The Federal Labor Opposition is promising to fund at least three community batteries in Canberra if it wins the upcoming election.
The three batteries will be installed in Casey, Dickson and Fadden, with the potential of more to follow.
Labor’s policy statement says a community battery is typically the size of a 4WD vehicle, and provides about 500 kWH of storage that can support up to 250 local households.
Climate Change and Energy spokesperson Chris Bowen said the batteries would help to cut power bills for households and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“More than one in four ACT households have installed rooftop solar panels,” he said.
“But very few have a battery, because it’s still too expensive. This means families aren’t getting the full benefits of rooftop solar, and it’s putting pressure on our electricity grid.”
Mr Bowen said this commitment would allow local households to feed solar power into the shared battery during the day and draw from it at night – cutting electricity bills and emissions, and reducing pressure on the grid.
He said residents who might be unable to install solar, such as renters and people living in apartments, would also be able to draw from excess energy stored in the battery.
The three areas were selected after consultation with the ACT Government, which has also committed $100 million to delivering at least 250 MW of battery storage across the ACT, including community-scale battery storage solutions.
Mr Bowen said an Albanese Labor Government would seek to partner with the ACT Government in delivering projects that created jobs, reduced the cost of living and provided greater energy security for Australians.
All Australian communities would also be able to apply for a battery under Labor’s Power to the People plan, which would invest $200 million to install 400 community batteries across the country.
“This is part of Labor’s Powering Australia policy to cut power bills, reduce emissions and create jobs by boosting renewable energy,” Mr Bowen said.
Member for Canberra Alicia Payne, who attended today’s announcement in Dickson with Mr Bowen and fellow Labor MPs David Smith and Andrew Leigh, said Canberra residents desperately wanted to see action on climate change and an Albanese Labor Government was needed to deliver that.
“Canberrans have been taking matters into their own hands and investing in renewables way ahead of what the Coalition government has been doing,” Ms Payne said.
She said an Albanese Labor Government had a comprehensive plan around climate action that would take Australia to 82 per cent renewables by 2030, create 600,000 jobs and reduce power bills by $275 a year on average.
“This is the action we need and I’m so proud to be part of a team that will deliver it, if elected, very soon.”
Chief Minister Andrew Barr welcomed the announcement that an Albanese Labor Government would invest in ACT’s energy infrastructure of the future.
The ACT Government had committed to delivering at least 250 MW ‘large-scale’ battery storage, and would include community batteries.
“This will be distributed across the ACT, including the use of community-scale battery storage solutions to support a distribution network with an increasing penetration of solar PV (photovoltaic).
“This commitment demonstrates the ability to deliver a net zero future if there is a willingness to invest by governments.”