The South Australia government says it has attracted its major major battery storage developer to establish manufacturing facilities in the state, with the Canadian energy storage firm Eguana Technologies joining Germany’s Sonnen and China’s Alpha-ESS in making the move.
Eguana will spend $12 million in the facilities to assemble and manufacture its Evolve home energy storage system that it produces with business parter LG Chem. It says it will create up to 200 jobs over three years.
All three battery storage manufacturers are being lured by the Liberal state government’s $200 million home battery scheme, which provides grants and cheap loans to households to install household batteries and favours equipment that is assembled or manufactured in the state,
The Calgary-based Eguana Technologies makes both household and commercial-scale batteries, mostly delivered to Europe and north American markets up till its initial shift into Australia earlier this year, and also produces fuel cell and solar PV products.
Its chief technology officer Brent Harris said the company had already begun establishing its manufacturing capabilities in the state.
“South Australia is a world leader in the utilisation of solar and battery technology. The requirement for smart batteries is the first of its kind and the Evolve product was designed to support sophisticated programs that go beyond basic backup power and reducing consumption.”
The Evolve system is rated at 5KW AC output with a modular battery design based on a 6.5 kWh battery, which is scalable from 13 to 39kWh in storage capacity. It has capabilities for both demand response and Virtual Power Plant (VPP) programs being established to increase grid reliability, along with standard back up power and solar self-consumption.
“Australia is currently the world’s most densely saturated residential solar roof top market, with a relatively low number of integrated batteries installations, opening both new and retrofit markets for Eguana,” the company said last month when it announced a distribution agreement in Australia with BayWa Solar Systems.
Earlier this year, in May, the company announced its first foray into Australia with a distribution agreement with the Newcastle-based SwitchDIn.
It plans to introduce its commercial-scale product, known as Elevate, in 2019, which can be used to provide time shift, peak shave, and gridservices back to the utility, as well as offering a solution for electric vehicle charging stations.
The S.A. scheme offers a total of $100 million in scaled rebates of up to $6,000 for battery storage installations, along with a total of $100 million in low-interest loans provided by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
The rebates are tipped in favour of low-income households, but the scale of the rebate is expected to fall quickly as battery storage comes down. The $100 million in grants is designed for 40,000 homes, so it expected to average a rebate of $2,500.
South Australia has triggered a range of copy-cat schemes by other states, with Victoria, NSW and Queensland all providing support for household battery storage at various levels.
“South Australia is now unequivocally the world capital for home batteries,” said minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.