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Battery storage trials in Queensland

Household battery trial

Ergon Energy is conducting a solar and battery storage pilot program in 33 homes across Townsville, Cannonvale and Toowoomba. The program will focus on larger households with 4 or more bedrooms. Each household will trial 4.9 kilowatts of solar power, and a solar integration system that comprises a 12 kilowatt hour/5 kilowatt battery storage and control system with back-up power capability, a 6 kilowatt inverter, along with on-board computing and cellular communications.

Ergon estimates that participating households will save at least $200 on their energy costs a year.

Read more about the Hybrid energy solar and battery storage pilot program.

Integrating network tariffs and customer distributed energy sources

A trial looking at the impact on customers and the network when battery energy storage systems are used with different electricity tariffs, is currently underway.

Ergon Energy has installed battery energy storage and home energy management systems in 10 Townsville households, most of which already have a solar system. These households have also been placed on alternative electricity tariffs (e.g. time of use, demand and critical peak charging). The trial is designed to help customers better understand and control their energy use and to help Ergon Energy understand how customers will use solar and battery storage systems.

As part of the project, Ergon Energy is also testing a number of battery storage systems for safety, compliance with existing standards, operation and functionality.

Read more about the battery energy storage project.

Grid-scale battery trial

Ergon Energy has deployed 20 Grid Utility Support System (GUSS) units on its remote, single wire high voltage distribution voltage lines (also known as Single Wire Earth Return) to reduce peak demand, and improve network voltages and power quality for customers. GUSS units work by charging batteries overnight when electricity use is at its lowest and discharging them during the day (if required), when energy use peaks.

The installation of GUSS units is expected to reduce rural and remote electricity network maintenance and upgrade costs which will contribute to downward pressure on electricity prices. It is also a relocatable solution, unlike poles and wires, and can be redeployed as electricity usage changes.

Read more about Grid Utility Support Systems.

Battery energy storage systems trial

Over the last 5 years, Energex has undertaken a range of projects to enable the increasing penetration of solar PV in Queensland and optimise network utilisation in line with changing customer energy use. The latest projects in this space are the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) trials.

Energex will use the data to gain insights into how customers configure and use BESS and to explore the effects of BESS on peak demand and power quality. The trial will assist Energex with integrating renewable energy into South East Queensland's network.