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Battery storage and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme

05 June 2018
RET

There is increasing interest across the renewable energy sector in domestic battery storage. Information on the role of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and how it interacts with battery storage systems is provided below.​

Scheme eligibility of battery storage

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme creates a financial incentive for individuals and small businesses to install small generation units, solar water heaters and air source heat pumps. Eligibility requirements are outlined on the small-scale systems eligible for certificates page.

Battery storage systems and components are not eligible to participate in the scheme, however, approved systems with an integrated battery could be.

Information for installers, retailers and agents

Battery storage data disclosure

The COAG Energy Council has agreed to initiate the development of a national register for distributed energy resources (DER) (including batteries) and will be established and managed by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Having a national register will help to manage the electricity system by improving the information about how many batteries are being installed and where they are.

The Clean Energy Regulator already collects some information about battery storage systems included in the installation of small-scale generation units. We will be collecting additional information as an interim measure before AEMO develops and implements the national DER register, subject to a rule determination from the Australian Energy Market Commission.​

Providing battery storage system information does not impact on small-scale technology certificate applications, however, the benefits of providing this data include:

  • improved safety and security of power systems in the National Electricity Market
  • improved operation of the electricity grid by AEMO
  • good preparation for the disclosure of battery storage products once the national register is available
  • improving the safety of consumers, line workers and installers, and
  • the ability to publish data on battery storage systems reported to the agency.

​To make disclosure of a battery systems easy, when submitting a ‘register small generation unit’ form in the REC Registry, registered agents can select the ‘Connected to an electricity grid with battery storage’ option and provide additional details.​

​Every month we publish small-scale renewable energy installation and battery data on the postcode data for small-scale installations page.

Battery storage installations and inspections

Although battery storage systems and their installation are not subject to specific Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme eligibility requirements, installations must meet all local, state, territory and federal requirements, including electrical safety. Batteries should only ever be installed by suitably qualified persons, with appropriate training, accreditation and/or licensing.

The Clean Energy Regulator inspects a statistically significant sample of small generation units, which may have an integrated battery, installed under the scheme.

The Clean Energy Regulator is not a safety regulator, and as such, any substandard or unsafe issues associated with small generation units will be referred to the relevant state and territory electrical safety regulator and the CEC.

What components of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system must be CEC approved to be eligible for STCs?

All PV panels and inverters used in the system must be on the CEC approved products list.

Who can install an STC-eligible PV system?

For systems connected to the grid, a CEC grid-connect accredited installer and for off-grid systems, a CEC stand-alone accredited installer. All systems must be designed by a CEC accredited designer who holds the appropriate accreditation type for the system.

Do CEC-accredited designers or installers require battery storage endorsement to be eligible for STCs when installing small generation units with concurrent battery storage?

Battery storage endorsement is not a Clean Energy Regulator requirement to claim STCs, however, designers and installers should consider whether or not this may breach their CEC accreditation code of conduct, or any other requirements imposed by electrical licensing authorities, electricity distribution networks or state and territory safety regulators. We encourage anyone designing a system with battery storage, or is considering transporting, installing or disposing of battery storage components to undertake relevant, specialised training.

Information for consumers

Just like solar panels, batteries should be installed by a qualified person.

The following organisations provide useful information about battery storage and installation:

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