AGL Energy made good on the promised expansion of its South Australia virtual power plant, with the launch of an offer of $1000 cash-back on the cost of a home battery system for customers participating in the $20 million project.
AGL said on Wednesday that Adelaide customers would be able to receive up to $7,000 toward the upfront cost of a new battery, including a payment of $1,000 from AGL and a subsidy of up to $6,000 from the South Australian government.
The AGL offer, which would be extended to customers once they had connected their battery to the VPP, covers batteries from Tesla, LG Chem and SolarEdge’s StorEdge energy storage systems, with plans to widen the range of compatible systems in the future.
AGL flagged the expansion of its VPP trial – both the boost to incentives in South Australia, and a push into other states – in June.
As Giles Parkison recalled at the time, AGL launched its VPP with some fanfare, and not a little controversy, two years ago when the event was overshadowed by an on-camera argument between then South Australia premier Jay Weatherill and then energy minister Josh Frydenberg.
The push to other states comprises a one-year contract with customers that have already installed a compatible battery, offering a yearly credit of $280 to participate in the program, allowing AGL to draw from their systems for a broader market contribution if needed by the grid.
The so-called Bring Your Own Battery Program for customers in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia was launched in July this year.
On this week’s new cash-back offer – which is extended to Adelaide customers only – AGL’s general manager of distributed energy, Dominique van den Berg, said it was about offering further rewards to early adopters of home solar and storage.
“This new offer helps customers to unlock more value from their significant investments in solar energy systems and to increase their use of solar energy to help lower energy bills,” she said.
“The launch is consistent with our objective of delivering smart solutions to meet the growth in customer demand for residential batteries.”
SolarEdge – a newcomer to the program – put out its own announcement on Wednesday to mark the inclusion of its StorEdge technology in the industry-leading VPP.
“The Australian electricity market is leading the world in a strategic transition to a distributed, decarbonized, and digital energy network,” said the company’s vice president of marketing and product strategy, Lior Handelsman.
“Dedicated to improving the ways we produce and consume energy, SolarEdge is pleased to support AGL in this transition by providing innovative solar energy solutions at both the residential and grid level that can solve some of the most complex energy problems that we face today.”