October 30, 2018 Read More →

South Australia launches sweeping residential energy storage program

Renew Economy:

South Australia’s Liberal government officially opened the country’s biggest support scheme for household battery storage, with up to 40,000 homes able to access grants and low-interest finance for both battery storage and new rooftop solar installations.

The $200 million scheme – half in grants and the other half in loans provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation – delivers on a pre-election promise from the newly elected Marshall government, but is heavily modified after the then Labor government proposed a similar scheme, but with more focus on low-income housing and more connection between installations.

South Australia – as most people are aware – is leading the country and possible the world in terms of penetration of wind and solar, with more than 50 per cent of its generation coming from these variable resources, and the Australian Energy Market Operator predicts that share could rise to near 100 per cent by 2025.

While much of the focus has been on the state’s large-scale renewable investments, the state also boasts the highest penetration of rooftop solar, with more than 930MW, and this is starting to have an impact on the way the grid is managed. Rooftop solar is now providing up to 45 per cent of generation at certain times of the day, and the growing amounts of solar could push that grid demand to zero in coming years, causing AEMO to look for ways to try and “orchestrate” this resource for the overall benefit of the grid.

The scheme could add up to 400MWh of storage to the grid – not quite four times the size of the 100MW/129MWh Tesla big battery next to the Hornsdale wind farm that has dominated interest from operators and market players – and this could time shift the output of solar, and provide essential grid services.

More: South Australia opens biggest household battery storage support scheme

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