First Residential Solar and Storage Project in Queensland, Australia’s Commitment to 50% Renewable Energy

Gold Coast residential solar
Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia By Gccec2012 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Supporting the Government of Queensland Australia’s commitment to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, local utility Ergon Energy has contracted with SunPower to offer high efficiency photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems with energy storage technology from Sunverge Energy to 33 Queensland homes. This is Ergon Energy’s first residential solar and storage project to be piloted in a limited release commercial offer.

“Ergon Energy is looking to the future and partnering with SunPower and Sunverge to provide residential solar and battery systems as part of this trial due to the unique demand management features which allow stored power to be put back into the grid. We hope to create customer and network value by utilising energy resources located at the customer premises,” Ergon Energy Chief Executive Ian McLeod said. “This is an important step towards more efficient ways to run electricity networks and also towards giving customers greater choice and control in how they manage their electricity needs.  We want to be at the forefront of these developments to increase customer service offerings and reduce investment into constrained areas of the network.”

The project is being supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which has contributed $AUD400,000 towards Ergon’s approach to provide solar PV and battery storage systems to residential customers.

Ergon Energy Retail will trial the hybrid energy systems with 33 customers in Toowoomba, Townsville and Cannonvale. SunPower will design and install the systems, which will include SunPower solar panels, the most efficient and reliable panels on the market today, and Sunverge Solar Integration Systems (SIS). SIS include backup power capability and a 6-kilowatt inverter with 11.6 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, on-board computing and cellular communications.

All of the systems are expected to be installed and operational by the end of this year.

“We commend Ergon Energy for its leadership in offering customers innovative energy solutions, including high performance SunPower solar power systems and reliable Sunverge energy storage technology,” said Tom Werner, president and CEO of SunPower. “This program gives participating homeowners a ‘Smart Energy’ solution that can deliver unprecedented levels of personalization, value and control, and will likely serve as a model for similar programs around the world.”

Ken Munson, co-founder and CEO of Sunverge Energy, said: “Because of its abundant sun and wind, Australia – where one in five homes use solar power – is a global leader in transforming the energy industry. With Sunverge SIS, utilities can deploy and collectively manage distributed renewable assets for improved grid efficiency and resiliency. We’re honored to be chosen by Ergon Energy to bring the social, environmental and financial benefits of solar storage to Queensland residents.”

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

1 Comment

  • Greg says:

    Unfortunately our (Australia’s) neo conservative Federal Government is very anti renewables and pro coal (‘wind farms are ugly’, and ‘coal is good for humanity’). They are going to the Paris talks with a proposal to reduce CO2 emissions by ~25%, but on the 2005 baseline. This will put us behind most other developed countries. They also have abandoned the ETS and have instead instituted a system of taxpayer subsidising the biggest polluters to encourage them to reduce their emissions – which has so far resulted in an increase in emissions (what a surprise). Its great that individual state governments are trying to implement renewable energy, but we have to battle against a moronic libertarian led federal government.

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