January 29 - February 4 2023: Issue 569


Warriewood eligible for $500,000 community battery funding 

In some positive news for the transition to renewable energy on the Northern Beaches, the Federal Government has selected Warriewood as one of 15 suburbs across NSW eligible to apply for a government funded community battery. 

If successful, the program would see the Federal Government invest up to $500,000 on a community battery in Warriewood that would connect rooftop solar in the area to the energy grid.

“The chance for Warriewood to become a renewable energy hub is fantastic news for Mackellar and the entire Northern Beaches,” said Federal Member for Mackellar Dr Sophie Scamps MP.

“The installation of a community battery in Warriewood would help reduce energy bills and reduce our community’s emissions by ensuring more surplus solar energy from rooftops in the local area can be stored and dispatched when it is needed. It would also see Mackellar playing a leading role in the transition to a renewable energy economy,” said Dr Scamps MP. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to install game changing energy infrastructure in Mackellar to support our community. If you are an eligible organisation that is interested in applying for the competitive grant, please reach out to my team for more information and support,” said Dr Scamps MP. 

Applications for the grant open on Monday 30 January, and close on Friday 24 February. To find out if your organisation is eligible, and for more information on how to apply, visit www.business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/community-batteries-for-household-solar-stream-1.

To connect with Dr Sophie Scamps MP’s office, email Sophie.scamps.mp@aph.gov.au.   

Community Batteries for Household Solar program

The Federal Government's $200 million Community Batteries for Household Solar program will enable Australians to store affordable solar energy for use during peak times, and to share excess power with other households in their area.

The Community Batteries for Household Solar program will help households and businesses to:

  • lower electricity bills
  • reduce pressure on the electricity grid for the broader community 
  • help us reach net zero by 2050.

''As we ramp up renewable generation, we will need more energy storage to deliver secure and affordable energy for Australian businesses and households.'' the government states

The Community Batteries for Household Solar program will help to provide this storage by deploying 400 community-scale batteries for up to 100,000 households across Australia. 

This element of the program will enable community and industry groups, businesses, government agencies and research organisations to apply for up to $29 million in grants to install community batteries in specific locations across Australia:

The grant guidelines for the first 58 community batteries are now available at:

business.gov.au stream 1: will deliver on the government’s commitments to deploy community batteries in specific locations (56 batteries)

business.gov.au stream 2: will deliver on the government’s commitments to deploy community batteries in specific locations by specific project proponents (2 batteries).

The government has released the guidelines before the program opens in January 2023 to give interested groups time to develop high-quality applications that demonstrate benefits for communities and value for money. 

Further grant opportunities for community batteries will be offered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which will develop a program to deliver the remaining 342 batteries of the government’s commitment following a stakeholder consultation process.

The Beacon Hill battery

In 2021 New South Wales network operator Ausgrid unveiled its first community battery in the Sydney suburb of Beacon Hill, kicking off a two-year trial that aimed at using up consumer generated solar and use it to push down energy prices and help stabilise the local grid. This is in partnership with the Northern Beaches Council, Ausgrid states.

The community battery trial at Beacon Hill aligns with Council’s strategic aims to provide:

  • – leadership in environmental sustainability
  • – support the uptake of solar in the community
  • – build resilient communities

Specifically, it supports Council to deliver commitments identified in the:

  • – Community Strategic Plan
  • – Local Strategic Planning Statement
  • – Environment & Climate Change Strategy

The Beacon Hill battery, pictured below, is a 150kW/267kWh MTU Energy Pack QS. The trial is seeking to enlist the participation of Ausgrid customers in the Northern Beaches area who either have solar power systems installed already, or who are about to install one. Eligible customers can register their interest here.



Beacon Hill

Which streets are included? Biralee Crescent (all), Carolyn Av (all), Cooper Close (all), Gilles Crescent (all), Lee Rd  (Street Numbers 26 or greater), McKillop Rd (all), Princess Mary Rd (Street Number 19 or greater).

Ausgrid’s first community battery: Beacon Hill

  • Size is similar to a 4WD
  • Weighs five ton (similar to an adult elephant)
  • Can support around 50 solar customers
  • Is a mid-sized lithium-ion battery
  • Units will comply with strict noise guidelines
  • No cost to Council or customers in the trial
  • On average Beacon Hill trial participants are expected to save up to $200 per year on electricity costs.