Solar battery database in Queensland – Reg for $50!

Queenslanders that have a solar battery (AKA energy storage) powered by PV solar panels on their roof can earn $50 by registering it on the Queensland solar battery database which was announced last Wednesday, ahead of a national database which is currently being discussed.

Solar battery database in Queensland

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham announced the database which will work in tandem with the Australian Energy Market Commission, who are currently working on national rules for a register of battery storage systems and distributed energy devices.  

“Households with solar panels are starting to install batteries to store their solar power to use during peak periods,” Lynham said on a press release entitled ‘Queensland leads the way on energy storage‘ hosted on the Queensland Government website.

“Energex and Ergon Energy need to know where those batteries are in an emergency, but also because those batteries can help better manage the electricity network and supply during peak demand.

“This is part of our plan to use network energy assets to further lower wholesale prices, minimise price spikes and increase the resilience of the power networks,” he said. 

“For example, households with batteries, and the service providers operating the equipment on their behalf, will be able to respond to possible peak load events by optimising the use of their battery stored power.”

The register will be to help improve safety during emergencies as emergency service responders can attend fire scenes and if they aren’t aware of energy storage at the premises, it can be an issue for obvious reasons.

Solar Battery Database
Solar Battery Database to assist in safety for grid employees. (source: energex.com.au)

Energy Queensland Chief Executive Officer David Smales discussed the safety concerns and why Queensland are jumping ahead to establish this database:

“Capturing these details in a centralised register will help address these potential safety concerns. 

“It will also create opportunities for Ergon Energy and Energex to potentially work with customers to use these installed battery systems to more broadly contribute to addressing demand and voltage issues in the electricity grid.”

If you want more information about the project or how to redeem your $50 please visit www.energex.com.au or www.ergon.com.au.

Queensland’s solar future is looking bright, with the Palaszczuk Government’s “Powering Queensland’s Future” plan, solar power on over a third of homes, and renewable energy jobs in Queensland more than doubling late last year. 

Home Batteries in Queensland – A Look at 2017 (Queensland Energy Storage Summit)

As the pre solar monopoly of the energy companies starts to wind down and power returns to the consumer (sorry), there’s a lot of buzz about home batteries in Queensland and when they’re going to be viable for usage. According to the state government, Queensland has 425,000 houses connected to solar energy – the most of any state in Australia. Depending on your personal circumstances, energy storage still has a ways to go before it reaches anywhere near this number. The Queensland Energy Storage Summit met in February to discuss some of the issues pertinent to energy storage.

Queensland Energy Storage Summit Recap

An industry conference (the Queensland Energy Storage Summit) held on Wednesday February 17 provided a valuable insight into the state of energy storage in Queensland, how far we’ve come, and the steps that still need to be taken for Queenslanders to buy into the new technology.

Queensland Energy Storage Summit  2017
Queensland Energy Storage Summit 2017 – Sponsored By Redback

According to the conference there were 6750 Australian solar storage installations in 2016 and this is projected to reach 20,000 in 2017 – which leaves plenty of room for industry growth. High prices and consumer concerns are some of the barriers to solar storage uptake. According to Anthony Buckwell of One Stop Warehouse (A company fully owned by GCL which is a Chinese power company), a full install of the battery, panels, and transformers is currently an $11,000 – $20,000 investment.

Supply Partners director Lliam Ricketts proposed a government scheme similar to the Green Loans program (which allowed up to $10,000 for energy products). Ricketts also suggested the government consider creating an independent resource which would be responsible for educating consumers which storage options were available, what was safe, and what to look for in an installer.

Lastly, a great point from Jill Cainey of S&C Electric who noted that the sometimes fragile power network in remote areas could be mitigated by energy storage – “Utility-owned storage will deliver energy security at the lowest cost…because of scale and the ability to manage the assets appropriately” she said.

Queensland Energy Storage Summit 2017 – Keynote Speakers

  • Hon Mark Bailey, Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply, Queensland Government
  • Ian McLeod, Chief Executive Officer, Ergon Energy
  • John Phillpotts, Program Manager – Network Transformation Roadmap, CSIRO
  • Dr Christine Williams, Assistant Director-General Science Division, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation, Queensland Government
  • John Grimes, Chief Executive, Energy Storage Council