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sonnen | 9 September 2018

sonnen to invest in South Australia, creates virtual power plant, builds advanced manufacturing facility and delivers hundreds of jobs

Adelaide, 09 September 2018 - As a world leader in smart residential solar storage solutions, Germany’s sonnen will establish a battery manufacturing facility at the former Holden site in Elizabeth to produce batteries by November 2018. sonnen aims to produce 10,000 batteries a year to meet demand from Australian households seeking to substantially reduce their power bills, and for export to Asia Pacific markets. The advanced manufacturing facility will generate hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in the short term, and will provide employment opportunities for many former Holden workers. Beyond its new factory, sonnen will also launch a sales and technical training facility in Adelaide dedicated to increasing skills in this new technology. sonnen expects to establish a training accreditation program to be run with TAFE SA to fulfil skilled workforce requirements locally.

The South Australian Government yesterday announced its $100 million Home Battery Scheme to assist households in purchasing sonnen storage systems through a combination of direct subsidy and low-interest loans. Households seeking to take up the government’s offer can expect to save more than 80 per cent of their annual energy consumption with a purchase. Participants can choose to buy the sonnen storage system outright or pay for a battery and solar system over time with no upfront payment. 

As the subsidy levels and the subsidy cap offered by the Home Battery Scheme are expected to reduce over time, families thinking about taking the step to save on their power bills should do so quickly. sonnen Founder and CEO Christoph Ostermann said, “We are excited at the prospect of manufacturing in South Australia for the Australian and export markets and to participating in making Australia the number one market globally for energy storage systems.” 

sonnen will create a “virtual power plant” in South Australia to support the state and national grid infrastructure. The company already runs a ‘virtual power plant’ in Germany, connecting thousands of households with PV (photovoltaic) storage systems. sonnen’s intention is to have a network of batteries of sufficient scale to enable it to sell the equivalent of a gas-fired peaking power station into the national grid. Mr Ostermann said, “sonnen will bring great benefits to South Australia through jobs at its Australian Head Office and factory in Elizabeth, lower energy prices for households that take up the battery program, and increased retail energy competition, decreasing energy prices for everyone. Furthermore, we expect to contribute to increased grid reliability through the ability of the network of sonnenBatteries to store energy and act as a virtual power plant in a decentralised grid.”