The nascent but highly prospective residential battery storage market in Australia has drawn another major international player, with Chinese solar giant GCL Poly to make a global launch of its battery storage product in Melbourne early next month.
GCL Poly, which has become the biggest player in the supply of poly-silicon and wafers to the solar PV market, and which is also a major developer of solar farms, will launch its new product at the Energy Storage Conference in early May.
The company recently purchased a majority share in WA-based solar panel wholesaler One Stop Warehouse, paying $US7.3 million for a 51 per cent stake as part of a push into new markets.
It is joining the likes of US companies Tesla and Enphase, German’s Soonnenbatterie and local firms Redflow and Ecoult to launch their first or their new generation battery storage products in Australia, which is expected to be the first mass-market for residential storage products in the world.
GCL subsidiary GCL System Integration Technology, its specialist in the solar and battery storage market, is targeting growth in Australia’s solar market as part of a major push to expand overseas.
Australia is part of our “strategic planning abroad,” said company president Shu Hua Shu told Bloomberg in an interview in Beijing last month. The company has cited anti-dumping regulations in the US and Europe for its pursuit of new markets, which also includes India.
GCL System increased its solar sales five fold in 2015, reaching more than 2.5 gigawatts in 2015 compared with an output of 500MW in 2014.
Its purchase of One Stop Warehouse is also part of its plan to establish its own distributed PV integration unit and to push into the energy storage market. Hence the formal launch of its product in Australia, where high electricity prices and the rate of solar installations is making it the most attractive market.
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.