$66.3 Million for WA’s Energy Recovery Plan

 

As part of WA’s recovery plan, the McGowan Government have announced a $66.3 million dollar renewable energy stimulus package designed to kick-start the economy, following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the wake of the community solar battery program announced on the 26th of June, the WA energy recovery plan aims to create jobs, reduce costs, innovate energy solutions, and improve the state’s renewable energy position going forward.

Solar Upgrades

The recovery plan highlights a $56.3 million dollar investment into solar power initiatives, including over $6 million dollars’ worth of solar panels installed on 500 social housing properties. Over 500 properties are expected to benefit significantly in electricity savings.

WA's Recovery plan

In addition, 10 schools will receive green Virtual Power Plants in a $4 million dollar transformation that will see rooftop solar panel systems and commercial batteries installed. The green power hub will allow the schools and the local community to withdraw and contribute to the solar power source ­– reducing power bills for all.

The Western Australian transportation industry will also be looking at a solar face lift with over 60 bus and rail stations looking to install solar panels in an investment package to improve energy efficiency. Included bus stations are: Mirrabooka Station, The Stadium bus layover and Henley Brook Station. Included train stations are: Mandurah, Warwick, Aubin Grove, Kwinana, Murdoch, Rockingham, Wellard and Warnbro.

Battery and Power System Upgrades

As well as the installation of solar infrastructure, WA’s recovery plan will include 50 standalone power systems and nine Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in Western Australia’s North-West. Each BESS infrastructure development will create 20 jobs and reduce generation costs by up to $322,000.

For clean energy innovators, the McGowan Government are willing to open funding opportunities between $250,000 and $2 million for each clean energy project pitched ­– parking an additional $10 million dollars (adding onto the previous $9.3 million initially invested) in the Clean Energy Future Fund for innovators to request.

If like the McGowan Government, you are interested in investing in solar renewable technologies, take the short solar quiz to determine your best options moving forward with your future in solar.

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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