The Federal Government have delivered an election commitment for a community battery at Warriewood.

The new community battery was opened in the reserve at the corner of Honeyeater Grove and Blue Wren Way, Warriewood, this morning (Friday, 24 May) by network energy provider Ausgrid. With over half a megawatt (mW) of capacity, the battery is directly connected to 156 homes in the immediate vicinity, and can discharge at full capacity of 250 kilowatt (kW) for two hours.

The battery has been fully wrapped with a beautiful artwork called ‘Skylight’ by hearing impaired Indigenous Wonnarua Artist Daniel McDonald (main image, centre left), who was present for the commissioning of the battery with Member for Mackellar Dr Sophie Scamps, Labor candidate for Mackellar Paula Goodman, and Ausgrid Group Executive for Distributed Services Rob Amphlett Lewis (main image, L-R).

ALP candidate Paula Goodman at the Warriewood community battery

Ms Goodman from Avalon Beach (image above, right) was attending the launch of the battery representing Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen.

“I am delighted to be representing the Honourable Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy. Today, Labor is delivering on the promise we made during the Federal election.

“With the combined initiative of the Narrabeen and Dee Why Labor Branches, we concluded that Warriewood was perfectly suited as the recipient of this battery.

“We did the stats, and we worked out that more than 760 homes in this area have solar panels installed, resulting in a whopping 20,126 kW per day. That’s a massive reduction of the carbon footprint from this community alone.

“The average solar home is saving around $1,660 per year, and this community battery is only one of hundreds being delivered across Australia by the Albanese government. Our beautiful home here on the Northern Beaches is going to be ahead of the game.

“I also would like to add, I’m so happy to be delivering a community battery and not a nuclear facility. I want to personally thank the Minister for us to be including this on the Northern Beaches. He rang me during the election, it was his initiative,” said Ms Goodman.

Dr Sophie Scamps at the Warriewood community battery

Member for Mackellar Dr Sophie Scamps (image above, centre) welcomed the impact the battery would have in driving forward the transition to renewable energy.

“The opening of Warriewood community battery is a fantastic step forward in the solar power journey for the Mackellar community and will help deliver lower energy bills for nearby households. Having solar panels reduces your electricity bill by hundreds of dollars each year.

“The installation of the battery will mean that households who already have solar will be able to use more of the power they generate and avoid the cost of installing their own battery.

“Excess electricity generated during the day will be stored locally instead of being fed back to the grid. Local households can then draw upon this cheap energy store in the evening and other times of high electricity demand.

“These benefits flow not just to those with solar panels, but also to households without panels. It means more solar panels and electric car chargers can be connected to the network without stressing the existing infrastructure.

“It also means a stronger grid and fewer solar exports, and less investment in poles and wires because the solar power that is produced is used right here, in Warriewood.

“It’s a win for the environment and a win for households battling cost of living increases. Growing a network of community batteries will have a positive impact on wholesale solar electricity prices, and this could eventually flow through to reduced retail prices.

“I welcome Ausgrid’s investment in this important infrastructure and congratulate the artist, Daniel McDonald, who has made a big box a really lovely feature in Honeyeater Reserve.

“If you need help navigating the process of putting solar on your house, a group of my volunteers have set up an organisation, Go Solar Mackellar, to assist,” said Dr Scamps.

Ausgrid Group Executive for Distributed Services Rob Amphlett Lewis

Ausgrid Group Executive for Distributed Services Rob Amphlett Lewis (image above) said the large capacity battery was an important addition for the local energy network.

“This battery will soak up extra solar generated by the community with solar on their roof, and store that energy for later in the day. It really helps us manage some of the challenges that the changing energy system has.

“Voltage management, power frequency, those sorts of things can really be helped by the battery being here in the local community. It’s effectively a shock absorber for some of the swift changes that are happening to the energy system, and allows us to better manage the energy system in the local area.

“When combined with other batteries across the system, they provide wider system benefits, system security and a greater opportunity for variable renewable energy to be included in our system at low-cost. These really are a very efficient way of doing that,” said Mr Amphlett Lewis.

Warriewood community battery

An Ausgrid spokesperson said the new battery would begin supplying benefits to the local community immediately, but further direct benefits to households would be unlocked over time as energy retailers began to offer ‘storage as a service’ to the customers connected to the battery.

This is the second community battery to be installed on the Northern Beaches. The first on Australia’s east coast was installed by Ausgrid at Princess Mary Street Reserve, Beacon Hill, in February 2021.

For more information about community batteries visit the Ausgrid website.

Images: Northern Beaches Advocate

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