Residential solar and battery storage uptake could get a boost in the Northern Territory, with the launch of new government scheme that offers subsidies for the installation of rooftop solar and storage systems.
The $20 million Home Improvement Scheme, which was fully launched this week, offers eligible NT homeowner-occupiers vouchers of up to $2,000 (excluding GST) to put towards home improvements, repairs or maintenance – including the purchase of solar power systems and battery storage.
The grants are subject to the condition that any works commissioned are carried out by registered local small businesses or tradepersons.
Eligible projects must also be less than $20,000 and the homeowner needs to contribute at least half of the project’s cost. The voucher value depends on the size of the project and is valid for 3 months after the date of issue.
Full details of the scheme and a voucher calculator can be viewed here.
According to the NT government, the response to the scheme has been immediate, with benefits already flowing to local businesses.
“The overwhelming response to this initiative just goes to show it is precisely what Territory small businesses and residents needed,” said NT Minister for Business Peter Styles.
The scheme is expected to generate an estimated $67 million in flow-on benefits for the Northern Territory economy, and the government has indicated it would extend the scheme beyond June 30 2017 and boost funding if the economy required it.
Similar schemes introduced in other states, including South Australia and the ACT, have also proven highly successful. In South Australia, a subsidy program introduced by the City of Adelaide – and then reinforced by the state government – has reportedly resulted in the installation of 1MW of solar PV, hudreds of LED lights, and 90 kilowatt-hours of battery storage.
The ACT, meanwhile, leads the nation in battery storage incentives, announcing in May a second round tender targeting around 600 Canberra homes and businesses. The 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 to 200 Canberra households.
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.