The South Australian government has inaugurated its landmark $100 million Home Battery Scheme, which will subsidize the cost of buying a home energy storage system for up to 40,000 South Australian households. A nine-week priority period has been given to locally made battery systems, with Germany’s Sonnen as the first provider to enjoy this benefit.

European residential battery storage providers, such as Sonnen, alongside Asian providers, have flooded into the Australian marketplace in the last two years.

Australia’s biggest battery subsidy scheme that will help pay the installation of a home battery system in South Australia has been officially opened by the state government today.

Under the Home Battery Scheme, the subsidies of up to $6,000 will be available to 40,000 South Australian households and scaled in line with the size of the system being installed.

This means that a household with a large battery providing 10kWh of storage would be in line for a $5,000 or $6,000 subsidy, the latter one being reserved for concession holders – such as pensioners and low-income homes.

The $100 million in state government subsidies have been matched by $100 million in low-interest loans from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) for the balance of the battery and new solar if required.

These loans will be delivered through U.K.-based RateSetter’s new South Australia-specific renewable energy lending market, in cases when the upfront costs of the home battery system installations are not met by the South Australia government subsidies

Households can visit a dedicated website where they can find a qualified system provider, search for an approved battery system, request a quote and apply for the subsidy and low-interest loan.

Premier Steven Marshall said this $200 million investment is a central plank of his government’s plans to cut the price of electricity for South Australian households and businesses.

“Households will enjoy savings of thousands of dollars on their electricity bills over the life of the battery,” Premier Marshall said.

“We are also creating jobs and attracting new business to our state by giving priority to qualified system providers who commit to installing approved battery systems that are manufactured or assembled in South Australia,” Premier Marshall said.

German battery storage giant Sonnen is the first provider to enjoy this benefit since it announced plans to manufacture up to 10,000 battery storage units a year at the former Holden manufacturing site in Elizabeth.

sonnen forecasts the factory to create more than 430 jobs across its operations and installation division within six months of the center opening.


Home battery subsidies will reduce energy costs

Meanwhile, in another initiative, eligible households can choose whether to connect their home battery system to South Australia’s virtual power plant (VPP) project.

Tesla and the South Australian government are developing a network of at least 50,000 solar storage systems across the state. These will feature Tesla Powerwall batteries.

As a result, South Australia will eventually host the world’s largest virtual power plant.