State Solar Programs for PVs and Batteries

The Qld Government Solar Loans scheme for solar & batteries and batteries only went live this morning.

I have already submitted our application, and much to my surprise, there were only 20 odd applications before us.

It is on a first come, first served basis, and as there are only 1,000 solar and battery systems available, anyone interested needs to apply ASAP.

Here is the link to the application.


Every little bit helps.
There are eligibility criteria.

For an add on battery system to an existing solar PV you may get up to a $6,000 loan payable over 10 years and or a $3,000 grant.

In hard cold cash a Tesla Powerwall 2 (13.5kWh) could save up to approx $1.80 in power bills daily for our bill. Or for 265 sunny or part sunny days per year, $477 pa.

This will only partly offset the $600 pa est loan repayment plus the balance of an estimated $15,275 for the Powerwall. This is considered at around $6,275 assuming you get the maximum and not less from the scheme, or another $628 pa est cost over 10 years with no interest costs.

So the net gain or loss after outlaying at least $1,275 pa for ten years to save $477 pa in electricity charges is a loss of $798 annually. It would look a lot worse with added interest.

If you get zero feed-in return! the electricity saving could increase to $1,002pa. Nearly break even excluding interest on your share?

I’ve assumed you loose export of 15kWh daily for charging, a feed-in at 16c and buy in rate of 28c per kWh. It is also assumed that for 100 days per year solar PV make will be too low to have a significant surplus after self consumption for recharging the Powerwall.

Did I mention that in the winter half of the year solar PV output more than halves. There will be a great many days in the cold half of the year where a typical PV install will not provide enough surplus energy to fully charge a Powerwall or any similar battery storage system.


Still thinking about batteries? Conventional wisdom is that it is still a few years before they become cost effective, but that could change in a heartbeat.


The move to more batteries also needs a strategy that supports it and leverages the overall benefit to the network and distribution effectively.

The cost of Battery systems currently appear to scale significantly with size. A 1MWh community based battery serving locally 100 connected premises appears to be a better technical and lower total cost outcome than 100 customers each with a 10kWh battery.

The principal cost of the second option is a large upfront expense for the householder, while the other is a cost to the distributor etc. Alternately (if you can get the approvals) a small locally owned and run energy company that balances local demand through the storage and buys in wholesale makeup as needed. There are opportunities for communities to revert to local generation and distribution, while taking advantage of a wider grid to share and trade energy.

Bill still has a way to go to match the Queensland up to $3,000 grant and $6,000 interest free loan offer on added battery storage systems. Noted it is only for the first 1,000 callers while you might also receive less than the maximum.


Look like Telsa is already anticipating the rebate and is mining the pockets of its customers who will potentially get rebates, to increase its own profits. Maybe a shonky candidate?

This is one of the problems with government intevention, there are those (many) who think it is the opportunity to make a quick buck at fhe expense of the taxpayer.

I expect for other brands, that the rebate will be consumed by manufacturers or installers such that the end cost to the consumer will be the similar to the pre-rebate costs.

Any potential benefit of the rebate will be quickly consumed by the price rise. I wonder if tge ALP governments had been consulting with battery companies during policy formation…one can only suspect they did and why Telsa was able to increase orices pre-policy announcement.


That depends on one’s outlook. Technically yes, but when we have unreliable and dodgy mains, and can install an islanding-capable system that is still attached to the grid, it could be the best of all worlds. Having a central battery addresses problems, but not our local reliability.

Tell me the latter would not be clawed back from us, with interest :smiley:

There are many opportunities all that have to balance diverse politics and priorities and personal interests. Even though I am in suburban Melbourne I have many minutes-long interruptions as well as almost regular hours long interruptions, and they are both getting more common. A decade ago any interruption was rare. I could not imagine the supplier could possibly be minimising maintenance to enhance profit, could they?

That is a pretty special gotcha across the board. Our PV rebate in Vic is for the first 24,000 installations or to June 2019, whichever comes first, and then there seems to be a no interest loan program from then onward.

This solarquotes blog seems to cover a lot of related ground but not directly related to batteries.

Some would call it intervention, others might prefer to call them policies to achieve goals. The reality that governments have sold off infrastructure for their own short term gain is not so different from opportunist private enterprise doing us over, just in the ways it can be spun.


“Re costs of the option for distributor or retailer local battery storage in place of individual household battery systems”

I would not dare to suggest otherwise, although “clawed back with profit after adding interest” may also describe a possible outcome.

It may be appropriate to merge the following topic across?
The Choice buying advice reflects my observation. Batteries may not be a economical for some households. The lower the feed-in tariff the better it looks. There are other considerations and certainly a small battery that functions as a UPS for the fridge and water pump may be justifiable.


‘with interest’ is a idiomatic expression.. It goes even beyond ‘just’ profit + interest :wink:

Good suggestion noting Discourse brute forces them together, not keeps them in date order, but done.


Thanks for that @PhilT.

Looks like I need to turn the other half of the brain on: “idomatic - idiom - idiot”, no doubt. :flushed:

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Hi mark. Your post was 28 minutes ago and I just received an email of it.

Nothing like a speedy email service.

The cost of batteries such as those from sonnen, Tesla, LGChem etc are a LOT more than going DIY with cells from manufacturers such as Winston and CALB, where battery prices are about half that of the commercial boxed product. Of course the DIY route is not for everyone as it requires some technical knowledge (or at least knowing a mate who has it), but it does change the economics significantly! Current pricing of commercially available batteries doesn’t make economic sense for most, but halve the cost of the battery, and it is a no-brainer.


We have a Tesla powerwal and 20 panels. To date out savings are $1500 since February. I suspect your calculation will depend on four things: cost of power from your power company, where you live, how many panels you have and feedin tariff. We live in Melbourne, buy power through powershop and get 11.8c per kilowhat hour. I have been carefully tracking our savings on a spreadsheet since February when the battery was installed. I estimate we will pay just $300 this year alone in power and save close to $2000 for the year.


The amount of self-consumption of PV generated energy is also a very important factor. Shifting loads to daytime, such as hot water, can make a huge difference to your bill.


Julie, that is certainly a considerable saving. It is also great that it is a real life example. You do get some other benefits with such a system if you loose mains, or able to sell your battery stored energy back to the grid at peak times?

We have only had solar PV, no batteries for a few months now. Depending on how well it performs in our circumstances, even without a battery we should be able to save $1,200 - $1,400 pa or better based on actual energy produced.

For us adding a battery with the benefit of the Qld insentive scheme would save a little more, but not enough to make it pay. Something more is needed?


For the casual reader it should be noted having batteries only implies one can generate power during the day, store it, and use it at night, but if the mains goes down the solar system + batteries in many installations also go down to protect the linesmen from electrocution.

A system must be able to monitor the grid, and if the grid goes down export zero (0) power (essentially disconnect from the grid while it is down), to be able to keep the premise lit, a more rigorous installation than ‘just’ having batteries. See myth #4 for a basic tutorial.


There are numerous benefits I agree Gordon. Often savings that are hard to quantify. I was responding to someone who was suggesting the length of time to pay off the system is not worth the investment and I did not think the figures presented were correct at least not for someone in Melbourne

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My understanding and I checked with the electrical engineer in the house and if some reason the house loses power and if there is power in the battery the system cannot disconnect us from our battery. The house can be disconnected from mains power but the battery is independent of the mains is my understanding. Am going to check this with the Tesla site though


Thanks, yes my error, I was responding thinking only of the Tesla Powerwall 2 which has been marketed as legally being able to provide power during a blackout scenario.


Correct. I checked on the Tesla site and it says:
‘During a power outage, how quickly does Powerwall restore power to my home?
Powerwall can detect an outage, disconnect from the grid and bring power back to your home in a fraction of a second. Unlike backup generators, Powerwall can keep your appliances running without interruption. You will not even notice that the power went out.’
I wanted to be sure