The Northern Territory Government has announced two major programs that will help achieve their plan for 50% renewables by 2030.
The first relates to grid-scale battery storage, while the second is a great incentive for home owners to invest in batteries at home.
Batteries are used to store the energy captured through solar panels and the Northern Territory has one of the highest numbers of hours of sunlight per day, across the year, of anywhere in Australia.
Battery energy storage system (BESS) for the Darwin – Katherine System
The NT Government has approved the procurement of a large-scale battery for the Darwin-Katherine grid at a project cost of $30M. It is estimated that investment will pay for itself in approximately five years.
Major benefits of the BESS include:
- Increased stability and reliability of power supply. Fluctuations caused by the increasing levels of household and business behind-the-meter solar can be managed quickly and efficiently.
- Reduction in carbon emissions for the Territory and costs for Territory Generation. Reducing the need for gas-fired spinning reserve can deliver both cost savings of around $6.4M and emissions reductions of about 50,000 tonnes per annum.
- Enabling more renewable energy from large scale solar projects. The potential provision of system services from the BESS to the private sector will be considered.
Energy storage increases the reliability and security of energy and has the potentially to provide system services to the private sector. Therese are actions recommended by the Road Map to Renewables report commissioned by the Government.
The procurement will take place over the coming months with the BESS expected to become operational in the second half of 2022. While there’s likely to be multiple applicants for the battery storage, the success of Tesla’s PowerPack in South Australia places them in a very nice position to tender for the job, with runs on the board.
Household and Business Battery Scheme (HBBS)
Home owners and businesses are also getting a break, with the NT Government offering a $6,000 subsidy off the price of batteries over 7kWh to significantly reduce costs. This cost reduction over the long term is achieved by significantly reducing the amount of power that has to be purchased from the grid.
Tesla Powerwall 2 features 13.5kWh of usable capacity, with 7kW peak and 5kW continuous. This places it as a prime candidate for the program. Right now the Powerwall 2 costs A$10,000 + another A$1,700 for supporting hardware and install. This means a discount of A$6,000 would more than halve the cost of the battery, dramatically reducing the ROI.
Of course, there’s a number of other battery storage options for your home in Australia, including LG Chem, Sonnen Batterie and more. If you’re considering it, I’d suggest you take a look at the great information on Solarquotes.com.au.
If you’re a family or business that already has solar, a discount of this magnitude, now looks incredibly inviting.
While a reduction in your energy bills is certainly one object, for the NT that is familiar with extreme weather and even cyclones stored power could provide much needed power in the event grid supply is interrupted.
A new standard Feed in Tariff (FiT) of 8.3 cents per kWh will be offered by Jacana Energy and will apply to all new businesses and households with behind-the-meter solar installations of up to 30kW in size.
All businesses and households who currently receive the premium one-for-one FiT will continue to do so. They will only surrender the premium FiT if they upgrade the capacity of their system, move premises or take advantage of the battery subsidy.
Households and businesses who have already submitted an application to Power Water for the installation of solar will also be eligible for the premium FiT. The scheme will be funded by savings from the introduction of a reduced FiT.
An initial allocation of $800,000 will be provided for the scheme, funding grants for about 130 batteries. That means you need to act fast as the applications for the $6000 grants under the scheme will open Tuesday April 14.
“We’ve backed renewables and so have Territorians – they know renewables means lower prices.
Our new $6000 solar and battery grants will see even more Territorians choose the sun and lower power prices – and create more jobs.
Doing whatever it takes to save lives from coronavirus means throwing the kitchen sink at saving jobs and preparing the Territory for the rebound.
I’m backing Territorians, solar and lower prices to get it done – we have a bright future if we all stick together.”Chief Minister, Michael Gunner
Further details on the BESS and the HBBS can be found at www.business.nt.gov.au