Energy storage is gaining momentum in Australia, with another Tesla lithium-ion battery rolled out, this time in the Perth metro area.

The north-eastern suburb of Ellenbrook yesterday witnessed the unveiling of the 464-kilowatt-hour (kWh) Tesla battery as part of a Western Australian government-backed PowerBank trial.

It is the first time in Australia that a utility-scale battery has been integrated into an established major metropolitan network, providing an alternative storage option for residents.

This is a cheaper alternative to people having to buy their own batteries, which range in cost from $5,000 to $7,000+.

Instead, residents can buy 6kWh or 8kWh of “virtual storage” at a cost of just $1.60 or $1.90 a day.

Ellenbrook residents can apply to take part in the PowerBank 2 trial, which will enable them to “virtually” store excess energy generated from their solar panels to use in the afternoon and evening peak time.

The WA government expects around 65 customers to be recruited for the Ellenbrook PowerBank 2 trial.

Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw said Ellenbrook had one of the highest rooftop solar installation rates in Western Australia.

“However, batteries to store solar power are often too expensive for many households,” she said.

“This distribution battery will make electricity storage so much more affordable for local families and will help deliver more reliable power for our whole community.”

The WA government installed one of these batteries in the Mandurah suburb of Meadow Springs, in Perth’s south, in 2018, which it said collectively saved residents around $11,000.

A trial in Falcon, south of Perth, is also currently taking place, with 59 customers subscribed.

Energy minister Bill Johnston said the PowerBank trial demonstrated the successful integration of a utility-scale battery into an established network and how Western Australia was “a leader in the technology space”.

“It builds on the work being done by Synergy and Western Power to progress energy storage, such as Synergy’s Alkimos Beach energy storage trial,” he said.

“The McGowan government is committed to establishing a cleaner, greener energy future for Western Australia, including working with renewables and new technologies, which is part of our Energy Transformation Strategy.”