Electric Avenue feasibility study

Network innovationElectric AvenueElectric Avenue feasibility study

The neighbour you want

Electric Avenue is our name for an exciting group of projects that are helping customers share power in their communities. These projects are rolling out neighbourhood batteries on our low voltage network helping customers share power in their communities whether they have solar or not.

Batteries can play a critical role as our society shifts to greater renewable energy generation and a clean energy future.

Valuable community assets

The Electric Avenue Feasibility Study was led by Powercor and involved CitiPower and United Energy as well as 12 community-based organisations, individuals and councils.

The partners worked together to investigate the various uses for community batteries, the key factors to consider in their location, design and planning, as well as the commercial considerations for not only their costs and potential revenue streams.

For most partners, their interest in neighbourhood batteries is related to community concerns over climate change and their preference was for the batteries to be community-owned.  The study therefore prioritised locations where there is a demand related network opportunity, high residential solar penetration, available land and community support.

Importantly, it found neighbourhood batteries are very promising.  But they are also very complex projects.

The study also revealed a number of important learnings about how to plan and design battery projects for success.  These are detailed more in The Powerful Neighbours Report but in summary are:

  1. Know the purpose and objectives for the battery
  2. Embrace communities in the journey
  3. Financial sustainability is a function of scale
  4. With ownership comes great responsibility and cost
  5. The approvals process has just got easier.

It was supported by a grant from the Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Battery Initiative in 2021 and was completed in June 2022.


Locations assessed

The study ultimately identified 30 preferred locations for neighbourhood batteries. This started as a long-list of 84 potential sites that were assessed based on criteria developed in consultation with all partners.

The list includes 17 sites on the Powercor and United Energy networks that best met the criteria for batteries that can provide a network benefit.  That is, enabling more rooftop solar connections in the community to export excess power as well as ensuring power is reliable on peak demand days.

A further 13 sites were identified by community partners.  These batteries were intended for a variety of uses including support for community infrastructure hubs and energy resilience objectives when associated with solar systems for back-up supplies in an emergency.

We will continue to support our partners in further considering the sites identified as part of planning for either individual battery projects or a portfolio of batteries.

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