The State Government has unveiled a plan to roll out a network of at least 50,000 home solar and battery systems across South Australia, working together to form the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant.
Beginning with a trial of 1100 Housing SA properties, a 5kW solar panel system and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 battery will be installed at no charge to the household and financed through the sale of electricity.
Following the trial, which has now commenced, systems are set to be installed at a further 24,000 Housing Trust properties, and then a similar deal offered to all South Australian households, with a plan for at least 50,000 households to participate over the next four years.
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A registration of interest will be opened today for members of the public who wish to participate in the program.
The Government will release a market notice later this week for a retailer to deliver the program, with a preference of bringing a new player into the market.
Analysis by Frontier Economics shows the 250MW plant is expected to lower energy bills for participating households by 30 per cent.
Additionally, all South Australians will also benefit from the increased generation in the South Australian energy mix, with lower energy prices and increased energy stability.
The State Government is assisting the rollout with a $2 million grant and $30 million loan from the Renewable Technology Fund.
Today’s announcement is the next phase in the State Government’s Energy Plan, which is already making South Australia more self-sufficient through the world’s largest lithium ion battery and the solar thermal plant.
The Virtual Power Plant will be the biggest of its kind in the world, easily eclipsing Canberra’s Reposit Power Virtual Power Plant, which connects 250 homes and businesses to the grid.
A recent report by the Australian Energy Market Commission said that energy prices in South Australia are expected to fall by approximately $300 over the next two years for the average household.
Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill
More renewable energy means cheaper power for all South Australians.
My Government has already delivered the world’s biggest battery, of now we will deliver the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant.
We will use people’s homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefitting with significant savings in their energy bills.
Our energy plan means that we are leading the world in renewable energy and now we are making it easier for more homes to become self-sufficient.
Quotes attributable to Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis
What this project will do is connect thousands of solar and battery systems to make one giant, coordinated virtual power plant.
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Once again South Australia is at the global forefront of renewable energy and storage technology.
Labor will always stand up for South Australians, and this project will lower power bills by 30 per cent for those that need it most, before being made available to a broader network of customers.
Quotes attributable to Social Housing Minister Zoe Bettison
We know that people in social housing can often struggle meeting their everyday needs and this initiative will take some pressure off their household budget.
I am very pleased that this Government is able to back South Australia’s housing trust tenants through providing cheaper power through this exciting program.