ACT pulls plug on Next Gen energy storage program


The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has announced its Next Generation Energy Storage (Next Gen) program will draw to a close, having provided rebates for more than 5,000 battery installations at Canberra homes and businesses.

Initially launched in 2016, the $25 million program was designed to stimulate the ACT’s battery energy storage marketplace and improve access for Canberrans to install a battery.

“The Next Gen program was launched at a time when energy storage technology was still in its infancy, so the goal of the program was to stimulate a marketplace where Canberrans could access batteries more easily and more affordably,” ACT Energy Minister Shane Rattenbury said.

“The program has been an overwhelming success, with our local industry growing from four to over 24 battery installers operating in the ACT, and with the ACT now having one of the highest domestic battery densities not only in Australia but in the world.”

Rattenbury said that over the past seven years, the program has provided rebates for more than 5,000 homes and businesses to install a battery, reaching the target set out at the program’s inception.

Now that the target has been achieved, the Next Gen program is to be wound down with no new rebate applications accepted while all currently approved applications will need to have batteries installed by 31 March 2023 to access the rebate.

Rattenbury said the government will work with battery installers on any “outstanding installations to ensure an appropriate transition following this date.”

While the Next Gen program is being wound up, Rattenbury said households can continue to access ACT government support through its Sustainable Household Scheme, which provides homeowners with access to zero-interest loans to make sustainable upgrades to their homes, and businesses can access tailored advice and rebates through the Business Energy and Water program.

“We encourage people to continue to shop around for energy storage solutions for their homes,” he said. “Increasing energy storage remains a key priority to maintain a stable and reliable electricity system as we continue to electrify our city.”

To achieve this goal, in addition to encouraging household batteries, the ACT government is also investing in grid-scale storage with funding allocated in the 2022-23 Budget to advance the Big Canberra Battery project which is to provide at least 250 MW of large-scale battery energy storage.

The Big Canberra Battery project is in addition to 100 MW/200 MWh Capital Battery being developed in the ACT by French renewables giant Neoen.

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