About 50,000 Tesla home batteries would be installed on houses throughout the Grampians if a push to steal a South Australian initiative by the region’s renewable energy lobby group is successful.
Former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill had pledged to supply 50,000 batteries to households across the state, along with the installation of a five-kilowatt solar system.
However newly elected South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has thrown the future of the project into doubt since winning the election at the weekend, refusing to confirm whether his government will complete the roll-out.
Grampians New Energy Taskforce chairman Stuart Benjamin said having the back-up energy supply would be like “turning on a coal plant in one 100th of a second”.
“The actual system could start being installed in 2019 so the beauty of the distribution system is it can be done one house at a time,” Mr Benjamin said.
Analysis by Frontier Economics for the South Australian government suggested the infrastructure would lower power bills for participating households by up to 30 per cent.
The South Australian government will honour the first two phases of the project, however the future of the privately funded third phase remains uncertain. The project was to be funded by a $2 million grant followed by $30 million in loans.
The push comes after the state and federal governments announced plans to build a $25 million battery in Warrenheip which will be able to power 20,000 homes for up to an hour.
Mr Benjamin said G-NET was already exploring ways of encouraging household battery storage throughout the region.
Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio declined to comment on whether the state would pursue the project, but said “we meet with many companies and interested parties to ensure that our energy system remains affordable, reliable and increasingly renewable as it transitions”.
The Courier contacted Tesla but the company declined to comment.