The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $3.3 million funding for Synergy to trial a combination of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) with battery storage at a new housing development in Alkimos Beach, north of Perth.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the model being trialled included new tariff options for consumers and had the potential to be replicated in future residential developments across Australia.

“The trial will involve combining 1.1MWh of centralised lithium ion battery storage with more than 100 rooftop solar PV systems,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Cost effective energy storage will become increasingly important in the quest to include more renewables in our electricity grids.

“Synergy will deliver the project in partnership with Alkimos Beach development partners Lend Lease and Landcorp, two major players in property construction, planning and infrastructure.

“Working with these companies presents an opportunity to increase the use of solar PV in Australia, particularly if they adopt similar models at other residential developments.”

The project will provide new information about how to deliver value from solar PV for consumers, land developers, electricity retailers and network operators with enabling technologies.

Mr Frischknecht said residential electricity storage would allow network operators to manage demand more effectively by delivering stored power into the grid at peak times.

“Combining storage and renewables has the potential to deliver significant savings to both consumers and developers by reducing grid connection costs for new homes,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“The valuable technical and commercial insights gained from this project could help overcome regulatory barriers and prove the case for adding renewables into the residential planning process.

“These results will be shared with the broader energy industry in line with ARENA’s commitment to knowledge sharing.”

The four year trial will start in early 2016.

Michelle Goldsmith

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