- A community storage program in Western Australia launched three months early, after 52 shares of a 105 KW / 420 KWh Tesla battery were claimed in less than two weeks by customers in the city of Mandurah.
- The project is a joint initiative between energy company Synergy and government-owned Western Power. The battery will store solar energy from customer systems during the day and provide power during peak demand times.
- The project utilizes Tesla's Powerpack storage system, typically aimed at commercial customers. It allows customers to access the benefits of storage without the upfront costs, Western Australian officials said.
While community solar projects have become relatively common, shared storage has not taken off as quickly. The numbers on the storage pilot seem to pencil out in part because of high energy prices in Western Australia, possibly opening the door for more shared distributed resources, Electrek reports.
Customers signed on to the PowerBank project would save about $0.175/kWh in Australian dollars, according to Electrek.
The project is "another example of smarter investment ... that has the potential to benefit all customers with an existing grid connection," Western Australia Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said in a statement.
Powerbank is the first utility-scale battery to be integrated into an established major metropolitan network in Australia, officials said.
Tesla already has a high profile in the country, installing a 100 MW / 129 MWh battery last year that reduced grid service costs by 90%. And the company is also working to develop a virtual power plant in South Australia, which would include 50,000 houses with rooftop solar systems and Tesla's Powerwall 2 batteries.
"Investing in battery storage across the grid is a more cost-efficient way of managing the growth in residential solar instead of traditional infrastructure spends like substation or transformer upgrades," Wyatt said. "It is also currently a cheaper and a far better community solution to hundreds or thousands of behind-the-meter individual household batteries."
Officials say the Powerbank project will not lock homes into the program, allowing flexibility and choice. Customers will be billed monthly and receive quarterly statements from Synergy to track their savings.