Beginning this month, 40,000 South Australian households will have access to AU $100 million (about US $70M) in state government subsidies to pay for the installation of home battery systems.
The $500-$600 per kWh subsidy will directly reduce electricity costs for the 40,000 households that purchase a subsidized household energy storage system. In addition, the installation of these systems will reduce demand on the network (especially at peak periods) and in turn lower prices for all South Australians. There is a $6000 cap on the subsidy.
The subsidy levels and the subsidy cap are expected to reduce over time as competition in the market increases and the cost of home battery systems goes down.
A set of minimum technical requirements for battery systems has been developed to ensure the batteries are safe, reliable and capable of being recruited into a virtual power plant.
While households will be able to choose whether or not their home battery system operates as part of a virtual power plant, the ability to aggregate household solar and batteries — either now or at a future point in time — creates opportunities to address network issues and smooth loads by balancing out peak power demands, according to the government.