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SolarHub, ActewAGL Retail, ITP Renewables to install discounted battery systems in Canberra

SolarHub's Benn Masters, ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell, ITP Renewables' Simon Franklin and ActewAGL Retail's Ayesha Razzaq.

The pilot program is designed to test the market and provide data on industry viability. Each of the firms will receive $900 per kW of sustained peak output that the battery provides, with about 200 battery systems expected to be installed.

Mr Corbell said the pilot could see a discount of about $2,700 for homeowners on a battery that can provide 3kW of sustained peak output. The government hopes increased use of battery power will save money on some power grid infrastructure in the future.

"We'd always wanted to select a range of winning companies because we need diverse operators in the market for this pilot stage.

"They each offer slightly different products and they each are pitching slightly different prices to the market. We will use the pilot to identify regulatory barriers, technological barriers that will need to be addressed for further stages," Mr Corbell said.

Results from the pilot will be used to plan for future roll-out of battery technology.

Mr Corbell said the government's commitment to renewable energy was being clearly demonstrated and he called on the Liberal opposition to back the plans ahead of the October election. Thegovernment wants 36 megawatts of energy storage to be rolled out across more than 5000 Canberra homes and businesses by 2020.

As part of the plan, ActewAGL Retail will work with local electrical contractors to install Panasonic batteries in Canberra households and provide an energy monitoring system so households can monitor electricity consumption from a smartphone application.

ITP Renewables will install LG Chem batteries in households, with some commercial installations also targeted.

SolarHub will offer Tesla Energy and LG Chem storage solutions for the ACT residential market, including the network constrained Mologolo Valley. The company will work with Canberra start-up Reposit and retailer Simply Energy, to help householders sell electricity back into the grid.

Garran resident Shar Hinde said her family had installed a large battery for their two-storey, four bedroom home more than a year ago through Reposit. The battery, about the size of a fridge, was installed outside the home after a grant from the federal government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

"It's just brought everything together. We've got solar, a battery, we're supporting local businesses and we're doing our bit for the environment," she said.

"It is definitely worth the effort. We were saving up for a battery but the grant we received just made it totally worth it."

Ms Hinde encourage Canberra homes and businesses to consider battery power.

ActewAGL Retail general manager Ayesha Razzaq said the company's batteries would cost about $5000.

"Once customers install that with a solar panel, they can save around 60 per cent on their energy bill," she said.

"Solar and battery technology has been around for some time now. It's really the balance of getting the price right and the payback right for our customers.

"We've got some real leadership being shown in Canberra, through the government. I think you will find this becomes the new standard for new home development in Canberra."

Households and businesses interested in installing a discounted battery storage system should contact the grant winners directly.

Source: The Canberra Times

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