Homeowners in Adelaide’s north are being invited to participate in Australia’s largest suburban trial of energy-storage batteries.

SA Power Networks wants 100 customers in Salisbury to purchase or rent a heavily subsidised home energy storage battery, to determine whether “distributed generation” technologies can avoid the need to build additional network infrastructure.

Customers will be offered an entire system of 3kW of rooftop solar and a 6.4kWh battery storage package for $6,150. If they already have solar and just need the battery, then the cost will be $3,600. The battery alone normally costs between $10,000 and $20,000. Alternatively, customers can rent the battery for a $500 upfront bond and a payment of $18.50 per fortnight for a minimum of three years.

If the trial is successful, SA Power Networks hopes to avoid a network upgrade costing an estimated $3 million.