Six companies awarded $3 million to assist Canberra households store solar energy

Glynis Quinlan 15 January 2018 6
Solar panels

Around 400 Canberra households with rooftop solar systems have installed solar batteries.

Around 400 solar batteries have been installed in Canberra homes and businesses with the ACT Government hoping the third stage in its grants program will see that number doubled.

Six companies have been successful in winning more than $3 million in grants under the Next Generation Energy Storage program which subsidises Canberra households looking to store solar energy to use during peak energy pricing times in the evening.

ActewAGL Retail, Harvey Norman Commercial Division, ITP Home Energy, Power Saving Centre, Solargain and SolarHub were awarded funds under the program. A further two companies, EPC Solar and Evergen, will continue to operate under the program.

Under the program, homes and businesses which install a battery connected to a new or existing solar system will receive support of up to $825 for each kilowatt of sustained peak output, or around $4,000 for an average household system.

Among other things, battery storage has the benefit of allowing householders to store energy captured from rooftop solar systems and then use it when it’s most cost-effective – such as when they are cooking dinner or heating the house during peak pricing times in the evenings.

ACT Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury said the grants form part of the ACT Government’s plan to support the roll-out of up to 36 megawatts of distributed battery storage in up to 5000 ACT homes and businesses by 2020.

“We’ve already had around 400 batteries installed across the city. It’s providing over a megawatt of storage which is both helping households cut their energy bills, manage their own energy usage, but also provide backup for the grid here in the Territory,” he said.

Mr Rattenbury said the ACT program is one of the largest household battery programs in the world.

“The battery storage roll-out program is building on Canberra’s reputation as a globally-recognised hub for the renewable energy industry,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Detailed data is being collected from all batteries installed under the program which will inform research and industry development.

“The batteries are also contributing to the world’s largest residential virtual power plant being trialled by Reposit Power and EvoEnergy (formerly ActewAGL Distribution), which allows battery owners to sell their energy to the grid to help support the electricity network.”

Mr Rattenbury said the amount of energy storage installed under the program is expected to increase rapidly in the coming year.

“This is in addition to the Territory’s considerable solar generation, which has now reached 100 megawatts, and includes three of the country’s largest solar farms at Royalla, Mugga Lane and Williamsdale, and the solar installed on ACT rooftops,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Rooftop solar generation continues to expand under retailer-supported schemes. Householders with solar and batteries are helping reduce Canberra’s vulnerability to summer peak energy demand while we transition to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 and net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.”

Do you think the subsidised solar battery roll-out is a good idea? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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6 Responses to Six companies awarded $3 million to assist Canberra households store solar energy
Chery Gladman Chery Gladman 4:29 pm 16 Jan 18

Why isn't this being rolled out to housing trust properties?

Lyndon Zoukowski Lyndon Zoukowski 2:15 pm 16 Jan 18

Great stuff

Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 1:20 pm 16 Jan 18

How much do you have to pay as extra levy each quarter for the privilege of having a subsidised battery or panels?

    Guy Manton Guy Manton 2:31 pm 16 Jan 18

    Between 1-4 dollars depending how you calculate it. General residential rates only make up about 6% of the budget. Though you have other levies that would fall into rates like fire and emergency so its a bit murkey. But 3 million out of a 5.4 Billion dollar budget is only 0.06%.

    Veronika Sain Veronika Sain 2:35 pm 16 Jan 18

    My understanding is that there's a rate that the house holder who installs these systems pays - which is what I'm curious about. Similar to the levy when you install a water tank to your roof.

    Guy Manton Guy Manton 2:37 pm 16 Jan 18

    Ah sorry misunderstood. :)

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