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WA leads with neighbourly solar energy plan

Electricity in WA will be cheaper, cleaner and more neighbourly thanks to a set of nation-leading solar and battery energy policies announced today by the WA Energy Minister, Bill Johnston.

The Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap breaks ranks with the eastern states’ energy policies and sets out a plan for a future where rooftop solar and batteries are the dominant source of energy and can be shared among neighbours.

Under the plan, WA energy customers will be the first in Australia to be able to use community Powerbanks. Community Powerbanks are a neighbourhood battery that allow customers to store excess solar electricity generated during the day and withdraw it at night or share it with their neighbours. Networks can use community Powerbanks to manage the grid and reduce grid costs. Electricity bills for all customers are reduced, even those who don’t own solar. It even works for people who can’t install solar and batteries, like renters in apartments.

“This is the sort of energy policy all Australian energy customers need”, said the Clean Energy Council’s Director of Distributed Energy, Darren Gladman. “Australians love solar, and in coming years we expect rooftop solar to supply more than half of our electricity needs. All governments should follow WA’s lead by embracing the opportunities of solar and batteries”.

Communities in the towns of Canning Vale, Dunsborough, Ellenbrook, Kalgoorlie, Leda, Parmelia, Port Kennedy, Singleton, Two Rocks and Wanneroo will be the first to benefit, where community Powerbanks will be rolled out by the end of this year.

“The WA plan shows how we can share solar so that everyone benefits from the clean energy revolution”, said Gladman. “When every suburb has its own community Powerbank, our electricity system will be fairer, cleaner, cheaper, more reliable and more neighbourly.”

In addition to the community Powerbank initiative, the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap also outlines a plan for changing the way networks are managed, taking advantage of the massive popularity of solar among Western Australians. Already, rooftop solar supplies up to 45 per cent of network electricity. Rooftop solar in WA has an output capacity three times the size of the largest coal-fired generator in the state.

Please contact Darren Gladman on 0488 030 344 for more information or to arrange an interview.