A community solar battery, also known as Community-scale Energy Storage (CES), is a shared neighborhood battery solution that allows households with solar power to pool excess electricity. At its core, a community battery supports the grid by improving power reliability and smoothing power flow in a local area to enable further uptake of rooftop solar. A community battery is typically the size of a 4WD vehicle and provides anywhere from 100kW-5MW of storage that can potentially support hundreds of local households.

Benefits of community solar batteries

Community batteries have the potential to provide social, economic and technical benefits to the broader energy system. While not all community battery program models offer the same benefits, below are some common perks:

Lower energy costs: Community solar batteries allow you to buy back excess power at a lower price than the energy offered by your retailer. Discharging batteries during peak-periods also facilitate ‘peak shaving’ by levelling out peaks in electricity use that drive up electricity prices.

Increased power reliability and stability: Community batteries make solar “visible” to network owners and operators, making it easier to manage daytime and peak-time load periods.

Increased hosting capacity: The ability to integrate more distributed energy resources (e.g. solar panels and electric vehicles) into the distribution grid without the construction of more expensive network assets to accept two-way flow of power.

Energy equity: Community batteries provide an opportunity for a wider range of individuals to access the benefits of renewable resources. Although solar panels are cheaper than ever before, they are still out of reach for some members of the community who either can’t afford the upfront cost or can’t practically put solar on their rooftop (i.e. apartment owners, renters).

A greener grid: With more people using renewable energy, there is less reliance on traditional sources of electricity which reduces our carbon emissions.

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