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Solar & Storage SUMMER 2017

For more information see pages 15 & 46 or visit

• Policies and practicalities • Investing in Clean Energy • Cost curve: economics of renewables stack up


• Powering Queensland • Storage findings and projections

Contents Australian Solar Council Foreword by CEO and ANU’s Frank Jotzo



Smart Energy 2018


Smart Energy Training Centre


Smart Energy 2018: Call for Abstracts


Introducing new staff


Master Installers


Positive Quality


Corporate Members



Market Dynamics News and views


Special Features Negative Forces


Renewables: cheaper than coal


Powering Queensland Summit


Climate Council reports


Investing in clean energy


Front cover: The Smart Energy Training Centre is open for business


Around the industry Market report


Aquatic centre goes solar


Solar Analytics surveys the market


It’s Time installs solar in the Pacific


Company mergers


Local and global events


Storage overview


Infographic: The storage market


Storage news and views


Ecoult’s global reach


BYD’s expansion


Battery market round-up


Redback’s marketing manoeuvres


Investing in innovation


Big batteries


14 42 44 SOLAR & STORAGE

SOLAR & STORAGE is published by the AUSTRALIAN SOLAR COUNCIL. ABN 32 006 824 148 Subscription and membership contact Scott Young, Phone: 02 6653 4453, M: 0467 672 292,

AUSTRALIAN SOLAR COUNCIL CEO John Grimes PO Box 231, Mawson ACT 2607 Phone: 1300 768 204 Solar & Storage ISSN 2206-1673

EDITOR: Nicola Card CONTRIBUTORS: Anthony Arrow, Ken Baldwin, Warwick Johnston, Frank Jotzo, Penny Parle

Solar & Storage and Storage Developments advertising enquiries contact: Brett Thompson, Sales Manager | Phone: 0402 181 250 |


Solar & Storage (Solar Progress) was first published in 1980. The magazine aims to provide readers with an in-depth review of technologies, policies and progress towards a society which sources energy from the sun rather than fossil fuels. Except where specifically stated, the opinions and material published in this magazine are not necessarily those of the Australian Solar Council. Although every effort is made to check the authenticity and accuracy of articles, neither the Solar Council nor the editors are responsible for any inaccuracy. Solar & Storage is published quarterly.


John Grimes Chief Executive, Australian Solar Council and Energy Storage Council CHANGE HAPPENS whether you’re ready for it or not. In fact, the later the change comes, the more far-reaching it is likely to be. The energy sector has been cloistered from change for many decades. A monopoly sector, regulated by governments, and protected from failure. But technology and customer expectations are fuelling transformative change in all things energy. No longer content to simply pay the bill and have no say in energy, customers are now getting mad, getting active, and getting even. When governments, businesses and organisations resist change and overlook the rapid transformation driven by customers, they do so at their peril. That’s why we need to reposition our organisation to remain relevant in a rapidly changing environment.

Energy customers are increasingly sophisticated. They are looking for distributed energy, energy storage, energy solutions tailored to their usage profile. In short, they are looking for smart energy solutions. Our rebranding as the Smart Energy Council reflects this change. Energy solutions no longer rely on one element, solar PV, battery storage, or energy efficiency. Instead consumers want integrated solutions applying the best smart energy technologies. In short they want the best integrated solution they can get. Demand response management, alternative fuels, all renewable energy types, automated energy systems, peer-to-peer trading, and new business models all play a part. The Smart Energy Council will represent, and give a voice to, the whole suite of energy solutions for our sector. We remain committed to abundant, secure, affordable and clean energy, to power our lives and our economy into the future. Not a member? Join us today at the Smart Energy Council and look out for our smart new logo soon.

In my view … Reflections of an energy doyen THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION about Australia’s power system. The troubled politics of energy and energy system is intense once again. The power climate make this look like a lofty ambition. industry is clamouring for predictable policy to But there is every reason for optimism about underpin investment. The road is littered with the energy transition. Renewables have become policies and policy proposals that were workable cheaper far faster than predicted, and there but died a political death. Energy prices and is now no prospect of new coal plants unless reliability loom large in the debate. heavily subsidised. Just three years ago when we The latest proposal is from the new Energy published the Deep Decarbonisation Pathways, Security Board: the ‘National Energy Guarantee’. our zero-carbon power scenarios attracted much Details are sketchy, and many things can be read scepticism. Today it is accepted among analysts and into it. The NEG could work like an emissions in boardrooms that renewables are the future of intensity scheme by putting a price on carbon Australia’s power system. among power generators, and it could incentivise And that’s not all. Latest analysis shows the great energy storage. Or it could be set to starve potential for pumped hydro storage. Batteries are demand for solar and wind power and channel becoming a feature of the grid. A large steel maker investment into gas and refurbishment of old coal is preparing to source electricity from solar and plants, stalling the energy transition. Or it might batteries. It’s a glimpse of a future where Australia Frank Jotzo, director of the Centre for Climate mean an emphasis on gas first, and ramping up uses its natural advantage in renewables to emerge Economics and Policy at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy renewables if and when the Snowy 2.0 pumped as an energy superpower in a low-carbon world. storage is built. The economic and social change that goes with We don’t know what the NEG would do, or if it will come in. What is this is reflected in the politics. But the momentum is building for a clean needed is a stable framework that helps the transition to a modern, clean energy transition.

2 SUMMER 2017

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Local and Global News BIGGER AND BETTER: Zen Energy in which UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has taken a 50.1 per cent stake is set to soar. Strategic plans include a 100 MW/100 MWh battery at Port Augusta along with 200 MW of solar PV: 80 MW in Whyalla’s industrial precinct coupled with 120 MW on adjacent land owned by Liberty OneSteel (renamed from Arrium). Also in the pipeline is 100 MW of demand response around Whyalla Steelworks and 120 MW/600 MWh pumped hydro storage facility at a disused iron ore mine pit. Sanjeev Gupta who is also eyeing up renewable energy projects at larger steel plants in Melbourne and Sydney “very heavy” on energy use commented “The high cost of energy for Australian consumers is debilitating for the economy and a crying shame for a country so rich in resources. “Long-term sustainable energy solutions need to be founded on both economic and environmental principles in order to work properly [and] we can deliver a step change in the power industry.” Founded by tech innovator Richard Turner, Zen Energy was chaired by Ross Garnaut, who remains as President and is pictured below with Sanjeev Gupta.

VICTORIAN COMPANY RAYGEN has received a $4.8 million boost from ARENA to scale-up a 0.5 MW concentrated solar PV demonstration project that requires just 4m2 of photovoltaic material per MW and 2,500m2 of mirrors, in contrast with standard silicon PV that requires 5,000m2 of PV. The demonstration will consist of two grid-connected 250 kW fields and power a local organic mushroom farm … chicken-feed perhaps for RayGen which plans to expand export opportunities and fulfil an 11 MW order for two projects in China.

4 SUMMER 2017

SA LEADS THE WAY: By the time this magazine is in circulation Tesla’s 100 MW/129 MWh battery storage project adjacent to the Hornsdale wind farm in South Australia will be up and running. Now news is coming in of DP Energy’s plans for an even bigger battery for the state that is racing ahead in renewables, with the rise of Solar Reserve’s $650m 150 MW CST plant. ACTING ON CLIMATE CHANGE: The Victorian Government is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle climate change with its leading legislation Climate Change Act 2017 enacted on November 1. The first of its kind by any Government in Australia, the legislation brings Victoria’s climate policy in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The state Government has legislated for net zero emissions by 2050, and interim emissions reduction targets every five years to help meet this goal.

GLOBAL CLIMATE LAGGARD: The Climate Council’s latest report Critical Decade 2017: Accelerating Climate Action condemns Australia for failing to tackle climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions have climbed upwards every quarter since March 2015 and the nation lacks a coherent, national approach to reduce them in the short, medium or long term. The Council lists several recommendations, among them the need to build a unified, bipartisan, consensus approach to climate change that takes the issue out of the current divisive, ‘political football’ landscape. And revitalise the Climate Change Authority, strengthen its climate science capacity, and build policy actions on science-based targets and pathways. Hear hear.

SOLAR POWERED TRAINS: Byron Bay recently welcomed two solar-powered train engines from c.1949 that will service a recently reconditioned thee-kilometre rail line from the town’s north to the centre. Charging just $3 for the trip, the not-for-profit operator hopes to attract tourists to the railway. The Solar Council’s John Grimes welcomed the solar retrofit saying it signalled Australia’s sunshine could be harnessed in smart ways to not just power homes and businesses but also address the pressing need to cut emissions in the transportation sector.

Local and Global News ADVANCED HYBRID POWER STATION: From December Flinders Island switches from full diesel power to renewables by tapping into solar, wind and energy storage. The 200 kW solar array, 900 kW of wind, 300 kWh of battery storage are part of the system that will collectively deliver 6.7 GWh annually. ARENA partly funded the $13.3 million Flinders Island project developed by Hydro Tasmania, the state utility behind the King Island project.

CHAMPION OF ROOFTOP PV CLAIRE O’ROURKE has stepped down from her role as National Director of Solar Citizens. During her tenure she forcefully led campaigns that helped protect the rights of millions of Australians with solar, and O’Rourke joined forces with the Solar Council in the battle to save the RET. Solar Citizens was also instrumental in preventing retailers, networks and the AEMC to

ATTRACTIVE FACADES: Dutch based ECN has designed a series of novel solar panels that improve aesthetics and make “large-scale use of solar energy in the built environment attractive” while optimising yield and sustainability. The innovator has found a “sweet spot” in the market with its panels that are made up of 30 per cent coloured print as well as having a guaranteed yield of 80 per cent through the use of Metal Wrap. Back-contact technology provides the background for the full-colour print and flexibility in dimensioning and production. The module’s dimension of 120 x 90 centimetres is smaller than a standard panel, but puts it in line with standard construction sizes i.e. multiples of 30 cm. The panels are designed to produce colour-fastness for 20 years. Panel designs include bricks-andmortar and multi-colours. Pictured is the Solar Council’s John Grimes holding a geometric panel. 6 SUMMER 2017

PRICES ARE DOWN! Residents of Santiago who suffer winter-long air pollution will be breathing easier: Chile is pressing ahead with plans for 70 per cent renewables by 2050 and recently attracted a world record low solar PV bid of just A$28/MWh for a 600 MW solar plant. Watch this space: records continue to tumble and the spotlight could soon fall on Saudi Arabia with rumblings of a bid equivalent to A$23.31/MWh.

slap unfair, discriminatory fees on solar owners, and for half a decade supported the Repower Port Augusta campaign that resulted in Australia’s first $650 million solar thermal with storage plant. Claire retains a voluntary role on the steering committee and Maria Cirillo has been appointed Acting National Director.

TRES BON: French solar hybrid inverter manufacturer Imeon Energy recently picked up a prestigious national award for its hyper-growth and technological innovations in the Green Tech field. “With this label, Imeon Energy will benefit from increased global visibility and credibility among its customers, suppliers and investors,” said chief executive Christophe Goasguen, pictured. Solar & Storage is printed by Printgraphics whose green credentials include:

Negative forces

Image courtesy of Energy Queensland

The federal government which has wrestled with energy policies for more than a decade took industry by surprise by speedily drafting its new, out of the blue, energy policy. How the National Energy Guarantee will play out remains to be seen but plenty of people have plenty to say about its shortcomings.

IN MID OCTOBER industry was taken aback by the surprise delivery of a policy designed to address the energy sector. The ink was barely dry on the hastily prepared eight-page National Energy Guarantee laid out by the newly formed Energy Security Board as a countermeasure to the Clean Energy Target. The target that was the key plank of the Finkel report in the postRET world beyond 2020. What’s in place? A Reliability Guarantee and an Emissions Guarantee. Scepticism surrounds both: the impact of the Reliability Guarantee allows continuation of ageing coal plants and costly gas yet lacks incentives for investment in new renewable energy capacity. And the NEG’s so called Emissions Guarantee is viewed as too flexible as it allows retailers to meet targets by purchasing international offsets rather than make efforts to reduce domestic emissions. Disturbingly, most analysts believe an NEG – again stressing the document is short on detail – will stem investment in new large-scale renewable energy and curb renewables and result in more coal and gas by 2030. The Prime Minister himself declared “I guess that wind and solar will be losers under the NEG.”

Large-scale losers Projects over 100 kW will be in the firing line, says the Solar Council’s John Grimes. “The LGC [large-scale generation certificate] price will crash with the market oversupply, and that of course affects confidence in the sector … it is the equivalent to scrapping the RET,” he explained. “From 2020 there is no policy framework for renewables and that is appalling. This is about killing investment in renewables.” He commented not just on the lack of detail in the NEG but also the lack of consultation with the sector, and overall the great deal of uncertainty that arises, and saying “Together this creates delays, negative impacts and confusion.” Tim Buckley of IEEFA agrees. “The NEG certainly stymies the rollout of renewables, it discourages investment.

8 SUMMER 2017

Details are scant, NEG is a policy developed on the fly, it’s piecemeal, a policy failure lacking a Regulatory Impact Statement and economic modelling,” he said. “We’ll be in limbo for a year, and so the farce over energy uncertainly continues.” Interestingly, much of the terminology industry is accustomed to such as ‘carbon pricing’, ‘carbon tax’, ‘CET’ and ‘RET’ are not specified in the NEG, notes Oliver Yates of UPC Renewables. “Instead terminology such as ‘low and high dispatchable electricity’ was used … the NEG was crafted in a way to confuse the hell out of all. It will involve a carbon price and emissions trading scheme but these are not mentioned specifically.” Energy retailers seek “the goldilocks of power” – dependability, reliability, dispatchability and a blend of emissions that includes clean energy in order to meet the Emissions Intensity target says Yates, but, worryingly, under the NEG they could meet targets by purchasing foreign credits which fails to address local emissions levels.

Top guns Vox pop Across Australia many ground breaking, large-scale renewables developments from pumped hydro with storage to concentrated solar thermal, hybrid plants with mega batteries and all in between are underway. Many of these larger-than-life projects are profiled in this magazine. But what now for the vision and ambition? Here’s what industry movers and shakers had to say. James Harding of GenexPower (the name behind the Kidston project) told Solar & Storage “In terms of detail the NEG is a bit thin on the ground and there’s not much to act on, hopefully there will be more detail on policy mechanisms to deliver for us the obligations and emission guarantees in time. But in our view if any project is suited for what that NEG seems to define then we are probably in the right position to deliver that, but whether that will actually provide tangible benefits to make it more bankable remains to be seen.” CWP’s Alex Hewitt concurs with the majority in saying the NEG injects a great amount of uncertainty. “So again

“The NEG will stall confidence and arrest the current momentum of renewables, we will see a slow down in investment – or even a total arrest – in the next six months while they debate settings.”

‘Drafted on the run - not enough detail’ is the common consensus about the NEG. Image courtesy of Downer EDI

investors need to be extremely cautious. It has the potential to go in any direction and since the CET was not embraced by the government of the time when we’ve had a lot of support from nearly all sectors of the community industry and business in the past, we can only assume it will take a long time before the settings are agreed under the NEG. “We are not afraid of dispatchability – we are looking at and building dispatchable renewables and emissions need to be priced in,” Hewitt said. “But the NEG will stall confidence and arrest the current momentum of renewables, we will see a slow down in investment – or even a total arrest – in the next six months while they debate settings. Very confident investors will commit in that time but others won’t necessarily.” Paget Hargreaves of Industrial Energy Systems (who steered development of Sundrop CSP at Port Augusta) believes Australia is in a transition period, “and no one wants to jump from one energy system to another, it has to be a smooth pathway and that has to be guided by policy but there is no policy, it is just a sort of hiccup in the road. “We have to be one of the few countries in the world with such great resources yet such a lack of policy, and that is reflected in investment being

What lies ahead State Energy Ministers are required to sign off on any changes to National Electricity Market rules before they can be introduced, and most States are driving progressive projects and policies. As noted above, they were excluded from consultations and with their progressive State agendas and policies at odds with the Coalition government many have been vocal in their condemnation. And a final thought: if the Coalition is unable to construct a well considered, credible plan that addresses all aspects of the energy mix in the post RET period beyond 2020, why not stage a referendum to allow the electorate a say in the matter? Alternatively save ratepayers $120 million and simply collate the results of the numerous independent surveys conducted in recent years that highlight the overwhelming support for a Clean Energy Target and for renewable energy as we transition toward a low emissions future. Then draft a consensus-driven blueprint. John Grimes does not believe all is lost, instead that “Economics surrounding the cost efficiencies of renewables versus old polluting technologies will bring down this façade.”

held back. We will lose it to other countries.” UK based Foresight Group - which has taken a stake in five solar farms in Australia and says that just the warm up - commented “The L-RET is going nowhere … there is a lot of uncertainly around the NEG and new investment into renewables so beyond today, until the policies get clarified, although we are still looking at moving projects on we may not be going anywhere.” For his part, Joseph O’Brien of Copperstring says the weakness of the NEG is its ambiguity. “So I think it is quite easy and rational to conjure up outcomes of policy detail that are acceptable if not positive to the industry. I think there is a risk at the politically appropriate time it will become a negative policy instrument for industry so I think it is prudent to hold a little fire on drawing conclusions, except to the extent it is ambiguous at the moment. So does it help? Perhaps it’s a step in the right direction but nowhere near the finish line.” We also canvassed the views of Stefan Jarnason of Solar Analytics who told us: “Every person in the industry says they want to get back to sensible bi-partisan energy policy and take the politics out of it. And we need a market mechanism that does not favour coal or nuclear or renewables, just a set target – so theoretically the NEG could be fine. Whether the mechanism is cap in trade or a subsidy or target or emission reductions scheme – leave that to bureaucrats, but leave settings open and free and reasonable and without bias toward one solution over another. “We need emissions reduction, and every report commissioned by political parties reveals the more renewables on the grid the lower the prices for all consumers. To win current incentives, more renewables means lower prices for everyone but generators would lose and they will be the ones fighting against it.”

In mid October the Solar Council staged an NEG webinar co-hosted by Oliver Yates and Tim Buckley. Such is the interest – and uncertainly – created by the draft policy that the event attracted 300 participants. The Solar Council subsequently listed its primary concerns:

Top Five Questions Australians need answered about the National Energy Guarantee 1. How will the NEG reduce pollution from the electricity sector, and achieve Australia’s 2030 emission reduction targets, given it delivers more coal and gas than ‘business as usual’? 2. How will the NEG reduce power prices given it fails to tackle solutions to rising prices identified by ACCC? Solutions highlighted by the ACCC included addressing the market power of the big three energy companies, affordability of gas, bringing online large-scale renewable energy, and support for consumers. 3. How will the NEG address reliability given it fails to deal with key reliability issues raised by AEMO - outages or failures of ageing coal generators across the NEM, and the increased vulnerability of the electricity system to extreme weather, particularly heatwaves? 4. How will the NEG address reliability given it fails to ensure sufficient new renewable energy capacity is brought online well in advance of inevitable coal closures? 5. How will the NEG achieve certainty for investors given the complete lack of detail and/or modelling underpinning the proposal, the complete lack of community engagement or consultation with key stakeholders (the states and territories), and the provision to review the Emissions Guarantee every year (essentially locking in investment uncertainty for the foreseeable future)?

Solar & Storage 9


Renewables will be cheaper than coal in the future - here are the numbers Ken Baldwin recently posed: “Is coal still cheaper than renewables as an energy source?” Now he’s looking to the future.

IN AUSTRALIA, 87 per cent of our electricity generation comes from fossil fuels. That’s one of the highest levels of fossil fuel generation in the world. So we have important decisions to make about how we’ll generate energy as Australia’s fleet of coal-fired power stations reach the end of their operating lives, and as we move to decarbonise the economy to meet our climate goals following the Paris agreement. What will the cost of coal-fired and renewable energy be in the coming decades? Let’s look at the numbers.

Improvements in technology will make renewables cheaper

ANU Professor Ken Baldwin notes studies indicate the cost of wind and large-scale PV will be cheaper than any fossil fuel source from the year 2020

As technology and economies of scale improve over time, the initial capital cost of building an energy generator decreases. This is known as the “learning rate”. Improvements in technology are expected to reduce the price of renewables more so than coal in coming years. The chart below, produced by consulting firm Jacobs Group and published in the recent Finkel review of the National Electricity Market, shows the projected levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) for a range of technologies in 2020, 2030 and 2050.

The chart shows a significant reduction in the cost of solar and wind, and a relatively static cost for mature technologies such as coal and gas. It also shows that large-scale solar PV generation, with a faster learning rate, is projected to be cheaper than wind generation from around 2020. Wind prices are already falling rapidly. For example: the graph below shows the 2020 price for wind at A$92 per megawatt-hour (MWh). But when the assumptions for the electricity modelling were finalised in February 2017, that price was already out of date. In its 2016 Next Generation Renewables Auction, the Australian Capital Territory government secured a fixed price for wind of A$73 per MWh over 20 years (or A$56 per MWh in constant dollars at 3 per cent inflation). In May 2017, the Victorian renewable energy auction set a record low fixed price for wind of A$5060 per MWh over 12 years (or A$43-51 per MWh in constant dollars at 3 per cent inflation). This is below the AGL price for electricity from the Silverton wind farm of $65 per MWh fixed over five years. These long-term renewable contracts are similar to a LCOE, because they extend over a large fraction of the lifetime of the wind farm. The table and graph show a selection of renewable energy long-term contract prices across Australia in recent years, and illustrate a gradual decline in wind energy auction results (in constant 2016 dollars), consistent with improvements in technology and economies of scale. But this analysis is still based on LCOE comparisons – or what it would cost to use these technologies for a simple “plug and play” replacement of an old generator. Now let’s price in the cost of changes needed to the entire electricity network to support the use of renewables, and to price in other factors, such as climate change.

Carbon pricing will increase the cost of coal-fired power

Notes: Numbers in Figure A.1 refer to the average. For each generation technology shown in the chart, the range shows the lowest cost to the highest cost project available in Jacobs’ model, based on the input assumptions in the relevant year. The average is the average cost across the range of projects; it may not be the midpoint between the highest and lowest cost project. Large-scale Solar Photovoltaic includes fixed plate, single and double axis tracking. Large-scale Solar Photovoltaic with storage includes 3 hours storage at 100 per cent capacity. Solar Thermal with storage includes 12 hours storage at 100 per cent capacity. Cost of capital assumptions are consistent with those used in policy cases, that is, without the risk premium applied. The assumptions for the electricity modelling were finalised in February 2017 and do not take into account recent reductions in technology costs (e.g. recent wind farm announcements). Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market

10 SUMMER 2017

The economic, environmental and social costs of greenhouse gas emissions are not included in simple electricity cost calculations, such as the LCOE analysis above. Neither are the costs of other factors, such as the health effects of air particle pollution, or deaths arising from coal mining. The risk of the possible introduction of carbon emissions mitigation policies can be indirectly factored into the LCOE of coal-fired power through higher rates for the weighted average cost of capital (in other words, higher interest rates for loans).

“Both wind and large-scale

The Jacobs report to the Finkel Review estimates that the weighted average cost of capital for coal will be 15 per cent, compared with 7 per cent for renewables.

photovoltaics – at A$92 and A$91 per MWh, respectively – will be

The cost of greenhouse gas emissions can be incorporated more directly into energy prices by putting a price on carbon. Many economists maintain that carbon pricing is the most cost-effective way to reduce

cheaper than any fossil fuel source from the year 2020.”

global carbon emissions. One megawatt-hour of coal-fired electricity creates approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide. So even a conservative carbon price of around A$20 per tonne would increase the levelised cost of coal generation by around A$20 per MWh, putting it at almost A$100 per MWh in 2020. According to the Jacobs analysis, this would make both wind and largescale photovoltaics – at A$92 and A$91 per MWh, respectively – cheaper than any fossil fuel source from the year 2020. It’s worth noting here the ultimate inevitability of a price signal on carbon, even if Australia continues to resist the idea of implementing a simple carbon price. Other policies currently under consideration, including some form of a clean energy target, would put similar upward price pressure on coal relative to renewables, while the global move towards carbon pricing will eventually see Australia follow suit or risk imposts on its carbon-exposed exports.

Australia’s grid needs an upgrade Renewable energy (excluding hydro power) accounted for around 6 per cent of Australia’s energy supply in the 2015-16 financial year. Once renewable energy exceeds say, 50 per cent, of Australia’s total energy supply, the LCOE for renewables should be used with caution. This is because most renewable energy – like that generated by wind and solar – is intermittent, and needs to be “balanced” (or backed up) in order to be reliable. This requires investment in energy storage. We also need more transmission lines within the electricity grid to ensure ready access to renewable energy and storage in different regions, which increases transmission costs. And, there are additional engineering requirements, like building “inertia” into the electricity system to maintain voltage and frequency stability. Each additional requirement increases the cost of electricity beyond the levelised cost. But by how much? Australian National University researchers calculated that the addition of pumped-hydro storage and extra network construction would add a levelised cost of balancing of A$25-30 per MWh to the levelised cost of renewable electricity.

The researchers predicted that eventually a future 100 per cent renewable energy system would have a levelised cost of generation in current dollars of around A$50 per MWh, to which adding the levelised cost of balancing would yield a network-adjusted LCOE of around A$7580 per MWh. The Australian National University result is similar to the Jacobs 2050 LCOE prediction for large-scale solar photovoltaic plus pumped hydro of around A$69 per MWh, which doesn’t include extra network costs. The AEMO 100 per cent Renewables Study indicated that this would add another A$6-10 per MWh, yielding a comparable total in the range A$75-79 per MWh. This would make a 100 per cent renewables system competitive with new-build supercritical (ultrasupercritical) coal, which, according to the Jacobs calculations in the chart above, would come in at around A$75(80) per MWh between 2020 and 2050. This projection for supercritical coal is consistent with other studies by the CO2CRC in 2015 (A$80 per MWh) and used by CSIRO in 2017 (A$6580 per MWh).

So, what’s the bottom line? By the time renewables dominate electricity supply in Australia, it’s highly likely that a price on carbon will have been introduced. A conservative carbon price of at least A$20 per tonne would put coal in the A$100plus bracket for a megawatt-hour of electricity. A completely renewable electricity system, at A$75-80 per MWh, would then be more affordable than coal economically, and more desirable environmentally. This article first appeared in The Conversation and is reproduced with permission from the author. Professor Ken Baldwin is the Director of the Energy Change Institute at the ANU, and Deputy Director of the Research School of Physics and Engineering. He is recipient of the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science, for his role in initiating and championing “Science meets Parliament”.

Solar scheme results, Australia, 2012-17 Auction/scheme


Capacity (MW)

Start date

Contract length (years)

Quote price (A$/MWh)

Constant price (A$/MWh)

ACT Solar Auction 1, 2012

Royalla Solar Farm, ACT






ACT Solar Auction 1, 2013

Mugga Lane Solar Park, ACT






ACT Solar Auction 1, 2013

Williamsdale, ACT






WA government, solar PV, 2012

Greenough Solar Farm, WA



$240 – LCOE

$240 (LCOE)

ARENA/NSW Government, solar PV

Nyngan Solar Farm, NSW



$180 (LCOE)

$180 (LCOE)

ARENA/NSW Government, solar PV

Broken Hill, NSW



$180 (LCOE)

$180 (LCOE)

SA government, solar thermal, 2017

Aurura solar thermal power plant, Port Augusta, WA






Quote price: the price quoted for the length of the contract in actual dollars. Constant price: the average price in constant dollars, adjusted for 3% inflation, over all years of the contract. LCOE: levelised cost of electricity. Sources: ACT Solar I, ARENA/NSW and WA government solar PV: Sinclair Knight Merz ACT Solar Auction Review 2013. SA government solar thermal: Jay Weatherill, news release, August 14, 2017. Source: Table compiled by Ken Baldwin, Australian National University

Solar & Storage 11


Smart energy on show in Queensland Large-scale renewables developers and investors recently gathered in Brisbane to outline their vision and ambitions through projects that eclipse anything Australia has ever seen.

State Energy Minister Mark Bailey: “the Sunshine State has now become the solar state”

RENEWABLE ENERGY entities and identities CWP Renewables, Downer EDI, Energy Queensland, Genex Power, Pacific Hydro, Copperstring, Foresight Group, ESCO Pacific and Powerlink were out in force at Brisbane’s Smart Energy Summit. Staged in late October by the Solar Council, the event attracted more than 250 people with an active interest in solar and storage developments and showcased the extent of renewable projects and prospects in Queensland: • 6252 MW of new capacity to come online by 2020, of which • Solar energy projects come in at 5062 MW, all up providing • 9569 real jobs, and attracting • Investments up to $7.7 billion. The sector is buoyed by the State Government’s renewables target of 50 per cent by 2030 with 1000 MW in reverse auctions accompanied by a suite of initiatives laid out in its Powering Queensland Plan. Setting the scene at the Summit State Energy Minister Mark Bailey said “In Queensland 43 projects have been unleashed … we have our “open for business” sign on display and that leads to confidence in the sector. With out suite of initiatives we are unflinching in our support for renewable energy. The sunshine state also leads in small-scale with 30 per cent of homes sporting rooftop PV, helped along by the state government’s “affordable solar plan in loans to homes to maintain momentum” and battery rebates. “The sunshine state has now become solar state.” “Previously not one large-scale project got up in three years but there are now 22 earmarked for

Queensland of which 18 are underway and on the way to providing a cleaner, more diversified energy mix. “The additional supply will help reduce wholesale prices and the long-term prospects are strong with our comprehensive Powering Queensland plan and blueprint for a low emissions future.” The Minister commended the Solar Council for its shared vision and excellent work. Chief executive John Grimes remarked that the right government policies need to be instigated for industry to move forward otherwise progress is delayed. “A positive investment environment is generated through support for 50 per cent renewables and reverse auctions ... that sets the seen for an exciting future.” He also referred to the ANU study led by Andrew Blakers which identified enough pumped hydro and storage sites to provide 100 per cent renewables energy 19 times over. The tide is already turning.

Mighty developments Top of the list is Genex Power’s flagship project the Kidston solar plant (phase one 50 MW) co-located west of Townsville with the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (250 MW) and the Kidston Solar Project (phase two 270 MW). potentially providing energy storage of 2000 MWh. James Harding told the Summit the project comes with an 80-100 year lifespan and just as importantly “The Finkel Review of the national energy market called for energy security; pumped hydro and storage supplies energy on demand [24/7] and with it provides strong ancillary support for the grid.”

Queensland: open for business

Darren Docking of engineering and infrastructure conglomerate Downer Group explained the company was also turning its attention to pumped hydro, storage and solar, and that in the past year there has been “a real switch to solar with the company now on its third project” namely the 148 MW Ross River Solar farm built on a disused mango farm on the fringe of Townsville. On completion it will be the second largest solar farm in the nation. “If ever we need to rally it is now,” Docking said. “There is pent up demand strategies and opportunities for renewable projects within Queensland and across the nation. Together Powerlink and Copperstring unlock the biggest opportunity.” Positive thoughts from an entity that boasts turnover of $11 billion, three years’ work in hand and employment of 56,000.

12 SUMMER 2017

Connecting opportunities Joseph O’Brien of Copperstring 2.0 whose blueprint for a transmission line that links energy supplies across North Queensland remarked “We have the opportunity to link economic prosperity to clean energy and our the vision for North Queensland offers great prospects, we need to focus on power at a macro level. Sustainability is critical to our prosperity … there is immense value in a renewables hub and enormous value for the broader economy.” The extent of the nation’s clean energy resources have already come under the radar of UK based independent infrastructure and private equity investment Foresight Group which currently has £2.7 billion (A$4.6

Smales said. ”Our new vision, purpose and values will guide decisions including affordability and sustainability. And technologies are changing, there is clear evidence of change such as peer to peer trading and virtual power plants the enable new energy solutions … the future is exciting.” CWP Renewables holds the title of the nation’s largest renewables developer, and is the name behind the mighty Sapphire wind farm. During the Summit chief executive Alex Hewitt revealed attention is now turning to solar with developments underway in northern NSW, and CWP is bidding for a solar thermal plant in North Queensland. “The model for dispatchable renewables with storage is here and now,” he said. Meredith Anderson of Pacific Hydro commented that the

billion) of assets under management, raised from institutional investors,

company’s focus to date has been on large scale wind and hydro energy,

family offices, private and high net-worth individuals. The group has

however attention is now turning to solar energy and by late 2018 Pacific

taken an active interest in Australia by backing five solar farms: Bannerton

Hydro will have developed a solar plant in Queensland, with others on

(110 MW) Barcaldine (25 MW) Longreach (17 MW) Oakey 1 (30 MW) and

the drawing board. “Storage will play a significant role in most projects,“

Oakey 2 (70 MW).

Anderson revealed.

Lewis Vanstone of Foresight Group told Solar & Storage “Queensland is the place to be in terms of its fantastic solar resource.”

Negative impacts

No disagreement from David Smales who outlined how Energy

Developers with an active interest in progressing renewable energy are

Queensland which was created in June 2016 by the merger of Ergon

united in their determination but a dark cloud hangs over industry with

and Energex and now boasts more than 2.1 million customers was

uncertainly created by the short-on-detail national energy guarantee

playing a major role in the Powering Queensland Plan with its new vision


purpose and values that will guide decisions including affordability and sustainability. “The board’s recipe for success is based on driving significant change, an energy transformation and that considers communities in the process,”

Getting it done with water, wind, and sun. For over 25 years, Pacific Hydro has been a leader in renewable energy – from our earliest hydro projects, to Australia’s first commercial wind farm, and now in largescale solar. With over 850 MW of assets already in operation across Australia, Chile, and Brazil; a growing electricity retail business in Australia; and a development pipeline of over 2 GW of potential solar, wind, and hydro capacity, we’re excited about the future of clean energy. Find out more about us at

Oliver Yates of UPC Renewables remarked the faster the climate changes the greater the changes we need to make. The focus of his Summit address was the impact of the policy on new investment into renewables (see previous pages).


Powering up Queensland Queensland is leading Australia in large-scale renewable power projects. IN THE REPORT: Renewables: Powering Queensland’s Future the Climate Council notes the state would need to build 4,0005,500 MW of new large-scale renewable energy generation capacity by 2030 to achieve its 50 per cent renewables target. That’s well within reach, given the >5,000 MW of additional renewable energy capacity currently in the development pipeline (and which, also significantly, represents more than the equivalent of three coal-fired generators). Many projects are massive in their size and scope and topping the list is approval for a 1 GW (1,000 MW) solar farm near Wandoan, east of Roma, which on completion will become Australia’s biggest and also gain a place among the world’s largest solar power plants. Today, however, the state’s electricity is dominated by fossil fuels. Coal supplies 73 per cent and gas 18 per cent, but clearly renewable energy – predominantly household solar and bioenergy – which supplies 7 per cent is on the march. So too is the uptake of integration of large-scale solar with energy storage

Lakeland Solar and Storage courtesy of Kawa Australia Pty Ltd T/a Conergy

Kidston solar and pumped hydro project, courtesy of GenexPower

14 SUMMER 2017

technologies to improve reliable renewable power and meet continuous demand. Significant projects underway in North Queensland combining solar with wind and/ or energy storage can be seen in the images on this page. The Lakeland integrated solar and battery storage power plant will be the Southern Hemisphere’s first large-scale integrated solar and battery storage facility. The project combines a 13 MW solar power station together with 5.3 MWh battery storage to provide reliable power quality and supply. GenexPower’s Kidston project combines up to 330 MW of solar PV (phase one 50 MW, phase two 270 MW) with pumped hydro storage, using a former gold mine. The project will potentially provide up to 330 MW of power ondemand into the National Electricity Market. Kennedy Energy Park combines solar, wind and battery storage (19 MW solar PV with 22 MW wind and 4 MWh of battery storage) and plans are in place to scale up to 600 MW of solar PV and 600 MW of wind power. Renewables: Powering Queensland’s Future was authored by Petra Stock, Greg Bourne and Dr Karen Hussey.

The Smart Energy Conference & Exhibition 2018 Australia’s largest solar, storage and smart energy conference and exhibition. This time it’s in sunny Sydney! At the International Convention Centre on April 10 and 11, 2018.

SMART ENERGY IS SET TO SHINE as the solar industry continues its stellar trajectory with a record number of PV and storage installations as well as large scale projects during the past 12 months. Come along and hear what’s in store for the rest of 2018 and beyond, with more coal-fired powered stations being replaced with clean energy systems and distributed energy. Industry analysts, politicians, bureaucrats, innovators, investors, manufacturers, trainers across the three conference streams will deliver expert analysis and opinion and showcase the latest technologies with a strong emphasis on storage and batteries, energy efficiency and the sustainable and built environment.

Smart Energy in all its forms is brought to you at no charge. This is a FREE to attend event! Make a diary note now: Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 April 2018 On behalf of the Australian Solar Council, the ‘Voice of Solar’ we look forward to seeing you at your solar event, the Smart Energy Exhibition and Conference.

> Smart Energy Solutions > Applied Energy Storage > Installer Professional Development – the most up-to-date and comprehensive information and training session … this stream will be supercharged on the back of the recently launched Smart Energy Training Centre

Sydney’s glittering new venue Set within a dynamic dining, leisure and residential precinct, the newly refurbished multi-million dollar ICC Sydney features a striking contemporary design, industry leading technology and flexible multipurpose spaces. ICC Sydney is at the heart of its very own Sydney Harbour waterfront precinct, set among restaurants, retail and a vibrant public domain on Darling Harbour yet only a moment’s walk to Australia’s largest CBD and surrounding university and cultural quarters. The venue adjoins a new 600room luxury hotel, a new residential and commercial development and a new pedestrian boulevard that connects the waterfront back to Central Station and city laneways.

The Smart Energy event also presents the perfect opportunity to network with like-minded specialists across the entire solar spectrum. But that is just the start! A hall full of local and global exhibitors will showcase their products and services to the thousands of delegates expected at Smart Energy 2018. The successful 2017 event attracted well over 4,400 delegates from several countries who viewed the more than 60 exhibitors and had the opportunity to listen to the 120 conference presenters. In 2018 we will take the event to the next level. Incorporating energy storage and solar hot water, low energy lighting and building products, we expect a big increase in delegate numbers and range of exhibits.

Exhibitors please note Don’t pass up this prime marketing opportunity to profile your organisation through exhibition or sponsorship at what will be the solar event of 2018. Exhibition spaces are filling fast with more than 50 per cent of spaces already sold. Sales are faster than the previous year and exhibitors very supportive of the move to Sydney. Sponsorships are almost sold out, so contact Brett Thompson on 0402 181 250 to secure the remaining sponsorship packages and place your brand at the forefront of up to 5000 people, each with a stake in smart energy. *** Support the Industry body that supports you. All proceeds fund our work on behalf of the industry ***

Solar & Storage 15


CEFC activities by the numbers Powering ahead The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has reported a big increase in its investments, funding more projects this year than in its last three years combined. Significantly, the CEFC earlier this year made a $20 million contribution to a new lithium mining project in Western Australia, marking its first venture in the resource that has become essential to the clean energy transition through battery storage. In the annual report issued in October the CEFC revealed it had invested more than $2 billion in new capital to support renewable energy projects valued at more than $6.5 billion. By contrast over the previous two years the CEFC had committed $1.32 billion in total. As seen in the charts on these pages, the total portfolio of investments now sits at $3.4 billion for every dollar the CEFC has invested in a project it helped to leverage an additional $2.10 from the private sector. The $3.4 billion portfolio of investment commitments had a forecast lifetime investment yield of more than 5 per cent, chief executive Ian Learmonth revealed. The CEFC’s pipelines of investment has more than doubled since it began in 2014, reflecting the growth of interest in clean energy investment, coupled with a “broader understanding of the role of the CEFC in working with investors and project developers”, the company wrote in its annual report. Signalling the transition in the energy mix, future investments will include distributed energy, energy storage, improved grid transmission, network security and demand-response management. In general energy markets need new technologies and market design and bankable policies, said chief executive Ian Learmonth at a recent conference, reminding us the CEFC is “custodian of taxpayer dollars” and as such wants to avoid taking any unnecessary risks.

16 SUMMER 2017

“Over the next five years there will be greater investment in solar and wind as well as battery storage,” he said, citing Kidston’s pumped hydro plant that potentially will be ramped up to deliver 2000 MWh energy storage and already is touted the country’s most advanced large-scale

energy storage project. He believes the development of SolarReserve’s

technologies like Redback’s and that mean households and businesses

concentrated solar thermal plant at Port Augusta marks a “watershed

get the most benefit from these investments.

moment” in clean energy developments and puts CST on the map, but commented on the still relatively high cost of the technology.

“We want to see home and business energy management systems and battery storage solutions become commonplace in Australia, offered as

Looking further ahead, Learmonth believes the CEFC will gradually move

part of an integrated power solution that gives consumers more control

away from investment in solar and wind technologies as costs decline and

over their energy,” Learmonth said. “Better managing our individual energy

traditional financiers such as banks move in.

use is good for power costs, and it’s good for lowering carbon.”

Smart technology

$200 million program that supports the growth of innovative clean energy

CEFC recently announced a significant equity investment in Redback

technologies and businesses that are critical to Australia’s clean energy

Technologies, stating “Australia can lead the way in developing innovative


See page 35 for details on the CEFC’s Clean Energy Innovation Fund, a


PROVEN TECHNOLOGY The technology concentrates the sun’s energy onto a tower, heating up molten salt. This molten salt is stored and used to convert water into super-heated steam to power a turbine – the same process that is used at a coal or gas station except there are zero emissions and the fuel is clean, free and limitless. ENERGY SECURITY AND RELIABILITY

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Market moves OCTOBER SMALL-SCALE TECHNOLOGY CERTIFICATE CREATION reached an impressive 2.1 million, up 10 per cent on September levels and the highest level since December 2012, according to Green Energy Markets. Among the Solar Snapshot highlights, the weekly average for 2017 now stands at 405,000 – up from 398,000 recorded at the end of September – while the three-month weekly average is considerably higher at 469,000, which rose from the 437,000 at the end of September. The GEM report notes that in recent years STC creation has typically been higher in the second half of the year, so assuming the three-month net average is maintained for the remainder of this year the target will be exceeded by as much as 8.6 million certificates. Turning to specifics: STCs representing 15,736 solar PV systems and 106 MW of capacity were created in October, increases of 5 per cent and 10 per cent on September figures respectively. The data is a strong indictor of the popularity of solar systems and high levels of demand for installations across the nation.

Chromagen Australia increased its market share to 39 per cent in October, its highest representation this year and well above their year to date percentage of 32 per cent. Following a quiet month in September in which its market share fell to 3.3 per cent, Rinnai managed to significantly increase creation and secure 7.1 per cent market share in October. In other market news, 16 power stations were accredited during October, with a combined capacity of 2.99 MW.

Interestingly, October’s figures were boosted by the amount of STC creation in both Western Australia and Victoria, beating September numbers by 19 per cent and 10 per cent.

Hot water STCs representing 6,477 solar water heater systems were created in October which is an increase of 24 per cent on September figures.

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DISRUPTION! The fundamental transformation of the energy sector is well underway. Consumers are leaning towards storage systems that tick all the boxes: progressive and affordable technology that provides energy independence and reliability. All consumer surveys point toward widespread take up in the coming years, and clearly the enthusiasm at household level is matched by that of large-scale storage developments which are leapfrogging ahead on a scale never seen before. Among them is the $170 million hybrid renewables project at Kennedy Energy Park in North Queensland being developed by Windlab and Eurus Energy that combines 43.2 MW of wind with 15 MW of solar PV and a 4 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system supplied by Tesla. All the big developers are turning to storage, Downer’s Darren Docking states “the focus will be on storage and solar”; CWP’s Alex Hewitt says “The model for dispatchable renewables with storage is here and now,” and Meredith Anderson tells us storage will play a significant role in most upcoming Pacific Hydro projects. Right now the “world’s most powerful lithium ion battery” – Tesla’s 100 MW battery array that will store up to 129 MWh of electricity – is nearing completion in South Australia, but records are tumbling: under Gupta’s bold plan Zen Energy will deliver a 1 GW solar, pumped hydro and battery storage plant to power Whyalla’s steelworks. That announcement was eclipsed one week later when Irish based DP Energy signaled an expansion of the solar and storage capacity at the hybrid renewable energy park at Port Augusta to 1,075 MW. It’s a region that is undergoing profound transformation with the rise of Aurora, Solar Reserve’s 150 MW CSP solar tower and storage project that will deliver 1100 MWh/eight hours of storage or 500 GWh energy annually. Now the massive untapped potential of pumped hydro energy storage is also being recognised: more than 22,000 sites across Australia have been identified, each with storage ranging from 1 to 300 GWh; way more than enough to deliver the 450 GWh needed to support a 100 per cent renewable electricity system. Plans for GenexPower’s flagship 250 MW pumped storage hydro project at Kidston and the Phase Two 270 MW solar project are taking shape, as is EnergyAustralia’s proposed Cultana PHES project using seawater capable of producing 225 MW of electricity with storage capacity of 1,770 MWh or eight hours of storage. The time is now. As Energy Storage Council chief executive John Grimes says, “Batteries are very much in vogue”, and few would disagree. See page 36 for a list of significant storage projects.

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Silver members

Bronze members Amplitude Consultants Auspac Energy Technologies Aussie Off Grid Solar Energy Aztech International B&R Enclosures BALM Electrical Betta Batteries Cola Solar Crystal Solar Energy CSA Services DPA Solar Dynamic Solar Energy Smart Water

20 SUMMER 2017

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Battery storage estimates Australian battery storage installations

Storage surge <10 years: 50x battery storage capacity anticipated

2015: 500

By 2018: off-grid battery storage could be cost-competitive

2016: c.7000

50%: Number of Australian households predicted to adopt

Jan to June 2017: >

7000, c.55 MWh

To end 2017: >17,500 projected (annual total) To end 2017: >300

MWh 1 50 MWh residential 156 MWh large-scale volume

2018: Battery storage to grow by 170-250

per cent

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$24 billion c. 500 million: batteries in use in Australia in 2010, predominantly smaller batteries for handheld devices; 15 million conventional (lead-acid) car batteries;


7 million larger batteries

Global annual battery storage capacity estimates

Battery storage cost reductions (US$)

0.36 GW in 2014 to 14 GW in 2023 (utility scale)

Costs fell 14% on average every year 2007–2014

0.17 GW in 2014 to 12 GW in 2024 (res & commercial)

2007: $1,000/kWh

System payback A 5-8 kWh battery system < 12 years, dropping to

2014: $  410/kWh (average)

$300/kWh (market leaders) 2020: $200/kWh Source: P  owerful potential: Battery Storage for Renewable Energy and Electric Cars, Climate Council

8 years in 2020 6 years in 2030 10x by 2022: p rojected global growth of solar PV and battery storage market

Energy storage lithium-ion battery market: c. $239

Home batteries will hit 100,000 by 2020 and a million by 2030. By 2020, costs of battery technologies are expected to fall 40 to 60 per cent and over 70 per cent by 2030. Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg

billion between now and 2040


$400 billion in annual storage sales by 2030 Citibank

STORAGE NEWS and PRODUCT UPDATES PHES IS FRONT AND CENTRE OF THE RADAR: the ANU has identified more than 22,000 sites across Australia with potential for pumped hydro energy storage. Each site has storage potential ranging from of 1 to 300 GWh. Lead researcher Andrew Blakers believes Australia needs about 450 GWh of storage to support a 100 per cent renewable electricity system, and that just the top 0.1 per cent of those identified sites, if developed, would fulfil the order. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pumped hydro has a lifetime of 50 years, and is the lowest cost large-scale energy storage technology,â&#x20AC;? Professor Blakers said. The ARENA funded PHES atlas compiled through the Short Term Off-River pumped hydro Energy Storage (STORES) study located almost all the sites away from rivers, and all potential sites identified are outside of national parks and away from urban areas. As seen on the map, ideal locations include the eastern sections of NSW, ACT and Victoria and all of Tasmania outside national parks. In Queensland along the Great Dividing

Range within 200 kilometres of the coast, many in proximity of wind and PV farms under construction; in South Australia in the hills east of Port Pirie and Port Augusta; in Western Australia east of Kimberley, the Pilbara and the Southwest; and in the Northern Territory about 300 kilometres southsouth west of Darwin and further afield around Alice Springs.

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STORAGE NEWS and PRODUCT UPDATES LANDMARK ENERGY PROJECT: The $170 million 60 MW hybrid renewable Kennedy Energy Park in central north Queensland is under development by Windlab and Eurus Energy. The 15 MW solar, 43 MW wind, and 2 MW/4 MWh storage plant will connect to the local grid, providing electricity to communities more than 500 kilometres away, and during its lifetime will abate almost three million tonnes of carbon emissions. The CEFC has invested $94 million in the hybrid plant that is Australia’s first fully integrated wind, solar and battery project.

AN AUSTRALIAN-FIRST: A seawater pumped hydro project proposed for South Australia could get the green light, with an initial feasibility report finding no “show stoppers” to the development. EnergyAustralia, together with consortium partners Arup Group and Melbourne Energy Institute, said the 225 MW energy storage project at Cultana in the Spencer Gulf near Port Augusta could now proceed to the next stage which includes engineering design, planning approvals
and more detailed financial modelling. The project would be capable of producing 225 MW of electricity with around eight hours of storage. EnergyAustralia Managing Director Catherine Tanna said “It’s the equivalent of installing 126,000 home battery storage systems, but at a third of the cost … [and] we’re optimistic seawater pumped hydro can play an important role in a new, modern Australian energy system.” With construction expected to take around three years, a seawater pumped hydro project at Cultana could be operational and supporting the South Australian energy grid by 2022.

SECOND LIFE: Once EV batteries reach the end of their life and can no longer provide the driving range and acceleration required they nevertheless still retain up to 80 per cent of their storage capability and most batteries can still be charged and discharged a further 2000 times. With that in mind Melbourne start up Relectrify is launching ground-breaking technology that repurposes used batteries from electric vehicles for use as behind-the-meter household energy storage. Funding from the CEFC’s Clean Energy Innovation Fund will enable Relectrify to expand production and commercial trials on second life batteries, with the aim of becoming a global leader.

24 SUMMER 2017

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN STORAGE: Three quarters of people surveyed expect household batteries to become commonplace within the next decade, and more than half (55 per cent) expect large-scale batteries to be ubiquitous within the same timeframe. Also revealed in the ReachTEL survey commissioned by the Climate Council is that as many as 68 per cent of those who already have a rooftop solar system are considering adding a home battery. The general population appears to understand the key benefits of energy storage, saying batteries will render the energy system more efficient, reliable and cheaper. Just over half – 52 per cent – of those surveyed understand that large-scale energy storage enables wind and solar can provide power around the clock and on demand.

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Smooth operator Ecoult’s CSIRO developed UltraBattery that combines traditional lead-acid batteries with a super-capacitor for energy storage is an example of successful commercialisation. The technology can be found in several gridscale energy storage projects across the globe to help with solar and wind smoothing, energy shifting and frequency regulation services.

26 SUMMER 2017

ECOULT IS THE NAME behind several large-scale megawatt storage systems among them the King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project run by Hydro Tasmania. Equipped with 3 MW UltraBattery the storage system supplies around two thirds of the island’s energy needs, augmenting the existing diesel plant. On completion the microgrid housed Australia’s largest battery and set a global benchmark, which Ecoult’s chief executive John Wood is still proud to talk about. The achievement is however one of many for the company that was formed in 2007 by the CSIRO and manufactures the UltraBattery, and was acquired by the US-based East Penn Manufacturing Company Inc. in 2010. Winning tenders in the US is also pretty big news, and one of the most significant says John Wood is the Grid Energy Storage and PJM Interconnection in Pennsylvania. The 3 MW UBer™ (UltraBattery® Energy Resource) provides regulation services necessary to facilitate finetuning in real time for the network to match supply and demand and maintain a constant frequency.

Grid operator PJM is the largest of 10 regional transmission organisations and independent system operators in the US, so it does not get much better than that says Wood. “This is a very significant frequency regulation project too in that it’s a dual-purpose project involving customer power as well as a wholesaler.” He revealed the US Department of Energy recognised the merits of Ecoult technology which went on to secure two of 16 of major projects supported by the DoE.

Proven track record The UltraBattery had already been proven in New Mexico in the PNM utility’s ‘Prosperity’ Project Case Study to better manage the misalignment between PV output and utility distribution grid and system peaks; and better manage intermittency and the volatile ramp rates of renewable energy sources that cause voltage fluctuations. The UBer™ solar energy storage system provides 500 KW of power smoothing capability using UltraBattery®) and 250 kW/1 MWh of energy shifting capability and has the honour of being the first solar energy storage facility in the US fully integrated into

Ecoult chief executive John Wood a utility’s power grid, featuring one of the largest combinations of PV energy and solar panel battery storage in the US.

Securing projects and support Earlier this year Ecoult’s off-grid, diesel-saving power systems was selected by the Institute for Transformative Technologies as part of one of the most far-reaching and important energy projects in the world, bringing low-emissions power and energy storage to remote, rural communities in India under its rural electrification program. “Ecoult’s collaboration with telecos in Australia on microgrids has produced full return on capital in just one and a half years based on savings in diesel fuel. That benefit was recognised by India and helped us gain attention and recognition,” John Wood told Solar & Storage. In other developments Ecoult has formed a partnership with Exide, India’s largest battery manufacturer under which the battery will be manufactured and distributed in India and South Asia. “The news came at a similar time Ecoult was awarded $4.1 million in funding from the ARENA under its Advancing Renewables Program to support further development and innovation as we move to a renewables based economy,” Wood said. “The funding allows us to develop our solar battery monitoring and management systems and further improve UltraBattery technology.” “We have the CSIRO pedigree and great support from government through its Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies program,” said the self-described ‘lifelong technical entrepreneur’ who was impressed

by ARENA’s processes in weighing up the merits of projects and their technological prospects in its comprehensive review of applicants and board assessment. “The agency has built a superior program development as a consequence,” he said. Ecoult maintains offices in Sydney where most of the staff of 50 focus on plant monitoring and system control along with maintenance services based on engineering and data analytics support – “that’s the main skill set and we are good at that!” Given Ecoult’s strong reputation and global client base there’s no disputing that.


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BYD follows its dreams The current installed capacity of BYD (Build Your Dreams) energy storage systems exceeds 400 MWh globally, making it the world’s largest energy storage provider. On this page we look at recent developments and gain an update from the visiting Global Sales Director of BYD batteries Julia Chen.

BYD IS FORGING AHEAD with its four-pronged global agenda for sustainable development stepped out in its Four Green Dreams spanning monorails, electric buses, new energy and IT. The company’s expansion into global renewable energy markets now spans operations in more than 50 countries and regions, and Australia is regarded one of its key markets. Earlier this year BYD launched its lithium-iron B-Box Storage System in Australia. As readers of Solar & Storage are aware, the system comes in two versions: low-voltage B-Box LV and highvoltage B-Box HV, both of which are modular and scalable from 2.5 kWh to 442 kWh and aimed at the booming retrofit market. BYD recently exhibited its battery systems and

Overseas interest Julia Chen also revealed BYD’s plans to launch its high-voltage B-Box in the US later this year, targeting the east and west coast states and Hawaii where conventional electricity costs are high and grid constraints make storage applications attractive. Recently the world’s first installation of BYD’s high-voltage B-Box energy storage system was completed in Germany, where the nine battery modules brought the combined capacity to 11.52 KWh. The B-Box was named one of the Top 10 International Power Storage Systems in the EES (Electrical Energy Storage) Award 2017.

Soot-free buses

what it calls its containerised energy storage solutions, where we caught up with Global Sales Director of BYD Batteries Julia Chen who said the company was buoyed by the prospects of Australia’s renewable energy market. She believes BYD has tailored its energy storage portfolio to fulfil the requirements of on and off grid, single and three-phase for residential and commercial application and says the company is keen to maintain its foothold. “Since we launched here seven months ago we have worked to consolidate our presence by appointing key distributors around the country to give us good national coverage,” she said. “We have received strong interest from solar energy installers who are very attracted to our competitive product range.” So much so, she says as many as 1000 installers are now trained in BYD technologies across Australia.

Strength in numbers Since the February launch of the B-Box in Australia about 1500 units have been distributed. Sales compare well to the 3000 or so sold in Europe – predominantly the UK Italy

In other developments, BYD has joined a global effort determined to bring ‘Soot-Free’ buses to 20 major cities – including Sydney – by making it easier to purchase the range of eco-friendly zero-emissions pure electric buses designed to combat climate change and reduce toxic air pollution. Chances are if you have been on a bus at Sydney airport it was powered by a BYD battery. The Four Green Dreams continue to materialise: recently BYD secured a multi-milliondollar contract to supply 170 MW solar modules to US-based renewable energy project developer NextEra Energy for its utility scale project. The deal is BYD’s largest single solar module order in the North American marketplace, and could set a precedent for grater involvement in the region.

Spain France and Belgium – over three years. Chen restated BYD’s ambitions downunder saying they are aiming for a 20 per cent share of Australia’s battery storage market, and clarified that BYD is not just focused on retrofits. They also manufacture batteries that are suitable for first time solar users which can be scaled up from 81.92 to 441.6 kWh, making them suitable for the small commercial, schools and such uses as water pumps for government and irrigators.

28 SPRING SUMMER2017 2017

Established in 1995 as a battery producer BYD now employs 220,000 globally and has 30 industrial parks and production bases worldwide. Annual production capacity of solar power stands at about 1.4 GW across six continents.

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Battery market report SunWiz recently surveyed Australia’s storage market which revealed the rise in demand coupled with strong forecasts. Following are some of the main highlights presented by Warwick Johnston.

Key points • The battery market has grown substantially in the first half of 2017 (2017-H1). • Installation volumes during 2017-H1 were the same as all of 2016, suggesting a market doubling is locked in • This doubling occurred despite the relative absence of Tesla from 2017-H1 installations (while Tesla awaited the PowerWall2) • The market predicts the second half of 2017 (2017-H2) to grow by 50% upon 2017-H1 figures. This would lead to 2017 installations tallying 17,500, although SunWiz still believes the figure will exceed 20,000

Operational – storage projects map See Figure 1 on opposite page • Battery projects are spread across the country. Increasingly they are aligned with the location of solar farms that are being built to meet the Renewable Energy Target.

Key Projects

Price trends

Although most PV retailers are focussed upon residential and small-commercial storage installations, a series of major projects and rollout programs contribute to a sizeable portion of the historically installed capacity with a significant number of major projects announced in recent years. (See page 36.)

Prices were slashed by Tesla’s Powerwall2 announcements, however battery prices haven’t declined much in the past six months. • Prices have fallen since the start of the year, but only fractionally (about 5%). • In many cases the price fall has come from wholesalers, due to increased competition resulting in margin squeeze. • This price fall isn’t substantial enough to accelerate the market (i.e. won’t trigger massmarket uptake) (see Figure 2). • Some retail price points are shown in the chart which depicts the $/kWh versus the capacity. • The main trend is that larger batteries cost less per kWh (economies of scale). Financials: Financial return may not be the key driver for battery purchases, but it has improved due to skyrocketing electricity prices.

2017: A major year for storage projects (See Table 1) • Analysis of projects in the Australian Energy Storage Database shows that installation volume in 2017 has already matched that of 2016, and is set to dwarf it should the Kingfisher Project be commissioned before year’s end. Table 1: Operational battery projects

• Although the AESDB shows Kingfisher stage 2 as 100 MWh, Lyon’s website claims 20 MWh minimum, operational in 2017. • Add to this the 129,000 kWh Tesla installation in SA and you can expect more than 156 MWh of storage projects commissioned in 2017.

Best location for batteries Figure 3 illustrates the change in Payback on a new PV-storage system since February 2017. The chart is based upon SolarChoice analysis of SolarChoice data using PVsell. Note that 5 kW of PV is coupled to the LG Chem/AlphaESS options and 7 kW to the Tesla. The chart shows: • Payback is considerably quicker for a PV-storage now when compared to February in most locations. However, payback has worsened in some locations. • For a small battery, sub 10-year payback is achievable everywhere for a small battery, and paybacks can be as low as six years. • Larger batteries take longer to pay for themselves. • Adelaide and Brisbane have the quickest payback times. Canberra and Hobart have the worst payback times.

30 SUMMER 2017

to market, which should open up the Western Australian market • We also see an increasing amount of HV batteries, most notably from LG Chem. This opens up the number of compatible inverters. Service Offerings • Batteries are already moving from commodity to a service – e.g. Sonnen’s Flat. • Like Sonnen, products such as Redback Technologies can also control loads to optimise self-consumption and battery utilisation.

Figure 1

• This chart reflects the key driver of improved paybacks to be PV system, due to a stepincrease in electricity prices (which have happened everywhere; less so in Hobart) and an increase in feed-in tariff. The economics of battery-retrofit have likely worsened as a result of the smaller differential in value between import and export electricity.

first generation battery/inverters have had teething pains. • We also see more 3-phase inverters coming

Residential • Australia’s battery market is still an overwhelmingly residential market. We expect more utility-scale volume to occur in H2 than commercial installations – for example Tesla has only publicised the installation of one commercial system so far. Sizes • The average installed battery is increasing,

Channels • The channel classifications are quite distinct e.g. traditional sales through wholesalers and major retailers (LG Chem), versus those that sell direct to small retailers (Alpha-ESS) versus those that sell direct to end-customer (Tesla). • Channel strategies are evolving. LG Chem has increased the number of wholesalers, which has led to margin squeeze. • Wholesalers are looking for new products in order to avoid margin squeeze as their existing battery manufacturers add wholesale channels.

Figure 2

Product Approaches • We see a clear split in the market between batteries that are compatible with many inverters (e.g. LG Chem, Tesla PowerWall1) versus those that combine battery and inverter together (e.g. Sonnen, Enphase, Tesla PowerWall2). There is a trend for those batteries in the former category to become compatible with more inverters. • OEM – LG Chem are reportedly being integrated into offerings from a number of different companies, including SolaX. • We observe next-generation products apply the lessons learned from the first generation – which is typically an easier to install battery, and with fewer software glitches. Most

Figure 3

Solar & Storage 31

Market players guesstimates • The median market guesstimation was 5400 installations in H1-2017; the largest estimate was 8000 installations. • Most market guesstimations fall below the total of the claimed volumes of individual surveyed manufacturers, which indicates the degree of market opaqueness. • Growth is expected in H2 - expectations on total market volume in H2 are anywhere from 1.25x – 2x the first-half installations. • Companies are confident (or hopeful): Most companies believe they will grow significantly more in H2 than they believe the overall market will grow. • Some supply constraints have applied in H1 and will continue to apply to a lesser degree in H2. Figure 4 likely because consumers’ expectations are set by the PowerWall2, and larger batteries offer superior $/kWh. Despite this the economics of small batteries remain superior (not that payback is the key driver for early adopters). Affordability is also a consideration – particularly as consumers are hesitant to lock in $10k+ into a technology in its infancy. More new than retrofit • PV retailers are increasingly selling more new PV & storage than they are retrofitting storage to existing PV (which can be a messy process). New homes • A handful of companies (such as CSR) are selling large volumes through new-build housing developments.

Volumes This assessment primarily applies to grid-connect batteries, though some (non lead-acid) off-grid installations are included in the data.

32 SUMMER 2017

• Manufacturers: at least 7084 sales to wholesalers and direct, though this figure doesn’t include sales from all manufacturers, based on data from ~10 manufacturers • Wholesalers: at least 2000 installations (from four wholesalers) • Projects: No major projects commissioned • Survey: a median guess of 5400 installations SunWiz reckons there have been 7000 installations totalling 55 MWh (see Figure 4).

Leading states (See map in Figure 5) • Based upon estimates provided by key battery manufacturers, it appears NSW was the leading state for battery installations in 2017-H1 and Queensland wasn’t far behind, followed by Victoria, ACT and SA.

Figure 6

Forecasts (See Figure 6) • The market is reporting expectations of substantial growth to come in H2-2017, and further growth in 2018. • Summing each individual manufacturer’s expectation for their own shipments in 2017H2 tallies to 250% growth in H2 and a tally of 25,000 installations in calendar 2017. • The market guesstimates have been shown to be inaccurate in quantum, but their relative size is of interest. The guestimates for 2017 and for 2018 demonstrate growth in the range of 170%-250% next year. • We predict that H2-2017 will see 12,000 installations, bringing the 2017 tally to 19,000. We predict 300 MWh will be deployed: 150 MWh of residential installations in 2017 plus 156 MWh of large- scale volume. Reported & Forecast battery installations: 2015-2017 • G  rowth is constrained by factors including:

Manufacturers Although many manufacturers shared their volumes, it was typically on the condition of anonymity. • Overall there were at least 7084 sales in 2017- H1 by battery manufacturers to wholesalers or direct to the end-consumer, tallying 55 MWh. • Though manufacturers claims cannot be accurately verified and could be inflated, we did not interview all manufacturers so the figure could also be higher.

Installation tally – what interviewees say

 . Price hasn’t fallen far enough for 1 this to be a mass-market deployment curve.  . Supply constraints are expected in 2 H2 for a number of manufacturers. These constraints will ease in 2018.

Figure 5

Abridged version of the report trimmed to fit these pages.

STORAGE NEWS and PRODUCT UPDATES LG CHEM is supplying energy storage systems for four solar plants run by Power Development Corporation of Japan in a deal worth US$272.7 million/A$354.75 million. Each of the storage systems comes with a daily capacity of 31 MW. Japan is ramping up large-scale storage systems for stable power supply as it pursues a mix of renewable energy in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis. Chief executive of LG Chem Kwon Young-su says he also hopes “to clinch other battery deals in North America and Europe”.

CHUNKY MOVER: A Swiss consortium is constructing the world’s largest electric vehicle which is destined for ‘hard labour’ in cement quarries. The diesel powered Komatsu dumper truck makeover will include a 4.5 ton battery pack: 1,440 nickel manganese cobalt cells providing 700 kWh of storage capacity, the same as eight Tesla Model S EVs. Instead of heating up the brakes during the quarry descent, the gigantic electric engine acts like a generator recharging the battery pack at the rate of 40 kWh during a single descent. The truck weighs in at 45 tons when empty and has a loading capacity of 65 tons. Lots of grunt, as a motoring journo would say.

POWERING AHEAD: Redflow has installed its largest residential ZCell zinc-bromine flow energy storage system to date: a six-battery, 60 kWh system in an off-grid location in Queensland. Other noteworthy events for Redflow include a 14-battery ZBM2 deployment at a factory in South Africa; two sales, worth US$600,000 each to New Zealand-based Hitech Solutions for a major communications network in a Pacific Island nation; and a dual-battery ZCell residential off-grid installation in Victoria. The company is also on track to commence manufacturing operations at its new factory in Thailand by the end of this year.

Fastest Growing

Australia’s Electrical,, Engineering,, Finance and Procurement Wholesaler.

Solar & Storage 33

Forward-ho for Redback Redback Technologies is poised to turbocharge developments on the back of a significant injection of funds. Here we catch up with Redback’s James Miller Randle about what we can expect from the company in the near future.

THE CLEAN ENERGY INNOVATION FUND is on the lookout for worthy business cases and found one in Redback Technologies which just two and a half years ago made its mark in the clean energy revolution. With an investment of $8.99 million – $6.42 from the CEIF and a $2.57 million from Right Click Capital – Redback can further develop its next generation energy intelligence platform and devices, says company founder Phil Livingston. “This will further cement our vision to ensure Australian households and businesses are entirely powered by renewables.” The vision sits well with the CEIF which regards the growth of innovative clean energy technologies and businesses as critical to Australia’s clean energy transformation. Importantly, the funding enables Redback to hire up to 35 additional staff – predominantly software developers – to help drive the next stage of growth. Much of the focus will be in areas of data science and software, newly appointed chief marketing officer James Miller Randle told Solar & Storage. “Over the next 24 months we will be enhancing our

software platforms so they become smarter and more capable. That’s where the growth is. “The funding is a strong endorsement of our technology and it gives us the resource base to make the step change as we look to create the software development platform.” James Miller Randle has been charged with the multi-tasks of overseeing internal and external marketing communications, product development management, pricing, business development and national market expansion. Quite a portfolio for the ex-EnergyAustralia marketing specialist, who aspires to expand Redback’s market reach while improving the customer experience. And in the case of smart energy, the less effort exerted by the customer, the better. “We will improve the system’s prediction and optimisation technology that forecasts 48 hours ahead in individual homes, anticipating customer use and weighing up system operation including battery charge and discharge to deliver a better and faster return on investment for the customer,” he explained. “Redback’s ‘set and forget’ programs deliver the best outcome for customers in terms of performance and payback.

“Customers just want things that work, systems they can literally just set and then forget about, safe in the knowledge that the best results will be delivered.”

34 SUMMER 2017

Clean energy transformation Accessing the Innovation Fund

The Redback mission: to deliver innovative smart software and hardware technologies to optimise the generation, storage and management of solar energy for households and businesses. “Customers just want things that work, systems they can literally just set and then forget about, safe in the knowledge that the best results will be delivered.”

Strong endorsements Speaking about the CEIF investment in Redback, CEFC chief executive Ian Learmonth said: “We want to see home and business energy management systems and battery storage solutions become commonplace in Australia, offered as part of an integrated power solution that gives consumers more control over their energy. Better managing our individual energy use is good for power costs, and it’s good for lowering carbon. “We can lead the way in developing innovative technologies like Redback’s that mean households and businesses get the most benefit from these investments.” Right Click Capital Partner Benjamin Chong commented: “The inherent inefficiencies within the energy sector in Australia makes it ripe for disruption [and] Redback Technologies is uniquely positioned to seize this opportunity … [with] its ability to leverage technology to provide intelligent energy management solutions for households and businesses in Australia and beyond.”

Reaching out News of the CEIF injection follows the $9.3 million investment by EnergyAustralia back in October 2016 which enables the retailer to offer Redback’s Generation 2 Smart Hybrid

• The Clean Energy Innovation Fund is a $200 million program that supports the growth of innovative clean energy technologies and businesses which are critical to Australia’s clean energy transformation. • The Fund targets technologies and businesses that have passed beyond the research and development stage, and which can benefit from early stage seed or growth capital to help them progress to the next stage of their development. • In consultation with ARENA the Innovation Fund uses CEFC finance to invest in innovative clean energy companies and projects. It can provide debt and/or equity finance for innovative clean energy projects and businesses which support renewables, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies. • CEIF has invested in Relectrify, Wattwatchers, Greensync and Carbon revolution, among others.

How to secure finance

its energy monitoring management

The Innovation Fund considers clearly documented applications for investment in new and innovative opportunities that are commercially viable and where there is a demonstrable pathway to the return of capital. The Innovation Fund does not provide grants. In order to help evaluate proposal, the CEIF calls on applicants to provide: • A business case, including a developed financial model, market and customer validation, and commercially viable returns • An outline of the intended use of funds and a reasonable assessment of future funding that will be required • A team with a track record of delivery and supporting references • Independent technology or engineering validation, if available • Details of who else has debt or equity in the venture and the funds expected from the CEFC • An outline of the risks facing the venture and how they will be mitigated • Exit strategy; and • Environmental benefits.

capabilities in Dubai. Miller Randle’s 2018

Proposals can be emailed to:

diary also lists a trip to Asia to assess

Note: Start-ups or pre-revenue technology companies can consider applying to Australia’s accelerator programs, which provide mentoring, networks and seed capital opportunities to new innovative companies.

System to its 1.7 million customers along the East coast. “We would love to see Redback technology of some sort in every home – that is what we are driving for, Miller Randle said. “And over time we will see the Redback software intelligence suite appearing on more and more devices.” He reminded us that the company was only founded in mid 2015 and at that stage had just three employees. The payroll has since risen to 55 but under the latest funding boost staff numbers could swell to 90. The company is also expanding into overseas markets by participating in a virtual power plant project in New Zealand that caters for homes in earthquake-prone zones. And next year Redback is heading to the Middle East to conduct trials of

opportunities for gaining a foothold in the region. All stops are out for the company determined to make a difference.

Solar & Storage 35

Large-scale storage projects underway A large number of projects were announced during the first half of 2017, among them:

36 SUMMER 2017

• SA announces plan for next generation renewables: incl firming, bulk energy storage. $130m available • Electranet to build 30 MW ($30m) battery by AGL’s 91 MW Wattle Point Wind Farm in SA, will lease operation to retailer • Woodside Petroleum to install 1 MWh ABB battery in NW-Shelf’s Goodwyn platform off West Australian coast • Daly River Nauiyu community installs 2 MW Lithium ion battery (+1 MW PV) - ARENA funded • Construction commences on Carnegie Clean Energy’s Garden Island Microgrid: 2 MW of PV + 2 MW/0.5 MWh of storage • Tesla wins SA battery tender: 100 MW/129 MWh at Neoen’s Horsdale wind farm • With support from ARENA, WA mining company @SandfireResNL installed a hybrid solar/battery system • Vector/LG Chem win 5 MW/3.3 MWh battery storage tender for Alice Springs, 4 year payback! Install complete 2017

• Lyon plans 250 MW PV+80 MW/160 MWh for VIC, 330 MW PV+100 MW/400 MWh for SA, 55 MW PV+20 MW/80 MWh QLD project: 2017 start • Endeavour Energy Microgrid Trial: 200 houses with PV &amp; centralised storage to return ownership &amp; operation to locals • Australia’s biggest battery system (2.6 MWh/1.6 MW) delivered to WA astronomy hub MRO by Carnegie/EMC • Victoria seeks 2x20 MW batteries (total 100 MWh) in west Victoria to be installed by January. • NT looking at 5 MW • Lyon Group and Downer will build 330 MW PV+100 MW/400 MWh battery, operational in December. • Horizon Power to install 2 MWh battery at Mungallah gas power station in Carnarvon • Magellan utility scale battery 1 MW/500 kWh to be used in Onslow microgrid DeGrussa copper mine Material supplied by Warwick Johnston of SunWiz in the Battery Storage Report.


SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre goes solar Solar Depot can lay claim to one of the largest installations undertaken on a sporting infrastructure in the Southern Hemisphere.

38 SUMMER 2017

EARLIER THIS YEAR, South Australian company Solar Depot won a tender to install 512 kW of solar at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre (SAALC) at Marion. Taking more than three months to complete, the project involved 1600 320 W panels and 16 inverters. The install proved highly challenging due to the style of roofing material and the curved sections that required additional safety measures to complete. However as Solar Depot General Manager Scott Limbert pointed out, the 14-year-old company has clocked up years experience in commercial projects of this size and complexity. It is expected that the installation of the solar panels will aid SAALC’s energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. In addition, the system will: • Produce 702,000 kWh of energy each year

• Save the equivalent of 192,000 litres of fuel each year • Offset 442 tonnes of carbon annually Adam Luscombe, SAALC General Manager commented “The installation of the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre’s solar capacity will have tremendous benefit to the Centre. “Facility investment in appropriate infrastructure and the implementation of strategies to use utilities efficiently and reduce the associated costs is key.” He added that the project “illustrates the SA Government’s investment in keeping this facility world class.” The project was undertaken for the Centre in partnership with SA’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and Office for Recreation and Sport.

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Shakra Energy was the successful developer for the 6MW venture, spreading over the territory double size of the MCG. Mr. Sam Khalil of Shakra Energy has been developing renewable energy projects across Australia for the past 8 years. Sam is now working very closely with Mr. Anthony Aucone from NextGen NRG to roll out off-grid systems utilizing their MPS units (Mini Power Systems) together with battery supply globally.

Three Phase from 25kW Up to 1 Megawatt NextGen NRG is an Australia based power provider who specializes in commercial products. The MPS is a groundbreaking system that permits up to three natural inputs (solar, wind and hydro) simultaneously, with a single inverter. It is manufactured in sizes up to 1 MEGAWATT.














Analyse that Solar Analytics is capitalising on the widely accepted wisdom that homeowners want control of their energy systems and bills yet they don’t want or need to understand the underlying technology. “Just that it works the best it can.”

STEFAN JARNASON chaired a popular panel session

solar PV systems. That means hands-off for solar

at a recent conference where he stated the solar

customers, just the way they want it.

industry is populated “by people like myself who

But for those with a taste for tech specs: the

have been in the industry for 20 years and who

analytics platform uses patented algorithms and

understand the industry backwards … yet the

machine learning to analyse energy generation, local

average person spends just nine minutes a year

weather and on-site energy consumption to detect

thinking about their electricity bill”.

and diagnose faults, failures or underperformance

Just. Nine. Minutes. Well OK perhaps greater scrutiny of household power consumption has

for analysis as to whether the solar system is

related hitting headline news bulletins on a daily

performing as it should be by comparing output

basis but the fact remains homeowners are not

to solar radiation data. It also displays overall costs

overly enthralled by technicalities.

and savings, provided electricity plan details are

solar systems is that people don’t want to spend a

40 SUMMER 2017

Data is then sent via 3G to the user dashboard

occurred in recent weeks due to all things energy

“The big issue with electricity and household

Pictured below: World-leading solar experts John Laird, Renate Egan, Stefan Jarnason and Valantis Vais teamed up in 2013 to co-found Solar Analytics. Today the company provides solar monitoring for more than 15,000 solar households across Australia and has recently entered the New Zealand and US markets.

and provide real-time alerts and insights.

uploaded. All solar owners need do is check incoming advice

lot of time thinking about it, they just want it to be

communicated from Solar Analytics about system

reliable and to be made easy for them,” Stefan says.

performance. And it appears that more than half

“So we in the industry need to remove the geek

of all systems are not up to scratch: according to

factor – we need to consider how to best service

Ausgrid data as many as 51.8 per cent of solar


systems fail to perform at full capacity.

Cue Redfern-based Solar Analytics, which readers of Solar & Storage will know is the cloud based

Hot spots

monitoring service that provides performance

With analysis comes insights and Stefan Jarnason

monitoring and fault diagnosis of residential

lists the top five most common faults:

Inverter failure is the most common fault, and failure can be due to a number of factors such as tripping out due to faults in the inverter itself, or not tracking properly or due to loss of a string (from the solar array). But the most common is the inverter just stops working altogether, and that very much depends on the quality of the system. High quality inverters may fail just twice a year whereas cheaper or low quality systems notch up a 20-40 per cent failure rate. Earth leakage is another common fault. Moisture ingress in panels or the junction box causes a short and the inverter shuts down. Eventually the system dries out and resistance is restored to high and the inverter kicks in again. Shading from trees builds up over time and limits solar penetration. Grid issues: If the grid is out of specification in frequency or voltage then the inverter will shut down - in many cases even the utilities are unaware when the grid is out of spec, they have no idea until told.

Solar servicing Owners of residential and commercial solar systems need to receive “compelling insights” to increase the value of their solar power system, and most important is the need for regular servicing to ensure best performance so that undiagnosed faults do not limit solar generation. However just 80,000 or so of the 1.7 million homes across Australia subscribe to some sort of solar energy monitoring services and are unaware of the extent of performance loss. Other hurdles exist. Whereas notifications of sub-optimal system performance are communicated direct to customers or the seller of solar system or the installer, remedial action is not always guaranteed. “Installers don’t necessarily have an incentive to advise solar owners about problems because they are obligated under the warranty to pay for the fix, and they are not highly motivated to do so,” Stefan says, emphasising at this point the importance of choosing a reputable installer.

Solar Analytics customer base More than nine in ten customers of Solar Analytics own their own home. Retirees are biggest single group (“they care more and have the time and inclination to do something”) Other big users are median and lower income households: studies show large country centres and outer suburbs with below average incomes are well represented. The group that is least well represented is the upper middle class or wealthy, with most studies showing a similar pattern. The biggest single compelling reason for solar and storage is grid independence. “People don’t like the utilities, that is what our 323 resellers tell us. “And they don’t like the constantly rising utility bills, they want to feel independent and in control,” Stefan Jarnason said. In the context of control, ironically greater independence coupled with greater reliability is achieved by outsourcing those services. But it’s an affordable luxury given the savings which Solar Analytics calculates in the region of $270 per household a year based on costs versus system output.

Hawaii-12-O: Peer to peer trading Solar Analytics was just one of a dozen successfully selected from a field of 450 candidates – and only one of two located outside North America – for peer-to-peer power trading in the Asia-Pacific. They will team up with Hawaiian based accelerator Elemental Excelerator to develop the shared electricity trading platform that will enable solar owners to connect with non-solar owners to provide affordable solar electricity to households and community groups. Solar Analytics will receive up to US$1 million to implement their project, following successful trials conducted in Australia. “The Elemental Excelerator program provides Solar Analytics with a remarkable opportunity to take advantage of the high energy awareness in Australia and Hawaii, to develop and launch a platform that will increase solar uptake and improve electricity options for local communities,” said Solar Analytics co-founder and Director, Dr Renate Egan. “Our intent is to provide the benefits of solar to those who can’t put solar on their roof, providing greater options and visibility for their decisions around energy and lowering their electricity costs. “With Solar Analytics customers can export almost half of their solar electricity, that’s a lot of potential shared energy.” Australian solar tech company Allume has been chosen as one of five companies in the go-to-market track of the accelerator, receiving up to $75,000 in funding for solar sharing for multi-family dwellings.

Solar & Storage 41


Smart Energy Training … tailored by and for the industry LIGHTS! CAMERAS! ACTION! Well more like Batteries! Inverters! Wires and switches! These are the basic ingredients of the courses run by the Smart Energy Training Centre (SETC) which is now in full swing and sporting a full calendar of events. Training courses in formal qualification in battery design and installation were staged during early November in Queensland and Victoria featuring hands-on practical courses using leading battery systems. In South Australia the similarly themed installation course takes place from Monday 27 November to Friday 1 December. In Victoria it will be held again from Tuesday November 28. For an update on course dates visit Recapping the origins of the newly formed training organisation: it is the collaboration between the Australian Solar Council and Energy Storage Council with leading training providers Green Business Audit & Training, Future Skills and SolarQuip. Each of the carefully selected, highly skilled training providers is presenting nationally recognised accredited courses along with professional development and certificate courses that ensure the delivery of quality South Australian based Steve Kostoff and Caz Saunders from Solar Training Centre, Green Business Audit & Training explained their decade old venture is an award-winning RTO. “It is the culmination of a philosophy for social, environmental and technological change with the solar industry as the vehicle, in the bid to see a solar system on every roof” said Steve who has been part of Al Gore’s Climate Change movement since get-go, and as an environmentalist is proud to facilitate the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. “We must educate millions but we must still teach the basics despite ever-changing technological advances. In solar and energy storage training we must still teach the maths, the design elements, the install

standards across the sector. Each is mindful of the development and reputation of the sector.

Insights from SETC trainers Chief Executive of Brisbane based Future Skills, Victoria Zhou says: “We have been involved in the industry sector since 2009 and have trained more than 5000 people so our name is well known among stakeholders, now with the Smart Energy Training Centre we are delivering a united, nationally consistent approach. “As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), Future Skills is very proud to take the initiative in early 2017 to deliver accredited training of design, install battery storage systems for grid connected PV systems. “We have already trained almost 200 PV installers – solar technology is of course highly topical and we hear lots of discussion around PV. Now more and more battery storage is coming on board. “We say there is a gap, a need for product knowledge and battery installer skills that guarantee safety and customer awareness, so we have techniques…even basic customer service!” Steve is a solar trailblazer, and industry pioneer. He first sighted a solar system in 1977, then priced at a whopping $50,000 for 1 kW. “We were just kids, fascinated by what we had before us … plastics and glass that could make electricity from the sun! But there were sceptics, some said ‘it would never work, never take off’. But I and others were more optimistic and one thing I know today is – IT IS UNSTOPPABLE! “A solar system on every roof – that is unstoppable. Together with the Smart Energy Training Centre, we will do our part to make that happen.” Steve added that he was honoured to partner the Smart Energy Training Centre.

Steve Kostoff and Caz Saunders from Solar Training Centre, Green Business Audit & Training, together with Glen Morris of SolarQuip

42 SUMMER 2017

Victoria Zhou and Blair Brown of FutureSkills in Brisbane focused on technical specifications and earlier this year our two storage training models were endorsed. “Although battery training/certification is not yet mandatory, those who want to gain an advantage and get ahead of the game are signing up for storage training courses. In the scheme of things battery storage is new – there is a steep learning curve and we, in joining forces under the SETC banner, are here to help pass on knowledge and build up industry skills”. Glen Morris of Victorian based SolarQuip is also well-known in solar industry circles having conducted hundreds of courses for installers in recent years. Most of it is presented at his purpose-built technical training facilities east of Melbourne where Glen stocks all the latest equipment – batteries and inverters, smart energy systems – for hands-on courses. He’s also a regular on ASC and ESC roadshows and at the annual conference where he has been on the podium in front of a packed, standing only audience, such is the thirst for knowledge. Glen is a natural fit as a partner in the SETC and as Vice-President of the Solar Council he played a prominent role instigating the development of the SETC.

Turning to market dynamics: During 2016 it is estimated 9,900 were employed directly and indirectly in the Australian solar sector. That is just the start, the industry could accommodate 20,000 jobs by 2020, others suggest 30,000 or as many as 35,500 by 2020. Watch this space.

FAQs •  Where can I source more information? •  What will courses cover? All solar and energy storage segments will be covered in the training: system design, installation, maintenance, auditing and assessment, health and safety in grid connect and off-grid, domestic, commercial and industrial applications. • How will training be delivered? Mostly hands-on, students will have access to the best resources and purpose-designed training facilities featuring state-of-the-art technology from top manufacturers. •  How often will courses run? When reaching full-capacity (registration) regular training courses will be staged at venues in all states. • Do you run storage training on all technologies? Yes, and most if not all major brands are available for hands-on training. •  Will you be running courses in Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Darwin and Tasmania? Yes, please stay tuned for announcements. •  What about regional Australia? Online courses will also be offered, enabling those located further afield to take advantage of the SETC’s premium training program. • How can I enrol? Additional aspects: • SETC co-exists with the current ASC Master Installer program and CPD training. • ASC Master Installers can undertake the current courses and earn CPD points through online training modules and by participating in ASC/ESC events. • Current CPD courses delivered by ASC/ESC through online training and events such as Road Shows and the Smart Energy Conference complement the SETC. • Tailor-made: Industry manufacturers are encouraged to join forces with SETC trainers to develop product-focused or custom training.

Solar & Storage 43


It’s Time for more solar energy in Fiji WE LIKE TO KEEP UP with developments driven by philanthropist Rob Edwards who is mustering all the forces – products, supplies, support – to deliver solar installations at schools in remote Pacific Islands. More solar systems mean fewer diesel emissions and in turn a much improved education for local students, which is exactly what Rob has set out to achieve in as many schools as possible in the region. As he explains: “Many island schools struggle with no electricity supply – or rely on dirty diesel generators they can barely afford to run a couple of hours per day. The kids have little or no chance of a modern education. It’s Time Foundation provides clean, free energy for lighting and computers and utterly transforms the education and prospects for these kids. It can mean the start of computer education at the school. And the money saved on generator fuel creates decades of cash flow to buy the computers. What a neat way to do reduce our carbon dioxide emissions.” The work of It’s Time, says Rob who is a professional motivational speaker, could not be carried out without the support delivered by a loyal team of sponsors, among them Clenergy, Yingli and SMA. Between them they have successfully installed as many as 18 solar systems at schools in Fiji. As the sunny smiles in the images on this page illustrate, the recipients could not be happier. Ever the optimist, Rob’s website banner states ’18 schools so far, 250 to go – we’ll get there.” That said, Rob and his team of faithful volunteers have suffered some major setbacks along the way: a cyclone ripped apart several systems and flattened schools, and at one stage there was an equipment recall which presented a set back in developments. But Rob always bounces back and says without the heavy dose of resilience programmed into his DNA he’d have found it much tougher to

Solar powered schools, happy students

44 SUMMER 2017

Catherine Von Burg of SimpliPhi with Richard Barker of DPA Solar move ahead and rectify the damage at what looked like bomb sites, such was the destructive force of Cyclone Winston.

No looking back We are pleased to report that It’s Time Foundation is now looking upwards and onwards and has gained some significant new sponsors, among them battery giant SimpliPhi, DPA Solar and Macquarie Bank. “This shows what can come out of a meeting with the Solar Council, what a chat can lead to” Rob said. “The ASC invited me and my main volunteer Maja Gajic to present an address about our work in the Pacific. After that meeting we chatted to Richard Barker of DPA Solar who later introduced us to SimpliPhi.

“SimpliPhi have since very kindly donated six lithium-ion batteries for use in Fijian stand-alone solar PV installations. Chief executive Catherine Von Burg has also pledged to recruit a fundraiser to support It’s Time projects.” Rob says SimpliPhi’s corporate campaign soon kicks off, along with another significant fund raising development, this time involving Macquarie Bank. All connections help, he says. “The Solar Council’s John Grimes told us he admired the work of It’s Time and expressed his support. That resulted in the Solar Council sponsoring our stand at the Solar and Storage Expo in May which led to some great introductions. We got chatting to representatives from Macquarie Bank who were impressed by our drive to help others and develop renewables in the Pacific and who will soon be fund raising for It’s Time.” It’s a wonderful endorsement for Rob who many would agree deserves all the support he can get. These latest pledges that promise considerable backing for his efforts in the Pacific have done much to bolster spirits and will undoubtedly produce life changing outcomes for many more students and their communities.

Tropical holiday up for grabs In other news, Fiji’s Blue Lagoon Beach Resort has donated a holiday to help build awareness of the work of It’s Time. The holiday for two includes five days island accommodation (Beachfront Villa), flights, meals and transfers. The draw is open to everyone, visit

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Got something unique and interesting to share with industry? Smart Energy 2018: Call for Abstracts THIS YEAR we are reaching out to the industry. The Australian Solar Council and the Energy Storage Council are seeking presentation abstracts for the conference on a range of topics. We are looking for interesting and unique material to share with the industry. Please submit your abstract – a short and punchy presentation with visuals, rather than a sales pitch – for a presentation lasting between 10 and 15 minutes at the Smart Energy Conference & Exhibition. Visit the conference website for the topics, abstract submission guidelines and the template. Abstracts must be submitted by completing the abstract submission template and emailed to Sona at by Friday 8 December 2017.

Important dates to note: • Call for papers closes – Friday 8 December 2017 • Review process – 29 November to 8 December 2017 • Author notifications – Tuesday 12 December 2017

Australia’s largest solar, smart energy and storage exhibition 10 – 11 April 2018 46 SUMMER 2017

Smart energy and mergers Smart energy technology is considered by many energy companies and investors around the world as the key to making sense of the seismic shift in electricity distribution and supply as well as consumer demand. Research by international law firm Pinsent Masons indicates company changes are also underway in response to market dynamics.

THE ENERGY SECTOR is on the cusp of unprecedented change, with nine in ten energy companies actively seeking smart energy “boltons” to steer, store and aggregate disparate sources of power. The transformation is in response to the race to find the best technological innovations and secure the best expertise to boost competitive advantage, according to Pinsent Masons in its report Hungry for Change. In terms of financial attractiveness for making smart energy investments Australia and New Zealand come joint fifth after the Nordic countries, South Asia, North America and ASEAN, beating six other regions, including South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Australia and New Zealand are also rated fifth out of 12 for offering high growth potential for smart energy technology and R&D.

Seismic shift Energy partner at Pinsent Masons Australia Anthony Arrow said energy companies are grappling with the seismic shift in energy markets and consumption patterns with widespread distribution and supply market innovation forcing utilities to diversify and adapt their business model. “The rise in renewables has exposed weaknesses in power grids dominated by a small number of large power stations. Tech-based green energy – with large numbers of small generators – turns that century-old model upside down, creating new cycles of supply due to the intermittent nature of green power,” he said.

“Key players on both sides of the energy divide understand something needs to shift. Indeed they are hungry for change as they seek to keep up with the evolving behaviour of consumer energy consumption, shifting government policy (albeit slow) and endeavour to improve security of supply.” The findings show investors and energy companies prioritising smart meters, new methods of harnessing surplus power and in-house development of data analytics technology within the next two years, while cloud management systems and virtual power plants will see a surge of investment in six years.

New energy In Australia, energy shortages and complications phasing out coal in South Australia are examples of the complexities associated with introducing new sources of energy to the grid. “With Tesla and Neoen’s large scale battery storage expected to act as a catalyst for the necessary transformation towards Australia’s renewable energy future, the transition to a low carbon economy is gathering momentum,” Arrow says. “This presents significant opportunities for energy service companies as we move towards and into the 2020s. “Complacency is not an option as action must be taken now to avoid Australia being left behind in the renewable energy revolution. “Importantly, among those surveyed, legislation and policy were identified as key factors for investment decisions and … uncertain policies could significantly hinder future investment prospects

“Cloud management systems and virtual power plants will see a surge of investment in six years.”

related to smart energy technology. Cloud-based management and virtual power plants are high on the agenda but this is the destination not the starting point. When it comes to renewable energy, Australia is still a relatively young market, so the ground work must be laid with investment into smart meters, battery storage and data analytics to build a sustainable, resilient and profitable energy industry of the future,” Arrow says. The Pinsent Masons survey makes it clear that energy companies and investors are hungry to innovate and what is needed now is regulatory innovation to help satisfy that hunger and take smart energy to the next level. As a result, governments around the world have far more work to do in creating stable and predictable regulatory landscapes for investment,

Anthony Arrow of Pinsent Masons says the smart energy revolution will trigger significant levels of acquisition and joint ventures around the world

particularly as it will ultimately be the public who will foot the bill for energy transformation.

Solar & Storage 47


Welcome to Team Solar newcomers The Solar Council and Energy Storage Council are pleased to welcome some new faces to the team. Here we introduce them.

Scott Young – Membership Sales

Sona Swindley – Senior Events Manager

Scott is managing all aspects of membership sales and administration, he will also be collaborating with Sales Manager Brett Thompson. Contact scott@ 0467 672 292 Scott is well versed in providing large and small organisations with information, research and marketing tools that help them make smart decisions, also in identifying and reaching their target markets with messages that worked. His goal in his new role is to communicate the extent of work the Australian Solar Council does on behalf of members, along with the value this represents, while maintaining and growing the membership. He said “I have always had an interest in solar and renewables from way back when I enjoyed travelling through many spectacular environments as a backpacker, appreciating how we need to look after our fragile planet and how much energy is around us all the time without the need to dig it up or burn it!” Being a homeowner in NSW Scott took advantage of the 60c tariff and installed a 5.6 kW system which he says has provided “a fantastic return even with the somewhat crazy prices we paid back in 2011!”

Sona will be overseeing the Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition and all other Solar and Energy Storage Council events throughout the year. Contact 0432 349 250 Sona is an event management and marketing professional who has worked in the industry for more than two decades and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in event management gained in Australia and overseas. Some of the large-scale city events in which Sona has been involved include the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (approximately 15,000 delegates), Asian Games (approximately 15,000 visitors and participants), and World Youth Day (400,000 visitors). Recently Sona has worked with associations and organisations in the marine, legal, education, research, science, government and medical fields specialising in the strategic direction and management of their national conferences and events. In these roles she focused on marketing, content and profitability and overall project management. Leveraging her qualifications and experience, Sona is now teaching event management in the vocational and higher education sector and incorporates best practices into her everyday work. Being a mother of two young children, Sona is passionate about making this a cleaner and better world for her girls and is committed to working with members and partners in achieving their objectives through targeted events. Sona added that she looks forward to hearing from you at with any ideas you may have about events that will benefit the industry.

Sarah Samsara – Office Manager, Canberra

Cathryn Blair – Marketing & Communications Consultant Cathryn commenced work with the Councils in June this year and has since been focusing primarily on the development of the Smart Energy Training Centre. Contact 0439 294 993 Among previous roles Cathryn was marketing manager for Clipsal.

48 SUMMER 2017

For more information see pages 15 & 46 VISIT


In her role Sarah is managing most of the daily office and administration tasks previously carried out by Anna Washington, including phone line assistance with roadshows and summit registrants. Contact 0455 522 135 Sarah comes from a background in not-for-profit and education and has a strong interest in renewable energy, music and the visual arts. As the new Office Manager, she is eager to get to know members and partners and is looking forward to a long and rewarding time with the Australian Solar Council.


U  se the Master Installer logo to strengthen your business brand


1  00 Express CPD Points – train online, wherever you are, at any time


Standards and other regulation changes, alerts and advice


Listing on our Master Installer customer map – free sales leads


K  eep abreast of new products


E  xclusive member only alerts and networking opportunities


Make compliance easy


 e recognised as a Master Installer – selling value, not just B ‘sticker price’

Membership Type

Master Installer

Master Installer Company



Right to Vote at AGM



Member only communication



Solar & Storage Magazine four issues p.a



Master Installer

Master Installer

Member Discounts on Roadshows/ training & other events



20% Discount rate for additional Energy Storage membership





Solar Essentials



Solar Gold



Membership Fee (includes GST)

Use of ASC logo

Logo linked to your website on Solar Council website in members area

To join please visit or contact Scott Young, Membership Sales on e: or T: 02 6653 4453 or M: 0467 672 292

SOLAR & ENERGY STORAGE Industry Events Visit for a larger list of global solar and storage industry conferences

Solar Expo - A World Future Energy Summit Event 15 to 18 January 2018 Abu Dhabi, UAE

11th International Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo February 28 to March 2, 2018 Tokyo, Japan

Solar Middle East 2018 March 6 to 8 2018 Dubai, UAE

Solar Solutions International 2018 Amsterdam, Netherlands 21 to 22 March 2018 PV, storage, thermal and heat

The Smart Energy Conference & Exhibition Australia’s largest solar, storage and smart energy conference and exhibition. April 10 and 11, 2018 Sydney International Convention Centre

• S mart Energy Solutions •A  pplied Energy Storage • Installer Professional Development See pages 15 and 46 or visit

Want to reach thousands involved in solar and storage?

GIVE BRETT A CALL Did you know? Solar & Storage magazine is read by more than 20,000 industry professionals. Our readers include: PV solar designers and installers, large-scale solar project contractors, manufacturers & wholesalers, energy retailers, government representatives of all levels, trainers, consultants and industry thought leaders. If you would like to boost your presence among the solar & storage community across Australia, contact Brett Thompson. Brett can also help you to highlight your brand at the industry’s leading show, the Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition. Next year it takes place in Sydney on April 10 and 11. Brett believes the industry will hit new highs during 2017 and beyond, and he’s here to help companies looking to capitalise on opportunities.

Contact Brett on 0402 181 250 or

50 SUMMER 2017

Solar industry Positive Quality™ and performance THE AUSTRALIAN SOLAR COUNCIL’S Positive Quality™ program sets rigorous standards that ensure manufacturers who achieve and maintain high standards are singled out and recognised. Two prominent panel makers: Jinko and Risen meet those high standards and proudly display the Positive Quality™ logo, a symbol of manufacturing excellence, which sends a signal of confidence to consumers. Participating manufacturers are fully recognised, consumers enjoy peace of mind and the industry’s reputation is strengthened, delivering Positive Quality™ for all. Australian consumers and businesses can have confidence in the quality of the solar panels they are installing by looking out for the Positive Quality™ Trustmark. The Solar Council developed the program because the generic appearance of panels makes it difficult to determine good from bad, unless an identification mark denotes otherwise. A logo that signifies superior quality. The Positive Quality™ program admits and endorses manufacturers that are independently tested and verified through plant visits. The initial assessment consists of a company’s entire manufacturing processes undergoing independent and intensive inspection and testing. This is carried out by the Solar Council’s specially appointed Positive Quality™ specialists in a three step process: Certification check and compliance with IEC and Australian standards; Factory inspection with a

By displaying the Positive Quality™ logo solar companies convey high standards in panel manufacturing to industry and consumers

60-point check; and a Product quality check: appearance, IV, EL, Hi-Pot, and leakage current. Positive Quality™ participants’ premises are then inspected at random every 12 weeks to ensure the continuity of those high standards. All solar PV manufacturers of high quality can participate.

Contact Positive Quality™ Manager Brett Thompson on 0402 181 250, email or visit

Solar Council Corporate Members For full listing of Solar Council Corporate Members see

Platinum Members

Silver Corporate Members

Gold Corporate Members






CMA Solar


Century Yuasa Batteries





Outside Back Cover

GCL Huawei

7 Inside Front Cover

Imeon Energy




Pacific Hydro


PowerArk Solar


Prosun Solar

Inside back cover

R & J Batteries


Sicame Australia


Solar & Energy Finance






SolaX Power




Trade in Green


52 SUMMER 2017

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Solar & Storage Summer 2017  

The Official Publication of the Smart Energy Council - Solar & Storage Summer 2017 - issue 4 - December

Solar & Storage Summer 2017  

The Official Publication of the Smart Energy Council - Solar & Storage Summer 2017 - issue 4 - December