sonnen Australia to start production next month, appoints new MD


From pv magazine Australia

German storage specialist sonnen is moving fast on its plans to start battery production Down Under.

After announcing it was setting up a production facility at the former Holden car manufacturing site in Adelaide last month, the company has now confirmed it is taking its battery technology to the factory floor next month.

sonnen aims to produce 10,000 batteries a year to meet demand from Australian households, as well as for export to the Asia Pacific region.

The company forecasts the factory to create more than 430 jobs across its operations and installation division within six months of the centre opening as it ramps up production to match the demand from the $100 million South Australia Home Battery Scheme.

Under the scheme, South Australians will be in line for subsidies of up to $6,000 scaled in line with the size of the system being installed.

In cases when the upfront costs of the home battery system installations are not met by the South Australia government subsidies, additional loans will be delivered through peer-to-peer lender RateSetter, which was named the exclusive administrator of the government’s battery program last week.

sonnen has confirmed its systems will be available at lower prices for the households participating in the SA government’s Home Battery Scheme.

“Customers who invest in a sonnenBatterie produce a positive ripple effect on Australia’s economy through their purchase with hundreds of direct and indirect jobs generated for Australia’s manufacturing industry,“ says Oliver Koch, Chief Operating Officer of sonnen.

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“It will also enable sonnen to accelerate its battery roll-out program to create a “virtual power plant”, an important new renewable energy source for Australia.”

sonnen batteries are already used in a blockchain VPP trial in Sydney launched by solar retailer and installer Natural Solar. The project aims to allow 12 homes with 5kW of rooftop PV and 8kWh sonnen batteries to reduce their electricity demand from the grid by 90% through P2P electricity trading.

New MD

The update on sonnen’s progress with the Adelaide manufacturing hub came alongside the announcement of a new managing director for Australia and Asia Pacific, Nathan Dunn.

Prior to sonnen, Dunn was the Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Enphase Energy, U.S. inverter specialist, for close to five years where he directed the company’s business strategy, revenue, operations and reseller partners. He brings more than 20 years of experience to sonnen with former management roles at GE Lighting, LG Electronics and MYOB.

“I am both delighted and proud to be part of sonnen as it expands its presence in Australia,” said Dunn.

“Working with sonnen, I believe we will revitalise the pride of Australia’s manufacturing heritage and set a new milestone to position South Australia as a beacon for cleantech manufacturing globally.”

Dunn succeeds Chris Parratt, who will leave the company to pursue new opportunities.

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