Germany battery storage manufacturer sonnen Group says it has begun assembly of sonnenBatteries in Australia for the first time with the opening of manufacturing facility in the old Holden car plant in Adelaide.
The plant – one of three new manufacturing and assembly plants announced by international battery companies following the release of the state government’s battery incentive scheme – was officially opened by premier Steve Marshall and energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan this week.
Sonnen says it has already hired 50 new full-time employees in Adelaide to manage its production, call centre and technical support operations, and expanded its warehousing with an additional 1,000 square metres of space leased at Lionsgate Business Park.
“Today, we celebrate a new era for clean energy manufacturing in South Australia with the assembly of our first sonnenBatteries at Elizabeth,” sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann said in a statement.
“Sonnen is committed to our expansion and investment in South Australia with the hiring of a highly skilled operations team right here in Adelaide. This will serve as a foundation for sonnen’s growth and expansion in the future.”
Sonnen aims to produce 10,000 batteries a year to meet demand from Australian households and for export to Asia Pacific. It plans to create up to 430 new jobs in South Australia as it ramps up production as a home battery supplier for the $100 million South Australia Home Battery Scheme.
The state government is providing $100 million in rebates to 40,000 households, and the scheme will also be supported by another $100 million in low interest loans provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and targeted towards lower income households.
That scheme – which favours batteries manufactured locally – has also attracted Chinese battery developer Alpha-ESS and Canada’s Eguana technologies to also announce local manufacturing investments.
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.