South Australia encourages rooftop solar and battery storage in new homes

The South Australia state government is now encouraging owners and builders of new homes to install rooftop solar and battery storage systems to deliver substantial savings on their electricity bills.

The state government has now made available the $100 million home battery scheme to new homes, and will allow 12 months – rather than the standard 6 months – for the battery to be installed to take into account the longer lead times of home construction.

The offering will be made available through a range of different retailers and providers who can aggregate the solar and batteries as part of their various “virtual power plants” that offer revenue from providing energy and grid services to the main grid when needed.

The state government is targeting more than 40,000 homes through its scheme, and so far has signed up more than 6,000.

One of Australia’s leading suppliers of building products to the residential building industry – Stoddart Group – will use the Government’s subsidy to install 2000 solar and battery systems on new homes built in South Australia this year and more than 10,000 over four years.

Stoddart’s SA partners, including Metricon Homes, Rivergum Homes, Sterling Homes, Hickinbotham, SA Housing Centre, Statesmen Homes, ABC Homes and Metro Homes, will offer a 6.5kW solar system with 11.6kWh SolaX Power battery at no additional cost.

Using 4G technology, the batteries will form the new Stoddart Virtual Power Plant growing to 10,000 new homes over four years, making it one of the biggest VPPs in the state, and the world.

Other VPPs in the state are being operated by Tesla, Sonnen, AGL, ShineHub, Simply Energy, and EnergyAustralia. Stoddard is partnering with Powershop and Reposit Power.

State energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the combined storage from the Stoddart scheme would equate to more than 20MWh of new storage installed in the first year and 100MWh over four years, making a significant contribution towards supporting the wider grid.

“As well as helping to stabilise the grid, Stoddart’s battery Virtual Power Plant will offer new home buyers discounted power and will provide protection during an outage.

“South Australia’s transition to a renewables-based economy needs commitment from industry as well as government and I applaud the Stoddart Group for this exciting new initiative.”

Adam Taylor, the head of energy at the Stoddart Group, said this “Australian-first initiative” is a significant leap forward for the company in transforming new houses into ‘smart homes.’

“This initiative will also equate to sizeable savings for more new home buyers, as well as having the security of having power even when there is an unexpected outage,” he said.


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