Australia's First Tesla Powerwall Installed At Energex Energy

The Queensland Government-owned power company Energex has started a trial of Tesla's Powerwall energy storage battery, commencing with the installation of the first system in the country. The trial will go for the next year, in which time the government will look at options for financial incentives for customers cutting use of grid electricity.

Energex will be collecting data throughout the 12 month trial, which is planned to expand to include installations of systems in the homes of employees and consumers.

CE of Energex Terry Effeney said the trial would give energy companies vital information about the effect of solar batteries on peak demand, allowing them to plan for infrastructure or the reduction of power generation.

Despite having some of the highest rates of household solar panel systems in the world, installation rates have taken in a hit in the past few years to due to a reduction (in some cases, abolition) of feed-in tariffs and incentives for consumers feeding electricity back into the grid.

This meant the payback periods for installations were driven up, resulting in the initial investment in solar being far less attractive.

The advantage of the Powerwall is the amount of power it can store. You're looking at around 7 non-daylight hours worth of energy that you won't be using from the grid.

We crunched the numbers on how long the pay-back period would be for a range of systems, including battery only (from $9,500) for those with an existing system, and full installation including a solar array (from $14,000 for a 4kw system).

While the payback period is nowhere near the heyday of high feed in tariffs, the storage capability of the Powerwall is still expected to give a boost to the solar industry.

"This is the first step. It is going to change the way Queensland families will obtain their electricity into the future," says Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"Queensland now has got one of the highest solar [photo voltaic] take-up rates in the world, higher than Hawaii, higher than Germany, higher than California and leading the nation," says Energy minister, Mark Bailey.

"We must manage this transition to clean energy -- consumers want it, the public wants it, it benefits everybody and this is a very exciting day."

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    So what you're basically saying is, don't install a Powerwall for 18 months at least, in case the government decides to offer rebates. Cool, thanks!

    I'm interested in this, because where I live I can't get solar panels, or at least I'd have to apply for planning permission to get rid of 3x scribbly gum trees in the Blue Mountains, which can have quite strict guidelines for removing trees (tho they have recently passed an act that allows residence to remove trees 10m within property).
    But still that means a good $10-15k gone from my wallet before I have even paid for panels lol! Imagine how many years I will have to wait for the investment to return...

    Even tho only 4% of bushfires are started by us (powerlines), they have a 100% track record of being the most destructive in terms of loss of life and property.
    South Australia decided that on high risk bush fire days to just cut power off in an attempt to lower risk of fires being started, and this seems to have worked out well for them, for some 30yrs.
    If we had these batteries in homes that were bush fire prone areas, then that would mean we could cut power and still allow homes to reserve power for things like their aircon, fans and fridges during those days.

    I just dunno how dangerous these batteries are tho, might they start fires! lol

    It will be at least ten years before I get it in rural Sth Australia. Aint Fair !!

    Some companies here have tried to get the jump on Tesla with inferior products, you've probably seen them on TV. Can't wait until the real deal arrives.
    Seeing as life of the batteries is one of the most important factors, might aswell wait for the rebate offer. Tesla might try to hit us with the Australia Tax too.

    Due to the rising cost of electricity and general cost of living, for me, on paper going off grid will save me money, even though I live in South Brisbane Qld, So I have been looking at off grid systems for a while now and have been told by members in the industry that the Tesla Power Wall isn't designed to be repeatedly charged and discharged like battery banks in current off grid systems and doesn't work that way, that it is effectively just a UPS or Power Bank for your house at night you still drew your power from the grid and is not a true off grid system but a Grid tied Hybrid . From what I'm told the only time the batteries are discharged is if you turn on an appliance that draws high current for short periods ie. Stove, washing machine and alike. - Can anyone confirm this?

      There are two different Powerwall variants. One is for backup or power failure (like a UPS, designed to stay topped off and only used in emergencies) and one is for daily cycle.

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