The PM has battery storage added to his solar system at his Point Piper mansion

Amid the threat of summer power blackouts in the NSW, it has emerged that Australian Prime Mininster Malcolm Turnbull has added battery storage to the solar system at his harbourside mansion in Sydney’s Point Piper.

RenewEconomy on Monday confirmed with the PM’s office that a battery storage device was installed in Turnbull’s private property late last year. It is believed to be 14kWh of LG Chem lithium-ion battery, to complement his rooftop solar array previously installed and recently upgraded to 14kW.

That battery storage – depending on its configuration, and the choice of inverter – might be able to provide back-up to keep the lights and many other appliances on in the event of any blackouts in coal-dependent NSW.

It could also help the multi-millionarie save a few dollars a day by storing the output of his solar array for use in the evening, particularly after the loss of any premium solar tariffs he may have had.

And, in the case of forced rolling blackouts, a waterside suburb like Point Piper would be a sensible choice for the “load shedding”, given that the temperatures are likely to be significantly below inland suburbs.

But battery storage installation also highlights the conflicting signals from Turnbull, a man who once spoke glowingly about 100 per cent renewable energy goals, but whose energy policies, nowadays, are best symbolised by the lump of coal brought into Question Time by Treasurer Scott Morrison last Thursday.

Wouldn’t have been wonderful if, instead, the Coalition had brought in a piece of software – an energy management device – to prove that policy makers do have the tools to manage a modern grid?

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Giles Parkinson