Battery grants drive Queensland’s renewable wave
The next wave of Queensland’s “renewable revolution” kicked off early this week when grants became available for households and small businesses to install batteries to store their solar power. The incentive could result in another 1500 to 2500 battery storage systems in the state.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham (pictured above) announced the grants and loans scheme that will help up to 1500 Queensland households and small businesses cut their power bills by storing solar power and using it after sunset.
“Almost half a million households in Queensland are generating power from rooftop solar,” Dr Lynham said. “This places us in a great position for the next wave of our renewable journey: storing this solar power through home battery systems.
From Monday 19 November Queensland householders could jump online and apply for interest-free loans of up to $10,000 for up to 1000 combined solar and battery systems, and grants of $3000 and interest-free loans of up to $6,000 for 500 batteries.
This is additional to the scheme that started in June offering interest-free loans of up to $4500 for solar systems.
Dr Lynham said a high energy-using household that contributes $2000 to $3000 towards the upfront cost of their solar and battery system may save $400 a year, even after taking into account their interest-free loan repayments.
Queensland’s small businesses can also apply for up to a $3000 grant.
“With our policies, interest-free loans and grants incentives we are looking to add another 1500 to the 2500 battery storage systems in place around the state,” Dr Lynham said.
“Just as we have one of the highest penetrations of rooftop solar in the world, we are aspiring to be a world leader in battery storage.”
The Energy Minister announced the grants during a visit to a Brisbane family who have been using a solar-battery system for two years, storing their solar power and saving on their power bill.
He said Labor’s policy mix had already been a catalyst for an estimated $2 billion worth of private investment in solar from households and small business and explained the roll out of solar and battery packages was backed up with a strong safety focus.
Member for Nudgee Leanne Linard encouraged small businesses and households to look into all of the government assistance for renewable energy options.
“The government is offering fair-dinkum incentives for people to join the switch to renewables,” she said. “This is about helping Queenslanders reduce their power bills, reduce our emissions as we make the transition to a renewable future.”
Applicants for loans and grants select from a panel of approved suppliers who meet stringent safety standards.
Still in Queensland, where the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, a 500MW lithium-ion battery storage facility, will rise at the site of what will also become the world’s largest single site solar farm.
The 1500 MW farm will feature 247,000 sub arrays of 21 solar modules – around 5.2 million solar panels – and produce enough energy to power around 300,000 homes. Importantly it will slash 2.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Sunshine Energy Australia has been granted development to build the $2 billion energy project whose storage facility will dwarf the 129 MW lithium-ion battery at the Hornsdale power station in South Australia.
“The 500MW battery storage onsite will provide additional energy distribution options, providing a more consistent energy supply that will reduce price volatility during peak periods,” Sunshine Energy director Anthony Youssef said.
“We are using our high-performance lithium battery system, patented in Australia, for the facility.”
The first 250 MW is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019.
Solar generated energy will be fed back to the commercial electricity network by two substations built by Powerlink, and connect to the 275kV national distribution network in Queensland.