NSW Govt extends coal-fired power one day, backs household batteries for solar the next - Solar Citizens

NSW Govt extends coal-fired power one day, backs household batteries for solar the next

Solar Citizens welcomes the announcement today of a new incentive to help make NSW household batteries more affordable with between $1600 and $2400 available off the up-front installation cost of household batteries for homes and businesses with existing solar.

A further $250 to $400 incentive will be available for connecting a battery to a Virtual Power Plant, claimable for a second time after three years, and there is up to $2400 in support for new solar plus battery installations.

The NSW Government announcement follows hundreds of Solar Citizens supporters emailing the Environment Minister and Treasurer this week asking them to help support the purchase of household batteries.

The majority of emails to Penny Sharpe and Daniel Moohkey were in response to community anger over NSW households with solar facing new charges for feeding clean solar energy back into the grid. The two-way tariff is currently being implemented by Ausgrid, Essential Energy and Endeavour Energy.

The household batteries announcement was made a day after the Premier Chris Minns extended the life of Australia’s biggest coal-fired power station, Eraring, until at least 2027 with NSW households liable for up to $455 million if Origin runs at a loss at Eraring over this period .

Solar Citizens CEO Heidi Lee Douglas said, “Over the past fortnight, the NSW Government has sent mixed signals when it comes to its plan for NSW’s energy.

“Does it want to prop up polluting, outdated fossil fuel power and allow companies to penalise households who generate their own cheap, clean energy from rooftop solar?

“Or does it want to move further in the direction of the announcement today and invest in assisting more NSW households to go solar and access household batteries so they can use that clean, cheap energy at a time that suits them best.

“The Australian Energy Market Operator has modelled a need for around one million household batteries by 2030, we would expect NSW’s share to be around 300,000 of those. This announcement is a welcome start but will not get us to 300,000 household batteries. 

“The Energy Minister Penny Sharpe has been developing a Consumer Energy Strategy, which is a plan to get more rooftop solar, household batteries and other smart appliances into people’s homes. But unless that plan is backed by serious investment in the upcoming NSW budget, we’ll have wasted more time talking and producing plans-on-paper that go nowhere. 

“An example of what the NSW Government could deliver in this budget in June to immediately address energy stability concerns and cost of living is social housing Virtual Power Plan -  a program to install rooftop solar on at least 30 percent of social housing stock backed by 18,000 battery installations. This could provide a 90MW contribution to the grid during peak demand, while bringing down energy bills for people on low and fixed incomes.” Ms Douglas said.