Government funding, Sustainability

New ARENA funding for national community battery rollout

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has conditionally approved $143 million in support of the rollout of up to 370 community batteries across Australia.

Under its Community Battery Funding Round 1, ARENA is aiming to deliver cleaner and more cost-effective energy for consumers and businesses.

This initiative is set to unlock a $359 million investment in renewable energy infrastructure, benefiting all states and the Northern Territory.

The batteries will collectively provide up to 281 MWh of storage capacity, enabling the storage and use of renewable electricity generated across Australian communities. 

ARENA will contribute up to $0.51 per Wh in grant funding against an average cost of $1.28 per Wh, covering 39.8% of the costs.

Once operational, these community batteries will address local network constraints, expand rooftop solar capacity, reduce emissions, and lower electricity costs for various energy consumers, including households, public institutions, and regional communities.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the initiative enhances energy resilience, reliability, and sustainability while reducing energy costs. 

“ARENA is pleased to support the rollout of these batteries through our transformative program, which will significantly impact Australia’s energy and grid security while delivering cleaner and more cost-effective energy for our communities,” said Miller. 

The October 2022 Federal Budget allocated $200 million for the Community Batteries for Household Solar Budget Measure, aiming to deploy 400 community batteries across Australia. 

Of this, $171 million was allocated to ARENA to deliver at least 342 batteries, with the remainder managed by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

ARENA plans to launch a second round of community battery funding in late 2024, with a funding allocation of at least $28 million.

Round 1 of the funding program received a robust response, with 140 eligible Expressions of Interest.

Funding has been conditionally allocated to 21 applications (from 20 applicants), comprising 10 applications requesting $67.3 million under Stream A for Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) and 11 applications requesting $75.7 million under Stream B for Non-DNSPs.

The recipient list is as follows: 

Stream A (DNSPs):

– Ausgrid (NSW)

– Endeavour Energy (NSW)

– Energex (2 applications, QLD)

– Ergon Energy (QLD)

– Horizon Power (WA)

– Power and Water Corporation (NT)

– SA Power Networks (SA)

– Tasmanian Networks (TAS)

– Western Power (WA)


Stream B (Non-DNSPs):

– Department for Energy and Mining (SA)

– Enel X Australia (Multiple states)

– FRV Services Australia (VIC)

– Indigo Power (Multiple states)

– Gemlife (Multiple states)

– Hydro Tasmania (Multiple states)

– Mondo Power (VIC)

– Next Green Group (Multiple states)

– Shell Energy Retail (NSW)

– Transport for NSW (NSW)

– ZEN Energy Retail (NSW)


Locations and Approved Applications:– QLD: 3 applications, 69 batteries

– NSW: 5 applications, 95 batteries

– VIC: 2 applications, 37 batteries

– TAS: 1 application, 6 batteries

– SA: 2 applications, 24 batteries

– NT: 1 application, 16 batteries

– WA: 2 applications, 28 batteries

– Multiple States: 5 applications, 95 batteries


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