Sonnen begins battery production in Australia

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From pv magazine Australia

German storage specialist sonnen has taken its battery technology to the factory floor at its manufacturing site in Adelaide, South Australia.

After confirming it was setting up a production facility at the former Holden car manufacturing site in September, the company announced its plan to set up shop in November, which has now come to fruition. 

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

“Having sonnen locate its manufacturing centre in Adelaide for the production of home batteries for Australia, Asia and the South Pacific is a significant step in the revitalisation of South Australia’s industrial base,” SA Premier Steven Marshall said at the launch.

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, 40,000 South Australian households 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.

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

“The State Liberal Government is delighted that sonnen has made Adelaide the centre of its regional operations and the jobs that will deliver for South Australians,” said SA Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“Delivering cheaper, more reliable power for South Australians is the principal reason the Marshall Government established its home battery scheme but the investment and jobs secured by our priority deal with sonnen is a massive bonus.”

Since sonnen’s announcement, two more battery manufacturers have joined the SA Home Battery Scheme.

Earlier this month, China-headquartered battery manufacturer Alpha-ESS announced plans to set up a manufacturing facility in Adelaide, where it will build more than 8000 batteries a year and create up to 120 jobs.

Noting that the Home Battery Scheme will open up the largest demand market in the world, Canadian battery manufacturer Eguana Technologies announced it would invest $12 million in South Australia’s booming battery sector and manufacture its Evolve home energy storage system in Adelaide, creating up to 200 new jobs over the next three years.

Through their agreement with the State Government, sonnen, Alpha-ESS and Eguana will have access to the scheme’s priority period given to locally made battery systems which lasts until the end of the year.