Battery storage a pipedream for most

David SalvaireSound Telegraph

While Baldivis continues to lead the State in solar panel uptake, it appears the move to battery storage technology remains too costly for local households.

According to figures from Clean NRG Solar, about 20 WA households have fitted the new Tesla Powerwall 1 battery but none of those are in the local government areas of Rockingham, Kwinana or Mandurah.

Clean NRG Solar ambassador Craig Donohue said inquiries about the battery had increased tenfold since 2015 but the price remained too high for many.

“In places like Baldivis and Rockingham there are a lot of working families who would dream of buying a battery but once you run the numbers, you realise it’s a dead duck,” he said.

“With solar panels that are used correctly the payback period is under five years and sometimes we can get it to under three years.

“But when you add the battery to it ,the payback period blows out to 10 years and sometimes 12 years.

“So people are saying ‘let’s just put solar panels on now and get them paid for;.” A recent report by the Grattan Institute revealed that to go “off the grid”, an average home would require a 7kW solar system and a 35kWh battery storage pack.

Mr Donohue said matching the level of service from household-generated power to what is currently available from the grid could cost up to $100,000.

“People have good intentions but it’s hard to make it stack up, compared to what’s on offer from the grid,” he said.

“The ones buying batteries now are buying them for the bragging value.”

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