First Tesla Powerwall operational in Australia under Energex solar battery trial

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Energex has launched a Battery Storage Trial to gather real time data on how best to integrate new technologies into South East Queensland’s electricity network.

Three battery storage systems will be trialed at Energex’s EsiTrain facility in Rocklea, including Tesla’s Powerwall, the first one of which became operational in Australia today. According to the Guardian, a storage system from California’s Sunverge will also be tested during the year-long pilot project.

"The data obtained from these trials will assist in developing systems to manage new technologies, including battery systems, and provide cost-effective outcomes for Queenslanders," commented Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk at the launch.

Energex executive general manager asset management, Peter Price added that consumers’ electricity consumption is evolving, particularly with the emergence of solar PV and battery technology. "The future of energy usage in Queensland is about choice," he said, "providing customers with a choice as to how they consume their electricity and how much they rely on the network."

The role of battery storage technology in the Australian state, which has set a target of 3 GW of solar rooftops by 2020, is expected to increase significantly. In a nod to this, Palaszczuk also inducted 22 new apprentices at the EsiTrain facility.

"New technologies like solar battery storage will dominate the next phase of the solar energy industry, and with it a whole new opportunity for new jobs," she said, adding, "These new recruits will gain first-hand experience with the latest technology as part of their training here at Rocklea."

With tariff structures combining with abundant sunshine and world-leading rooftop solar penetration levels, Australia has emerged as a leading distributed battery storage market. In recent news, Infinite Energy will become one of the first suppliers of both the Tesla PowerPack and PowerWall in Australia, in a deal announced last week.

Read more about the market in pv magazine’s special Storage Down Under feature.