A network of 1000 solar-powered batteries, possibly the largest in the world, will be built and installed across Adelaide in what has been described as a game-changer for energy supply according to Adelaide Now.
AGL will begin installing 1,000 solar batteries to solar customers this year using a $20 million public-private investment to create a virtual power plant, which enables excess solar energy to be stored in batteries instead of being fed back to the grid. The customers will be able to draw upon the power to bring down their power costs, but AGL will also have the ability to direct power from the batteries to homes or into the grid during critical times like peak demand and severe weather events.
It is expected that customers, who will pay about $3500 each for the heavily subsidised batteries, will save up to $500 on their yearly electricity costs. When fully loaded, the system will have a capacity of 7-megawatt hours of energy and with an output that is equivalent to a 5-megawatt solar peaking plant. This all has the ability to be redirected into the grid if needed.
The offer is available to all AGL solar customers who own their own home and generate more electricity than they use. Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis, who criticised AGL last month for hiking up power prices, applauded AGL’s investment and called on other energy retailers to follow suit.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the power plant should start to change how people think about electricity and open the doors for more renewable energy across Australia.