Daniel Andrews, the premier of the Australian state of Victoria, said that his government will spend AUD 42 million ($26.9 million) to install 100 neighborhood batteries if it is re-elected on Nov. 26.
Fifteen of the batteries will initially be installed in Melbourne and 13 in regional Victoria. Labor said it has committed to work with community groups, local governments and distribution companies to identify locations for the remaining 72 batteries.
The rollout of rooftop solar in Victoria is among the most impressive in Australia, with more than 200,000 Victorians having already installed solar panels on their rooftops. One in every five homes have a solar system installed, generating enough energy to meet one-third of Victoria’s total residential electricity demand but Andrews said the batteries will allow more residents to share the benefits of the “solar boom.”
Andrews said the neighborhood batteries are expected to triple the number of Victorian homes with access to storage, allowing more to return surplus solar-generated electricity to the grid through feed-in tariffs.
“It means more households will have access to cheaper renewable energy, even if they don’t have their own solar panels,” he said. “We think about 25,000 households will benefit from this.”
Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the government plans to install all 100 batteries within the next term if it win another four years in office. She said the batteries will drive down power bills, but did not put a dollar figure on how much.
“The more neighbourhood batteries that we have, the cheaper the cost will be of poles and wires that they’re required to pay off their bills, and of course the energy that they use,” she said. “We know that that’s … one of the key solutions to us meeting our ambition to get to 95% renewable energy by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2045.”
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