Neighbourhood Battery Initiative (NBI) – Upgrading the Electricity Network to Support Rooftop Solar PV Energy Generation



External Member

ANU Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program (BSGIP)



Australia’s energy markets are in a period of rapid change, driven by the growth of distributed energy resources (DERs) like renewable energy generation and energy storage technologies. As decarbonisation of Australia’s electricity grid continues, these changes will have a large impact on the network, introducing complexity and challenges regarding supply-demand, load balance, and power flows from distribution systems to the central transmission system. Neighbourhood, or community-scale, batteries (~1-5MW) present an opportunity to mitigate these challenges, deferring the need for network upgrades by providing local energy storage and distribution. Using the shared battery, communities can store energy from their rooftop solar PV, allowing for increased solar PV energy generation (hosting capacity), lower energy costs, and greater energy equity across solar and non-solar energy users.

To realise the technical, economic, and social benefits of neighbourhood batteries, their use needs to be considered against alternate network options. Of particular interest is the counter option of upgrading the transmission network to allow for local solar PV energy generation to be distributed to the central transmission network rather than it being stored and distributed locally. Modelling for this work will require consideration of factors like hosting capacity potential, cost of transformer upgrades, influence of network tariffs, effect on energy cost, impact on energy equity, and contribution to long-term renewable energy generation.

The research outcomes of this project will contribute to the work being conducted for the NBI. The NBI addresses the need for data-driven evidence on the impact of neighbourhood batteries on decarbonisation, prices and economics, access and equity, and hosting capacity for local renewables. In doing so, it seeks to provide guidance on models for optimisation of these criteria, producing the necessary impact, software, and integration tools to do so.

How to apply

To submit an expression of interest for this project, please email by Monday 14th February 2022 with the subject line: “Student Project EOI: Neighbourhood Battery Initiative (NBI).”

Your email must include all of the following for your application to be considered:

  • Academic transcript(s)
  • CV
  • 1/2-1 page written statement covering your project motivation and goals


Required skills

·       Completed coursework or equivalent experiencing in electronics engineering or renewable energy systems

·       Familiarity with energy systems modelling and data analysis, including use of Python or other programming languages

·       An interest in the project topic, as well as a broader interest in the work of the ANU BSGIP

Suggested skills

·       Completion of ENGN4625 Power Systems and Power Electronics or relevant experience

·       Familiarity with energy system datasets, including AEMO supply/demand data

·       An understanding of renewable energy technologies, energy storage, grid integration, the National Electricity Market (NEM), and/or decarbonisation pathways is desirable


Background Literature

ANU BSGIP Neighbourhood batteries website:

B. C. P. Sturmberg et al., “A mutually beneficial approach to electricity network pricing in the presence of large amounts of solar power and community-scale energy storage,” Energy Policy, vol. 159, p. 112599, Dec. 2021, doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112599.


renewable energy, energy storage technologies, decarbonisation, neighbourhood batteries, optimisation


Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing