In order to better understand how residential battery storage can be employed to help reduce costs for its electricity customers, and to defer potentially costly network upgrades, SA Power Networks is providing select customers with either Tesla Powerwall or Samsung batteries for a trial program.
Beginning this month, SA Power Networks will run what is considered to be Australia’s “largest trial of combined solar and energy storage in an established suburb” in Salisbury, with 100 of its eligible customers getting access to subsidized battery storage systems, along with solar arrays (if not already installed). The company is offering the trial to customers living on “particular streets” in certain suburbs of Salisbury, with “significant financial assistance” available for the purchase of the batteries and solar panels, and a guarantee of saving a minimum of $500 per year on their electric bill.
“In the next few years we will need to act to meet localized demand growth in Salisbury. We want to work with customers to avoid the need to invest in new poles and wires. Instead of building a new power line, we would like to see whether we can defer or avoid that by tapping into local solar PV generation and combining this with energy storage.” – Paul Roberts, Manager Stakeholder Relations.
The battery storage + solar systems will use energy management software from Reposit Power to enable customers to get the most benefits of the integrated system, as the software will help determine which power source is the best option for customers at any given time, either self-consumption of solar or electricity from their battery system.
Like many customer-facing incentives, it’s not all just about providing the customer with savings, as this sort of approach to residential energy could very well end up saving the network money in both deferred costs for upgrading the local transmission network as well as gaining access to a virtual distributed energy production and storage system, and we look forward to hearing more about the results of this trial.
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