Australia’s first Tesla Powerwall goes live in Queensland


news Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has launched a battery storage trial that sees the first use of Tesla’s PowerWall system in Australia.

The trial is being conducted by Energex and at its EsiTrain facility in Rocklea and will see several different battery storage systems put through their paces.

“New technologies like solar battery storage will dominate the next phase of the solar energy industry, and with it a whole new opportunity for new jobs,” Palaszczuk said.

Palaszczuk suggested the trial, which uses technology from leading solar companies like Tesla, will further cement Queensland’s reputation as a leader in the rooftop solar industry.

“The government has a goal of one million rooftops, or 3,000 megawatts of solar PV capacity in Queensland by 2020, and the emergence of battery energy storage systems will play a key role in achieving that goal,” she said.

Also at the launch was the State’s Energy Minister Mark Bailey, who said the three battery systems in the trials will provide Energex with real-time data to better understand how to integrate new technologies into the network.

The data obtained will assist in developing systems to manage new technologies, including battery systems, and provide cost-effective outcomes for Queenslanders, he explained.

“We have some of the best solar resources in the world and because of that reputation, each of these suppliers has earmarked Queensland as target markets for their products,” Bailey said.

Energex CEO Terry Effeney said the trial was part of a long-term strategy to manage demand on the network based on customers’ ever-changing consumption habits.

“The way our customers consume electricity has changed significantly with the emergence of solar PV and battery technology and we have changed with them,” Effeney said.

“Installing batteries at our own EsiTrain facility shows a genuine commitment from Energex to a future in which renewable energy will be integrated into South East Queensland’s network,” he added. “It means we can record real-time data from the system and observe the usage habits, which is similar to the smart technology processes we currently use for air conditioners and hot water systems.”

During the event, Palaszczuk also inducted 22 new Energex apprentices into the facility, saying battery storage would be an important part of Queensland’s energy mix in the decades ahead, which meant training up the next generation of electricians for the jobs of the future.

“These new recruits will gain first-hand experience with the latest technology as part of their training here at Rocklea,” she said. “The energy network will look very different 20 years from now than what it does today. Queensland is perfectly placed to take advantage and ensure we can make the most of those future job opportunities.”

Image credit: Tesla