A community in Western Australia has found a clever use for Tesla Powerpack batteries. With many homes in the area already equipped with solar panels, the community has opted to tap into the Powerpacks as a virtual energy storage unit, allowing homeowners to store power that they generate from their solar systems for later use.
Dubbed as the PowerBank trial, the initiative enables homeowners from the community of Ellenbrook in Perth to access either 6 kWh or 8 kWh of virtual energy storage from the Tesla Powerpack for AU$1.60 or AU$1.90 per day. The virtual storage comes in handy when the solar systems of residential units end up producing excess power.
With this system in place, homes that opt-in for the 24-month PowerBank 2 trial will be able to draw power saved on the Tesla batteries during peak hours, particularly during the afternoon and night. This also coincides with the time when the homes' residential solar systems stop generating power.
Ellenbrook residents can trial battery storage technology as part of our PowerBank trial with @SynergyEnergy— Western Power (@westernpowerwa) February 10, 2020
Batteries allow storage of excess solar energy to use when it’s needed most - during the evening - long after the sun stops shining.
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So far, the PowerBank trials have been quite successful. An initial trial run in late 2018 at Meadow Springs, a location where many homeowners have fully embraced residential solar. The Meadow Springs trial was successful, saving residents about $11,000 off their power bills. It also prompted the launch of the Flacon PowerBank in late 2019. Ellenbrook is but the newest site for the project, but it won't be the last. More PowerBank trials are poised to be established in the near future.
The Tesla Powerpacks are not only appreciated by the communities where the PowerBanks projects are established. Synergy and Western Power also credit the energy storage devices for providing valuable insight into the varying ways that batteries can be used for residential areas. Synergy CEO Jason Waters expressed this in a statement to One Step Off the Grid.
"There is so much to learn about how to integrate battery storage technology into the sector, as we move away from the traditional centralized generation and network model, to a future that increasingly incorporates distributed energy resources, such as battery storage deployed at individual customer and community-scale levels," the CEO said.
The idea of community energy storage systems is quite clever, especially considering that single-home batteries such as Tesla Powerwalls can be costly purchases for the average homeowner. By sharing a massive battery like a Tesla Powerpack, residents in communities where solar systems are common can have the benefits of energy storage for a minimal cost. The potential for Australia's PowerBanks is vast, and it provides a valuable step towards encouraging homeowners to become more energy-independent.
Featured Image Credit: Western PowerFollow @PurplePanda88