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More than 420 community batteries ‘to lower energy costs’

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The federal government will roll out of more than 420 community batteries across the country in a move it says is lowering household power bills and boosting reliability in the electricity grid.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will support up to 370 community batteries as part of Round 1 of its Community Batteries Fund, an increase from the original number of 342 thanks to an overwhelming response to its Expression of Interest process.

At the launch of the latest community battery in Bexley North, Sydney (pictured) the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the demand for ARENA funds showed that that neighbourhood scale battery storage had a huge future.

Bowen said: “With one in three homes having rooftop solar, community batteries are the next stage in ensuring all communities get the benefit of the energy transformation.

“The Community Batteries for Household Solar programme is proving extremely popular and is another example of Labor delivering on our commitments to bring cheaper bills while slashing emissions.

“Community batteries are a practical solution to ensuring an energy efficient future and give a boost to further expansion of rooftop solar for houses, apartment and community facilities.”

The government is on track to deliver more than 420 community batteries, with 58 community batteries already in the pipeline by Department of Industry, Science and Resources, through the Business Grants Hub.

The government originally announced 400 batteries under the Community Batteries for Household Solar programme.

The programme will provide shared storage for up to 100,000 households, empowering communities to all reap the benefits of the renewable energy transformation.

While one in three Australian households have already embraced rooftop solar and are accessing cleaner and cheaper energy, fewer than one in 40 households have battery storage.

ARENA sought applications for up to $20 million funding to deploy a minimum of five community batteries, each between 50 kW and 5 MW in size and connected to a distribution network.

ARENA has conditionally approved funding of $143 million to support the 370 community batteries. This is expected to unlock $359 million of investment in renewable energy infrastructure.

Picture: Chris Bowen/Bexley North community battery

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