Silicon Valley meets Fortitude Valley for solar battery trials

solar batteries

Ergon Energy will run a solar battery trial with US renewable energy company Sunverge in Queensland. Energy Minister Mark Bailey said Sunverge’s decision to open its Australian headquarters in Brisbane and be part of a $2.6 million renewable energy trial in regional Queensland showed it had confidence in the Palaszczuk Government’s renewable energy vision.

“Labor is committed to one million solar rooftops by 2020 and it’s heartening to see a company from California pioneer a solar trial in a state known for its sunshine,” he said.

“Queensland is already one of the world’s highest per capita users of solar energy with more than 400,000 residential solar rooftops, and the next big shift is combining this with batteries for home storage.”

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said she was proud North Queensland would play a major role in Ergon Energy Retail’s 12-month trial involving 33 homes. A 4.9kW SunPower PV array and a 12kWh/5kW Sunverge battery storage and control system will be installed at each trial site.

“Households involved in the trial with four or more bedrooms will be part of the innovative residential Hybrid Energy Service in Townsville and Cannonvale, along with Toowoomba,” she said.

“This trial could see more solar batteries rolled out across regional Queensland.”

Ergon Energy Retail will own and maintain the equipment and is contributing $2.2 million for the trial. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is putting in $400,000 to explore a new approach for providing solar PV and battery storage systems to residential customers.

For the trial, Ergon Energy Retail chose SunPower Australia and Sunverge Australia to provide batteries that also have the capability to draw from the grid and store the electricity.