It's an Australian-first - an innovative initiative known as the Beehive Project that will allow peer to peer solar energy trading - and it will be based in Kurri Kurri.
Enova Community Energy will construct its first 1-megawatt community battery at the Ausgrid substation on the outskirts of Kurri later next year.
About the size of a shipping container the battery will be operated by Enova to maximise benefits to energy customers and the community.
Enova received funding from the NSW Regional Community Energy Fund to support the implementation of the battery. It will be paired with an online platform, Powertracer, developed by technology company Enosi, which will enable peer-to-peer solar energy trading.
The program will enable 500 participants to buy and sell (or trade) rooftop solar energy from each other and trade with the battery itself. The project is a unique pilot, to be analysed and documented with outcomes widely shared by University of Newcastle.
Minister for Energy Matt Kean said it's great to see the regional community energy sector taking control of their own projects and embracing clean energy.
"Innovative renewable energy projects like this will help to make electricity more reliable and affordable for our regional communities," Mr kean said.
"This project is unique," Enova Community Energy CEO Felicity Stening said.
"Not only is it a key strategic initiative for Enova, it's also the first of its kind in Australia. Projects like this have the potential to change the face of the electricity system as we know it.
"With our partners Enosi and University of Newcastle, we're looking forward to generating great results and learnings that can be shared with the broader community, so that the capability to generate, store and share renewable energy can start to be part of the new normal," said Felicity.
In welcoming the project location, Cessnock Council Mayor Bob Pynset said the community battery project is a ground-breaking initiative, with nothing else like it in Australia.
"I'm proud that Cessnock City Council has played its part in giving it a home. The Hunter region is navigating its way from being seen as only a coal-producing region, toward a region of opportunity. This opportunity to support a community energy asset could not have come at a more important time. We're thrilled to invite our community to get involved by registering to participate," Cr Pynsent said.
Kurri Kurri locals and Hunter region residents are invited to register their application to participate in the shared community battery project, by visiting: www.enovaenergy.com.au/shared-community-battery.
Enova will invite at least 500 households with and without rooftop solar to participate. Project participants can live anywhere in NSW.
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