A 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall kicked off the Berejiklian government’s Empowering Homes Program, which aims to install up to 300,000 battery storage systems in Australia’s Hunter region. The Tesla Powerwall was installed at a home in the New South Wales Hunter region.
The Empowering Homes Program is a 12-month initiative that offers interest-free loans of up to AUD$14,000 for homeowners interested in installing a solar-battery system in their houses. For homes that already have a solar system installed, the program offers interest-free loans up to AUD$9,000 for the addition of a battery-storage system.
Natural Solar—one of the five government-approved suppliers (retailers) for the program—installed the Tesla Powerwall on Friday, April 24. Besides Natural Solar, anyone interested in reaping the benefits of the program can inquire with HCB Solar, Instyle Solar, Smart Energy Group, and Sunbank Solar. Tesla is one of the brands the government-approved suppliers (suppliers) install, including Enphase, Sungrow, Sonnen, and Senec.
Household owners or renters that have an annual income of up to AUD$180,000 are eligible for the interest-free loan. The offer applies to households in the following parts of New South Wales: Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, Singleton, and Upper Hunter.
The program is expected to save home owners and renters more than AUD$250 a year on their electricity bills after loan repayments, and up to AUD$2,000 a year on energy bills, according to One Step Off the Grid.
Chris Williams, the founder and CEO of Natural Solar, said that the number of consumers inquiring about battery storage increased significantly since the program as launched. “With many homes in the Hunter having an abundance of roof space, or already with solar panels installed, there is no doubt people are excited by the opportunity to adopt battery power and reap the benefits of the interest-free loan, coupled with future savings,” said Williams.
Tesla Could Supply Megapacks For A Giant Battery Project In Victoria, Australiahttps://t.co/ZQSVIYEKQk— Vincent (@vincent13031925) April 16, 2020
In a way, it's sort of fitting that Tesla kick-started the Empowering Homes Program. Elon Musk's big battery in Hornsdale could be credited with Australia's support for solar and battery storage systems. The Hornsdale Power Reserve was mad with Tesla Powerpacks and was recently expanded by 50%. Tesla Megapacks are also expected to Australia's next "big battery" in Victoria, which could be much larger than the one at the Hornsdale Power Reserve.
Since the pandemic, the skies have been clearer, which bodes well for solar energy and battery storage systems. For example, Germany reported a record amount of electricity produced from solar panels on April 21. According to Time, clear skies helped photovoltaic plants in Germany produce 32,227 megawatts in one day. According to Germany, renewable energy was digging into the market share for coal. The Germany government predicted that almost 80% of its electricity would come from green power compared to 40% in 2019.
Featured Image Credit: sydneysolarandbatteries/Instagram