is expected to grow to 50% by 2030.

Cr Reynolds said the Neighbourhood Battery Initiative would be another important tool in Council’s aim of achieving zero net carbon emissions by 2050, and followed Council’s recent switch to electricity generated solely by renewables as part of the Victorian Energy Collaboration.

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