26 Jun, 2019

Australian Firsts to Drive Shared Solar and Electric Vehicle Business Innovation

The City of Adelaide is once again set to be an international leader by incentivising shared solar and encouraging entrepreneurs to harness electric vehicles in the form of a virtual battery.

From 1 July, changes to the popular Sustainability Incentives Scheme will provide a range of additional rebates for shared solar, electric vehicles and energy storage, that build on the City’s previous national firsts in sustainable technology.

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said today, “The City is thrilled to announce a range of new incentives for technologies that can help generate, share and utilise renewable electricity at an even bigger scale.”

Following significant interest from apartment and office tenants seeking to overcome barriers to installing solar power, a new rebate will help owners to co-invest in solar systems and share the electricity that is generated.

“As shared solar can bring benefits and bill savings for owners, tenants and residents of multi-storey developments, it is an area of technology and energy market innovation that we would like accelerated progress.”

The Lord Mayor said another area where City incentives would boost innovation was two-way electric vehicle charging stations with energy management that enabled car batteries to feed into the electricity grid and form virtual power plants.

“By 2025 or 2030, car park operators could be partnering with electric vehicle fleets to charge when electricity prices are low and sell when prices are high.

“Adelaide is preparing for a future where workers could be ‘paid to park’ or visitors might ‘plug and play’ while they are at a City festival, because they can sell energy in their vehicle battery back to the national electricity market.”

The Lord Mayor said the scheme could help car park operators, who manage over 26,600 public parking bays, to support businesses and commuters to embrace electric vehicles.

“Sustainable technology development moves extremely fast,” she said.

“Electric vehicles can charge up to eight times faster than four years ago, travelling over 450 kilometres on a single charge.

“As a city designed for thoughtful innovation, Adelaide is inviting entrepreneurs and researchers to come and build businesses around electric vehicle-to-grid technologies, that will have global markets.

“With these technologies already on the market, we are getting ready for the day when they can act like a big battery for Adelaide and all South Australians.

“With our goal of becoming a carbon neutral city and our comprehensive suite of rebates, Adelaide offers unique competitive advantages for entrepreneurs developing electric vehicle and smart building virtual power plants.”

The Lord Mayor said the Council was also offering incentives for businesses and households shifting electricity use to times when renewable electricity is abundant and approximately half the normal cost.

“Shifting when we use pool pumps, water and under-floor heaters and electric vehicle chargers helps ‘even out’ demand through the day, contributing to a more stable grid that can run increasingly with renewable energy.”

The City of Adelaide led the way when it introduced Australia’s first energy storage and electric vehicle charging station incentives in July 2015.

“The scheme, co-funded by the State Government, has assisted 476 applicants over the past four years to invest over $7.3 million in sustainable technologies. For every $1 contributed by the scheme, it has secured almost $8 of private investment,” according to the Lord Mayor.

“Our incentives have helped dramatically increase the number of solar systems generating clean energy across the city and reduce power costs for many residents and businesses alike.

“Adelaide is staying ahead of the curve and helping ratepayers and entrepreneurs take up opportunities in the low carbon economy that save money, support business innovation and employment.”

Incentives will also be available for organisations, precincts, buildings and events to secure carbon neutral certification and use leading rating tools to benchmark and improve their environmental performance.

Due to maturation in the market, and the introduction of complementary schemes like the State Government’s Home Battery Scheme, some rebates are being scaled back or stopped including residential energy storage, LED replacements, and energy monitoring systems.

For more information, read the Fast Facts sheet.