In conjunction with Western Power we delivered an energy storage pilot across 12 metropolitan and regional locations. This pilot, known as PowerBank, has allowed for a utility-scale battery to be integrated into an already established major metropolitan electricity network for the first time in Australia.
What is PowerBank?
Synergy runs a range of programs and pilots to explore alternative energy sources for WA's energy supply and storage solutions which could help the stability of the electricity network.
The PowerBank pilot allowed participants to trial battery storage technology to virtually# store excess electricity generated from their solar panels.*
PowerBank was run in three phases across selected WA communities within the SWIS.
- PowerBank: Meadow Springs
- PowerBank2: Falcon and Ellenbrook
- PowerBank3: Kalgoorlie, Ashby, Canning Vale, Two Rocks, Vasse, Port Kennedy, Yokine Falcon, and Parmelia
By working with our customers and industry peers, such as Western Power, we aim to deliver cost-effective solutions that can benefit communities and support the stability of the electricity network. For the PowerBank pilot, Western Power installed and maintained the community batteries while Synergy delivered the customer solutions for the pilot.
How the pilot worked
More than 350 of our Synergy customers with existing solar PV systems participated in the PowerBank pilot to trial virtual# battery storage technology.
Participating customers were able to virtually# store excess electricity generated between 7am and 3pm. They could use up to 6kWh or 8kWh of stored energy daily (depending on the storage option selected and amount of excess energy that had been stored) to offset their electricity consumption when their solar PV system wasn't generating electricity and trial a time-of-use pricing plan.
1. During the day, your solar panels generate energy. You will be allocated storage capacity in the battery so you can virtually store some of the energy you don't use that is generated between 7am and 3pm.
2. The electricity you have virtually stored is used to offset your consumption during the Peak Period and at other times if there is still stored energy remaining.
The 3 phases of PowerBank
PowerBank ran in three phases across a range of locations.* Starting in Meadow Springs, PowerBank2 expanded to Falcon and Ellenbrook before PowerBank3 was launched in Kalgoorlie, Ashby, Canning Vale, Two Rocks, Vasse, Port Kennedy, Yokine and Parmelia.
The three phases of the PowerBank pilot provided valuable insights into the role electricity storage products, such as home and community batteries, could play in WA’s energy future. Pilot terms and conditions also applied to each phase of the PowerBank pilot.
Participants were able to enjoy direct electricity cost-savings, detailed below. On a wider scale, we gained insights on how community batteries could help to provide cost-effective storage options to help smooth supply and demand, which has benefits for all electricity users in the area. Community batteries could also open up the capacity for more solar and other renewable energy sources to be connected to the network in the future.
PowerBank Pilot Statistics by Phase
|Number of community batteries
|Total volume of energy stored across community batteries (kWh)^
|Average amount of energy stored per day per participant (kWh)^
|Average amount of energy consumed from the battery per day per participant (kWh)^^
PowerBank Pilot Statistics (All phases)
|3 years 9 months
|Number of participants
|Average total savings per participant~
|Average savings per bill~
|Average amount of energy stored per day per participant^
|Average amount of energy consumed from the battery per day per participant^^
While the PowerBank pilot has now concluded, the community batteries will remain connected to the SWIS to help support the stability of the electricity network during times of peak demand.
Our customers' experiences with PowerBank
Exploring the power of community batteries
Everything we learn from innovative projects like this helps us prepare for WA’s intelligent energy future. We’re using insights from the PowerBank pilot to explore community battery storage options which could benefit even more of our customers and help to provide safe and reliable electricity.
There's much more to learn about community batteries and their role in WA's future energy mix.
Learn more about our battery trials
Alkimos Beach Energy Trial
More than 80% of homes in the Alkimos Beach estate were orientated to make the most of solar energy generation for residents, and all homes in the estate included an Energy Smart Home Package including energy efficient technologies. For these reasons, Alkimos Beach was an ideal location for our first community battery trial. Learn more about the background, purpose and results of our Alkimos Beach Energy Trial.Explore this trial
Community batteries can provide our customers the opportunity to use excess energy generated by solar during the day. Community batteries could also provide a cost-effective electricity storage solution that offers benefits to our customers and the electricity network as a whole.Learn about community batteries
# By virtual, we mean there is no physical battery connected to the premises storing electricity generated. Individual customers were allocated virtual storage capacity in the battery based on the storage option selected and the relevant pilot terms and conditions.
* Pilot terms and conditions applied to each phase of the pilot.
^ The total amount of energy stored in the community batteries that were part of the PowerBank pilot in each phase for the term of each phase. The average amount of energy stored per day per participant is indicative only and determined by dividing the total amount of energy stored in the community batteries that were part of the PowerBank pilot by the number of participants in the relevant phase of the pilot (where it is calculated per phase), and across the entire pilot (where it is calculated for all phases).
^^ The average amount of energy consumed from the battery per day, is indicative only based on the total amount of energy discharged from the community batteries that were part of the PowerBank pilot each day to offset participants' electricity consumption and divided by the number of participants and is calculated for each phase of the pilot (where it is calculated per phase), and across the entire pilot (where it is calculated for all phases). Participants were only permitted to consume the equivalent of what they had virtually stored in the battery each day, which was subject to their individual storage allocation option which in some cases was only 6KWh.
~ Calculated by reference to the total collective savings of all 533 participants across all phases of the PowerBank pilot, based on comparing the costs the participants incurred on the applicable product while a participant in the pilot (including daily supply charges and the daily subscription fee) against the costs they would have incurred on the standard Synergy Home Plan (A1) (the regulated residential tariff) for the same period. The average total savings per participant is indicative only and determined by dividing the total collective savings by the number of pilot participants . The average total saving per bill is indicative only and determined by dividing the average total savings per participant by the number of bills a participant would have received if they were on the trial for its entire duration.