South Australia boosts Home Battery Scheme, seeking bigger bang for buck

South Australia’s Liberal government has thrown another nearly $20 million at its Home Battery Scheme, boosting its overall target from 280MWh of installed capacity to 440MWh, and paving the way for consumers to invest in bigger batteries.

Sources from the South Australian government said on Friday that the scheme had been topped up from $100 million to $118 million, to target an average home battery size of 12kWh – up from 7kWh – across 40,000 homes.

“This is because consumers are choosing larger batteries, and virtual power plants prefer larger batteries,” a government spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“The top-up allows us to run the scheme into the future to target those larger batteries, and continue to support consumer choice and the development of virtual power plants, of which there are nearly 10 in South Australia.”

The new funding builds on an already immensely successful program, which was wound back from a maximum subsidy of $6,000 to $4,000 in mid-April, having at that time delivered upwards of 12,300 discounted batteries.

“Home owners have been banging down the doors of the system providers to get themselves a home battery during the last five weeks,” van Holst Pellekaan said in a statement in April, when the subsidy reduction was announced.

The push to larger batteries would be welcome news to Tesla, whose Powerwall 2 offering weighs in at 13.5kWh. Many other battery manufacturers offer smaller kWh modules – such as LG Chem, whose RESU battery is 6.5kWh – but with the option to scale them up.

Just on Thursday, Tesla container ship and delivery tracker VedaPrime Tweeted that a shipment of 792 Tesla Powerwalls had been spotted making its way to Australia this week.

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