3 communities in WA, pool resources to create Australian-first, Tesla PowerBank

What do you do if most of your the houses in your community have solar, but don’t have any way to store the captured energy? You build it. By...
Image credit: WesternPower

What do you do if most of your the houses in your community have solar, but don’t have any way to store the captured energy? You build it. By pooling resources, 3 communitiy in Western Australia have created a Tesla PowerBank.

One of the most wasteful things we do with electricity is to transport it long distances. When transferring between the point of generation and the point of use, there’s a number of factors that contribute to the inneficiency.

Schneider Electrical estimate the overall losses ranges between 8 to a massive 15%. This is made up of:

  • 1-2% – Step-up transformer from generator to Transmission line
  • 2-4% – Transmission line
  • 1-2% – Step-down transformer from Transmission line to Distribution network
  • 4-6% – Distribution network transformers and cables

This means using energy closer to the source of capture is far more efficient and should be done to minimise cost wherever possible.

The community battery project includes:

  1. Meadow Springs, Mandurah: first trial launched in October 2018 with a 105kW (420kWh) battery.
  2. Falcon, Mandurah: an extension of the Meadow Springs trial with a 116kW (464kWh) battery.
  3. Ellenbrook: our PowerBank 2 trial launched in February 2020 with a 116kW (464kWh) battery.
Image credit: Joel Woodage

Combined, the battery projects will provide up to 192 households access store their excess power in a Tesla PowerPack (known as the Tesla PowerBank). This can be as much as 6-8kWh at a cost of $1 – $1.90 per day.

When it comes time to use power, the household can draw from their resource in the shared battery, rather than have to outlay the cost themselves. This creates the ideal scenario where home owners can timeshift the deployment of their solar energy.

Now with the third battery going live in Ellenbrook, even more customers have the chance to benefit from the trial. This trail features no lock-in and will run for 2 years.

It is estimated that by using the Tesla PowerPack, it’ll be around 30% cheaper than buying a 10kWh battery for your home (over the course of the battery’s lifespan). A home battery system can cost between $8000 to $13,000, but it is important to remember, you are forgoing the regular feed-in tariff you’d receive for sending power back to the grid.

“I’m thrilled that Ellenbrook residents will be the first people in Perth to take advantage of community battery storage, without having to outlay a significant up-front cost.

The PowerBank trial demonstrates the successful integration of a utility-scale battery into an established network and how Western Australia is a leader in the technology space.

It builds on the work being done by Synergy and Western Power to progress energy storage, such as Synergy’s Alkimos Beach energy storage trial.

The McGowan Government is committed to establishing a cleaner, greener energy future for Western Australia, including working with renewables and new technologies, which is part of our Energy Transformation Strategy.”

Hon Bill Johnston MLA, Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations

It’s an interesting development in Australia’s energy market and one there are plans to roll out several more community batteries in 2020.

More information at SolarQuotes.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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