When it comes to energy, there is a lot of talk about batteries, and for good reason. The energy storage that batteries provide can answer a few of the challenges faced by modern electricity networks: how to maximise the efficient use of renewable energy while maintaining stable and reliable power and reducing reliance on carbon.

Batteries of all sizes are expected to play an important role, from large-scale batteries like the one in South Australia, to the smaller in-home and EV batteries. And in between those two are the batteries you’ll start hearing more about and benefiting from soon - community batteries.

What is a community battery?

Community batteries are larger sized battery units embedded in the network that allow for shared battery storage.

Community batteries enable customers to store the excess power generated during the day by their rooftop solar cells for use later in the evening, when demand on the electricity network is higher. It means that customers can use more of the power that they actually generate.

This drives down energy bills for participating customers, lessens our dependence on coal-powered energy, and helps stabilise the flow of energy on the grid.

Community batteries are a proven and exciting technology. They will be a useful tool to help us offer new services for customers while managing the network as efficiently as possible. We can drive down the cost of power for customers and improve the sustainability of how the network distributes power.

Community batteries on the Endeavour Energy network

Endeavour Energy has commenced its Community Batteries Initiative, proposing demonstration batteries in locations where there are known network constraints.

These demonstration batteries will help us understand how we can best configure community batteries on the Endeavour Energy network, ensuring we maximise the benefits of community batteries to our customers, both in terms of cost savings and environmental outcomes.

These benefits include lowering participating customer energy bills, improving access to residential green power solutions, unlocking new customer services through offsite storage, lowering network solution costs (which lowers pressure on energy prices for all customers) and providing support for rooftop solar and other emerging technologies, such as electric vehicles (for example through co-located EV charging stations).

We expect the first customers will be able to access our demonstration community batteries early in 2022.

Access to the demonstration batteries will be offered to customers in local communities. Customers don’t need to be directly connected to the battery, but they will be able to store and access their excess solar power via the network.

Not only will it mean customers can store their excess power at a fraction of the cost, community batteries in our cities, towns and suburbs will support high quality power on our network, which is good for everyone in the community.

It’s one of the ways we’re using technology to create a more modern grid that allows for more renewables in our network and gives customers more control over their energy.