Solar Homes Program solar battery loan
The Victorian Government’s Solar Homes Program solar battery loan can help with the upfront cost of a battery system, which can help you get a battery sooner.
Understanding the eligibility criteria
In its first year, the Solar Homes Program ran a pilot battery program with eligibility criteria designed to get the most from the battery systems installed each year.
Households eligible for a Solar Battery Loan must already have solar PV panels with a capacity equal to or greater than 5kW or are arranging to have one installed in conjunction with the solar battery installation.
The benefits of installing a battery
Some households may choose to participate in an aggregation program or join a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) trial to help get the most out of the program for participating households, non-solar households and support for the electricity grid.
In 2020-21, an ‘aggregation’ option for households was launched. This expansion leveraged the benefits of battery aggregation and broaden the benefits of the program for Victorian households and the electricity grid. The pilot is now in a research phase and is learning from customers who have in aggregation projects and support Victoria’s transition to a renewable energy future.
Aggregation and VPP’s are a new way to build a power station. Rather than one big facility, a VPP aggregates many smaller decentralised energy resources (DERs) – be it solar, wind or storage – across several locations or households. By using smart technology, all these resources are combined into one large entity, and controlled from a distance by complex algorithms.
The algorithms can focus on different goals: resilience during power outages, grid balance, reduced energy fees or a maximal use of green energy.
VPP’s are efficient and flexible, with their ability to deliver peak load electricity or load-following power generation on short notice. This decentralised (distributed) approach to electricity generation can be effective in controlling grid voltages, and the distributed aspect of such systems means less strain on single areas of the grid.
With the advent of smart, remotely controlled domestic-scale batteries it has become possible for energy companies to remotely sync up hundreds or even thousands of their customers’ batteries to provide power to the grid when demand is highest and absorb grid energy when there is excess.
Benefits of participating in aggregation projects or a VPP program
- receive compensation for sharing your stored solar energy with the VPP network
- make the most of the solar power you generate
- balance the supply and demand of energy for fewer disruptions
- reduce network costs for all Victorians
- increase grid resilience
- enable greater uptake of Distributed Energy Resources (DER)
Most aggregation and VPP programs have specific product requirements, so you will need to review these to ensure the system you are installing is capable of participating in the VPP you want to participate in. You should also do your own research and ensure that you fully understand the individual features and benefits of different VPP programs.
Reviewed 01 September 2023