17/06/2021 - 00:30

Western suburbs lead charge on batteries

17/06/2021 - 00:30

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Rooftop solar uptake could grow by 8 per cent a year in the next decade, while household batteries are proving popular in the western suburbs.

Household solar panels create electricity. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Rooftop solar uptake could grow by 8 per cent a year in the next decade, while household batteries are proving popular in the western suburbs.

More than 2,000 megawatts of new rooftop solar capacity could be installed in Perth and surrounds by 2031, a report released today by the Australian Energy Market Operator estimates.

AEMO’s annual Electricity Statement of Opportunities models the power market in Western Australia’s South West Interconnected System.

The latest iteration suggests rooftop solar capacity will double over the decade.

The huge uptake of solar panels is putting pressure on the grid, with a new record low level of minimum demand hit in the past 12 months.

Solar power and wind are variable in their electricity production, with operational demand falling dramatically on cool, sunny days.

But if demand falls below a critical level, it risks damaging the network.

Part of the solution on that front is storage capacity to back up solar.

More than 1,500 megawatts of capacity could be installed across the network by 2031 in a base case scenario, AEMO said.

The data also shows a divided Perth when it comes to battery and solar uptake.

“Locational trends highlight strong adoption of behind-the-meter (photovoltaic panels) in newer residential developments, which tend to be concentrated in the outer metropolitan area of Perth,” the report said. 

“Furthermore, residential growth along the north coast correlates well with high behind-the-meter (photovoltaic) uptake.

“In contrast, uptake of battery storage is higher in more established areas.

“Lower affordability and longer payback periods, currently exceeding the assets’ warranty periods, tend to restrict their use to higher disposable income households. 

“There has been substantial uptake of battery storage in the Perth suburbs of Dalkeith, Peppermint Grove, Mosman Park, and Mount Claremont.

“Areas outside of Perth’s metropolitan area, where power supply reliability is lower, contain installations of relatively large battery storage compared to the accompanying behind-the-meter PV capacity.”

Last year, Business News revealed the state government would change the payment structure for household solar and batteries.

The government replaced the Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme with a Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme, paying different tariffs at times of the day depending on its expectations of demand.

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