Government solar schemes gain momentum

SOLAR: Port Lincoln resident Teresa Morrison, with Peter Treloar and minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan displays the solar panels on her house.
SOLAR: Port Lincoln resident Teresa Morrison, with Peter Treloar and minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan displays the solar panels on her house.

More Eyre Peninsula residents are taking up the government's solar energy initiatives, including the Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program, which is preparing to move into its next phase.

State Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan was on the Eyre Peninsula on Thursday and Friday and visited various energy stakeholders, with a focus on the government's Home Battery Scheme and the VPP program.

The program has been rolled out to 1100 participating Housing Trust homes across two trial stages over the past two years, including seven homes in Port Lincoln.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said the government wanted Trust home tenants to be the first beneficiaries of the program and the government would open a third stage to tens of thousands of the general public across South Australia.

He said the program had been beneficial in reducing energy prices with participants in the first two stages seeing an electrical rate of about 28 cents per kilowatt hour, down from an average of about 40.

Port Lincoln resident Teresa Morrison is one of the 1100 people taking part in the VPP program and said she signed up about 11 months ago to try and reduce her power costs.

"With the Tesla battery when the power goes out I'll still be able to access power," she said.

The government also offers the Home Battery Scheme, which has been running since November, offering people a subsidy of up to $6000 per household to obtain a battery.

Allstate Solar regional manager Graham Burke said since the state government Home Battery Scheme came into effect, interest in home batteries had risen.

"I will expect it will (grow) because more and more homeowners are now starting to look down the path of batteries," he said.

"We are getting a lot of enquiries and these enquiries are driven by the Home Battery Scheme."