Council switches on Power Melbourne; Southbank up next

Sean Car

The City of Melbourne has installed its first community battery in the CBD as part of its Power Melbourne renewable energy program for residents and businesses, with the Boyd Community Hub in Southbank to receive the next one in July.

Outgoing Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio attended a ceremony on Wednesday, June 26 where the first community battery at Council House on Little Collins St was officially switched on.

The council’s Power Melbourne energy storage solution seeks to accelerate the city’s transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 as it works towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2040.

The council says the initiative will also improve access to more affordable renewable energy for residents and businesses, with more batteries to be installed at Boyd Community Hub in July and Docklands’ Library at the Dock later this year.

The Lord Mayor said the program was driven at giving “residents and businesses access to the benefits of renewable energy, no matter where they live.”

“Power Melbourne aims to deliver lower power bills and greener energy for businesses and residents in the City of Melbourne by capturing solar energy, storing it and feeding it back into the community,” Cr Capp said.



Approximately 83 per cent of City of Melbourne residents live in apartments, without the means to install their own solar panels. This is the next step in empowering individuals to access clean, renewable, and cheaper energy.


Power Melbourne is supported through the Victorian Government’s Neighbourhood Batteries initiative and the Australian Government Community Batteries for Household Solar program.

Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio said, “we’re empowering local communities to get the most of out their local renewable energy – strengthening their energy reliability and driving down electricity prices.”

The batteries will initially be linked to a Community Benefit Fund to support local renewable projects. The pilot phase of the project will run for about 18 months and will test Power Melbourne’s local energy storage model in partnership with Origin Energy – gathering insights to inform the expansion of the battery network and future retail offerings. 

Executive general manager Origin Zero James Magill said battery storage would play an important role in Australia’s energy transition.

“Power Melbourne is an innovative program, and we look forward to seeing the impact these three batteries can have as part of this trial,” Mr Magill said.



With a combined capacity of 1.1MWh, the batteries will charge during the day when there is a higher proportion of renewable energy in the grid. Stored energy will then be released back into the grid when it’s needed most – helping to support the transition to renewable energy.

Each Power Melbourne battery will be brought to life with bespoke artwork, designed by local Melbourne creatives. The first Power Melbourne battery is adorned with Let’s get energised by contemporary artist Mysterious Al – a reflection on the city’s urban and natural forms.

Batteries at the Boyd Community Hub and Library at the Dock will feature works by award-winning comic and printmaking artist Michael Fikaris and Amina Briggs, a young Boonwurrung/Erub/Ugar woman and emerging artist. •

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