Residential rooftop solar with battery storage a step closer

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced $3.3 million funding for Synergy to trial a combination of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) with battery storage at a new housing development in Alkimos Beach, north of Perth in Western Australia.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the model being trialled included new tariff options for consumers and had the potential to be replicated in future residential developments across Australia.

“The trial will involve combining 1.1MWh of centralised lithium ion battery storage with more than 100 rooftop solar PV systems,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Cost effective energy storage will become increasingly important in the quest to include more renewables in our electricity grids.

“Synergy will deliver the project in partnership with Alkimos Beach development partners Lend Lease and Landcorp, two major players in property construction, planning and infrastructure.

“Working with these companies presents an opportunity to increase the use of solar PV in Australia, particularly if they adopt similar models at other residential developments.”

The project will provide new information about how to deliver value from solar PV for consumers, land developers, electricity retailers and network operators with enabling technologies.

Mr Frischknecht said residential electricity storage would allow network operators to manage demand more effectively by delivering stored power into the grid at peak times.

“Combining storage and renewables has the potential to deliver significant savings to both consumers and developers by reducing grid connection costs for new homes,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“The valuable technical and commercial insights gained from this project could help overcome regulatory barriers and prove the case for adding renewables into the residential planning process.

“These results will be shared with the broader energy industry in line with ARENA’s commitment to knowledge sharing.”

The four year trial will start in early 2016.

About Synergy

Synergy is owned by the Government of Western Australia, represented by the Minister for Energy. Synergy is proud to be Western Australia’s largest provider of gas and electricity to more than one million residential, business and industry customers. It operates as an energy retailer in an area known as the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) that extends from Kalbarri in the north, east to Kalgoorlie-Boulder and south to Albany.

Synergy is also Western Australia’s leading power generator with an extensive and diverse portfolio of power stations around the state, including around Collie, Kwinana, Cockburn and Pinjar. In addition to the Greenough River Solar Farm and the Mumbida Wind Farm outside of Geraldton, Synergy also generates electricity from wind farms at Albany, Bremer Bay, Coral Bay, Denham, Esperance, Kalbarri and Hopetoun.

About Lend Lease

Lend Lease is one of the world’s leading fully integrated property and infrastructure solutions providers. Lend Lease have been creating large-scale, master planned urban communities in Australia for more than 50 years. They have built strong expertise in areas such as community enterprise, education, creating town centres, economic development, environmental initiatives and affordable housing.

About LandCorp

LandCorp’s focus is on growing WA in a planned and sustainable way. One of the ways is through strategic infrastructure development such as the Alkimos Beach Energy Storage Trial. LandCorp’s commitment is to deliver tangible outcomes in land development to benefit all Western Australians.

LandCorp’s role as the Government of Western Australia’s land and property delivery agency, is to act commercially to identify, design and implement a range of diverse projects. By partnering with others, they deliver the highest standards of development possible. LandCorp is a leader in land and infrastructure development across Western Australia on behalf of the West Australian Government.

ARENA media contacts

James Webber – 0410 028 899
Judith Ion – 0434 169 037
media@arena.gov.au

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