The Power Melbourne project will install a network of neighbourhood batteries around the city, linked to a retail electricity plan to help our community access more affordable renewable electricity. These batteries will be charged by wind and solar, allowing renewable energy to be stored, then released back into the electricity grid when it is needed most. This will help unlock access to renewable energy for the majority of City of Melbourne residents and small business owners who don’t have access to their own solar power.

Power Melbourne will also offer a simple option for residents and businesses to purchase trusted local renewable energy stored in the neighbourhood batteries. Purchasing this energy will be as easy as switching your electricity supplier to Power Melbourne.

We’re exploring locations around the city to house neighbourhood batteries, including our own Council buildings.

We want your feedback on where neighbourhood batteries could be installed. We also want to understand how we can design retail plans with an energy retail partner, to make it easy to switch to a 100 per cent renewable energy product.

Neighbourhood batteries store energy to support consumers, communities and the electricity system.

Neighbourhood batteries are bigger than household batteries, and range in power capacity from about 100 kilowatts (kW) to five megawatts (MW). They can be located in public space at street level or on private land close to where electricity is being consumed and generated from rooftop solar.

By operating at a larger scale, each neighbourhood battery shares and stores energy more efficiently than individual household batteries. Connecting a network of neighbourhood batteries allows renewable energy to be stored and used as needed to help balance supply and demand, and can even help reduce power costs.

The benefits of neighbourhood batteries:

Image credit: DELWP

Facts about batteries

  • Size: Neighbourhood batteries come in a range of sizes depending on their storage capacity and available space. Typically a 200kW battery would be the size of a bus shelter or four fridges.
  • Noise: Depending on the model and size, the sound of the battery could range from about 50-70 decibels at 1 meter from the unit. 70 decibels is as loud as a washing machine or a dishwasher. Batteries only make noise when they are charging or discharging.
  • Reliability: Neighbourhood batteries increase network reliability because they store excess energy for when demand is high.
  • Safety: Battery technologies are well proven and have an excellent safety record. Batteries installed as part of Power Melbourne will comply with strict electrical safety regulations.

We propose to install the first Power Melbourne batteries at Council-owned or managed buildings, such as:

  • Queen Victoria Market
  • Southbank Library
  • Library at The Dock
  • Kensington Recreation Centre
  • Council House 2, Little Collins Street

We are consulting with the community to determine the most appropriate sites for this demonstration network, and would like to hear suggestions for further locations.

Power Melbourne batteries will initially install three to five batteries up to 1MW capacity each. 1MW capacity is equivalent to powering 2000 average homes for around 2 hours.

There is no maximum number of batteries once the network scales up.

Related information

Power Melbourne