Sustainability

Neighbourhood batteries accelerate access to renewable energy

11 July 2023

We’re working towards providing affordable access to clean energy for Melburnians, even if you rent or live in an apartment, through our Power Melbourne neighbourhood batteries project.

We’re on a mission to power Melbourne with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Melburnians are strongly supportive of this goal, but not everyone can readily access or afford solar panels. This is especially true for renters and people who live in high-rise buildings. Our Power Melbourne project offers a solution.

We’re creating a network of neighbourhood batteries around the city to store renewable energy for residents and small businesses to use. This is an important step towards providing retail renewable electricity plans that will make it easy, affordable and reliable for everyone to be part of the clean energy transition.

Working together to transition to renewable energy

We’re working with the cities of Yarra and Port Phillip to share information with local people about proposed battery locations, designs and operating models.

Urban planning student Jessica Strah is part of a group of community champions helping to spread the word. Jessica rents an apartment, so she is keen to have an alternate way to embrace solar power.

“Neighbourhood batteries are another alternative for green energy solutions,” Jessica said.

“Those who cannot afford to install and maintain solar panels, or live in high-rises, could greatly benefit from this project as it allows them to be part of the clean energy transition.”

Jessica (left) at a Power Melbourne community consultation session

Jessica’s passion for clean energy goes hand in hand with her green vision for future Melbourne.

“I’m completing a thesis on the quality of public open space, so I’m very passionate about this topic,” Jessica said.

“Green space is vital to our health and well-being and provides our native animals with much-needed habitat in a rapidly urbanising environment.

“As someone already working in the sustainability space, I feel my role as a community champion is to continue to keep the conversations going around green energy projects such as the neighbourhood batteries.

“It is our duty as planners to ensure we use our skills to engage and empower our communities effectively.”

Community feedback shapes neighbourhood battery plan

We began community consultation to inform our Power Melbourne plans last year.

Feedback showed overwhelming community support for our proposed battery locations at Council-managed properties including libraries, community hubs and the Queen Victoria Market precinct.

Local people also identified sporting facilities, universities and shopping centres as potential additional locations, and emphasised that clean, affordable energy should be accessible to Melburnians who need it most.

Local people share their ideas at a neighbourhood batteries workshop

Our Power Melbourne plans are continuing to take shape and we are now seeking your feedback on a range of refined locations, designs and operating models through a new survey and neighbourhood pop-ups. Visit Participate to learn more and complete our online survey by Sunday 6 August.

What’s next for the Power Melbourne project

Stay tuned for updates as we announce our energy retail partner and install our first neighbourhood batteries. When the time comes, we’ll also share how you can switch your energy provider to a Power Melbourne plan.

Our first battery location will be Library at the Dock, supported by a $750,000 grant from the Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative.

Rooftop solar panels at Library at the Dock

More ways we’re taking action on climate change

Climate change requires urgent action and Power Melbourne is just one of many city-shaping projects we’re delivering to make our city more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

To learn more, visit Our sustainable city.

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