A NSW Government website

Environmental Service Group

Smart batteries for buildings

Department of Planning and Environment Deputy Secretary Leon Walker (left) and Property and Development NSW ESG Executive Director Peter Graham (right)

About the project

This renewable energy project is an initiative to install smart batteries with virtual power plant (VPP) capabilities in 16 regional government office buildings across the state.

Property and Development NSW (PDNSW) Environmental Service Group (ESG) is managing this NSW Government-first initiative which is funded in partnership with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW).

The smart batteries have a combined energy storage capacity of 1280 kilowatt hours (kWh).

The batteries will help to reduce peak demand costs for government office buildings as well as help to stabilise the electricity grid for consumers.


The installation of smart battery systems started in April 2022.

It is an example of government demonstrating how the built environment can play a role in providing grid services. This project is an investment in VPP technology which will support the state’s transition to net zero emissions under the NSW Government Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030.

DCCEEW’s Smart Batteries for Key Government Buildings initiative, which is partly funding the project, was established to support the installation of battery storage at schools, hospitals and other government buildings with rooftop solar systems.

Next steps

All sites commissioned with VPP capability in 2024.

Frequently asked questions

What is the benefit of this project?

The batteries store excess energy produced by the building’s rooftop solar panels for future use. This relieves the electricity network of demand and benefits the wider community.

Where will the new batteries be installed and how were the locations determined?

Smart batteries are being installed in NSW Government regional offices including Albury, Armidale, two in Bathurst, Broken Hill, Cootamundra, Griffith, Goulburn, Gunnedah, Grafton, Inverell, Lithgow, Moree, Orange, Nowra and Parkes.

PDNSW manages these offices which are occupied by 30 different government agencies and departments.

The office buildings are part of PDNSW’s NABERS Portfolio, which currently ranks fourth in Australia in the NABERS Sustainable Portfolios Index for Energy, with a 5.3 star rating.

What is a virtual power plant?

A virtual power plant (VPP) is a network of individually distributed energy resources, such as solar PV and batteries. Through aggregation in a VPP, these systems may then be able to provide network services and grid support similar to a traditional power plant.

What is the Smart Batteries for Key Government Buildings initiative?

The Smart Batteries for Key Government Buildings initiative was established to support the installation of more than 3,000 kWh of battery storage at schools, hospitals and other government buildings with rooftop solar systems.

It is currently funding trial and demonstration projects in key government facilities in partnership with PDNSW, the NSW Ministry of Health and the NSW Department of Education.

Get in touch

For more information, contact ESG by email at pdnsw.projects@dpie.nsw.gov.au