Some 50,000 houses in South Australia will be equipped with solar panels and Tesla batteries, the state government announced Sunday, in a move to turn decentralized gensets in buildings a giant interconnected Virtual Power Plant (VPP). According to Tesla, the VPP will have 250-MW of solar energy and 650 MWh of battery storage.
The Government of South Australia has evaded questions in Parliament about the cost of its new mobile power generators that have been installed and tested at Elizabeth and Londsdale. Rumours have it the final price tag might exceed $400 million but Premier Jay Weatherill refused to provided details, pointing to a confidentially agreement with the generator’s operator APR Energy.
Falling costs for renewables and energy storage will squeeze out gas-fired generation in South Australia as early as 2025, Wood Mackenzie and GTM Research find. By then, wind, solar and battery costs are seen decline by 15%, 25% and 50% respectively – hence they offer a “lower cost alternative” to CCGTs, which cover the bulk of South Australia’s base load power today.
A study prepared by UNSW for the environmental non-profit, Conservation Council SA found a gas-fired system would be a better alternative to a controversial nuclear plant and spent-nuclear-fuel-recycling centre in the Australian state of South Australia.