Peninsula receives funding for its first Community Battery
Published on 30 May 2023
Flinders is one step closer to having the Peninsula’s first community battery after the Federal Government announced last week that Mornington Peninsula Shire will receive funding for its Flinders Community Battery project.
The $500,000 federal grant, secured though the Community Batteries for Household Solar Program, will fully fund the cost and installation of the battery.
This follows three years of hard work by Flinders Zero Carbon Community; hosting community forums, commissioning a feasibility study, advocacy efforts and the development and presentation of ‘A Road Map To Carbon Zero’ to a community forum attended by over 90 residents.
Mornington Peninsula Shire is proud to partner with Flinders Zero Carbon Community and Yarra Energy Foundation to progress this project through feasibility and assist Flinders to realise its zero carbon goals.
The Flinders Community Battery is modelled on the successful Fitzroy North Community Battery.
Once installed, the battery will allow the local community to store solar energy for use during peak times, and to share excess solar-generated power with other households in their area.
The Shire will work with Yarra Energy Foundation’s project partners to finalise contracts to operate and maintain the battery over its 10-year lifespan. If favourable terms can be agreed, the Shire will contribute $30,000 to site preparation works and will commit to owning the battery.
Under this ownership model, any profits from the battery and potential EV charger will flow to a community benefit fund administered by Repower Mornington Peninsula, which Flinders Zero Carbon Community is a satellite group of.
How it all works
Flinders Community Battery project will install and operate a 360kWh battery, which is estimated to support 75-100 households, allow increased grid capacity for more local solar installations, and generate revenue to subsidise solar for low-income households. The estimated emissions reduction is 22.8 tonnes of CO2e/year.
The battery is designed to act as a solar sponge – storing clean and excess renewable energy during the day (generated by local rooftop solar panels); then discharging of an evening when demand is higher, and the sun isn’t shining.
It also helps put downward pressure on energy prices, cuts emissions (by increasing our total renewable energy usage), facilitates more solar installations, and even helps to stabilise the grid.
L to R: Councillor Mayor Steve Holland, Councillor David Gill, Mark Aarons (Founding Member, Flinders Zero Carbon Community), Jon Pierce (President, Flinders Zero Carbon Community), Ralph Kenyon (Vice-President, Flinders Zero Carbon Community), Mary Iles (President, Flinders Community Association).
Quotes attributable to Mayor Councillor Steve Holland:
“The Flinders Battery Project is a great community initiative that will see up to 100 local households connected to the battery, benefitting from increased reliability from localised solar storage and demonstrating how one community can transition to renewable energy. We welcome the partnership with the Commonwealth Government and look forward to further opportunities on the Mornington Peninsula in the future."
Quotes attributable to Red Hill Ward Councillor David Gill:
"It’s wonderful to see the community, sustainability-minded groups and the Shire come together to achieve better outcomes for locals, and the environment. Now we need for Governments to normalise helping our community with further environmentally friendly low-cost power solutions.”
Quotes attributable to Jon Pearce and Ralph Kenyon, Co-convenors of Flinders Zero Carbon Community:
“[We’re]... delighted that the project had been approved for Federal funding and will provide Flinders residents with a great example of how to move to a lower carbon power supply at the local level.
“The project will become a beacon for other projects within the Mornington Peninsula where more of the community can benefit from generating local electricity using rooftop solar panels and battery storage.”
Quotes attributable to Dean Cline, CEO, Yarra Energy Foundation
"This fantastic outcome would not have been possible without the incredible efforts of both Mornington Peninsula Shire and Flinders Zero Carbon Community.
“They are a leading example of how a partnership between local government and community can achieve. Yarra Energy Foundation is extremely excited to assist Flinders achieve its zero carbon goals."