13 April 2016
A groundbreaking residential battery storage trial is now up and running in the Western Australia suburb of Alkimos, supported by $3.3 million funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht joined the Federal Minister for Environment Greg Hunt, WA Minister for Energy Mike Nahan and Synergy CEO Jason Waters on site to mark the occasion.
Mr Frischknecht congratulated Synergy, Lendlease and LandCorp on the timely Australian-first trial.
“A central 1.1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of lithium ion battery storage has been installed in two shipping containers in the suburb. It will store power from more than 100 rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems,” Mr Frischknecht said.
“Combining community-scale battery storage and rooftop solar presents a win-win for energy retailers, developers and consumers and can provide households with the benefits of storage without on-site installation and maintenance.
“Solar will work alongside battery storage to lower Alkimos Beach’s demand for electricity from the grid. This model has the potential to offer residents cheaper electricity bills and reduce grid connection costs for future new developments.”
Mr Frischknecht said the Alkimos trial was set to prove an innovative energy retailing model suited for the 21st century and the lessons learned would address gaps in existing knowledge, potentially paving the way for similar projects.
“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,” Mr Frischknecht 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.”
The $6.7 million trial will run until 2020.
Synergy is proud to be Western Australia’s largest provider of gas and electricity to more than one million residential, business and industry customers. They operate as an energy retailer in an area known as the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) that extends from Kalbarri in the north, east to Kalgoorlie-Boulder and south to Albany. Synergy is also Western Australia’s leading power generator with an extensive and diverse portfolio of power stations located around the state, including renewable sources located at Albany, Bremer Bay, Coral Bay, Denham, Geraldton, Esperance, Kalbarri and Hopetoun. Synergy proudly supports the people of Western Australia by playing an active role in the projects and communities in which they operate. Synergy is owned by the Government of Western Australia, represented by the Minister for Energy.
Our focus is on growing WA in a planned and sustainable way. One of the ways we aim to do this is through strategic infrastructure development such as the Alkimos Beach Energy Storage Trial initiative. We can’t do it alone. We deliver economic and employment growth by working with our partners, because we believe when people work together great things happen. Our commitment is to deliver tangible outcomes in land development to benefit all Western Australians. In our role as the Government of Western Australia’s land and property delivery agency, we act commercially to identify, design and implement a range of diverse projects. By partnering with others, we can deliver the highest standards of development possible. LandCorp is a leader in land and infrastructure development across Western Australia on behalf of the West Australian Government.
Lendlease is one of the world’s leading fully integrated property and infrastructure solutions providers. Lendlease have been creating large-scale, master planned urban communities in Australia for more than 50 years. We’ve built strong expertise in areas such as community enterprise, education, creating town centres, economic development, environmental initiatives and affordable housing.
ARENA media contacts
James Webber – 0410 028 899
Judith Ion – 0434 169 037