Virtual Power Plant

02 Feb 2021

In reply to the Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (23 July 2020).

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining): I have been advised:

The South Australian Virtual Power Plant (SA VPP) trial phases were designed to inform the business case for an expanded state-wide roll out of the program, as such the government imposed a minimum 5 per cent target for regional installations during the phase 2 trial.

These requirements were exceeded, with 64 of the 1,000 home energy systems installed on properties in regional South Australia, including Murray Bridge (23), Port Lincoln (11), Nuriootpa/Tanunda (7), and Whyalla (6).

Importantly, properties that are selected for the installation of a home energy system firstly need to be assessed as suitable, and the tenants are also required to opt-in to become a customer of the program.

To that end, under the phase 2 trial, 16 South Australian Housing Authority (SAHA) properties were assessed for suitability within the Frome electorate, and seven (7) offers were made to tenants to join the program. Regretfully those tenants elected not to accept the retail offer to become a SA VPP customer.

The SA VPP has now advanced to phase 3, and to date a further 24 SAHA properties in the Frome electorate were found to be suitable, and tenants were invited to join the program on 1 September 2020. Of these:

19 tenants have signed up for a site assessment;

Eight (8) properties have been found to be suitable, with the remaining 11 still under review;

Six (6) tenants have now accepted the retail offer to become a SA VPP customer, of which four (4) home energy systems have been installed with a further two (2) to be scheduled.

South Australia now has more than 21,000 home batteries installed or committed (with more than 14,000 supported by the government's flagship Home Battery Scheme), cementing our position as a leader both nationally and internationally for the adoption of residential storage.

Through this scheme I am advised there are currently 265 households with conditional approvals in postcodes that are located in the Frome electorate. 224 of these households have had batteries installed.

I also understand that 59 home batteries were installed under the Community Solar Project, a Port Pirie Regional Council initiative to facilitate the provision of affordable solar in the region.