The 52 spots available for Meadow Springs households to signup to the “game-changing" trial to integrate bulk battery storage into the existing grid have already been snapped up, three months ahead of schedule.
The Australian-first trial, known as PowerBank, went live on Monday.
Trial participants will be able to virtually store excess power they generate during the day from their solar PV systems in the battery, and then draw down on that power during the peak evening period.
Those households will be allocated a maximum of eight kilowatt-hours of virtual storage at the cost of $1 per day.
A 105 kilowatt Tesla battery, owned and operated by Western Power and Synergy, has been connected to the grid in Meadow Springs.
The trial is a collaboration between West Australian-owned utilities Western Power and Synergy Energy, with the help of the City of Mandurah.
State Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said he was pleased to announce, that due to overwhelming interest from homeowners in the Mandurah suburb of Meadow Springs, the community trial would launch ahead of schedule.
The original commencement date for the battery was scheduled to be early in the new year.
PowerBank is the first time a utility-scale battery has been integrated into an already established major metropolitan network in Australia.
Trial households will be able to draw electricity back from the PowerBank during peak time without having to outlay upfront costs for a behind the meter battery storage system.
Homes taking part in the trial will not be locked into the program, which will allow them continuing flexibility and choice in deciding how they meet their individual electricity needs.
The people of Meadow Springs have already shown just why it was right they were chosen for the trial. I look forward to following the results of the trial and hope to see more projects like this rolled out across the area.Mandurah MP David Templeman
Customers will be billed monthly and will receive a quarterly activity statement from Synergy to advise them of their savings made under the trial.
“PowerBank is another example of smarter investment by two of WA’s utilities into network infrastructure that has the potential to benefit all customers with an existing grid connection,” Mr Wyatt said.
“This is another example of how keeping Western Power and Synergy in the hands of Western Australians, the focus remains on supplying solutions and savings for the customers of WA.
“For customers with solar panels, this is a simple opportunity that uses the existing network connection to their home, requires zero augmentation to their connection, and delivers savings and flexibility to suit their needs.
“Investing in battery storage across the grid is a more cost-efficient way of managing the growth in residential solar instead of traditional infrastructure spends like substation or transformer upgrades.
“It is also currently a cheaper and a far better community solution to hundreds or thousands of behind the meter individual household batteries.”
An Australian-first trial to integrate bulk battery storage into the existing grid has set its focus on WA's top solar panel postcode, #Mandurah.— Caitlyn Rintoul (@caitlynrintoul) October 17, 2018
Today, Energy Minister @benwyatt was in Meadow Springs to announce the two-year trial. @mandurahmail#wanews
Mandurah MP David Templeman the keen interest from locals was further proof that the people in Mandurah were “innovators and keen to embrace these changes in technology”.
“The people of Meadow Springs have already shown just why it was right they were chosen for the trial,” Mr Templeman said.
“I look forward to following the results of the trial and hope to see more projects like this rolled out across the area.”
The announcement has come off the back of the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which revealed the city topped the list for solar panel installations in WA.
Only Bundaberg in Queensland has a higher percentage of uptake Australia-wide, the findings also found.