Australian technology company, Reposit Power, has announced it will be launching a trial of its ‘GridCredits’ scheme. The system comprises of a 9.9kW / 13.8kWh battery system and control unit which will allow home-owners to trade electricity, capitalising on the wide range between peak and off-peak electricity prices in Australia.
- IHS believes this is a novel scheme in the residential energy storage sector. Canberra based Reposit Power will initially trial six units before full deployment later in 2015.
- The 9.9kW system provided by Australian Electronics Company, Magellan Power, will contain a 13.8kWh (nameplate) / 10kWh (effective) Li-Ion battery.
- Customers will pay around $15,000 AUD ($12,000 USD) per system.
- The overall project will cost $900,000 AUD to set up, however $445,000 AUD will be funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
- Source: Storage solution to enhance rooftop PV
It should be noted that this novel scheme is not directly linked to PV (and could in theory be installed without PV), but rather allows end users to trade on the energy market, whereby energy can be bought and stored when it is cheap and sold later at a premium during peak periods. This is a reasonably new development in the residential storage sector. However, the system can also provide benefits to a PV system owner.
IHS believes this scheme will appeal mainly to customers who have already installed PV to help increase self-consumption. Increasing self-consumption of PV is the primary driver for the Australian residential PV energy storage market, particularly given that zero feed-in tariffs are becoming increasingly common. Further to this, residential electricity prices typically peak in the evening so energy generated (from PV) during the day can be stored and used when prices are at their highest.
If a large number of these systems were to be deployed and grid-operators were given full or partial control, then they could be used to provide services to the grid, potentially reducing the need for conventional methods such as peaking plants. The systems will also allow for greater penetration of renewables by allowing some control over how much solar is fed in to the grid.
The battery on offer is relatively large compared to typical PV energy storage systems in other major markets. However, the extra capacity is likely required in order to trade energy, rather than simply meeting personal consumption and storing excess PV energy. The apparent overall system pricing is competitive at below $900/kWh (nameplate). IHS believes the ability to add value through intelligently trading energy (on top of the PV system related services) could make this system a more cost effective solution for many households.
Australia installed 1.5 GW of residential PV from 2012 to 2014. With a large installed base of PV systems, combined with very low levels of renewable incentives, generally high electricity prices with a high differential between peak and off-peak pricing, and consumers who are keen to become independent of the utilities, Australia is an ideal location for GridCredits to be trialled, and has the potential to be highly successful.
Installers in the Australian market are already interested in adding storage to PV and demand is rapidly increasing; IHS forecasts that residential PV systems with energy storage attached will grow form 4MW in 2014 to 112MW by 2018.
More analysis from IHS: Energy Storage in PV Report - 2014