Powercor’s Buninyong battery has sat idle for the past five months following noise complaints made by neighbours in May.
The two megawatt battery, which is the largest of its kind in Australia, was installed at the Mount Mercer Road property in late 2015 to provide a backup power source to 3000 residents in the Buninyong area.
Powercor subsequently received complaints from nearby residents during the battery’s testing phase, with one neighbour likening the sound to that of a “jumbo jet”.
The noise complaints came as further embarrassment to the company following an incident in April where flame retardant spilled onto neighbouring properties days after the battery was switched on.
While Powercor had originally hoped to have the battery fully operational by June, spokesperson Melissa O’Neill said the company was confident the $8 million installment would be up and running for summer.
“Our plan was the sooner we could get it up and running the better, but the key thing here is making sure we get the right solution and work with the neighbours,” Ms O’Neill said.
Powercor has pledged to install noise barriers around the battery to minimise disturbance to residents and bring the battery into line with the Environmental Protection Authority’s guidelines for noise in regional Victoria.
Construction on the barriers is expected to be completed in late November.
The company will also host a community consultation session at the Buninyong Town Hall on Saturday October 15 where locals will be able to ask questions about the battery and contribute their feedback about the aesthetics of the site.
“At the end of the day we want to make sure we're a good neighbour to be located near, and that's been far more important (than beginning operation earlier),” Ms O’Neill said. “We're really keen to get the communities feedback on the visual aesthetics of the site.”
Ms O’Neill also the company had created an emergency management plan with emergency services following the fire retardant incident.