The energy system is changing, with more and more of us are installing rooftop solar, batteries and smart appliances. Electric vehicles are likely to be adopted in larger numbers in the near future.
The Australian National University has a Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program which is seeking to demonstrate how community energy models can reduce costs for customers whilst increasing the amount of renewable energy generation and storage that can be installed in electricity distribution networks. The program has a number of funders including ARENA and the ACT Government.
A webinar from ANU on 13 May discussed many aspects of the trial being conducted in the Canberra suburb of Jacka. 700 homes are being connected to a suburb wide energy system. The concept is to set up a local energy system that reduces power export to the grid. Excess generated during the day is captured and shared with the connected houses in the evening. Trials are also underway in Western Australia which are easier to undertake because energy production has not been privatised.
The webinar discussed
- access and affordability
- who are batteries for – the community or the network
- the need for society and community acceptance
- how to involve community – part of study
- tension between industry and community
- is energy a social good?
- how to achieve effective governance
The DRA wonders if our Association should pursue this topic and seek collaboration among residents for a local storage facility. Is this a matter for consideration in the forthcoming ACT elections.
Batteries can be the size of a shipping container. We are already familiar with transformers in our suburb.
DRA is looking for drivers of this potential initiative.