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Queenscliffe Community Battery
Community Energy

Working with Queenscliffe Community to design and build a sustainable community energy solution.

Mondo, in collaboration with the Borough of Queenscliffe and Queenscliffe Climate Action Now, proposed the installation of 100kW/250kWh batteries at four separate locations across the Borough. These batteries, roughly the size of three to four refrigerators standing side by side, aim to act as “solar sponges,” soaking up excess solar energy for later use, thereby facilitating the transition towards renewable energy sources and supporting the community’s Climate Emergency Response Plan.

100 Neighbourhood Batteries

Key facts about funding

  • 100NB funding through DEECA was announced in the media in early March
  • 4 batteries funded at $300,000 per battery, plus contributions from Mondo (project developer),
  • Program due to for completion in August 2025.
  • Funding is part of the State government’s 100 Neighbourhood Battery grants.

Find out more

 

About the project

Who has been involved in Queenscliffe?

The project has emerged from ongoing discussions between QCAN, the Borough of Queenscliffe and Mondo. These discussions have been informed by the shared ambitions on renewable energy, community development and positive action on climate change.

Key project figures

Key facts about the planned batteries

To support more power generated locally, stored locally and used locally.

  • Expected batteries will have a power rating of 100kW and energy storage capacity of 250kWh
  • It is expected the batteries will be Lithium Iron Phosphate
  • The footprint needed will be approximately 3 meters by 5 meters.
  • Mondo will own and maintain batteries throughout their life and remove them to recycle them at the end of the useful life of cells.

Project FAQ’s

The Victorian Government is investing in 100 neighbourhood-scale batteries across the state through the 100 Neighbourhood Batteries (100NB) Program. In the first round of funding, $1.2 million was awarded to Mondo to install, maintain and operate 4 batteries (each 100kW/250kWh) in the Borough of Queenscliffe. Mondo will contribute the remainder of the project costs. 

Mondo is an energy services company based in Melbourne and is a commercial subsidiary of AusNet. Mondo has been working with Victorian communities to help them achieve their renewable energy goals. Mondo has been pioneering community energy projects since 2017, including microgrids, virtual power plants, Stand Alone Power Systems and energy resilience solutions.

Recent projects include the Phillip Island Community Energy Storage System (PICESS), which was commissioned in 2023. 

Victoria’s energy grid was originally designed for a one-way flow of power, moving energy from where it’s made to where it’s needed. Rooftop solar generation, and other renewable power generation, needs a more dynamic, two-way flow of electricity. To maintain a stable electricity supply and to harness as much renewable energy as possible, we need more energy storage at the network, district, neighbourhood, and property levels. 

The batteries will be buying and selling energy on the wholesale energy market, similar to your electricity retailer, typically charging from the grid during the day with solar energy and storing this energy until it is needed in the evening or early morning, when demand is high, and renewable energy supply is limited. 

The batteries will be part of the energy grid and will charge from locally generated solar and the energy available from the wider network to support high evening or seasonal demands in Queenscliffe. 

No. The batteries’ function is to improve the local network’s ability to absorb excess solar energy during the day and export during periods of higher demand. The batteries will not operate or provide back-up power during an outage. However, by storing excess solar the batteries may help address challenges associated with summer peak loads. 

The specific battery locations have not yet been finalised. The criteria for selecting battery locations includes the consideration of  

  • The existing and expected solar generation. 
  • Suitable electrical connection points. 
  • Accessible, appropriate, safe and available land that supports the community’s needs.  

No, your personal electricity plan and your choice of energy retailer will not be impacted. 

The batteries do emit some noise when charging or discharging power, predominantly caused by the cooling system, similar to a reverse cycle air conditioner.  

The batteries will adhere to Environment Protection Authority (EPA) requirements and extra noise reduction methods will be used if needed. Noise levels will be assessed following the installation of the batteries. 

The batteries are around the size of 2 to 3 refrigerators standing together. The expected overall footprint will be approximately 5 metres by 3 metres however this may vary slightly from site to site due to specific locational requirements. 

Each battery’s energy capacity will be 250kWh. This is suitable for the size of transformers found on the local grid. 

The batteries will be strategically located in areas with substantial local solar generation. If there is any shortfall of locally generated solar energy, the battery will be charged from solar or other generation sources on the grid. 

Yes, they are safe. Mondo will select quality, proven, utility grade storage solutions to ensure the community’s safety. The batteries will utilise the stable lithium-iron phosphate (LiFePo4) battery chemistry, have multiple protection systems and remote monitoring. Mondo is responsible for the ongoing maintenance and vegetation management around the batteries. 

Mondo has reviewed available battery solutions and has selected a suitable storage technology to meet the 100NB project requirements to deliver the best overall safety, value for money and performance outcomes. 

The expected operational life for each battery is approximately 15 years, depending on the number of charge/discharge cycles. Mondo will maintain and monitor the batteries to maximise life. 

It is unknown what the energy landscape will look like at the end of the batteries expected life. However, circular economy practices continue to evolve to provide responsible options to reuse or recycle end-of-life batteries. Once the batteries do reach end of life, a decision will be made by Mondo with the local council on how best to remove, re-purpose or recycle them. 

A number of battery solutions that are manufactured in Australia are being considered. Wherever possible, Mondo will ensure that the battery solution utilises as many locally sourced components as possible. 

Local emergency services will be briefed on the batteries and their specific locations. If required, emergency services will follow their procedures on managing incidents. 

Neighbourhood-scale batteries are classified as minor utility installations under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and do not typically require a planning permit. However, each site will be considered by Mondo and the Council with regard to overlays, specific values, heritage considerations, proximity to neighbours, and high tide levels. 

It has proven to be challenging to find suitable locations in Point Lonsdale that meet our selection criteria. Mondo are currently in the process of seeking a viable site for the Point Lonsdale township to evenly split the allocation of batteries. 

Mondo is working closely with Queenscliffe Climate Action Now (QCAN) to develop a community fund arrangement that is fair and transparent. The fund is intended to support community renewable energy projects. 

Mondo’s Queenscliffe 100NB project page has up-to-date information on the project and will be updated as the project progresses. 

You can also sign up to our community project partner QCAN’s mailing list on their webpage to receive updates. 

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