Page 396 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 20 February 2018

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particular issues that were germane to Miss Burch’s first question. So, in the context of contractual arrangements between the government and the consortium around unmapped infrastructure, it would be the subject of the detailed agreements contained within the public-private partnership contract.

Energy—battery storage

MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability. Minister, can you explain how the ACT government is encouraging the uptake of solar battery storage through the next generation energy storage grants?

MR RATTENBURY: As a result of one of the wind auctions undertaken last term, the ACT government is funding an expansion of household batteries in the ACT. The funding under this program will provide up to 5,000 household batteries to be rolled out across the territory. This equates to around 36 megawatts of storage and certainly has the potential not only to provide individual householders with significant energy savings but also make a significant contribution to the stability of the grid and to provide backup power supply through operation programs such as virtual power plants.

The subsidy reduces the price for every system by in the order of $4,000. It does depend for individual households on the system they are setting up and the scale of the system, but it is providing both an opportunity for households to get involved and also a platform to grow the industry here in the ACT, just as the original feed-in tariff program for solar panels was very successful in lifting the uptake of solar panels in the territory.

MS ORR: Minister, could you detail how this program is helping the ACT reach its target of net zero emissions by 2050?

MR RATTENBURY: Yes, this is part of the government’s broader strategy to drive our electricity sector to zero emissions. We are well on track to achieve that. As members know, that is no longer simply a target. It is something that will be achieved in the next couple of years. That positions the ACT as a global leader but it also means that we are doing our part to address greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is both technically effective and cost efficient for residents of the ACT.

The battery storage program assists that because more residents are being encouraged to take up solar production on their roofs. Also, as I mentioned earlier, providing that additional storage capacity improves the reliability of the grid. Certainly, with the forecast temperature increases in the ACT under climate change scenarios, some of those summer peaks that are the key threat to our electricity grid can be ameliorated through the creation of more storage opportunities in the territory.

MS CHEYNE: Can the minister explain what other measures the ACT government is undertaking to support the rollout of distributed battery storage in the ACT?

MR RATTENBURY: Obviously the rollout of the battery program has been the key measure, and the engagement of local companies, I think, is particularly beneficial.

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