Solar nights for Noosaville

Noosaville will potentially be the first suburb in Queensland to install a “community battery” which will supply renewable solar power to local households during the evenings, harvested from excess production during the day.

Noosa Council has successfully applied for a federal government grant of $500,000 to install the battery, and will do with the help of Zero Emissions Noosa (ZEN), and not-for-profit Melbourne-based battery operator Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF).

The grant is one of the first to be approved under the Albanese Government’s Community Batteries for Household Solar program.

The battery, which will be owned and managed by council, has a minimum 10-year life expectancy, although similar models have shown a potential for 12 to 15 years’ life.

The energy, collected from solar panels in the area, will be stored during non-peak usage times in the middle of the day, to be distributed to all households at night, whether they have solar panels fitted or not, with the effect of reducing power costs to all.

The electricity collected is gathered “in front” of the meter, meaning it does not travel through a power company, removing it from the vagaries of power pricing peaks and troughs.

Noosa Council will use any profit made from the process to maintain the battery.

Council’s General Committee meeting on June 12 was told around 58% of Noosa LGA emissions comprise stationary electricity.

ZEN is partnered as it had already sought to identify potential locations for a battery in Noosaville and commenced community consultation with residents throughout Noosa Shire.

Similarly, YEF has successfully installed, and is currently operating, the only community ‘front of meter’ battery in North Fitzroy.

Councillors unanimously voted to authorise procurement of the necessary equipment and for YEF and ZEN to install it.

(main picture: the Yarra Community battery in Melbourne is about the size of four fridges.)


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