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Transforming the grid with pole-mounted batteries

The Australian Government is supporting a trial of batteries mounted on power poles across Melbourne’s south east. The technology will help manage electricity from rooftop solar, and periods of peak demand on the network.

Through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the government is providing $4 million towards the trial. The $10.98 million project will see 40 custom-built batteries mounted to electricity poles across United Energy’s distribution network. The batteries will operate as a virtual power plant (VPP), providing demand management services, and increasing hosting capacity for rooftop solar.

Each of the 30 kW batteries will provide at least 2 hours of storage and will be installed at strategic locations across the network. 

The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction said the trial could improve the way power networks integrate rooftop solar generation and storage. It would also enhance system reliability and security.

‘By managing the batteries, the electricity supplier can reduce the stresses on local transformers at peak times, while providing wholesale power at other times,’ the Minister said.

To read more, see the Minister’s media release and the ARENA announcement.