The Queensland state government has proposed installing five large-scale, network-connected batteries as part of a community battery trial. The batteries will have a cumulative capacity of 40 MWh and will be installed at substations in Townsville, Yeppoon, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, and Toowoomba. Energy Queensland-owned sites have been identified for this trial where there is high penetration of solar on the network and deployment can occur as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Currently, renewable energy represents 20 per cent of Queensland’s energy mix and the government is aiming to take this figure to 50 per cent by 2030. Queensland’s energy minister reported that “If successful, Energy Queensland could deploy distribution batteries in locations right across the state. In the medium term, this technology means we can ‘bank’ the excess renewable energy generated allowing continued growth in rooftop solar on the way to achieving Queensland’s renewable energy target.” As of today, 33 per cent of the population in detached houses now have solar rooftop systems and the trial is part of the government’s plan to firm up its grid by housing large-scale batteries in major substations.

In February 2021, the government of New South Wales and the government of Western Australia announced a similar trial. In January 2021, Melbourne’s Yarra Council also started a trial but focused its attention on city dwellers. With Australia’s rooftop solar growth expected to exceed last year’s 3 GW record, governments are scrambling to make the most of the abundant daytime power to avoid solar shutdowns that have affected parts of Southern Australia.