Hepburn Energy is one step closer to becoming Australia’s first energy park on the distribution network with wind turbines and battery storage, thanks to funding from the Australian Government’s Community Batteries for Household Solar program.

Australia’s first community-owned wind farm will receive $500,000 in the first round of grant funding from the the federal government to install a community battery co-located at the wind farm at Leonards Hill.

This project will see the cooperative install Stage 1 of its planned battery, helping the wind farm put more renewable energy back into the grid when needed most and cutting emissions in line with community targets. The battery will also enable more affordable energy by storing renewable energy generated during the day for distribution in the evening when energy is more expensive.

This initial battery is the first stage of the cooperatives longer term project, which looks to eventually install 5 to 10MWh and would compliment a proposed 5MW (AC) solar farm at the same site.

With Hepburn Energy given the green light, work will now begin to plan the construction of the battery in 2024 and engage with the local community. Hepburn Energy received a planning permit for a co-located battery at the wind farm in late 2022.

Funding for Stage 1 of the Hepburn Energy Community Battery is part of the government’s Community Batteries program which will provide $200 million to install 400 community batteries across the country.

The Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, was pleased to announce the funding and its benefit for Hepburn Shire locals.

“Around 1 in 3 Australian households have solar panels on their roofs, making us a global leader, but far fewer have batteries to store their energy for later use. The Community Batteries program is about unlocking storage and providing cleaner, cheaper energy for families.”

Hepburn Energy’s General Manager, Taryn Lane, was thrilled by the funding news, stating that the project would help reduce emissions and progress community efforts to reach zero-net emissions by 2030:

“On top of its climate benefit, the battery will be 100% owned and operated by the cooperative and help reduce electricity bills for the community and members signed up to the Hepburn Energy electricity offer.”

For more information about the Hepburn Energy community battery project see their website.

For more information on the Community Batteries Program visit the federal government website.

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