South Australia launches multimillion dollar battery scheme

The South Australian government celebrated its AU$100 million Home Battery Scheme, which will subsidise the cost of buying a home energy storage system for South Australian households.

European and Asian residential battery storage providers have been a cropping up in the Australian marketplace the last two years, but there will be a nine-week priority period given to locally made battery systems.

The scheme that will help pay the installation of a home battery system in South Australia was recently opened by the state government.

Subsidies of up to AU$6,000 will be available to up to 40,000 South Australian households and scaled in line with the size of the system being installed.A household with a large battery providing 10kWh of storage would be in line for AU$5,000 or AU$6,000 subsidy, the latter one being reserved for concession holders – such as pensioners and low-income homes.

The AU$100 million in state government subsidies have been matched by AU$100 million in low-interest loans from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) for the balance of the battery and new solar if required.

According to a report by Energy Storage Direct, these loans will be delivered through UK-based Rate Setter’s new South Australia-specific renewable energy lending market, in cases when the upfront costs of the home battery system installations are not met by the South Australia government subsidies

Premier Steven Marshall stated that the AU$200 million investment is a central piece of his government’s plans to cut the price of electricity for South Australian households and businesses.

“Households will enjoy savings of thousands of dollars on their electricity bills over the life of the battery,” he said.

“We are also creating jobs and attracting new business to our state by giving priority to qualified system providers who commit to installing approved battery systems that are manufactured or assembled in South Australia.”

Meanwhile, in another initiative, eligible households can choose whether to connect their home battery system to South Australia’s virtual power plant (VPP) project.

Tesla and the South Australian government are developing a network of at least 50,000 solar storage systems across the state. These will feature Tesla Powerwall batteries. As a result, South Australia will eventually host the world’s largest virtual power plant.