Solar Energy Initiative in Northern Adelaide

Are power companies finally stepping into the Sustainability realm?
An interesting trial taking place in Adelaide South Australia.


The Advertiser

18 May 2016

Northern suburbs trial combines batteries and solar power to cut power bills by $500 a year

HOUSEHOLDERS will be offered cheap batteries to store solar panel power as part of a trial to reduce SA Power Network’s need to erect new electricity poles and wires.

The energy supply company will be offering the heavily discounted home-storage batteries to 100 properties in Salisbury from next month, which will cut their electricity bills by $500 a year. SAPN said the batteries would help it cope with increased electricity demand in the northern suburb and save the company from having to pay for an expansion of its supply network.

If the trial was successful, SAPN would consider offering incentives in other locations to promote the uptake of solar charged batteries in the future, the company’s spokesman Paul Roberts said.

“The trial will help us understand whether combining batteries and solar is a viable alternative to investing in network capacity to meet increased demand,’’ he said. “We believe combinations of solar PV, battery storage and grid connections are the future.’’

 Mr Roberts said the price of batteries was “likely to fall as production and sales increase’’ as was the case with solar panels, which are now used by more than 100,000 households across the state. At present, energy generated by panels when homes are unoccupied feeds back into the electricity grid but if the energy is stored in a battery it is available to the homeowner 24 hours a day.

The independent Australian Energy Market Operator said batteries allowed people with solar panels optimal use of the energy they generated. “Battery technology gives people more control over when they use electricity and over bills,’’ said AEMO spokeswoman Prudence Anderson. Under SA-PN’s Demand Management Incentive Scheme – launched Thursday – householders will be offered solar power storage batteries at a cost of $3600 compared to the market price of more than $10,000. Selected homeowners will be invited by SAPN in coming weeks to join the three-year trial based on a range of factors, including their energy consumption.