From pv magazine Germany
Sonnen has expanded its production faster than planned, thereby doubling its capacity.
Responding to skyrocketing demand over the past year, the company implemented its expansion to 120,000 PV home storage systems a year earlier than originally planned.
Industry experts expect Sonnen to already reach the 1 million installed PV home storage system mark this year. The German Solar Association reports that around 214,000 new battery storage systems were installed in Germany last year. According to the RWTH Aachen University, more than 110,000 new PV home storage systems were added in the first quarter alone.
As demand grows, so does Sonnen. The number of employees has almost doubled from 800 to 1,500 since the beginning of 2022. Around 450 of them work at the company's headquarters in Wildpoldsried, located in the southern Germany region of Allgäu. Sonnen has also expanded its development center there and added a new training center on site.
“Last year we experienced an unprecedented increase in demand, which we were not able to cover completely despite our production facility, which was only inaugurated in 2021,” explained Sonnen CEO Oliver Koch. “But even if the demand for home storage systems normalizes again, it will remain at a high level.”
With the early expansion of its production capacities, Sonnen can also reliably serve demand from other markets. “With our virtual power plant technology, we are expanding the added value beyond storage and thus securing critical know-how for the digital energy transition in Germany as an industrial and technology location,” Koch said.
Sonnen connects its PV home storage systems to a virtual power plant, offering them on the balancing power market for frequency services, among other things, and allowing the battery systems to contribute to grid stability — a task that is still mainly performed by conventional power plants or large storage facilities. The households that have installed the home storage systems receive additional income opportunities. Recently, Sonnen has also included electric cars in its virtual power plant.
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