Energex, a Queensland government-owned power company, has installed Australia’s first Tesla Powerwall solar power battery system.
As part of a year-long trial into how solar batteries can save consumers who aren’t reliant on the traditional electricity grid, Energex has installed a Powerwall as well as another system from American company Sunverge at its Brisbane training facility.
It will then monitor how to best integrate solar batteries into the electricity network and how consumers will best save money.
Australia as a whole has typically been slow to adopt solar power, however Queensland has one of the highest rates of household solar panel systems in the world.
The introduction of systems like Tesla’s Powerwall is hoped to boost popularity of household solar power, with the system able to hold around 7 hours worth of nightly power to cover TVs, fridges and other household electricity needs.
Cost remains the biggest barrier when looking to get your house solar powered, especially with the Powerwall. If you already have a solar system installed, buying a Powerwall battery will set you back close to $10,000, while if you need solar panels installed too, you will be looking at paying upwards of $18,000.
Gizmodo says it will take 17-26 years to pay those costs back with the savings you make.
The Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (the same type of battery used in Tesla’s Model S electric car) that is designed to store energy — whether that be from solar power, or load shifting to reduce your electricity bill if you’re still connected to the traditional grid.
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