ACT targets 600 homes in second round of battery storage tender

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ACT’s second tender for battery storage installations in homes and businesses expected to result in 2MW of additional capacity for around 600 homes.

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One Step Off The Grid

The ACT government continues to lead the field in battery storage incentives in Australia, announcing on Wednesday morning that it will target around 600 Canberra homes and businesses in the second round of its battery storage tender.

The new funding round will make $2 million available, which ACT environment and energy minister Simon Corbell says should result in about 2MW of battery storage capacity. It is part of an overall program to fund around 36MW of battery storage, the largest supported program in Australia by quite a distance.

canberra solarThe first round of the funding program, a $600,000 pilot round, saw three companies deploying battery storage technologies from Tesla, Panasonic and LG Chem, as well as smart control technology company Reposit Power – win a tender to deliver lower cost storage systems to 200 Canberra households.

“Following strong community and industry interest in the next generation renewables pilot program currently underway, I am pleased to be able to announce that the government intends to open another competitive funding round in early June worth $2 million, with proposals due in early July,” Corbell said in a statement.



The funding for the battery storage tenders comes directly from the state’s large-scale renewable energy projects, and particularly from the next round of large scale renewable energy tenders, which has been increased to more tun 200MW as the ACT brings forward its 100 per cent renewable energy target to 2020.

“This highlights the importance of combining renewable energy generation with storage technology,” Corbell said.

“Battery storage, following low-cost rooftop solar, is the next phase in a distributed energy revolution that will transform the nation’s electricity system into a consumer focussed, zero carbon energy grid,” Corbell said.

“Energy storage will provide solar energy in peak periods, especially winter evenings when Canberra families are home cooking dinner and heating up the house on cold nights.”

The call for proposals will open on June 8 and will run for 4 weeks, closing on July 6. Corbell said he expected Australian and international battery storage technology providers to team up with local contractors.

Companies interested in installing batteries under the Scheme and receiving the Request for Proposals (RFP) package should register with the Next Generation Secretariat at [email protected]

This article was originally published on RE sister site One Step Off The Grid. Click here to sign up for the weekly newsletter.

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13 Comments
  1. wmh 3 years ago

    “Heating up the house on cold nights” also means heating up the house on cold mornings as well because even masonry walls only have a 5 hour thermal time constant. To heat most of the house, perhaps 40kWh/day or more of storage might be required if no other energy source is available.

    Few households could afford this amount of storage using batteries. However, hot water stores energy at 50kWh/ 1000 litres, can be used directly in wall radiators to heat living spaces and can be expanded for just the cost of an additional tank. Tanks may be unpressurised which reduces cost.

    In the UK and New Zealand people often heat the domestic hot water using PV.
    See:
    easywarm.co.nz, powerdiverter.com.au, glendimplex.com.au
    esw.net.au, smartheat.com.au.

    • David K Clarke 3 years ago

      A very good point wmh. Storing energy as heat in water would be enormously cheaper than using batteries.

    • solarguy 3 years ago

      You would need a 15kw PV system to produce that much hot water alone. Dreaming mate sorry. Each radiator will use 3-4 kw of energy each/hr.

      • wmh 3 years ago

        If you were on the current AGL time-of-day tariff, you could simply charge your hot water storage before 7am at 12c/kWh and avoid the punitive 55c/kWh in the evening period, no PV required at all!

        On the other hand if you had 10kW (55m^2) of PV angled at 50 degrees (optimum angle for June in Sydney), you could provide the entire 40kWh on a sunny day.

        You could certainly size a radiator to radiate 3 or 4 kW, based on the hot water temperature set by the system tempering valve and the desired room temperature.

        • Ian 3 years ago

          The conversion of PV energy to heat energy is far better than 1:1 when using a heat pump with a COP of about 4. 10 KW of solar panels would produce at least 30 KWH on a sunny day in winter , probably more, the heat pump would convert this to 120 KWH of heat ( simply by extracting the heat from ambient air ) just pointing this out as it supports your ideas.

          To throw in another point about storing heat. The thermal mass can be in the form of hot water storage or it could be in the form of masonry. In a situation where a daytime energy source is available such as sunlight, why not heat floors and walls in the day with in slab hydronics and allow gradual cooling overnight. Putting insulation OUTSIDE of the masonry wall and floor will prevent heat loss to the environment. This is of course contrary to current wisdom which says insulate the inside of a wall and have a low thermal mass that can be quickly heated or cooled using the minimum amount of air conditioning.

          • 807gt 3 years ago

            What good are all these good solar suggestions , if your neighbor grows a 25m+ tree shading your solar panels for hours around noon , when solar output is highest especially in winter? Which political party is willing to do something about it?

          • Ian 3 years ago

            What a bummer. What do you suggest as a solution to this ,probably, not uncommon problem?

          • 807gt 3 years ago

            The tree in question is a GUM TREE and therefore it must not be touched. The problem is its height, which could be a danger to my house and my family and the fact, that it is not deciduous.The problem will not go away with time,on the contrary the tree will keep growing in height and density, thus even less solar power in the future.Talking to that neighbor is not an option! Well, I would suggest to have it replaced with a less combustible, not branch dropping species that does not grow over about 10 m ,or have it trimmed to about 10 m .But this means, it will grow tall again. Question: What is better for the environment in the long term , a Gum Tree, absorbing some CO2 and producing some oxygen or a solar panel which helps to reduce CO2 for 20 years + pollution free. I would appreciate an Australia wide Law to give solar the priority from about 9am to about 5pm over a dangerous tree!! PS:Micro- Inverters don’t help much. My power output in winter goes down to below 100 Watts at around 11am !!! I have a 2KW installation.

    • Ian 3 years ago

      Interesting sites you posted Wmh, hydronic heating, hot water storage, solar water heating. All makes a lot of sense. One might add in-wall, roof-space and floor insulation, double and triple glazing, north facing windows with shading for summer and exposure to the winter sun. If you are going to heat water with PV then use a heat pump to get a COP of 3 or more. The site you suggested easywarm seems to use PV and old style resistance heaters .

      The debate about using PV plus heat pump or solar thermal collectors to heat the water to me seems 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. The point you make is a good one that solar water heating , storage and hydronics will be a lot cheaper than battery storage and presumably resistance type heaters. The economics of battery storage and air conditioner heat pump heating would be interesting.

      6.4 KWH battery, COP of 4 will give 25KWH of heating. This would cost about $17 000 for the battery and the air conditioner. How much would a similar sized solar heated, water storage hydronics system cost?

      • wmh 3 years ago

        Yes, home insulation is the first thing to do, insulation is cheap. Fitting double glazing depends on the price of the glazing versus the cost of extra PV to cover the heat loss.

        Easywarm is aiming for customers who already have an electric hot water service and PV panels and want an easy solution.

        Solat thermal collectors or evacuated tubes are going to be much more hassle than PV with all that plumbing and any maintenance requiring working on the roof, plus the complication of boiling happening in summer and freezing in winter.

        Heat pumps are very tempting with their COP’s of 4 or even more. However I did meet an installer from Cooma who had a yard full of failed heat pumps.

        A central air conditioning system could be efficient if the air ducts were somehow within the airconditioned space as ducts leak heat and the air flow needs to be reasonably high, producing room drafts, due to the low specific heat of air.

        A major cost for a stand-alone solar hydronic system is the insulated tank but it could be unpressurised and hence cheaper or even home made. The radiators, tempering valve and system pump would be a cost but the pipework would be much smaller in diameter and easier to insulate.

        You could have a thermostatic control system but most seem to run quite happily with manual adjustment of the radiator stop valves.

        Of course the whole battery scene changes from month to month. You never know if some breakthrough will bring prices plummeting which would change everything. Still, winter comes around every year and one needs to make a decision or freeze.

  2. David K Clarke 3 years ago

    Pumped hydro would be considerably cheaper than batteries, and as wmh says, storing energy as heat in water would be cheaper again.

  3. Brunel 3 years ago

    Instead of this, they could mandate that 10% of new houses in ACT must have floor heating.

    Solar PV + heat pump to heat the slab while the sun is up and the slab should stay warm through the night.

  4. Tim Forcey 3 years ago

    Use solar PV to heat your hot water water via a heat pump, and thereby efficiently nstore your energy in what is essentially a thermal battery. https://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/get-more-out-of-your-solar-power-system-by-using-water-as-a-battery-26228

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