Rooftop solar and battery storage could soon become standard features of new residential housing developments, depending on the success of a ground-breaking community-scale solar and energy storage trial in Western Australia.
The $6.9 million residential battery storage trial in the WA suburb of Alkimos Beach was announced in March last year but officially kicked off on Wednesday, with the installation of its major battery storage unit. It is a collaboration of Perth energy provider Synergy and property developers Lendlease and LandCorp, supported by $3.3 million from ARENA.
It centres on the installation of a grid-scale 1.1MWh lithium ion battery housed in two grid-connected shipping containers, that will store power from the suburb’s more than 100 rooftop solar systems, offering residents the experience of “virtual” energy storage.
“Solar will work alongside battery storage to lower Alkimos Beach’s demand for electricity from the grid,” ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said in a statement. “This model has the potential to offer residents cheaper electricity bills and reduce grid connection costs for future new developments.
“There is also a need to better understand how solar and community-scale storage can operate within traditional networks. For example, right now there are no tariffs that allow community energy storage to discharge onto electricity networks,” he said.
“The trial provides an opportunity for follow-on projects, particularly if similar models are adopted at other residential developments.
“If the approach becomes standard practice for new residential developments, this will increase the supply and use of renewable energy in Australia.”
© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd