Canberra's territory plan could be altered to allow for the construction of community-owned battery storage systems, the ACT Chief Minister says.
Speaking before an inquiry hearing into renewable energy in the ACT, Andrew Barr said there was likely to be government support for community groups or co-ops to invest in battery schemes as part of Canberra's energy mix.
However, he told the hearing planning changes might have to be made in order for the building of battery energy facilities to commence.
"It will be necessary to identify potential locations to comply with planning and other environmental considerations," Mr Barr said.
"It might be to facilitate changes to the territory plan to facilitate that sort of investment [in community batteries]. It has the potential to be controversial or not in the planning field."
The community-owned batteries would be in addition to the territory government's $100 million big battery program, which would provide 250 megawatts into Canberra's energy grid.
Development applications have been submitted for several large batteries to be built as part of the program, including ones in west Belconnen and Jerrabomberra.
Community batteries have previously been proposed for suburbs including Jacka in Canberra's north.
Mr Barr said while changes might have to be introduced to allow community battery construction, public opinion was largely positive for the renewable energy option.
"The sentiment at this point is the actual facilities themselves are not undesirable by the community, by [residents] suddenly being near a battery," Mr Barr said.
"It would be possible for collective community activity to be channelled into a suburban or district-level battery.
"It would depend on the level of community investor interest and the economics of the individual project, but it can be part of a larger distributor battery network."
Household battery energy systems are included as part of the government's sustainable household scheme.
Mr Barr revealed in the hearing that more than 5000 Canberrans had already expressed interest in the scheme, which is set to begin later this year.
The scheme will allow people to take out interest-free loans of up to $15,000 from the government to purchase items such as battery storage systems or solar panels.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: