Phillip Island powering up with PICESS battery

Tuesday, 06 June, 2023 | Supplied by: AusNet

Phillip Island powering up with PICESS battery

A Phillip Island battery that can power 8000 homes and secure energy supply for the tourist hot spot during peak periods has been switched on.

Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D'Ambrosio MP and AusNet CEO Tony Narvaez have officially opened the $10 million Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System (PICESS).

Phillip Island is a popular holiday destination and hosts a MotoGP race, attracting many people to the Island. The battery will replace diesel generators previously used to provide back-up power to the region over summer, helping stabilise electricity supply on the island.

“The population of Phillip Island more than quadruples over summer, which puts a strain on the local electricity network and, at times, leads to power dropping out. This battery, which in time will be powered by renewable energy, will help solve this issue,” Narvaez said.

The Hitachi 5 MW/10 MWh lithium-ion phosphate battery energy system has the capacity to power more than 8000 homes for 2 hours or 700 homes for a day. It is located in a 38 x 34 m fenced high-voltage compound and is connected to the electricity grid via underground cables.

Michael Whelan from Bass Coast Shire Council said the battery is “a key piece in the jigsaw for Phillip Island and for that net zero target”.

“It takes away the need for the diesel generators that we saw during the MotoGP. That’s really fundamentally important,” Whelan said.

The project created 25 local jobs during construction and will provide residents of the island with new energy job opportunities.

Totally Renewable Phillip Island (TRPI) and the Energy Innovation Cooperative (El Coop) worked with AusNet, Mondo and the Bass Coast Shire Council to deliver the battery.

D’Ambrosio labelled this as a “tangible example” of communities coming together with authorities and businesses to deliver a project.

“This project is the first of its kind on Phillip Island and it has helped us build a greater understanding of how batteries fit into the broader energy transition from coal-generated electricity to renewables,” Narvaez said.

The PICESS project will go towards meeting Victoria’s strong renewable energy targets, which will see 50% of electricity come from renewables by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

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