South Australia earmarks $180 million for home & grid-scale batteries, demand response

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In its 2018/19 budget, the South Australian Liberal government has committed $180 million towards energy reforms, including $100 million for residential batteries for up to 40,000 South Australian households, $50 million for grid-scale storage and $30 million to demand management schemes.

The two types of grants – to deliver battery storage systems under the government’s Home Battery Scheme that is yet to be released and to facilitate development of large-scale storage technologies to address intermittency within the state’s electricity system – will be available for over four years.

Regarding the Home Battery Scheme, the Marshall government says it will subsidize the cost of buying a home energy storage system for up to 40,000 South Australian households, thus delivering on its pre-election promise.

With the help of the $30 million funding, trials will be undertaken over three years to establish mechanisms to financially reward consumers for demand flexibility and changing their consumption patterns to reduce peak demand and lower energy system costs.

An additional $4 million has been set aside to accelerate early works on construction of the interconnector between New South Wales and South Australia. This includes making a detailed line route and site selection works, concept design and construction planning, as well as environmental and social impact assessments.

The interconnector is expected to reduce price and improve the reliability of electricity in the state. According to a report released by ElectraNet in June, it is expected to deliver South Australian households a $30 annual savings. 

The government says it will also provide a financial guarantee for a further $10 million in 2018/19 for this purpose.

The cost of the interconnector project is estimated at $1.5 billion.