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Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Page: 3368

Solar and Battery Storage

(Question No. 905)

Ms Sharkie asked the Minister for the Environment and Energy, in writing, on 05 February 2018:

In respect of a statement by the Prime Minister on 1 September 2016 that the Government would provide more support for community groups to install solar and battery storage in the electoral division of Mayo, since then:

(a) how many solar and battery storage projects have commenced under the Solar Communities Program (or other programs),

(b) how many have been completed; and

(c) what outcomes have they achieved.

Mr Frydenberg: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Australian Government's $5 million Solar Communities Program provides funding for community groups in selected regions across Australia to install rooftop solar photovoltaic, solar hot water and solar-connected battery systems to reduce emissions, reduce their electricity costs and support renewable energy.

The programme builds on the success of the Solar Towns Programme which supported over 100 solar projects in community organisations across Australia.

Round 1 of the Program opened in January 2017, and provided over $2.8 million in support for 218 community groups including; sporting clubs, Scouts, welfare centres, surf lifesaving clubs and Country Women's Associations.

Round 2 of the program opened on 13 March this year for community groups to apply for funding of up to $12,500 for their projects.

To date, no Solar Communities projects have been undertaken in the electorate of Mayo. However, Mayo is an eligible region, with $100,000 in total available to be applied for under Round 2. This will allow up to seven community groups to reduce their energy bills and direct more of their resources towards activities relevant to their community.

Estimates provided by the Clean Energy Regulator suggest that around 21,900 photovoltaic systems have been installed in Mayo since 2001, which have received support under the Government's Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). Of these systems, an estimated 69 were installed since 2014 with concurrent battery storage.