Australia is one of the leaders in the world in the adaptation of electrical power grids to the new technologies of renewable energy. Famous for the Hornsdale Power Reserve (Tesla’s Big Battery in South Australia), the country is now trialing microgrids with smaller batteries in cities (Sydney and Melbourne), isolated country towns, and mining complexes.
In Melbourne, the city council is seeking to establish a network of 5 MW batteries (the Power Melbourne Project). These batteries will enable a more efficient use of the network, putting power back in when it is needed the most. Early days yet — more details to be revealed.
Many isolated communities, including those hit by the savage bushfires of 2020, have unreliable and expensive electricity. Now 20 of those communities have received funding under the Commonwealth Government’s Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund. These funds will allow the communities to become “islandable” — able to operate even when disconnected from the main grid. Renewable energy and batteries will replace expensive and polluting diesel generators.