WA energy minister contemplates home battery incentives coinciding with the solar tariff review

Western Australia is reportedly mulling government-backed home battery storage incentives, in an effort to manage booming rooftop solar uptake in the state.

Reports on Tuesday said state energy minister Ben Wyatt was looking at ways to boost battery uptake, alongside possible changes to the state’s rooftop solar tariffs.

The move, which could either wind back or certain feed-in tariffs in the state, could, however, prove to be a good thing, both for solar and battery storage in the state.

“Some good practical thinking coming from our Energy Minister,” said Redback Energy managing director Brian Innes on LinkedIn.

“We can reduce REBS payments to the daytime price and add a NWC payment (Notional Wholesale Capacity) for battery owners which could work out around $600/yr for a 5kva/10kwh VPP enabled system.”Wyatt argues batteries will have a crucial role in WA’s future energy needs by “helping maximise the use of existing infrastructure and reducing the cost of electricity supply for consumers” – a view shared by the Australian Energy Market Operator and most of the nation’s network operators.

But on solar exports, Wyatt said Synergy was paying “over the odds” for surplus solar power during the middle of the day, when demand for electricity was typically low and output from Perth’s 240,000 solar homes was high.

He said he had asked the Public Utilities Office to examine the buyback scheme along with the adequacy of incentives for solar panels and batteries.

“The current REBS buyback rate is currently higher than the value of solar energy during the day. The scheme will be part of a more comprehensive examination of the State’s future electricity generation mix,” Wyatt said.