AGL to offer battery storage to customers before end of year | RenewEconomy

AGL to offer battery storage to customers before end of year

AGL Energy to offer battery storage to customers before the end of the year, and predicts “mass market” for storage by early 2020s.


AGL Energy says it will offer battery storage systems to customers by the end of the year in yet another sign that competitively priced energy storage is not as far away as some imagine.

Marc England, the head of the newly created New Energy divisions within AGL, says battery storage is coming soon, and by the early 2020s will become a “mass market”.

“We will have storage in the market this year for customers who would like it,” he told RenewEconomy in an interview.

AGL has yet to decide whether, or when, battery storage may be included in the solar power purchase agreement packages it rolled out on Thursday. Initially, England said, the target market for battery storage would be “early adopters”.

AGL's Marc England
AGL’s Marc England

Battery storage is becoming an increasingly valid option for households and businesses who want to use more of the electricity they generate from their rooftop solar panels, rather than sending it back to the grid.

The nature of feed-in tariffs, and changes to the fixed component of network costs, are likely to encourage more households to adopt battery storage, network operators admit.

England says that battery storage will become a mass market by the early 2020s, suggesting that it will evolve just as rapidly, perhaps more so, than rooftop solar.

“There are lots of forecasts out there – our view is that for time being they will be niche products, there will be early adopters that want them (battery storage).

“It will be the early 2020s before it is a mass market. AGL wants to be at the front of that curve so we are looking at a number of storage solutions – what their products are, and how they fit in to market.”

England said AGL’s Smart Solar Plan, announced on Thursday, would mean customers pay for the energy produced, rather than the panels.

AGL would guarantee a certain output from the panels, and would make top-up payments if it fell short, and a $100 penalty. Tariffs would be scaled depending on the length of the PPA, and whether the customer was signed up to AGL.

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  1. john 6 years ago

    Good to see that AGL Energy realises that storage and PV in tangent is going to happen.
    As I have been saying for a while the retailers have to get into this market to escape the Kodak syndrome.
    Their best business plan is to supply PV and battery storage and have a guaranteed market price and charge for the service.
    It is the service charge which gives them a future income stream plus the higher that buying price of power which they sell via a PPA to the client or an ongoing low cost of power which I expect to be in the 14c a KwH region.
    This would give them a very healthy profit margin.
    Because of the huge amount of money being pored into battery storage companies the result will be that cost of power out of storage is going to plummet to levels like the cost of PV.
    I do not see 2020 as the break even point I see it very shortly.
    If I was running any retail outlet I would immediately get my team to set out a business plan to utilise this technology otherwise I am basically writing my self out of the market.

  2. Raahul Kumar 6 years ago

    I would prefer AGL use any of the three alternatives it has, from Solar Power Towers, to flywheels and hydrogen fuel cells. Batteries have major drawbacks.

    1.) Lead is toxic and the manufacturing of batteries is exceedingly noxious.
    2.) Poor round trip efficiency

    “The AC-AC round trip efficiency of new pumped hydro and some batteries (such as lithium-ion) is expected to exceed 80%, but many battery technologies such as sodium sulfur and most flow batteries have round-trip efficiencies of 75% or below (EPRI 2010)”

    Page 7

    3.) Cost – on a lifecycle basis, batteries need to replaced 3 times during the time a solar panel will work for. Both flywheels and fuel cells can last the entire lifetime of a solar panel.

    Please consider the alternatives, AGL.

    Solar Power Towers:

    Hydrogen Fuel Cells

    “AREVA’s Greenergy Box™ is the only device of its kind in the world. Consisting of an electrolyzer and a fuel cell, it stores hydrogen and oxygen generated by water electrolysis when power demand is low and recombines them to generate electricity when power demand is high.”


    “Flynn’s flywheel motor controller is also replacing the industrial batteries used by mission-critical data centers and hospitals. “Industrial batteries are less expensive initially than a flywheel, but when you factor in maintenance and having to pay for more charge than you need to avoid frequent battery replacement a flywheel-based solution can be considerable less expensive,” says Flynn. “A VYCON flywheel will last 20 years and eliminates the problem of what to do with 200 large-scale toxic lead-acid batteries.”

    The Mechanical Battery

    It doesn’t matter which one they pick, as long as they move away from lead acid batteries.

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