Batteries in homes without solar – South Australia to test their power

Batteries are to be installed in 20 South Australian homes to test their potential as a virtual power plant (VPP).

The trial, believed to be a world first, is intended to enable households that are without rooftop solar to participate and receive the financial benefits in the energy market.

It forms part of phase three of South Australia’s VPP programme, in which 3,000 properties are being fitted with rooftop solar and home batteries to bring the total to 4,100 of such homes in the state.

The batteries will be charged up during the day when rooftop solar is plentiful in preparation for the evening peak when the sun sets.

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“This is revolutionary trial, which could be a game changer for the thousands of South Australians who can’t benefit from solar power,” said Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“If successful, this trial could be extended to properties that are otherwise unable to host solar.”

South Australia claims installation of almost 30% of all the home batteries installed in Australia in the last year.

The state also claims that with the phase 3 programme it will have the highest per capita rollout of home batteries in the world.

The phase 3 programme is being delivered through Au$10 million (US$7.8 million) from the South Australian government, Au$8 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Au$18 million from Tesla and a Au$30 million loan from the Australian government owned green bank Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

South Australia reports to be on track to achieve 100% net renewables by 2030 with the surge on household solar systems and home batteries making a significant contribution to that outcome.