Kurri Kurri will soon be home to an innovative peer-to-peer solar energy trading initiative known as The Beehive Project.
Enova Community Energy announced this week its first-shared public battery was destined for a site in the Hunter Valley.
And, the 1-megawatt power source is set to be installed at the Ausgrid substation on the outskirts of town in 2021.
About the size of a shipping container, the battery will be operated by Enova to maximise its value at the wholesale level and deliver benefits to energy customers and the community.
The company received funding from the NSW Regional Community Energy Fund to support the implementation of the product.
It will be paired with online platform Powertracer, developed by technology company Enosi, which will enable peer-to-peer energy trading between participants and the battery.
The program will enable 500 participants to buy and sell (or trade) rooftop solar energy from each other and trade with the battery itself.
The project is an exclusive pilot, to be analysed and documented with outcomes widely shared by the University of Newcastle.
Minister for Energy Matt Kean said it was great to see the regional community energy sector taking control of their own projects and embracing clean energy.
“Innovative renewable energy projects like the Enova shared community battery will help to make electricity more reliable and affordable for our regional communities,” he added.
Enova Community Energy CEO Felicity Stening stated the “project was unique”.
“Not only is it a key strategic initiative for Enova, it’s also the first of its kind in Australia,” she said.
“Projects like this have the potential to change the face of the electricity system as we know it.
“With our partners Enosi and the University of Newcastle, we’re looking forward to generating great results and learnings that can be shared with the broader community, so that the capability to generate, store and share renewable energy can start to be part of the new normal.”
In welcoming the project location, Cessnock City mayor Bob Pynset admitted there was nothing else like it in Australia.
“I’m proud Cessnock City Council has played its part in giving it a home,” he said.
“The Hunter region is navigating its way from being seen as only a coal producing region, toward a region of opportunity.
“This chance to support a community energy asset could not have come at a more important time.”
Ausgrid chief customer officer Rob Amphlett Lewis said they were committed to empowering customers to have greater control of their energy use by harnessing the energy generated by their solar panels.
“We are pleased to provide access to our site and the grid for this project,” he explained.
Kurri Kurri and greater Hunter residents are invited to register their application to participate in the shared community battery project, by visiting www.enovaenergy.com.au/shared-community-battery
Enova will invite at least 500 households with and without roof top solar to take part.
The project will enable them to share and trade rooftop solar energy with each other and with the battery itself.