An Australian suburban neighbourhood is set for a trial run of a solar-powered community minigrid.

The project, slated for the Melbourne suburb of Mooroolbark, is to be undertaken by Victoria utility Ausnet Services, which aims to install between 3 kW and 4.5 kW of rooftop solar systems and 10 kWh of battery energy storage for each of the 14 participating households.  

The trial is expected to run for 12 months.  

Ausnet Services aims to demonstrate that the households can generate, store and share renewable electricity with each other as a minigrid via their local power lines.

Nino Ficca, managing director of Ausnet Services, said: ‘We’ve developed a control system that will monitor and manage energy flows within the minigrid. This system will enable the energy that is stored in batteries to be shared between houses, based on the needs of the individual houses, the diversity of customer loads within the minigrid and the needs of the network.

‘This project builds upon the learnings gained from a residential battery trial we recently completed, which identified benefits for both consumers and electricity networks,’ he added.