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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1216 ..

The $15,000 upper loan limit was selected to allow households to finance combined packages of rooftop solar with household batteries. Household batteries reduce network congestion as they store energy during times of peak generation rather than exporting.

Consistent with this scheme design, of those registrations of interest who are interested in solar PV 68% are interested in a combined PV and battery system. A number of registrations were only interested in a household battery (13%), most likely to add to their existing solar PV system.

There are currently around 28,000 small and medium solar PV installations in the ACT (2019-20 Annual FiT Report). On the basis of the current registrations, the net increase in ‘solar only’ systems would equal around a 6% increase in solar PV over the life of the scheme. This increase is not anticipated to have a significant impact on network congestion given its size, though this would depend on factors such as where the new solar PV systems are geographically located.

The ACT Government is also taking steps to support grid stability and reliability for the ACT as a whole. The delivery of at least 250MW of new ‘large-scale’ battery storage distributed across the ACT (the Big Canberra Battery) will support grid reliability and reduce congestion. A market sounding exercise is currently underway for industry to contribute ideas and innovative solutions for how the Big Canberra Battery ecosystem could be built in the ACT.

The Big Canberra Battery may include a small number of large-scale batteries (50 MW+), as well as a larger number of smaller, ‘precinct-scale’ batteries. Batteries could be connected to the ACT’s transmission or distribution network, located at government sites such as bus depots or co-located with large-scale renewable generation in the ACT.

The delivery of other ACT climate commitments (e.g., supporting all-electric infill developments) should result in an increase demand for electricity across the network, and therefore a reduced likelihood of increased solar capacity leading to congestion.

The ACT will monitor the impact of both the scheme and implementation of other climate action commitments on grid stability and reliability throughout the 10th Legislative Assembly.

Alexander Maconochie Centre—oversight committee

Mr Gentleman (in reply to a question and a supplementary question by Mrs Jones on Wednesday, 31 March 2021):

As stated in my response to Estimates Question on Notice 118 from the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, Ms Nixon will be paid $2,000 per day for approximately one day per fortnight in her role as Independent Chairperson of the Blueprint for Change Oversight Committee (the Committee).

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