Why every town should build its own big battery

Australia has been caught up in an endless energy debate for the past few months. We’re constantly being told clean coal, gas power stations, large-scale battery storage like the South Australian big battery and pumped hydro are the answer to our rising electricity bills. Meanwhile, quietly, in the background, many everyday Australians have decided to fix the energy crisis themselves.

Last month in Canberra, hundreds of Australians turned on their own big battery by synchronising their solar and battery systems to sell energy back to our electricity grid. These households demonstrated that anyone with smart solar battery technology can turn our reliance on coal-generated energy to renewable energy and at the same time, change the unfair electricity system to one where everyone shares in the value.

Those who participated earned $1 for every kWh of energy they sold, which at the time was nine times the solar feed-in-tariff in Canberra.

In regional areas where blackouts are far too common and electricity prices are far too high, community virtual big batteries can provide much-needed stability and relief from high electricity bills.

All Australians can now take part in building their own community virtual big battery. As well as the financial benefits, these systems support our electricity grid in a way that puts Australian households back in charge. It’s households, not utilities or companies, that are rewarded for delivering electricity when it's needed.

Community virtual big batteries can help to prevent blackouts and provide stability to our electricity grid by directly providing energy when it's needed. And if the worst does happen and the grid fails, then everyone with a battery will still have the lights on. It’s time to start looking forward to your electricity bill.

Dean Spaccavento is chief executive of Reposit Power.