Queensland leads the way in energy storage

Energy-savvy Queenslanders with home battery storage can put $50 in their pocket from today by signing up to Australia’s first battery storage database.

Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today announced the home battery database, which will also improve safety during emergencies.

“Households with solar panels are starting to install batteries to store their solar power to use during peak periods,” he said.

“Energex and Ergon Energy need to know where those batteries are in an emergency, but also because those batteries can help better manage the electricity network and supply during peak demand.

“This is part of our plan to use network energy assets to further lower wholesale prices, minimise price spikes and increase the resilience of the power networks,” he said.

“For example, households with batteries, and the service providers operating the equipment on their behalf, will be able to respond to possible peak load events by optimising the use of their battery stored power.”

More than 500 battery systems are registered around the state, but more are believed to be installed.

Householders are required by law to advise Energex and Ergon Energy if they are connecting anything to the distribution network – including a battery system.

Energex and Ergon Energy are offering a one-off $50 incentive to encourage registrations to their database.

The Australian Energy Market Commission is currently developing national rules for a proposed national register of battery storage systems and other distributed energy devices.

Dr Lynham said the Queensland database information would be turned over to the AEMC when the national system was in place.

“But we don’t have time to wait for the national database that’s under development, so once again, Queensland is the renewable energy leader,” he said.

Energy Queensland Chief Executive Officer David Smales said ownership of battery storage systems was increasing.

“This has created an urgent need for a database of such equipment for network and safety reasons,” he said.

“For example, it can create a potential safety issue when emergency services responders attend the scene of a fire and they are unaware a battery system is installed, because the network electricity supply may be shut off but the battery system can still remain live.

“Capturing these details in a centralised register will help address these potential safety concerns.

“It will also create opportunities for Ergon Energy and Energex to potentially work with customers to use these installed battery systems to more broadly contribute to addressing demand and voltage issues in the electricity grid.”

For more information visit www.energex.com.au and www.ergon.com.au.