A new battery storage trial launched by utilities Synergy and Western Power in Mandurah will allow households to store residual energy from their solar panels and use it during peak periods.
The two-year trial, announced today by the state government, will see a 105-kilowatt (420kWh) Tesla battery connected to the grid in Meadow Springs.
Under the PowerBank trial, 52 families will be able to virtually store excess power they generate during the day from their solar PV systems in the battery, and then draw down on that power during the peak evening period.
These customers will be able to use 8kWhs of the PowerBank battery storage without having to outlay upfront costs for a behind the meter battery storage system.
8kWhs is enough to power the average suburban home for over one hour during peak time.
The state government said the trial was the first of its kind in Australia, where a utility-scale battery is integrated into an already-established major metropolitan network.
“This is another Australian milestone for the application of utility-scale batteries for the benefit for customers, drawing on the groundbreaking work by Synergy in its Alkimos Beach energy storage trial,” Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said.
“For the first time in Australia, a utility-scale battery will be integrated into an established suburb’s network, like Meadow Springs, that has a high level of existing solar PV uptake.
“At the cost of one dollar a day, customers will have access to 8kWh of battery storage to use any time after 3pm each day.
“This trial shows that the WA government is serious about working with renewables, delivering for taxpayers and planning for our energy future.”
Homes taking part in the trial will not be locked into the program, while customers will receive a quarterly activity statement advising of savings to date, using a system developed by Synergy.
The recruitment process began today.
Conservation Council of Western Australia director Piers Verstegen said the battery storage trial was an innovative solution that would enable households to meet more of their energy needs from renewable energy.
“By coupling solar energy with modern battery technology, we can be well on the way to making polluting and expensive fossil fuels like coal and gas redundant here in WA," he said.
“Battery storage will enable homes and businesses to use solar energy even when the sun is not shining, and this will help to make energy use cleaner and more affordable."