Network of 35 neighbourhood batteries taking shape in Australia

Queensland government-owned energy company Energex is pushing ahead with the deployment of up to 35 pole- and ground-mounted community batteries in the city of Ipswich as it explores how to best store and reuse solar energy from the state’s approximately 1 million rooftop solar systems.
Workers installing battery
Image: Ipswich Neighbourhood Battery Trial Community Reference Group

State-owned electricity distribution network service provider Energex has partnered with retailer Origin Energy on a $10 million neighbourhood battery trial that will deliver 35 batteries across Ipswich in Queensland’s southeast.

The Ipswich Neighbourhood Battery Trial, launched last year, includes the installation of 30 pole-mounted 30 kW / 60 kWh capacity batteries. The five ground-level installs will see multiple modules placed beside each other, delivering a total 90 kW / 180 kWh of storage capacity. The batteries will be owned, installed and maintained by Energex and operated by Origin in the wholesale energy market.

Origin said when all batteries are fully charged they will be capable of supplying enough power over about two hours during the evening peak, at the full discharge rate, for up to 15 households, or between 4 kWh to 6 kWh of energy per customer.

The batteries are being supplied by Pixii and EcoJoule. Pixii is providing its PowerShaper battery that is manufactured in Norway and assembled at Archerfield in Brisbane.

Queensland-based manufacturer EcoJoule is supplying its Eco Store product, a pole-mounted 30 kVA / 65 kWh three-phase battery energy storage system (BESS) that has been developed and manufactured in the southern Brisbane suburb of Loganholme.

The Eco Store consists of three pole-mounted cabinets each containing a 10 kVA / 21.9 kWh BESS coordinated together to operate as a three phase BESS. The company said having separate inverters per phase allows true unbalanced operation and advanced grid support. It has full four quadrant power capability able to sink or source any combination of real and reactive power up to 10 kVA per phase.

Residents living in the suburbs of Raceview, Goodna, Flinders View, Silkstone, Bellbird Park, and Redbank Plains are eligible to participate in the trial.

Ground mounted batteries
Up to 35 pole and ground mounted batteries are included in the Ipswich Neighbourhood Battery Trial. Image: Energex

Energex said the initiative will help inform solutions to manage risks around minimum demand, as a result of the state’s one million solar energy systems feeding energy into the grid during the day during low demand, followed by an evening peak.

Upon completion of the trial, Energex and Origin will review the data and feedback collected to understand the benefits and challenges of installing and operating of low-voltage connected batteries.

Energex is also advancing trials of battery energy storage technologies with a vanadium flow battery to be installed at its Berrinba Depot while a zinc bromine system is expected to be installed at its Ipswich South substation. The company also plans to study the benefits of iron flow battery technology.

From pv magazine Australia

Written by

  • Ev is new to pv magazine and brings three decades of experience as a writer, editor, photographer and designer for print and online publications in Australia, the UAE, the USA and Singapore. Based in regional NSW, she is passionate about Australia’s commitment to clean energy solutions.


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