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Solar & Storage WINTER 2017

• Surge in solar and storage • What next for the energy market?

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE AUSTRALIAN SOLAR COUNCIL & THE ENERGY STORAGE COUNCIL

• Grid storm damage and intermittency • Highlights from the Solar and Storage Show • Battery trials update


THE MOST COMPACT & POWERFUL ENERGY STORAGE FOR YOUR HOME


Australian Solar Council Foreword by CEO and ASC Patron Christine Milne

4

Solar & Storage on Show 2017

12

Solar & Storage Show: tributes to sponsors

50

Solar philanthropy

52

Master Installers

53

Positive Quality

55

Corporate Members

56

Contents WINTER 2017

Market Dynamics News and views

6

Solar luminaries

20

Infographic: Tracking towards 2020

22

Special Features Rewriting the energy market

8

The real cause of SA’s blackout

10

Solar’s strength in numbers

14

ENA and CSIRO Roadmap

16

Around the industry EPC Solar takes on big projects

44

GCL’s forward agenda

45

360Energy’s solar journey

46

Vermeer’s pile digger

48

Storage overview

24

Early findings from the nation’s largest Storage Survey

26

Battery trials: the latest from ITP Renewables 28 LG Chem’s customer solution

30

The buzz around Electric Vehicles

32

Fronius showcases systems in extreme locations

33

sonnencommunity market shake-up

34

Storage news round-up

35

ABB’s fourth industrial revolution

38

SolarEdge’s Inverter advancement

40

12

Front cover: EPC Solar’s 420 kW PV system at ACT’s National Archives Centre. Image: Ben Appleton - Photox - EPC Solar

44

30 45 46

Enphase’s largest ever residential installation 42 … and all the news from major players Redback, BYD, Redflow and more

SOLAR & STORAGE is published by the AUSTRALIAN SOLAR COUNCIL. ABN 32 006 824 148 www.solar.org.au Subscription and membership enquiries contact Brett Thompson, Phone: 0402 181 250, brett@solar.org.au

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

Solar & Storage and Storage Developments advertising enquiries contact: Brett Thompson, Sales Manager | Phone: 0402 181 250 | brett@solar.org.au

SOLAR & STORAGE EDITOR: Nicola Card editor@solar.org.au nicola@solar.org.au

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.

CONTRIBUTORS: Michael Anthony, Sean Frost, Lior Handelsman, Fiona O’Hehir, Kate McKevitt, Penny Parle, Chris Parratt, Wayne Smith

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. www.solar.org.au

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION: Mitzi Mann


Welcome

John Grimes Chief Executive, Australian Solar Council and Energy Storage Council

THE COST OF ENERGY STORAGE is something we track closely at the Energy Storage Council. The cost of an automotive vehicle battery pack, ex-factory, is currently sitting at around US$250. This is a big drop from around US$600 only three years ago. Of course customers are looking for the most cost-effective way to store energy. That’s why conducting an energy efficiency audit at the outset is so important.

A kilowatt hour of electricity you don’t use is the cheapest kilowatthour (you won’t buy). On top of that, other forms of energy storage, such as dumping excess solar PV energy into super insulated hot water tanks, is such a good idea. Recent modeling showed that an effective kilowatt hour of energy storage in the form of hot water cost around $72 to set up (excluding the cost of solar PV). Third, companies are increasingly deploying smart energy management software with their energy management systems. These smart computers learn on the job. They map, optimise, and predict the energy required in a home or business, against forecast solar radiation. By tailoring a smart energy solution, the capacity of batteries required is reduced. Thoughtful planning and a good design, based on energy efficiency, diverse energy storage options, and smart software, will open the energy storage market further still. In parallel, lithium ion battery and balance of system costs will continue to fall in price. So the smaller capacity of batteries required will also get cheaper. These two trends will merge to deliver better, more economic tailored solutions for every energy customer.

Guest Foreword AS I WALKED around the recent Solar and What a great industry to be involved with. Storage Show in Melbourne, I was inspired. After years of political energy policy wrangling, The incredible solar showcase restored my the line has been held long enough for the solar hope that in spite of whatever the politics of and storage industry to outstrip its competitors the day throws up, including Donald Trump, and win on price. AEMO is now receiving a we might just make the transition to a 100 huge increase in inquiries for new wind and per cent renewable energy future fast enough solar projects – 1000 a month – driven by the to avoid the 3-4 degrees threat of global RET, state based initiatives and high wholesale warming that hangs over humanity. prices. This is the sweetest of victories. Solar energy with storage linked with data The vested interests of the old fossil fuel order analysis, virtual power stations and demand are on the defensive trying to secure subsidies management is not only transforming the and maintain the old NEM rules to rescue future of energy and reducing costs for business already stranded coal and gas generators and and households, it is the game changer the reserves, but they are too late. planet needs and it is delivering. Their political donations might keep the Renewable energy is reducing emissions, Ministers of COAG Energy Council in line and cleaning up air quality in cities and electrifying AEMC might slow down the reform that is Christine Milne, Global Green Ambassador and the vehicle fleet while bringing down energy critical. They are last century’s red flag bearers. Patron of the Australian Solar Council prices and creating millions of new jobs. The Finkel Review might well disappoint with Renewable energy employed 9.8 million people in a lack of ambition and imagination but the 2016 according to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s Annual revolution won’t wait for them. As Audrey Zibelman of AEMO has said we report and solar PV and solar heating and cooling accounted for almost need a new set of market rules to keep pace with 21stC change. A solar four million of them. empowered community won’t take No for an answer. The future is now.

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Local and Global NEWS ARENA HAS HELPED GENERATE 490 MW OF BIG SOLAR by securing $87 million funding within just two years of its competitive funding program. Australia’s large-scale solar industry has grown from zero to more than 20 plants in just five years, and the 12 largescale solar plants supported by ARENA will become a reality and triple Australia’s large-scale solar capacity. ARENA’s new Investment Plan outlining the investment priorities in the transition to reliable, affordable and low emission energy that will guide almost $800 million of funding over the coming years, Innovating Energy sets out to: deliver a secure and reliable electricity system, accelerate solar PV innovation, improve energy productivity, and export renewable energy. And as part of its broader effort to accelerate the shift to an affordable and reliable renewable energy future ARENA is now reaching out to the mining community. But wait, there’s more: ARENA is trialing blockchain technology that enables households and business to trade or share power with one-another. AGL is leading the project to evaluate a virtual trial at homes with a mix of solar panels, batteries to store electricity, and ‘smart’ air conditioning. IBM Australia is also involved and will focus on the applicability of blockchain technology to recognising, authenticating and settling energy trading while an energy consultant provides market analysis. The trial will help understand if there is value in peer-to-peer markets and how blockchain technology could facilitate this market in a cost effective way. It will also provide valuable information for regulators, energy service companies, start-ups, retailers, and networks on how peer-to-peer trading affects markets and market participants, and how this market could be further developed.

CEFC’S NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE IAN LEARMONTH (pictured above) describes this point in time as exciting for Australia’s broader energy sector. In less than four years the CEFC has made investment commitments of more than $3.5 billion, and has a strong pipeline of potential investment opportunities. “The CEFC has an important role to play in Australia’s clean energy transition and the development of a resilient, balanced and secure electricity system … to help deliver our transformation to a low carbon economy,” he said. The CEFC recently announced finance for its tenth project through its Large-Scale Solar Program, bringing its total program investment commitments to more than $370 million, accelerating projects with a total estimated project value of $900 million and a total generating capacity of more than 400 MW (AC).

“It is difficult to overstate just how profound the impacts of wide-scale, low-cost energy storage will be on the utility sector.”

THE ENA’S ELECTRICITY ROADMAP finds that by 2030, around 40 per cent of both Victoria’s and Western Australia’s energy could be generated by intermittent renewables (as is the case in South Australia today). New South Wales and Queensland are expected to follow suit in the 2030s as more coalfired power generators shut down. “The Roadmap forecasts up to 10 million households and small customers will have distributed energy resources like solar, storage, smart homes and electric vehicles by 2050,” ENA’s John Bradley said. With a co-ordinated plan, by 2050 $16 billion in network infrastructure investment is avoided by management of distributed energy resources like solar and batteries and network charges would be 30 per cent lower than 2016. “The intense level of project development will only be possible with a national transition plan like the Roadmap and stable and enduring carbon policy to support investment.” www.energynetworks.com.au/roadmap See more on page 16. 6 WINTER 2017

Ben Warren EY Global Power & Utilities Corporate Finance Leader


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INDUSTRY COMMENTARY

Energy market shake-up: if not now, when? ACCORDING TO Australian Solar Council Patron and Global greens ambassador Christine Milne solar energy with storage linked with data analysis, virtual power stations and demand management is the “game changer the planet needs”. It’s the dynamic that is transforming the future of energy while reducing costs for business and households. And the increasing affordability of large-scale solar which now sits at around $70 MWh makes solar energy the most competitive among all electricity generators. So much so the Australian Energy Market Operator is now fielding high volumes of inquires inquiries for new wind and solar projects: up to 1000 in contrast with the 20 normally received in a month. Anthony Arrow, a partner at Pinsent Masons which provides infrastructure and energy legal advice says as procurement and funding costs are coming down, utility scale PV solar is fast becoming the preferred investment option for renewable energy developers in Australia. “We will also see an increased number of joint ventures, mergers or acquisitions between solar and battery storage solution developers as key players jostle to strengthen their market positions,” he told Solar & Storage. “There’s way more money than solar deals available … local and international investors have found themselves having to kiss a lot of frogs, with billions of dollars chasing hard after solar opportunities.” He added that increasing numbers of opportunistic property developers are buying up land in NSW and Queensland in the hope of turning them into solar farms.

Turning a blind eye The level of interest in renewables on a micro and macro level may be greater than ever but is the National Energy Market geared up for the transition? The consensus appears to be a resounding ‘no’. The NEM remains locked in a time warp where fossil fuels dominate the landscape and prices in the wholesale electricity market continue to soar. This makes a mockery of the coalition government policies which three years ago resulted in the binning of the carbon tax, claiming the move would lower household energy costs. Not so: wholesale power prices have since

doubled. And whatever happened to carbon emission controls to curb global warming? The acceptance of climate science indicates the acceptance of the economic tools needed to internalise the costs of damage from carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions, says Solar Council President Steve Blume. The latest report from the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices, a group of 13 of the world’s leading economists is blunt: we must see a strong carbon price in the range of US$40 to US$80 per tonne of CO2 by 2020, and $50 to $100 per tonne by 2030. Report authors wrote ‘A welldesigned carbon price is an indispensable part of a strategy for reducing emissions in an efficient way.’ Blume remarked “In Australia we have no national emissions standards and no plan for an orderly decommissioning and replacement of our rapidly aging fossil fuel generation fleet, let alone a carbon price mechanism. We need them all urgently as well as major energy market reform.”

NEM shortcomings Christine Milne agrees. “Changes to NEM rules need to be more than a focus on energy security and price. They must link energy security and price to addressing global warming,” she stated. “Energy is not just about jobs, new technology, air quality and cheaper power bills, but also is the key determinant of whether humanity survives in an age of rapidly accelerating global warming. “The National Electricity Objective must be amended to include climate change and environmental factors. This would make the NEM a primary instrument to facilitate and be consistent with Australia’s global warming targets under the Paris Agreement. This is essential to drive the fastest possible transition to 100 per cent renewable energy and the jobs, health and community benefits that follow.” The shortcomings of the NEM received widespread attention at May’s Solar and Storage conference staged by the Solar Council whose chief executive John Grimes is among many urging market reform.

“Changes to NEM rules need to be more than a focus on energy security and price. They must link energy security and price to addressing global warming.”

An outdated system that urgently needs to be modernised


“The National Energy Market is no longer fit for purpose,” he said. “We have a disjointed energy policy and management structure. We cannot meet international emissions commitments. Unless the NEM is changed it will not offer the lowest cost and cleanest and most reliable electricity supply for consumers.” Victorian Renewables Advocate Simon Corbell – the architect of ACT’s flourishing clean energy program – is calling for an emissions intensity scheme, saying “It is what’s needed in the energy sector and must be addressed. And other fundamental changes are necessary, networks should be smarter, more flexible and diverse and importantly fit for purpose with rapid response generations.” Corbell reckons it’s time for ministers on the COAG Energy Committee to “seize the moment and tell the AEMC they need to ensure rules are made. It’s timely – tell them the energy market is cumbersome, slow, non responsive … this must be strongly enunciated.” Shadow Energy Minister Mark Butler agrees, noting the states are losing confidence in the NEM, South Australia in particular has not been served well by the market, and that there are many issues around the cost and supply of gas. “We need a broad energy vision along the east coast,” Butler says.

Time for change Newly appointed AEMO chief Audrey Zibelman has already determined the time is right to change business models, stating “You cannot continue using a one hundred year old model, and that is true for AEMO too, which needs to accommodate innovation. “Things are changing, and that includes customer needs and demographics and clear preferences for clean energy; [we need to switch] system orientation from domination of central power plants to managing data with solar and storage and electric vehicles; and rapid technological advancements, the pace of change in the past has been very slow. “In a market that captures the transition gentailers also need to consider their role and the market design must change and regulatory incentives need to be reviewed to address consumer value and returns,” she said. Zibelman’s colleague Ben Skinner of AEMO agrees that the networks are no longer dealing with passive customers, saying “The way of the future of power systems, changes are driven by new technology, inventions, also customer choice and government policy. AEMO will play a role and supports a competitive market.” Skinner revealed that AEMO’s submission to the Finkel Review of the Energy Market included the creation of performance procedures and standards and greater visibility for distributed energy resources.

The Finkel Review – delight or disappoint? Many are pinning hopes on the Finkel Review* scripting a sensible blueprint for energy market reform. Steve Blume summed up the thoughts of many when he remarked “Our hope is that the Finkel report is a catalyst for sensible reform and that it provides the opportunity for changes that factor in today’s consumer market as well as environmental imperatives – by which I mean carbon abatement.” Will the renewables industry feel elated or compromised by the contents of what is arguably the most timely and vital report into the electricity industry? Chief Scientist Alan Finkel has in the past expressed strong opinions on the need for carbon reduction and the importance of energy storage. His Committee’s first Report was bold, but will that boldness prevail in the final report? And will the Government response be on the evidence base the Finkel Report will provide or on ideology?

In what way does the NEM need to evolve? What actions are needed, by whom? More questions than answers. John Hewson who is now driving developments in CST joins the masses hoping the Finkel Review will provide answers and direction on the road to integrating renewable resources. However he suggests the Chief Scientist would have been “better off starting with a blank piece of paper rather than being charged with the task of patching the existing electricity system”. Still more doubts and questions: Instead of presenting a template for the twenty first century energy market will the recommendations of Finkel Report be ignored or perverted due to political pressure? Will our political leaders muscle in and obstruct the optimum outcome? Does the termination of the Climate Change Authority and the attempt to destroy the RET and abolish ARENA and the CEFC suggest an ominous response from this Government? One thing we do know is that AEMO’s wish list to the Finkel submission included the creation of performance procedures and standards and greater visibility for distributed energy resources. Audrey Zibelman commented “Australia is leading the world in what energy will look like. Australia can become a centre of excellence. AEMO needs to get it and be the best in the world.” We agree, but we need massive market reform, and we need it now. *By the time this magazine is in circulation the much-anticipated Finkel Review will have been presented to the Government.

Solar Council’s six-point plan for NEM reform The Australian Solar Council and Energy Storage Council call on all Energy Ministers to implement the following key measures: • Establish a plan for the orderly closure of coal-fired power stations • Make action on climate change a key objective of the National Electricity Market • Commit to at least 50 per cent renewables by 2030 • Introduce a 5-minute settlement rule • Enable markets in peer to peer trading and demand response; and • Replace the Australian Energy Regulator and Australian Energy Market Commission with a new combined energy rule maker and regulator.

One small but significant step forward In mid May the renewables industry welcomed the new AEMO and ARENA trial in which customers will be paid for reducing their energy use during times of peak demand to help avoid blackouts. The $22.5 million initiative will be trialled over three years in Victoria and South Australia and realise the potential to engage customers to save costs, keep the lights on and reduce carbon emissions. Energy Networks Australia CEO John Bradley commented on the smart energy security and emission reduction solutions saying “An integrated grid using demand response can enable increased use of variable solar and wind generation on our electricity system.” He added that rewarding customers for their energy choices is an integral part of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap recently released by Energy Networks Australia and CSIRO. “For instance, networks could buy grid support from millions of customers in demand response programs or using household solar and storage to save $16 billion in network costs by 2050.” (More details page 16.)

Solar & Storage 9


INDUSTRY COMMENTARY

The BEAST and the blame game Fiona O’Hehir of Greenbank Environmental is a vocal campaigner for clean energy. Here she presents some cold hard facts about the South Australian blackout that could have been avoided.

Pictured below: Greenbank Environmental chief executive Fiona O’Hehir is an effective and longterm environmental campaigner. Captured here with the Greenbank team exhibiting at the Solar and Storage Show

AUSTRALIA OPERATES probably the longest interconnected power system in the world. The whole of the eastern seaboard from Queensland to South Australia is connected together through a series of “interconnectors” across our state borders. This beast (the National Electricity Market) is vast and comprises thousands and thousands of substations, thousands of kilometres of powerlines and we have lost count of the number of power poles installed throughout the network. There are over 19 million end users and more than $11 billion of electricity is traded through the NEM annually.

“The outages which occurred

Any piece of infrastructure is open to faults and things going wrong due to equipment failure, damaged cables and defective electrical equipment. Unfortunately after the South Australian outage of 2016, what is now occurring in the political and regulatory arenas is the “he said, she said” blame game and the issue of intermittency of electricity supply. I would say that the “grid” itself is suffering from an intermittency problem through lack of planning and a severe lack of redundancy in the NEM in general. N+1 is not a new engineering concept when we are talking about a mission critical supply. Although we can have an in depth technical argument about whether it was the input from renewable energy that caused the instability or not, the problem is much deeper than that. Years of the inability of either federal political party to tackle the hard tasks of reform through COAG, even more state politicians seeking political gain through exaggerated and unsustainable feed-in tariffs has now led to complete and utter policy paralysis at all levels.

and distribution operators, the energy suppliers of all persuasions, politicians and senate inquires, with still no sensible long term plan in sight. The outages which occurred in South Australia were the direct result of the years of squandered opportunities for change and modernisation of the market and has led to a domino effect throughout the network. Two tornadoes hit the South Australia transmission network, causing damage and setting the scene for the ripple effect that eventually led to the South Australian power system being disconnected from the rest of the eastern seaboard grid. AEMO has said in its report its “analysis shows that the following system separation, frequency collapse and the consequent black system was inevitable”. The real problem is the failure of the parties to act sensibly and more importantly, in a timely manner. Sensible debate has been hijacked by vested interests. Some of the current decaying infrastructure needs to be retired as has happened in South Australia and is happening in Victoria and everyone in the industry knew it. These are normal corporate commercial decisions; if you cannot make a profit and you are losing money then don’t continue. Large infrastructure, just by its very nature, is always exposed to extreme weather events of this type. With these events on the increase due to the deleterious effects of climate change, how are we going to protect ourselves as a nation, not just South Australians from further episodes of this nature? So what now, given the glacial pace of policy development over the past 20 years? We need some common sense, that very rare herb, we need leadership and we need to develop a national strategy for all Australians, so we do not add to the ever increasing levels of anxiety and hype in the general community which does no one any good.

Paralysis Having been in the industry for many years I am extremely disappointed and annoyed at the wasted years, missed opportunities and wasted personal energy of the endless rounds of meetings with the regulators, the transmission

in South Australia were the direct result of the years of squandered opportunities for change and modernisation of the market.”

Fiona O’Hehir established Greenbank Environmental (GBE) in 2003. It is one of Australia’s largest independent traders of renewable energy certificates and environmental credits. https://twitter.com/greenbank01 https://www.facebook.com/pages/GreenbankEnvironmental/218844931628330?ref=hl http://www.linkedin.com/company/ greenbank-environmental

10 WINTER 2017


MARKET momentum

Two days, 150 speakers, three conference streams, 105 exhibitors and lots of specialist industry gatherings … plenty to take in at this year’s Solar and Storage Show. But one overriding tangible aspect was the fundamental shift unfolding in renewable energy both on a micro and macro level. Household PV installations have soared this year and massive developments are underway in large-scale solar. After years of uncertainty in the industry the outlook is now more positive. Here we take a look at just some of the powerful messages delivered during the two-day conference that united installers with manufacturers, wholesalers and policy makers. A positive outlook was set early on day one when keynote speaker Audrey Zibelman, the newly appointed chief executive of the Australian Energy Market Operator, painted a progressive and dynamic picture of

“This is a bottom up revolution driven by consumers. And economics always beats ideology” John Grimes

Australia’s energy market. She appears intent on driving the organisation responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity markets and power systems in new directions that reflect customer demographics

Zibelman presented the same messages on ABC TV where she emphasised the increasing importance of solar and storage technologies.)

and their “clear preferences for clean energy”. Signaling change is in the air Zibelman stated it was time business models caught up with today’s dynamics because “You cannot continue using a one hundred year old model, and that is true for AEMO too, which needs to accommodate innovation”. This in the context of the shift from energy supplies dominated by centralised power plants to accommodating decentralised energy through solar and storage systems and electric vehicles. “Australia can become a centre of excellence … AEMO needs to get it and be the best in the world,” she said. (Not long after the conference

Revival! Solar Council chief executive John Grimes who has spent years fighting the good fight for solar power believes the sector is now on the road to “massive transformation, with smart storage on an upward trajectory that will be complete in ten years”. The transition is propelled by three mega trends: solar PV becoming the cheapest form of electricity; the falling cost of energy storage; and the nexus between energy and IT with the rise of smart systems.

“The economics of distributed energy which are compelling should lead to massive growth” Kobad Bhavnagri of Bloomberg New Energy Finance

“Australia is leading the world in what energy will look like” Audrey Zibelman of AEMO


“We need a broad energy vision along the east coast” Shadow Energy Minister Mark Butler Kobad Bhavnagri of Bloomberg New Energy Finance also remarked on the low cost of solar, saying Australia’s utility-scale PV plants now providing solar energy at competitive rates. “By 2020 another 9 GW of renewable energy – much of it solar – will enter the system. New solar should compete with incumbent coal by 2032, it will be cheaper to build new large scale solar farms than burn coal. That will be the tipping point for industry.” Looking further ahead he forecasts 40 GW of [behind the meter] distributed energy by 2040.

Power bill shock Rising consumer prices got a bashing: Rob Koh of Morgan Stanley believes retail prices for electricity will rise more than 10 per cent in

“Our hope is that the Finkel Review will provide some answers and a sense of how we will go forward” John Hewson

IMAGES: ADRIENNE BIZZARRI, WWW.ADRIENNEBIZZARRIPHOTOGRAPHY.COM.AU

“We’re in a transition right now and that includes extensive use of batteries for storage … The aim is to provide clean, reliable, secure and affordable energy” Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio

“Australia’s regulatory system … has been hopeless in disciplining the energy suppliers, allowing exorbitant levels of network expenditure” Tristan Edis the coming year and Ric Brazzale of Green Energy Trading echoed his words, blaming spiraling wholesale prices for bill shock. GET’s Tristan Edis pointed to skyrocketing gas prices over the past few years at a time when emission regulations have been rolled back. Simon Corbell, the architect of ACT’s highly successful clean energy program commented “Emission abatement is important, an emissions intensity scheme is needed in the energy sector [meantime] the state governments need to continue their strong roles in the transition to renewable energy … goal setting with clear targets is very important and the transition will not happen without it.” For his part John Hewson expressed his disappointment at the current state of debate in renewable energy and cited climate change “the most significant challenge of the century”. The Coalition’s inability to address fundamental energy reform was raised many times during the two-day conference and many are pinning their hopes on the Finkel Review of the Energy Market filling the policy gap. The Chief Scientist says there is no alternative than to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and has expressed support for the growth of renewables, storage in particular. However this does not guarantee the outcome of the review. But the renewables market is evolving; the numbers of solar and storage installations are stronger than ever and ARENA, the CEFC and other innovators are driving significant developments in large-scale solar. The message? Power of, and to, the people.

Solar strength: conference number crunchers – see page 14 Conference sponsors and crowds – see page 50 Conference sideshows – see page 52

“Networks should be smarter more flexible and diverse and importantly fit for purpose with rapid response generations” Simon Corbell


SOLAR AND STORAGE ON THE RISE

Solar’s strength in numbers The renewables industry is moving ahead with renewed confidence and consumer interest. Numbers are encouraging: solar and storage installation levels are rising and projections for uptake remain strong. Here we round up some of the key data from the two-day solar and storage conference and from market analysts.

FIRST TO THE SMALL SCALE MARKET (up to 10 kWh) which is notching up strong figures this year, as seen in the following charts There has also been exponential growth in commercial and industrial installations with 30 MW capacity installed in the first four months of 2017.

263 MW of large-scale solar will be added. In all 6000 MW of new build from January 2016 is needed to meet the 2020 RET and early RET (L-RET) for 33,000 GWh of renewable energy by 2020 will be met by

Systems YTD total

Systems YTD market share

YTD average system size

YTD installed capacity (kW)

13,412

26.4%

5.9

79,384

QLD

scale solar will be installed and operating by the end of 2017 and that

commitments stand at 3300 MW, if the pace continues the large scale

YTD PV SGU systems creating certificates State

The Clean Energy Regulator anticipates another 1 GW of small

the end of 2017. See CER infographic on page 22.

NSW

12,222

24.0%

5.5

67,809

WRONG!

WA

10,314

20.3%

5.5

56,468

Back in the ‘90s the country’s top economic think tank Bureau of

VIC

9,104

17.9%

5.9

53,398

Resources and Energy Economics forecast Australia’s Solar growth at

SA

4,394

8.6%

6.7

29,640

3.4 per cent to 2034-35 which would have produced solar capacity at

TAS

669

1.3%

5.5

3,705

NT

416

0.8%

9.1

3,780

ACT

365

0.7%

7.1

2,578

50,896

100.0%

5.8

296,762

Total

Installed capacity for residential and commercial systems (systems >10 kW) YTD by state State

231 MW by 2016. The actual tally was 5909 MW. A growth rate of 383 per cent. Australia has since reached a landmark record of 6 GW.

Solar and storage: a rising star Solar Council and Energy Storage Council chief executive John Grimes presented some industry insights that are driving the transformation of the energy sector.

YTD Residential

YTD Commercial

YTD Total

QLD

63,344

16,040

79,384

NSW

47,639

20,170

67,809

WA

47,168

9,300

56,468

VIC

35,432

17,966

53,398

SA

18,304

11,336

29,640

TAS

2,617

1,087

3,705

SDI, TDK, Apple, Bosch, VW are each churning out 4.5 GWh

NT

1,807

1,972

3,780

annually.

ACT

1,625

953

2,578

217,938

78,825

296,762

Total

YTD solar water heater systems creating certificates State

Total systems YTD

Market share YTD

VIC

9,020

47.5%

QLD

3,246

17.1%

NSW

2,709

14.3%

WA

2,687

14.1%

SA

609

3.2%

TAS

277

1.5%

NT

222

1.2%

ACT

220

1.2%

18,990

100.0%

Total

Industry data courtesy Green Energy Markets based on Clean Energy Regulator material.

14 WINTER 2017

Three mega-trends are changing everything: 1. Solar PV has become the cheapest energy source 2. Falling cost of Energy Storage • Tesla aims to produce 35 GWh year by 2020, BYD is adding 6 GWh a year to reach 34 GWh by 2020, Foxconn/LG capacity stands at 22 GWh, and several big capacity players including Nissan, Samsung

• LG Chem says a 5 kW PV system and 10 kWh battery can be purchased and installed for around $15,000. Based on daily consumption of 22 kWh the cost over ten years would come in at 22 cents kWh, less than cost of retail electricity • Storage systems costs are falling • By late 2017 battery prices will be around $650-$1500 kWh • Return on investment for storage will reduce from 9.6 to 5 years. 3. The collision of IT & Energy, the Rise of Smart Energy

Storage Market Forecast for Australia (systems installed) 2016: 7,500 – 10,000 2017: 20,000 – 30,000 2018: 45,000 – 90,000 2019: 120,000 – 180,000 2020: 240,000 – 380,000


And some important findings

States of action

The March 2017 Ausgrid survey revealed motivations for buying solar:

ACT has set a target of 100 per cent renewables by 2020 and currently

•9  1% to save money on power bills

boasts 640 MW of wind and solar capacity. Reverse auctions have driven

• 59% to reduce household carbon emissions

local [ACT] investment to $500 million over 20 years. Sustainability

• 36% to add value to house

Minister Shane Rattenbury wants the ACT to be the “cleanest state by 2020”.

Of the 52% saying they will buy a battery:

Victoria’s renewable energy targets are soon to be legislated at 25 per

• 94% want to store excess electricity

cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025 and the sate has set a goal for net

• 88% want to save money on bills

zero emissions by 2050 guided by Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and

• 76% want to reduce emissions

Simon Corbell, Renewable Energy adviser to Victorian government.

Horizon’s Power Survey reveals customers want:

New programs include $20 million for two 20 MW large-scale energy

• Control

storage plants by January 2018 to supply 100 MWh in a world first

• Choice

storage system. Victoria’s 100 MW Battery Project attracted 110

• No solar restrictions

proposals.

• Transparency, and

South Australia which has a target of 50 per cent by 2025 has

• Cheap Electricity

received at least 90 expressions of interest from 10 different countries to participate in the State government tender for 100 MW of storage to be

Globally

operational by December 2017.

500,000 solar panels are installed daily, and two wind turbines

Queensland and Northern Territory have struck 50 per cent

every hour.

renewables targets by 2030.

• •

• •

• •


ENA ROADMAP

Energy roadmap: 10 million with smart energy by 2010 The Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap is an evidence-based plan detailing what needs to be done during the next decade to provide Australians with secure and affordable energy and to decarbonise electricity by 2050.

“The path to zero emissions

HOW PROGRESSIVE IS THIS – a national energy plan that achieves zero net emissions by 2050, could save Australian energy customers $100 billion, and improves

by 2050 presents significant

energy security. And it’s not a wish list but the findings

opportunities.”

of the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap produced by CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia. ENA chief executive John Bradley who presented the report findings at the Solar Council’s Solar and Storage show in May says up to 10 million households and small customers are likely to have solar, storage, smart homes and electric vehicles by 2050. They will be empowered through customer choice and control, and market fairness will prevail. He noted too that during the 2030s many coal generators would be retired. It’s welcome news, but Bradley has called for a national approach to carbon and energy policy to support commercial investment to keep the lights on “and bills affordable now and in the future”. Based on two years work and extensive consultation the Roadmap identifies the complex challenges facing Australia’s electricity system in the face of diversified energy supply and identifies a strategy for the future, as well as a deliverable plan to achieve it. The report finds that with a co-ordinated plan, by 2050: • Up to 10 million households and small customers are likely to have solar, storage, smart homes and electric vehicles • $16 billion in network infrastructure investment is avoided by management of distributed energy resources like solar and batteries • Reduction in cumulative total electricity network expenditure of $101 billion by 2050 • Electricity sector achieves zero net emissions by 2050

John Bradley speaking at the recent Solar Conference

• Customers retain security and reliability essential to lifestyle and employment

• Networks pay distributed energy resources customers $2.5 billion per annum for grid support services by 2050. • Network charges are 30 per cent lower than 2016 • $414 annual saving in average household electricity bills (compared with roadmap counterfactual, business as usual, pathway), and • A medium-sized family who cannot take up distributed energy resources is more than $600 better off annually through removal of cross subsidies. John Bradley says the findings highlight the critical need for State and Federal Governments to agree on a long-term energy transition plan and national policy frameworks. “The intense level of project development will only be possible with a national transition plan like the Roadmap and stable and enduring carbon policy to support investment,” he said, and that while integrating largescale variable renewable energy will be vital, customers will drive the transformation of Australia’s electricity system as world leading adopters of distributed energy resources. “Networks could buy grid support from customers instead of building their own infrastructure– in fact, annual payments to customers could be worth $1.1 billion within 10 years. “The orchestration of these new energy assets in the ‘right place at the right time’ could save customers a total of $16 billion in network costs by 2050.” The Roadmap finds it critical to move to fair and efficient network charges for residential and small scale

Below: Roadmap charts Projected renewable generation as a share of state generation under the Roadmap scenario 2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2015

2050

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

30 25 20

2050

GW

%

2015 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Projected installations of rooftop solar by state

15 10 5 0

NSW

16 WINTER 2017

VIC

QLD

SA

WA

TAS

NSW

VIC

QLD

SA

WA

TAS


customers before 2021. Tariff reform would ensure a medium size family who can’t take up solar and storage is $350 per year better off in 2027. Work will start in the coming months on the Roadmap’s highest priority projects, but Bradley emphasised the need for “real action” by government as well as industry. The Roadmap includes new state-by-state analysis by CSIRO, highlighting when energy security and cost risks will emerge in key locations and need to be addressed in a national energy transition plan. By 2030, around 40 per cent of both Victoria’s and Western Australia’s energy could be generated by intermittent renewables as is the case in South Australia today. New South Wales and Queensland are expected to follow suit in the 2030s as more coalfired power generators shut down. CSIRO Chief Economist Energy, Paul Graham, said this means the eastern states could need to build as many as five intermittent

renewable generation projects each year for five years in the 2030s and 2040s but that “The big question is what will replace the existing fleet of coal-fired generation as they retire at different rates across each state jurisdiction. “To achieve deep decarbonisation while keeping the lights on, it’s likely the eastern states will depend on the equivalent of 25 new large-scale solar or wind farms being built in just a five year window with new building activity focussing on Victoria in the 2020s, New South Wales and Queensland in the 2030s and Victoria and Queensland in the 2040s.” More than 200 different industry representatives contributed at over 14 workshops and webinars held as part of the public consultation process. Information on the Roadmap has been viewed more than 30,000 times during the development process. For more information visit www.energynetworks.com.au/roadmap

Forecast penetration of smart meters in Australia

10 million households and small customers will have distributed energy resources like solar, storage, smart homes and electric vehicles by 2050.”

Customers (millions)

“The Roadmap forecasts up to

25

Customers without smart meters

20

Customers with smart meters under new regulatory arrangements

15 10 5 0 2015

2020

2025

2030

Booth No.: th

th

2035

2040

2045

2050

2114

11 -12 Oct, Melbourne, Australia Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre 2 Clarendon Street South Wharf Victoria

TIER

1

RANK

2

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Local and Global NEWS

IRENA’S CALCULATOR tells us that the renewable energy industry employs 9.8 million people worldwide, with global energy system creating more jobs in renewables than in fossil-fuel technologies. In the past four years the number of jobs in the solar and wind sectors combined has more than doubled. “Renewables are directly supporting broader socio-economic objectives [and] we expect that the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, more than offsetting fossil-fuel job losses and becoming a major economic driver around the world,” IRENA’s statement read. Solar PV was the largest employer in 2016, with 3.1 million jobs, up 12 per cent from 2015. Renewable Energy and Jobs – Annual Review 2017.

KOREAN BATTERY GIANT LG CHEM has achieved global energy storage system sales equalling 2.6 GWh.
The figure includes systems already installed and “firm orders” due for installation between now and 2020. 
The figure “is expected to grow quite fast” over the next couple of years. Rival Tesla is thought to have installed 174 MWh, or around a fifteenth of LG Chem’s volume, from the start of 2016 until now. Solar & Storage is printed by Printgraphics whose green credentials include:

18 WINTER 2017

SSE’S 6 MW PLANT … AND GROWING. SSE Surpass Energy (Australia) Major Projects director Colin Gillam (pictured third from right) says that any day now the first of the three-phase Whyalla solar plant will be completed. That’s good news for the project that kicked off back in 2015 with only a handful of investors, council approval but no federal funding. However the project did gain the support of the South Australian government and more investors and by 2019 the full planned 150 MW project will become the state’s first utility-scale plant. SSE which has been working with BYD energy storage solutions has submitted an expression of interest to the SA Government to provide up to 100 MW of battery power storage. The plant is a landmark development in a landmark location, Whyalla boats 300 days of bright sun a year and provides the perfect home for solar. The steel city is now being recast the solar capital. Touring the plant earlier this year SA Premier Jay Weatherill said “There is an extraordinary solar resource here … there’s also potential for Whyalla to be a part of a renewable energy future and all of the jobs and technology that are associated with that … the best days are ahead of Whyalla.” www.whyallasolarfarm.com

TECHNOLOGY PIONEER ABB is providing 100 kW of its TRIO50 solar inverters on a landmark 1 MW floating solar photovoltaic test-bed in high population density, land-scarce Singapore, where floating solar panels are regarded a viable alternative. Due to the cooling effect of the water beneath the floating panels could also be 11 per cent more efficient than land based solar panels.


STRONG ENOUGH FOR THE ICECAP. RELIABLE ENOUGH FOR AUSTRALIA.

It’s no wonder scientists on the frigid icecaps of Greenland trust SunPower® solar technology to power their research. Rated number-one for durability by solar experts,1 SunPower panels deliver massive power in the most punishing conditions around the world—including cyclone-force winds and the harsh heat of the Aussie sun. Homeowners and businesses across Australia know that SunPower panels produce 70% more energy over 25 years in the same space as conventional ones.2 And that means greater savings over time, all with the industry’s best 25-year Combined Power and Product Warranty. For over 30 years, we’ve been demanding more of ourselves so you can have the very best. To learn more, go to www.sunpower.com.au or call 1-800-SUNPOWER. 1 Fraunhofer PV Durability Initiative for Solar Modules: Part 2”. Photovoltaics International, 2014. 2 SunPower 345W compared to a Conventional Panel (250W, 15.3% efficient, approx. 1.6 m2), 9% more energy per watt. BEW/DNV Engineering “SunPower Yield Report,” 2013 with CFV Solar Test Lab Report #12063, temp. coef. calculation © 2016 SunPower Corporation. All Rights Reserved. SUNPOWER, the SUNPOWER logo and DEMAND BETTER SOLAR are trademarks or registered trademarks of SunPower Corporation in the U.S. and other countries as well.


Local and Global NEWS SONNEN’S SOLAR TILED ROOFS: German solar storage provider sonnen has joined forces with roofing specialist Bristile Roofing to be the national supplier of solar-powered energy storage systems for homes using Bristile’s new integrated Solar Tile, which the company will launch later in the year. Bristile says many builders are looking to offer integrated solar systems as part of their standard offer. Chris Parratt, Managing Director of sonnen Australia, said “The new home market is going to be one of the biggest channels for solar and storage as it will be a prominent feature for home builders in their designs.” Under the partnership, Bristile will offer the sonnen AC Coupled modular system to the builder market and for the first time the new sonnen DC Hybrid range. These come in both single and three phase units so that Bristile can meet all types of electrical standards in new housing designs. sonnen has installed 700 all-in-one storage systems in Australia in the last six months, and over its first 12 months it anticipates it will install at least 1200 systems. (See page 34.)

AT THE TIME OF WRITING, the Queensland government had ruled out support for funding the Adani rail line from the Galilee Basin to Abbot Point, saying it will not administer the loan. (Possibly something to do with risking tens of thousands of jobs on the reef versus employing several hundred at the coal mine?) For its part Adani has delayed its final investment decision on the Carmichael coal plant.

NO SURPRISE HERE, the US is “not in a position to join in the consensus” on the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Pope did try and influence POTUS, presenting him with Laudato Si, the encyclical on climate change the pontiff published in 2015. Also in the gift package from Pope Francis: a few of his other works on peace and economics.

DID SOMEONE SAY PREVENTION WAS BETTER THAN CURE? The Turnbull Government welcomes the release of online tool CoastAdapt developed by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility to help local governments and other organisations understand and manage coastal risks. Around half of Australia’s population lives within seven kilometres of the coast, and coastal communities around Australia face the challenge of managing the effects of changes in the sea-level, such as flooding, erosion and shoreline recession.

Solar believers and achievers celebrate 25 years in action

EIGHTY SOLAR PIONEERS GATHERED IN SYDNEY a couple of months ago, each with 25 or more years in the solar industry in Australia or New Zealand. Their combined years of experience clocked in at an incredible 2129. The solar specialists spectrum spanned developers of the first solar cells, designers of the first inverters, manufacturers, academia, installers who worked on the earliest off-grid projects, people involved in the first gridconnect system in Sydney, those responsible driving a set of standards for solar installations and more. The milestone event was organised by Lindsay Hart of Selectronic ably supported by Nigel Morris of Solar Analytics and Kathleen Ryan of Winaico. Pictured above are many, many familiar faces of solar visionaries from across Australia. 20 WINTER 2017


Significant outcomes 2016 LARGE-SCALE

SMALL-SCALE

2X

182,173

the number of new large-scale renewable energy power stations accredited in 2016 compared to 2015

small-scale systems installed by households and businesses

2069 MW committed and probable projects announced = 5 X that of 2015 86 new large-scale solar power stations

or displacement by small-scale systems

accredited

Up 12% increase in capacity of small-scale

494 MW total capacity new large-scale RE power stations (vs 300 MW in 2015)

10 million MWh electricity generation >2.6 million small-scale systems in Australia panel systems

>1 million solar water heaters and air source heat pumps installed in Australia

TRACKING THE MARKET 14,157 MW cumulative capacity of all large-scale RE power stations 707 MW total capacity for small generation units 5426 MW cumulative capacity small-scale system 5.6 kW average size small-scale system 119,541 0-10 kW systems installed 2016 7792 10-100 kW systems installed 2016

Source: Tracking Towards 2020: Encouraging renewable energy in Australia, Clean Energy Regulator


• Energy Roadmap revelations

• S onnen gears up for market shake-up

• Early findings from the nation’s largest Storage Survey

• S olarEdge’s inverter advances

• Battery trials: the latest from ITP Renewables

• E nphase’s largest ever residential installation

• LG Chem’s customer solution

• T he buzz around Electric Vehicles

• Fronius showcases systems in extreme locations

… a nd all the news from major players Redback, BYD, Redflow and more

• A BB writes the future of industrial digitalisation


Founding members

Storage: when and where Industry projections are just that – an educated guess at what’s to come. But the potential of storage and its impact on the energy mix is attracting widespread interest and analysis due to the seismic shift in motion. In the Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap Energy Networks Australia together with CSIRO have presented the outlook to 2050 which will see up to 10 million households and small customers with distributed energy resources like solar, storage, smart homes and electric vehicles by 2050. Also significant are the associated opportunities on the path to zero emissions. See report summary on page 16 or visit www.energynetworks.com.au/ roadmap. The state roundup reveals:

Platinum members

Gold members

Projected installations of on-site battery storage by state 2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

35 30

GWh

25 20 15 10 5 0 NSW

VIC

QLD

SA

WA

TAS

Comprehensive storage survey In the largest industry survey of its kind to date the Energy Storage Council together with ARENA is assessing the storage market. Early findings suggest under a high growth scenario as many as half a million storage systems could be installed as early as 2020. Read more on page 26. The full report will be circulated from late June.

Silver members

Standards Australia At the time of writing, Standards Australia was set to release draft national standards for energy storage systems (AS/ NZS5139). The draft national standards were likely to classify all lithium-ion battery storage systems as Fire Level 1, requiring them to be installed in bunkers and ensuring they can’t be installed in homes or in buildings attached to homes. This unnecessary restraint is not evidence based and is inconsistent with international best practice. It fails to differentiate between manufacturers who already comply with international standards and those who do not. Importantly, this draft standard is likely to add to public confusion about battery storage systems and will suppress demand for solar batteries. If this draft standard becomes a formal Standard it may seriously hurt the industry, leading to job losses and company closures. The Energy Storage Council is urging Standards Australia to take an evidence-based approach to battery storage.

Battery finder The ESC Battery finder is proving a valuable resource for industry and consumers alike. The key characteristics of more than 185 batteries of all sizes, types and chemistries can be viewed at www.energystorage.org.au/batteryfinder. 24 WINTER 2017

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 Analysis & Engineering Energy Smart Water Enervision Australia Fiamm Australia Freshwater Group global-roam Governance Insight Green Sun Solar Greenlink Solar

Grid Edge Helios Renewable Energy Hybrid Aust I Want Energy Island Solar K&L Gates Lithium Battery Systems Log-On Electrical (MyPowerMP) Midnight Energy MO Energy Natural Solar

Navitus Solar NewGen Solar Nexen Energy Off Grid Power Solutions Orion Computers Platinum Solar & Electrical Powerplus Solutions QGE Renewable Energy Installations Reposit Power

Revolusun power Solar Calculator Solar Hybrid Conversions SolarQuotes.com.au STANDARD SOLAR SWS Australia Tropical Energy Solutions Velocity Energy Wattwatchers ZAPD Energy Zest Energy


Storage survey The Energy Storage Council is undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the Australian energy storage market. Funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the analysis is likely to be released in late June and will be made freely available to the Australian community. Here we present some of the early findings.

Today’s battery market

FIRST TO THE SIZE OF THE SURVEY which is believed to be the largest storage market survey of its kind ever conducted: in all 628 surveys were carried out in the research that covered 36 manufacturers and 18 wholesalers, with more than 60 phone surveys. The full analysis of all the material gathered is in the early days, however market analysis by the Energy Storage Council outlines three scenarios for the uptake of energy storage – a high, medium and low growth scenario. Under the high growth forecast, almost 500,000 energy storage systems could be installed in Australia by 2020. Under the low growth forecast, around 100,000 systems could be installed by 2020. “The extent to which power prices rise and battery prices fall will be the biggest factors in determining whether Australia meets the high or low growth scenario, but you also can’t discount government actions,” ESC chief executive John Grimes said. “If governments, regulators and utilities make it harder for families to install solar batteries, it will be difficult to achieve the high growth forecast.“ The Energy Storage Council has already reduced its high growth forecast from 550,000 systems in 2020 to less than 500,000 systems due to concerns Standards Australia will release draft Standards for battery storage systems that are not evidence

Listed on the ESC website under the ‘Battery Finder’ link are the 185 battery products currently available in the market that use the following chemistries: Li-ion 114 Lead acid 20 Lead carbon 16 Lead crystal 8 Sodium nickel 8 Absorbed glass matt 5 Vanadium 5 Aqueous hybrid ion 4 Zinc bromide 4 Warranties vary from five to 20 years. Pricing is on everyone’s mind, and data suggest the average cost of batteries sized <35 kWh is $1016 kWh. But it’s no secret that system costs are falling. By late 2017 prices will be around $650-$1500 kWh. Return on investment for storage will be reduced from 9.6 years to five years.

Welcome words Let’s not forget that early this year Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated in Parliament: “Energy storage, long neglected in Australia, will be a priority this year.” And in the words of Energy Storage Council chief executive John Grimes: “Solar and storage are good for humanity!”

based and will impose unnecessary restraints on the location of battery installations in households. These draft Standards may suppress demand for battery storage systems in the second half of 2017. The Energy Storage Council report will examine the reasons for installing and not installing battery storage. The report will also analyse employment

Drivers in battery purchasing

numbers in energy storage, as well as investment in research and development. Stay tuned for the full details of the comprehensive storage survey that reviews all key numbers and issues within the dynamic storage market.

Total battery installations 2016-2020 600000 500000 400000 300000 200000 100000

Save money

Back-up power Environmental concern

26 WINTER 2017

Energy independence Other

0

2016

2017 Low growth

2018 Medium growth

2019

2020 High growth


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Batteries on trial: the early verdict Lithium-ion battery performance test – early results ITP Renewables (ITP) is conducting independent performance testing on commercially available lead-acid battery technology and competing lithium-ion batteries. Funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the purpose is to verify battery performance against manufacturers’ claims and the desired outcome is to better inform energy storage system investors, to facilitate further uptake of renewable energy. LEAD-ACID (PbA) battery technologies have been used in stationary energy storage applications for decades. In recent years, however, new technologies have appeared on the market, and the range of options for back-up power provision and/or renewable energy storage has increased significantly. In particular, manufacturing of large format lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery cells for electric vehicles (EVs) has improved the cost and performance of Li-ion battery packs rapidly, and there is now increasing interest in using this technology in stationary applications. Nevertheless, particularly in remote applications where reliability is critical, energy system designers and end-users have been reluctant to transition to this new technology. In part, this reluctance is due to a long-history of over-stated manufacturers’ claims, which are often underpinned largely by lab-based tests run at a constant temperatures and which lack independent verification. The purpose of the testing is therefore to verify claims made by manufacturers about performance, integration, and installation of lithiumion battery packs, and to disseminate the results to the public. To achieve this ITP is independently testing the performance of six major Li-ion battery packs, an ‘advanced’ PbA battery bank, and a conventional gel VRLA (PbA) battery bank, side by side in hot daytime and cool overnight temperatures, similar to what they would be expected to face in real-world conditions. Testing takes place in a climate-controlled enclosure at the Canberra Institute of Technology. Battery cycling has now been ongoing since August 2016, and will continue until the end of July, 2019.

Testing procedure The batteries under test are: 1. Kokam (Nickel Manganese Cobalt), produced in Korea; 2. Sony (Lithium Ion Phosphate), produced in Japan; 3. LG Chem (Nickel Manganese Cobalt), produced in Korea; 4. CALB (Lithium Ion Phosphate), produced in China; 5. Tesla (Nickel Manganese Cobalt), produced in Japan/USA;

Figure 1. Measured capacity as a percentage of nameplate capacity

28 WINTER 2017

6. Samsung (Lithium Manganese Oxide), produced in Korea; 7. Ecoult UltraFlex (Advanced Lead Acid), produced in USA; 8. Exide Sonnenschein (Lead Acid), produced in Germany. The key objective of the testing is to measure the batteries’ decrease in storage capacity over time and with energy throughput. As the batteries are cycled they lose the ability to store as much energy as when they are new. To investigate this capacity fade, the Li-ion batteries are being discharged to a state of charge (SOC) between 5% and 10% (depending on the allowable limits of the BMS), while the lead acid batteries are being discharged to a 50% SOC (i.e. 50% of the rated capacity used). The advanced lead battery is being cycled between 30% and 80% SOC. These operating ranges are in line with manufacturers’ recommendations for each technology. A load-profile is being used which charges each battery pack over several hours (mimicking daytime charging from the PV), followed by a short rest period, then discharging over a few hours (mimicking the late afternoon, early evening period) followed by another short rest period. In total, there are three charge/discharge cycles per day.

Early results Capacity fade From the capacity data collected thus far, the Tesla, Sony, and LG Chem packs demonstrate capacity fade as expected. The long-term trends for the other packs are not significant enough to discern from short-term variability in capacity testing results. In particular, this variability arises because of instability and imprecision in the SOC estimation conducted by the BMS of some packs. The real trends will become clearer as time goes on. In the case of the Samsung and CALB packs, it is evident that the initial capacity exceeded the nameplate capacity (see Figure 1).

Efficiency Efficiency data shows greater variance than capacity results (likely due to SOC estimation inaccuracy). Nevertheless, in terms of round-trip efficiency, it can be seen that lithium-ion out-performs both the advanced and traditional lead-acid battery packs, despite lead-acid efficiency being higher than expected. It is clear that efficiency of >90% can be expected for either Li-ion NMC or Li-ion LFP chemistries, and it may be the case that a difference in efficiency will be discernible between the different li-ion chemistries by the conclusion of the trial. The variable results for the CALB pack can be attributed a known issue, and should not be taken as representative. More detail about the testing methodology and early results, including detail about charge acceptance testing and a discussion about how one of the lithium-ion battery packs has failed irreparably owing to improper lowvoltage protection provided by the BMS, is available at http://batterytestcentre.com.au/ In the near future, ITP will also announce a Phase 2 expansion of the battery testing, including the addition of several new batteries.


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The first Choice for Stored Energy Solutions


LG Chem empowers consumers Blackouts were top of mind for Andrew Hutchison and his wife Anna Macgowan, when they started researching energy storage systems. Working from their home and reliant on an inconsistent grid that frequently dropped out during the summer months was no longer acceptable.

ANDREW AND ANNA had a rooftop PV system

of whether the mains power was operational or

installed on their home in central Victoria

not.” This was especially important as the grid in

but found they were feeding a lot of the

the area is known to drop out regularly.

solar power they were generating during the

Andrew explained they did consider

daytime right back into the grid. They also

alternative solutions. “We had actually talked to

suffered from blackouts caused by the strain on

another installer about the Tesla system, and the

the network during periods of peak demand,

criteria was that we wanted some protection

especially in the hot summer months.

to outages. The installer was not able to

For them the key was taking back control over their electricity. “We want to be able to control our electricity costs – we’re running a

adequately explain how this system was going to do that.” Matt Wilson who installed the storage system

normal household and by and large our energy

says he chose the best possible option and

is feeding back into the grid,” Andrew said.

recommended the RESU system because it’s a

While they prefer to stay connected to the mains power in case of emergency, they want to be able to store their energy to use at night so they are not using the mains power after hours. The need for an energy storage system was growing. Having a solution that allowed both on- and off-grid capabilities enables them to mitigate rising energy prices and exercise control over power usage. While they have no plans to go off-grid immediately, Andrew and Anna are comfortable being in a position to go off-grid if necessary.

small unit yet has a high output, is unobtrusive to the customer, and it’s easy for the user to understand. “Also with LG Chem, you know you have an Australia-wide provider that’s in it for the longhaul. You get quality customer support that is different to that of other manufacturers.” Andrew remarked on the fact when people come to visit the property they can’t understand how LG Chem gets so much storage in such a compact box where ordinarily there’s a stack of lead-acid batteries. He also commented on the importance of

System choice and compatibility

being able to rely on his installer’s knowledge

The LG Chem RESU10 coupled with the

impressive and it followed through in his work

Selectronic SP PRO solution met all the

ethic … it’s not often that all ducks line up in

requirements for the property.

a row and they all work – Matt, LG Chem, and

According to Andrew, “One of the criteria

saying “You have to be able to trust your installer – Matt had a passion that was

Selectronic. With the Selectronic inverter you’ve

was that the whole system – the battery, the

got Australian technology that’s as good as it

panels, and the inverter – had to run regardless

gets.”


Results Since the February installation Andrew and Anna have been anticipating lower power bills. Monitoring the data from the Selectronic inverter, Andrew believes they are already in credit over $200 for the power that hasn’t been used, and the power they have exported back to the grid. “I don’t really know how much power we’ve used locally, but there’s sufficient power going back to the grid to cover the cost of the service charge,” he said. But it’s not just about saving money for Andrew. “We’ve long held a sympathy for the environment, and in a lot of cases technology is now cutting edge – there’s a low carbon-footprint, feel-good factor to it as well, which is important.” As for their requirements to run their house independently when the grid goes down, Andrew continues to be impressed. “Matt has been monitoring our usage graphs and feed-in graphs – we had no idea that there have been three outages since we installed the battery. The battery and inverter are just working hand in hand.” Given the chance, Andrew says he would choose LG Chem all over again, saying “All that’s left for us to do is extend the system with another battery and more panels. It’s hard not to be overly effusive and enthusiastic about this project. “I’ve been so impressed with how it all came together and worked, it’s just remarkable. The installation is doing exactly what we required of it without going off-grid – it’s just taken us to a new level.”

LG Chem’s global storage sales KOREAN BATTERY GIANT 
LG Chem recently advised it has now achieved global energy storage system sales equalling 2.6 GWh.
The figure includes systems already installed and orders for installations over the next three years. LG Chem’s growth is expected to get a boost from its recent launch of the residential battery system the RESU series with capacities up to 9.8 kWh.
 With the booming storage market the company anticipates the figure will fast grow in the next two years. BATTERIES FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Late last year LG Chem announced the start of construction of an EV battery plant in Poland that “will turn the Poland EV battery plant into a mecca of battery production for electric vehicles around the world.” LG Chem’s Poland EV battery plant is the first large-scale automotive lithium battery production plant in Europe, and it will energise the electric vehicle industry across Europe. The plant is to start production in the second half of this year and once fully complete it will have the production capacity that can provide more than 100,000 batteries per year for pure high-performance EVs that can run up to 320 km once charged. 
Once the Poland plant is in action, LG Chem will have established a global production system of four internationally located plants: home nation of South Korea, the US, China and Poland, securing the

production capacity of more than 280,000 batteries for pure highperformance EVs and establishing a foothold to become a global market leader.

Solar & Storage 31


Electric vehicles take to the roads

ARENA IS PROVIDING A $390,000 GRANT to Climateworks to support the uptake of electric vehicles as part of the Government’s technology neutral approach to emissions reductions.
 Speaking at the recent launch of the Electric Vehicle Council in Canberra Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said that increasing the uptake of electric and lower emissions vehicles was an important part of the Government’s broader strategy to reduce emissions.
 “Passenger vehicles account for around 10 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions which means if we can reduce emissions in this area, it can help us meet our targets under the Paris Agreement,” he said.

32 WINTER 2017

MOVE OVER TESLA! Ford claims its first all-electric vehicle (pictured above) will be affordable and have better range than the Tesla Model 3, “at least” 483 kilometres for its upcoming all-electric Compact Utility Vehicle. Ford hopes to introduce its model before 2020. “To get electrification volumes where we would all like them to be we have to make sure we make the affordability targets or otherwise they are going to stay as a niche item or a pure luxury item,” the Ford CTO said, “out vehicle will be an affordable crossover utility that will be fully competitive”. Sales of the new model are expected to eclipse sales the Ford Focus Electric battery-only range and the Nissan Leaf.

CHART COURTESY ENA ROADMAP

TWh

CHART COURTESY ENA ROADMAP

THE FUTURE OF THE AUTOMOBILE is fascinating emissions turns out to be false, at least in the near 50% people across the world, particularly market term. In most developed economies, EVs will use 40% analysts whose forecasts for the uptake of EVs are electricity that comes from coal-fired power stations, 30% rolling in faster than ever. But as we have found, drastically limiting the potential GHG savings. EVs these forecasts vary significantly. will save significant emissions only in Tasmania, New 20% The Australian Energy Market Operator suggests Zealand, Norway and other areas where renewable 10% 5 per cent of households in the NEM by 2035 will energy currently plays a large role in the energy 0% have EVs which will number 500,000. But its more supply. 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 aggressive forecast puts the number of EVs at two “If EVs are to deliver the hoped-for GHG emissions Projected share of electric vehicles in light million by 2035, with 20 per cent of households savings, increased renewable energy will need to be vehicle road transport – central case running an EV. used to charge them,” Advisian states. “Here, the According to Environment Minister Josh most likely scenario seems to be that home solar Frydenberg the uptake of electric vehicles in Australia is around 0.1 per systems, used in conjunction with large-capacity storage batteries, will cent of new vehicle sales and is projected to increase to 0.3 per cent by drive GHG emissions reductions and at the same time deliver savings on 2020 and 15 per cent by 2030 as electric vehicles become more price energy costs to EV users.” competitive. This would result in more than 12,000 electric vehicles EVs are unlikely to have a significant effect on fuel sales until the midregistered in Australia by 2020, and around one million by 2030. 2020s, but the eventual widespread use of EVs will reshape our cities and That’s chicken feed to Professor Seba of Stanford University who the way we live in them. reckons all light passenger cars sales by 2030 will be EVs, which would “People will choose one cafe, or one employer, over another because it equate to eight million in Australia by 2035. offers free or subsidised vehicle charging,” writes report author Phil O’Neil, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s estimate to 2035 is more conservative Senior Associate, Advisian New Energy. than Seba’s, putting numbers at four million EVs on Australian roads, The petrol industry will be hard hit, with falls of up to 97 per cent. and notes reservations for the Tesla Model 3, the first EVs sold at a price 50 comparable to petrol-fuelled cars, are around 320,000. As to the distances travelled by the average Australian, energy 40 consultant Advisian points out that Australia is the most urbanised 30 country in the world and the average car travels just 38 kilometres daily so 20 “Australia is, in fact, an ideal environment 10 for EVs”. 0 Advisian’s report The New Energy Future 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 Electric Vehicles: Disrupting the energy Projected additional national electricity consumption from electric vehicles mix? forecasts by 2040, 35 per cent of new car sales will be electric, though that figure could rise to 47 per cent, depending on the cost of oil and extent of car sharing. They note the most conservative estimates see just 5 per cent EV penetration by 2035 but the most radical forecast is 100 per cent by 2030. The report states “However the common assumption that EVs will significantly reduce greenhouse gas


Fronius in action This year the Solar Energy Division of technology pioneer Fronius marks its 25th anniversary. To help celebrate we take a tour of the SnapINverter in use in diverse locations and applications across the world, helping the company’s vision of “24 hours of sun” nudge a few steps closer to reality.

Power for the Canadian Arctic In the Canadian Arctic three Fronius Primo inverters are providing the isolated Sachs Harbour community with a reliable supply of energy and are a clean and sustainable alternative to diesel generators. The Fronius inverters function at an ambient temperature of as low as -40°. For the 132 inhabitants, the PV solution means greater independence from fossil fuels and expensive price peaks.

Photovoltaics project as a model for the Sri Lankan population Bandaranaike International Airport in Sri Lanka recently opted for solar power. A system with an output of almost 78 kWp has been installed on the roof of the maintenance building, which covers roughly 20 per cent of the building’s energy requirements. Due to their plug-in card slots and open interfaces the three Fronius Eco inverters in use can be upgraded at a later date.

A total of 46 Fronius Symo inverters supply a Filipino shopping centre A shopping centre chain at Gaisano Capital in the Philippines has recently commissioned a 1 MW roof-mounted system that covers up to 50 per cent of the building’s daily energy needs using a total of 46 Fronius Symo inverters. These inverters boast a dynamic feed-in regulation function that allows the operator to use the generated power in an efficient manner.

The dream of an energy-independent home In Schwertberg, Upper Austria a Fronius Energy Package combines the intelligent functions of the SnapINverter with a storage solution in the form of a battery. Builder Boris Maier has realised his dream of an energy independent home. With an annual consumption of approximately 2000 kWh, the Fronius Energy Package working with an additional Fronius Symo inverter covers more than 90 per cent of the energy requirements. The rest is covered by a pellet oven with an integrated 600 W Stirling generator, enabling complete grid independence. With the SnapINverter models of Eco, Primo, Galvo, Symo and Symo Hybrid, Fronius covers the entire spectrum of inverters for photovoltaic systems of any size. The devices are available with nominal outputs of 1.5 to 27 kW and all follow a uniform design.

Solar & Storage 33


The story of sonnen Bavarian company sonnen is Europe’s largest supplier of solar-charged energy storage systems, and recently established a base in Australia which has been identified as potentially one of its biggest markets. Head of sonnen Australia Chris Parratt tells us more about the uptake down under.

COMPETITION AMONG HOME STORAGE innovators is stronger than ever, but happily for German battery maker sonnen the interest generated by rival Tesla has actually been beneficial. Established back in 2010 – well before Tesla stormed onto the scene – sonnen is one step ahead with a proven product that has already been deployed in tens of thousands of homes. As a company spokesperson put it “People go online and start researching, and guess who pops up? We do.” Over in Europe sonnen is very much a household name, and the company rightly claims leadership of Europe’s battery storage market, having installed 20,000 storage systems across its main markets in just seven years. Testimony to the intelligent storage technology, sonnen has been listed ‘One of the top 50 Smartest Companies’ worldwide by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Rather a nice accolade to include in testimonials. Now sonnen has high hopes for Australia’s residential storage market which it expects to be one of its biggest on the back of world-leading numbers of rooftop PV systems. To further its ambitions sonnen has struck alliances with partners Energy Matters, Zen Energy and True Value in Australia, and BDT in New Zealand, who started installing sonnen’s eco 8 – the eighth generation of the battery – in November 2016. By year’s end they had installed 300 units and by mid May this year a further 400 units bringing the total to 700 sonnenBatterie units in just six months. “We have sold more but we always state how much is installed rather than how many are in warehouses or how many deposits we have taken,” said Head of sonnen Australia, Chris Parratt “I say that because there are some poor battery systems on the market in their first version, there has been a surprising failure rate.”

Battery storage in Australia is forecasting to increase tenfold from 2016 to 2018 and sonnen’s Chris Parratt is poised for action

34 WINTER 2017

Watch this space: sonnenflat set for launch in Australia In early July sonnen will announce its sonnenCommunity and “sonnen flat” scheme which covers the cost of a household’s grid power in exchange for the household giving sonnen access to the power stored in the battery to draw down (along with hundreds of other batteries) and sell into the grid at time of peak energy use. By way of example 300 residential customers would provide about one MW of capacity enabling sonnen to bid into the market and cover the cost of free power. This ability, which Parratt describes as unique to sonnen because of its long life and capacity, will add to grid stability and energy security once battery numbers reach a critical level. The deal was introduced to the sonnen community in Germany last year and has since spread to other parts of Europe. Stay tuned for more on this enterprising deal that could further shake up the market. Sonnen manages all after sales service from its offices in Sydney, with technical and customer queries answered by Australian staff www.sonnensupportaustralia.com.au

Tech specs, stats and facts Manufactured in Germany sonnen’s “Plug and Play” storage system is an all-in-one package that includes the in-built inverter, home automation and intelligent software and batteries. A self-learning algorithm and data from the weather bureau processed by sonnen’s smart system can identify the best time for the battery to start charging. Customers are provided with an app for real time information on the system’s functioning. The Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LifePO4) battery developed by sonnen comes with 10,000 cycles and 100 per cent depth of discharge (DOD) and is capable of supplying around 75 per cent of a household’s energy needs. The modular system enables customers to purchase 2 kWh to 16 kWh in 2 kWh increments and reaches best payback (typically six to eight years) when sized correctly for household consumption. The average size installed in Australia is 10 kWh. The single or three-phase system can be stacked together indefinitely. The largest is nine three-phase system stacked for 144 kWh capacity. The biggest uptake in Australia has been South Australia where households should achieve a payback of between 4.5 and six years.


STORAGE NEWS and PRODUCT UPDATES BUILD YOUR DREAMS: Earlier this year Chinese battery giant BYD which is best known as the largest maker of electric vehicles launched its new compact lithium-ion phosphate B-Box battery on the Australian home energy storage market. BYD hopes to compete with industry leader LG Chem and secure 20 to 25 per cent of the local storage market. A high-level delegation led by Senior Marketing Manager William Wang flew in from China to showcase the new technology at May’s Solar and Storage Show. The residential series ranges from 2.5 kWh to 10.0 kWh and the maximum capacity of the commercial series is 409 kWh. The battery’s thermal stability is said to enable a long lifespan and good return on investment and is described as “safe under extreme physical conditions”. The B-Box is available through four distributors including 360Energy‘s Solar360 who suggest BYD could gain from 25 per cent and 50 per cent of the local market that is on track to reach tens of thousands of installations. The B-Box renewable power capacity meets light to heavy electrical load usage, off-grid or on-grid, single phase or three phase application. It features the same battery technology in London’s fleet of 51 single-decker electric buses and Sydney airport’s electric bus fleet. BYD Electric Blu bus BYD also uses a lease model for its buses in some markets, where after the bus battery ends is useful life, it can then be deployed by BYD for stationary storage. Pictured right is William Wang who told Solar & Storage the hivoltage B Box technology was a finalist at Intersolar in Munich. He also talked about the 600-kilometre range of the battery now installed in buses at Sydney airport and around the world. We thought we’d let the picture below do the talking about BYD’s global reach.

TRINABESS HAS LAUNCHED the long awaited TrinaHome, the residential battery system for all households. The TrinaHome collection comes in two series the single phase S-series and the three phase T-series. The single phase series comes in with a power rating of 3.7 kW and modular capacity expansion from 3 kWh to 12 kWh whereas the three phase series comes in power ratings of 5.2 kW or 9.8 kW with modular capacity expansion from 6 kWh to 12 kWh or 9 kWh to 18 kWh respectively. The TrinaHome collection is sleek, discrete and fits in with any other home appliance. The system can be monitored remotely from mobile device or on desktop putting the power in the hands of the user.

SMART ‘FUSION’: Choosing vanadium battery technology

BYD’s rapidly growing network of electric buses and taxis are found in more than 200 cities worldwide

over traditional lithium ion options, NEXTracker is partnering with Avalon Battery on the NX Fusion Plus, an integrated solar tracker and storage system, which combines industryleading tracking, storage and inverter technologies, along with predictive smart control software, analytics and monitoring capabilities.

Solar & Storage 35


STORAGE NEWS and PRODUCT UPDATES RENEWABLES ADVOCATES ADDRESS THE MINING INDUSTRY: In late June the Energy and Mines Australia Summit will explore the use of renewables in mining, and how it can reduce energy costs and provide energy security. ARENA and CEFC are among the keynote speakers, along with Redback Technologies. The summit will feature 50+ mining and renewables senior representatives from Fortescue Metals Group, Pilbara Minerals, BHP Billiton along with a host of familiar renewable entities including Sun Metals, SunSHIFT, ABB, Shell, Caterpillar, Advisian, Juwi Renewable Energy, Redback Technologies, Energetics and CAT Projects. Following nine Summits in the other key global mining centres – Canada, Chile, South Africa and the UK – the summit is described as a timely platform for mining leaders to meet with renewables, storage, finance, government and carbon mitigation experts to explore solutions for affordable, reliable, and low-carbon power for mines. This at an important time when new and operating remote mines are assessing the cost savings and carbon reduction benefits renewables offer when integrated with diesel and gas-powered generators. While grid-tied sites are reviewing behind-the-meter renewables options to counteract rising electricity costs and grid instability challenges.

MORE STORAGE PROJECTIONS SOURCE: BLOOMBERG

REDBACK TECHNOLOGIES FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR PHILIP LIVINGSTON

Customers (millions)

25

Customers without smart meters

20

Customers with smart meters under new regulatory arrangements

15 10 5 0 2015

2020

2025

2030

2035

2040

2045

2050

Ratio of battery to variable renewable energy installed capacity

Projected ratio of battery capacity to variable renewable generation capacity to achieve energy balancing for a given renewable energy share, by state NSW

2

QLD

VIC

SA

TAS

Trend

1.8 1.6 1.4 1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0%

10%

20%

30%

40% 50% 60% Renewable energy share

70%

80%

90%

100%

SOURCE: ENA ROADMAP

36 WINTER 2017

Forecast penetration of smart meters in Australia

SOURCE: ENA ROADMAP

(pictured above) has joined as the newest member of the Australian Power Institute (API) Board of Directors. API has looked to Redback to reinvigorate its initiatives, provide fresh thinking on how they can attract and support students entering the industry and encourage new energy innovations within its remit. In addition, Redback is also announcing it has sponsored a University of Queensland initiative, the UQ Computing Society, which encourages engineering students to be actively involved in the new energy industry. Redback Technologies will be sponsoring Computing Society initiatives, such as hackathons and seminars, and is actively seeking out interns to work within Redback during their studies, which will give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real-life use cases. Phil Livingston is pleased to be supporting innovation and education in the smart energy sector through API and the University of Queensland, saying “As the industry transitions to renewables and solar adoption continues to increase across the country, it is important to ensure this sector has a pipeline of highly skilled professional work force. We take it as our duty at Redback to aid in building the cleantech ecosystem to drive increased employment and competitive advantage for both Queensland as well as greater Australia. “We’ve already seen strong success in bringing UQ students into Redback, with a number of graduates choosing to take up positions as full-time employees,” said Livingston.


REDFLOW HAS TAKEN its largest single sale of ZBM2 zincbromine flow batteries, worth about $800,000, for multiple sites in the Pacific Islands. Redflow partner Vertiv (formerly Emerson Network Power) will provide the batteries for an energy storage solution being designed by New Zealand-based Hitech Solutions. Hitech is building advanced hybrid energy storage systems to provide reliable, remote power to multiple sites in a Pacific Island nation. This first ZBM2 order from Hitech supports the first stage of a multiple stage project. Redflow CEO Simon Hackett said this major sector sale recognised the unique advantages of its batteries and “This high-workload deployment in the tropics is ideal for our zinc-bromine flow batteries.”

IN A NETHERLANDS FIRST, a Dutch dairy farm has deployed six Redflow ZBM2 zincbromine flow batteries to store self-produced solar energy that can support its milk production with sun-harvested energy. Dubbed the Photon Farmer, the project aims to store solar energy for the farm’s use by using six 10 kWh ZBM2 batteries, the first Redflow deployment in the Netherlands. The 57.5-hectare family-owned farm currently stocks 110 dairy cows. Due to public importance, the European Union is co-financing the deployment, which could revolutionise energy supply by supporting businesses to become energy independent. Redflow Global Sales Director Andrew Kempster (pictured above right) visited the Netherlands this week for the project’s launch and said the ‘Photon Farmer’ had produced energy with solar panels for several years. “The battery project is seeking the best business model for future local sustainable energy production, including energy storage in a

battery,” he said. “Our zinc-bromine flow battery technology is well-suited for this project.” A prime driver for the project is to enhance the ability of farms to produce energy from renewable sources, leveraging large roofs with room for solar panels and even available space for windmills.


ABB: driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions Since ABB introduced its first generation of single-phase residential inverters a decade ago, more than 700,000 units have been installed in over 40 countries, representing more than 7 billion hours of power accumulated in the field. The company remains at the forefront of advances and here we review some recent significant developments. ABB’s Guido Jouret (right) discusses the future of cognitive and industrial machines with IBM’s Harriet Green

Artificial intelligence: ABB and IBM partnership ABB Ability has joined forces with IBM’s Watson Internet of Things cognitive capabilities to bring real-time cognitive insights to the factory floor and smart grids. The system predicts supply patterns in electricity generation and demand from historical and weather data, to help utilities optimise the operation and maintenance of today’s smart grids which are adapting to complexities surrounding the new balance of conventional as well as renewable power sources. Forecasts of temperature, sunshine and wind speed will be used to predict consumption demand, which will help utilities determine optimal load management as well as real-time pricing. For more information visit www.ibm.com/iot, www.ibm.com/internet-of-things/iot-solutions/ iot-manufacturing and follow @IBMIoT on Twitter.

Self-commissioning solar inverter Back in March ABB unveiled its digitally enabled, self-commissioning solar inverter rated from 3 kW to 5 kW, to reduce installation time and costs in residential PV. Its embedded wireless connectivity and smart grid capabilities provide homeowners with cost-effective advanced monitoring, control, and maintenance. The UNO-DM-PLUS inverter range connectively package allows for smart grid capabilities such as dynamic feed-in control, which manages the energy fed into the grid. It uses SunSpec-compatible open communication protocol to ensure compliance with future grid codes and maintains off-theshelf interoperability with other devices in the system.

38 WINTER 2017


The 648 MW Adani solar power plant in Kamuthi in southern India

Product advances and launches Making its first public appearance at Intersolar in Munich in late May was ABB’s pioneering 100 and 120 kW string inverter featuring multi-MPPT solutions for maximum plant design flexibility. The inverter will be available at the end of 2017, with a power and voltage range extension to 1500 Vdc to be released soon after. The inverter has been designed for large-scale commercial and industrial PV installations, as well as for ground-mounted projects. It has access to the Internet of Things via IP based communication, scalable cloud architecture and easy wireless commissioning via tablet/mobile device. Featuring high energy harvesting and advanced cooling credentials, the inverter has been widely tested for performance reliability, and is said to require minimal onsite interventions. Also announced was ABB’s latest addition to the TRIO family, the TRIO TM. The 3 MPPT version features power ratings up to 60 kW, and was designed with enhanced flexibility to maximise ROI in large systems. This joins ABB’s latest addition to ABB’s single-phase inverter family, the UNO-DM-PLUS series for residential PV installations with its compact design for power ratings from 1.2 to 5.0 kW, enabling integration with current and future devices for smart building automation. Also showcased was the new integrated microgrid solution MGS100 built for extreme environments and for villages that struggle to access affordable and reliable electricity. Encased in a single container, the MGS100 has three power ratings – 20 kW, 40 kW, 60 kW nominal load power.

India’s transition to solar power ABB is supporting India’s move to clean energy and solar power through a number of solar projects, including the 648 MW Adani solar power plant in Kamuthi in southern India. ABB provided the electrification and automation systems for the project which happens to be the world’s largest solar plant in a single location, with the facility spread over 10 square kilometres and accounting for about 10 per cent of India’s solar power. ABB’s project scope included the design, supply, installation and commissioning related to the solar plant electrification and automation systems. The plant electrification includes five substations, two 230 kV and three 110 kV outdoor substations to connect to the local transmission grid. In addition, ABB delivered 288 1 MW solar inverters that convert the variable direct current (DC) output from the panels into a utility frequency alternating current (AC) to be fed into the grid. ABB Ability Symphony Plus control technology is the unified automation platform that integrates the five plants into a single virtual (digital) 648 MW mega project, represented by over 75,000 signals coming from a battery of inverters, strings, substations, switchgear and transformers.

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Inverter advancement leads the PV Industry SolarEdge founder Lior Handelsman is driving innovative solutions to gain a competitive advantage. Here he addresses solar developments arising from advances in inverter technologies.

FOR THE PAST DECADE, the solar energy industry has been focused on reaching grid parity, which occurs when solar energy generates power at a Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE) equal to the price of purchasing power from the grid. In many regions around the world, including in Australia, we have already reached and surpassed grid parity. This does not mean that the race towards lower LCOE has stopped. In fact, the industry is now competing against itself in order to provide more advanced and efficient solar energy solutions. As inverters have a significant impact on LCOE, we believe that a key to driving the advancement of the solar industry is inverter innovation. We can see the impact of inverter innovation by looking back at the past few years in which a number of new inverter technologies were

Pictured below: The PV system at the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research at Murdoch in Western Australia features the SolarEdge DC optimised inverter system and SolarEdge founder, Lior Handelsman (inset)

introduced that helped to advance the PV market. One particularly important innovation was the introduction of module-level power electronics (MLPE) to inverter topology.

By moving functionality to the panel level, this distributed inverter topology unlocked new value that was not previously accessible, such as more energy, high-resolution monitoring, design flexibility, and enhanced safety.

Inverter advancement In fact, this inverter advancement has even been called a potential disruptive technology for the PV industry due to its ability to offer value and improve the LCOE of systems. If the past few years are any indication of the future advancement of the PV industry, then the inverter can continue to drive the PV industry forward. There are many reasons why the inverter is key to this continued advancement, but the central reason is that the inverter acts as the brain of the system. As the PV system brain, the inverter is responsible for maximising energy production, smart grid interaction, safety functions, monitoring, storage, smart homes, and more. This means that when inverter technology advances, it not only improves the inverter


itself, but it also has the potential to impact all of the other additional functionalities it manages. In comparison, when improvements are made in another component, such as, a panel, the impact of this improvement is typically limited and may not necessarily affect other components in the system. Because inverter progress can help to advance the entire PV system, its improvement is strategic to the PV industry. As the functionality of inverters is expanding, inverters are simultaneously shifting towards digitisation which means that more of the DC to AC conversion processes is happening electronically versus mechanically. By entering the digital age, inverters have a faster trajectory for advancement and can now follow in the footsteps of other technological trends such as, smartphones, computers, and televisions. SolarEdge has made significant progress in digitising inverter functionality with its HD-Wave inverter. Not only has this had the immediate effect of increasing efficiency and power density of the inverter, but it will also allow the pace of inverter advancement to significantly increase compared to what we witnessed over the past 20 years.

and more. Lastly and most importantly, inverter manufacturers, like SolarEdge, are focusing their efforts on providing more innovative solutions to gain a competitive advantage in the market. This healthy competition will allow the inverter to continue to help PV proliferation around the world.

C

M

Y

CM

Enhancing performance The responsibility for improving PV systems mainly comes down to the inverter. So, the question remains, what is the industry doing in order to continue advancing the inverter? First of all, the regulatory organisations are placing additional demands on the inverter that manufacturers need to meet. A recent example is the tighter network restrictions particularly around phase balancing that came into effect in Australia on March 31, 2017, in addition to the requirement to include both PV and battery inverters in total phase and site generation capacity. From the demand side, homeowners and installers are requiring that inverters provide more value, such as monitoring, efficiency, reliability, energy automation,

MY

CY

CMY

K

Solar & Storage 41


The next phase for Enphase Nathan Dunn of Enphase talks to Solar and Storage about the company’s ambitions for its compact energy storage systems in Australia.

LAST NOVEMBER marked an important step for

low-income students whose energy bills have been

installation at Stucco Co-operative, a heritage listed

slashed by 20 per cent, while Stucco is paying just

multi-unit housing accommodation for students

one-tenth the previous electricity bill to the grid

in inner Sydney. The installation features a 30 kW

retailer.

rooftop PV system, 114 Enphase S230 Microinverters and 36 Enphase AC Batteries providing up to 43.2

Market evolution

kWh of storage capacity, which is Enphase’s largest

There is plenty of scope for solar and storage

storage system on a single site, anywhere.

installations at commercial premises according to

Nathan Dunn, managing director of Enphase AsiaPacific, describes Stucco as a landmark project that opens up a whole new market segment for renewable energy, “A community led proposition and a unique opportunity where students had a desire to be more focused on renewable energy,” he said. “Need and opportunity converged. We were about to launch the AC battery and were able to make the retrofit on the heritage listed building as no

“Australia is still far ahead of any global market we operate in.”

The smart system has paid dividends for the 40

Enphase with a commercial energy storage

drilling was necessary to accommodate the Enphase microinverter which [unlike string inverters] sits on the back of the panel. It had little to no impact on the structural integrity of the building. “The developer did however have to convince

Dunn who has seen the market take an interesting and dramatic shift with the gap between residential and commercial business widening. “Although Enphase is primarily focused on residential installs as a core value proposition we are also watching the market including multi-dwellings and aged care facilities with great interest, and developing smart energy solutions for many large retailers and distribution centres. Key to this is a favourable rate of return, maintenance factors and the levelised cost of energy,” he explained. Enphase is one of several companies that chose to launch its smart storage system in Australia, and for good reason, its work here represents about 70 per cent of Enphase’s storage achievements on a global

the Australian Energy Regulator* he was not selling

scale. “So yes, we believe we picked the right market.

energy at a profit, explaining the operations of the

There is still some work needed to get there [reach

embedded network and gaining approvals to operate

our target of 60,000] … but Australia is still far ahead

as an energy reseller took some time.”

of any global market we operate in. Stucco switches to solar: Solaray Energy installed the system designed to provide 80 per cent of the building’s energy requirements for residents

42 WINTER 2017


“The opportunities are great.” The business model involves 500 to 1000 installers across Australia and New Zealand on a regular basis and helping them configure the optimum sized Enphase system, with between one to three AC batteries sized at 1.2 kWh. Enphase analysis reveals bigger battery storage is not better. It’s a case of matching size with peak hour demand, and Dunn is mindful that work carried out to date reveals the average sized PV system is 3.6 kW.

Federal agenda Dunn is reluctant to endorse development of large battery banks and expansion of the snowy hydro scheme saying instead given the high levels of small scale, residential PV, more thought should be given to adding household storage as a means of smoothing some of the challenges faced by the energy generators. What about incentives? Enphase has found incentive programs overseas that are not managed well tend to backfire however a properly construed stimulus would be ideal “but it should not be outlandish and drive people to focus on price at lowest cost product which would lead to low quality product and poor installations.” Enphase continues to evolve and has launched the new sixth generation micro-inverter, and later this year its new AC battery will hit the market. *Stucco’s application and power purchase agreement is freely available from the Australian Energy Regulator’s website.

The Stucco installation was overseen by project managers and former residents of Stucco, Dr Bjorn Sturmberg and Louis Janse van Rensburg and involved an $80,000 innovation grant from the City of Sydney with $50,000 from Stucco

Solar & Storage 43


COMPANY OVERVIEW

Big plans for big plants Canberra based EPC Solar is fast emerging as a major player in the solar sector. Managing Director Daryn Stocks talks about EPC’s role in a variety of groundbreaking projects and some larger scale solar energy developments on the horizon.

BELOW: The 420 kW solar rooftop solar at Canberra National archives designed by EPC Solar, the company behind solar and storage, domestic sales and installations, micro-grids, solar hot water and solar air conditioning, solar financing, commercial solar and large-scale consulting

44 WINTER 2017

AUSTRALIA’S NEWLY BUILT National Archives Preservation Facilities in Canberra is home to 110 kilometres of shelving for vital documents that preserve the nation’s memory. The building is also home to an EPC-designed 420 kW rooftop PV system that will tap into the power of the sun for decades to come. The project is one of EPC Solar’s largest to date and has paved the way for a range of high profile PV projects that include the upgrade of the ACT Law Courts and the new Uniting Care Centre. EPC has also worked with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to provide critical infrastructure diagnostic and support services to remote communities in Western Australian to support their transition to solar power generation systems. Over the past 18 months, the business has designed and delivered more than 120 renewable energy systems, ranging from household solar and battery systems, to commercial solar and LED lighting, to large-scale projects. At the helm is Daryn Stocks who brings years of design and installation expertise to the business, and has been recognised by the Australian Solar Council with a Master Installer Accreditation. Stocks also credits the technical skills provided by ACT firm Beast Solutions, which provides essential services in engineering, project management, project design, feasibility and optimisation. Together with DC Renewables, the EPC team is helping to deliver the ACT Government’s Next Gen program. The program aims to deliver storage systems to more than 5000 Canberra homes through battery subsidies of up to $3500 per household.

“Next Gen provides great momentum in the ACT and could be used as model for PV storage rollouts in other parts of Australia,” says Stocks.

New projects on the horizon EPC is in the process of closing several large commercial projects as well as a contract for a 28 MW solar farm, and is eyeing the large-scale battery storage with its partners as equipment prices continue to fall. On the back of their early successes, Stocks is progressing the expansion of the business with discussions underway with partners across the country, which will provide a wider footprint and greater resources to service large-scale projects. “Triple certification opens the doors for us and is enabling us to branch into other regions over the next six months, including Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and also locations in Western Australia,” Stocks said. “We also have our sights on some inland projects, for large commercial and utility clients.” Although Stocks is unable to present more details of the projects until contracts are sealed he did explain all necessary resources had been locked in through joint ventures with ITP Renewables and German based R&L Solar who are eager to work with them on projects up to 100 MW. “Along with our business partners we are expanding to a national level during the next 18 months and will develop into a niche national player. We are well equipped to deliver the series of large projects we have in the pipeline,” said Stocks whose plans and aspirations extend beyond the near future. “During my fourteen years in the industry I have seen the solar coaster ride but I’d say the next five years are looking to be promising. That is, if it is managed the right way. People today are proactively looking at the potential of the solar and energy storage industry over the next five to ten years, and there is enormous scope for development. “I also believe the battery storage market will be secure during next ten years, and that’s why we are particularly interested in being involved in the design and deployment of large-scale projects and micro grids. These are the way of the future but we are well-position and geared up to take on the next wave of engineering procurement and construction (EPC) projects.” “I’m hoping that in five years or so we’ll attract international investors as it would provide us with greater financial capacity to develop ever larger solar farms and renewables.” www.epcsolar.com.au


GCL’s market grasp Last year Chinese solar giant GCL branched into energy storage and selected Australia as the location for the launch of its unique and popular battery range. One year on Solar & Storage chatted to Laid Sahraoui during his recent visit from GCL headquarters in Jiangsu, China.

UNTIL RECENTLY GCL was best known as a developer of large-scale solar farms. The world’s largest PV material manufacturer produces almost one third of the market’s silicon and 29 per cent of wafers that supply the world’s largest module makers including Yingli, Trina, Jinko, JA Solar, and Hareon Solar. The company has since carved a presence in the fast evolving storage market and last year introduced its sleek looking E-KwBe battery system sized at 2.5 kWh and 5.6 kWh respectively. The battery came with a touch of interior design: the lightweight stylish wall mounted system is available in five pastel shades that complement any décor. A form of functional wall art, you could say, certainly a talking point for visitors. It’s one year down the track, and according to Global Marketing Director Laid Sahraoui the stylish battery units which are available through GCL’s official distributor OneStopWarehouse have attracted widespread interest and achieved strong sales volumes. “We are also finding that there in an appetite in the market for a larger battery system. Many residential customers were buying two 5.6 kWh systems to cater for household energy demands so GCL Si has designed a larger, 9.3 kWh storage system,” Sahraoui explained.

“It’s a better fit for houses, and this larger system will come with improvements to the embedded technology.” The system (pictured) will come in three metallic shades and at a similar cost per kWh to the competitively priced 5.6 kWh storage unit that last year on release was labeled by installers a “game changer that brings storage to the masses”. The updated larger model is due for launch in the coming months following successful testing.

After sales service In other developments the company is introducing an after sales service for Australian consumers which will be directly managed by GCL company staff rather than OneStopWarehouse. “The key to ensuring customers are best served is a complete understanding by our after sales staff of all our systems and so we will be fully training technicians” Sahraoui said, “This will ensure they are equipped with the highest and best possible technical knowledge for all after sales service enquiries.” The move also reflects the fact Australia remains GCL’s biggest storage market, and was strategically positioned for GCL’s storage launch last year due to the relatively mature solar market, low installation costs and stable market demand.

Module sales GCL Global Marketing Director Laid Sahraoui with GCL battery kits

GCL’s global growth continues and the company is currently targeting more markets in Europe and also in the US pending the outcome of legislative changes to module imports. To cater for booming demand GCL is teaming up with Vino Solar in Vietnam to produce annual capacity of 600 MW in addition to the 5 GW manufactured by GCL at its factories across China. Module sales in Australia, Japan and India are also a focus of company operations. In just 18 months 500 MW of modules have been shipped to India where GCL has joined forces with energy giant Adani as well as others to develop large-scale solar plants in the nation where solar power is fast evolving. Demands are a little different in Japan, Sahraoui revealed. “Japan has a very specific rooftop solar market which demands customised modules to optimise system performance … due to this the modules which are destined for commercial and utility developments cost a bit more to produce.” In other news, GCL has teamed up with Tigo’s Smart Module performance box to increase performance in winter and on cloudy days.

Solar & Storage 45


COMPANY OVERVIEW

Solar circle 360Energy group is well known in the solar sector and continues to evolve along with the industry. In just seven years those associated with the business have been instrumental in installing up to 200,000 systems. In this first of a series, company founder Michael Anthony outlines the group’s activities and market drivers.

“Always be very clear on who the target market is and then develop a message to that target.”

WITH STRONG INTEREST in solar energy and the benefits derived from storage bubbling right across the country, 360Energy is on a roll and well positioned to secure an even greater slice of the action. Toward the end of last year the company experienced significant growth in the commercial sector with the average commercial installation for solar jumping from 20 kW to more than 50 kW. “This year that trend has continued and business are clearly concerned about energy costs so we expect the pace to gather,” said 360 founder Michael Anthony. Moving with the times and from small beginnings in 2010, the company has been well structured to cover all industry demands, from development, installation, management of energy storage and solar projects for itself and its partners. Previously known as Solar360, the enterprise has grown into the 360Energy group comprising My Community Energy, 360Storage, Projects360 and retail brand 360Energy. The suite of 360 businesses operating in the residential, community, commercial and industrial sectors deploy many of Australia’s most recognisable renewable energy products developed through commercial relationships with the big brands such as BYD and Risen. Michael Anthony explained the development as a means of “providing the end to end solutions across our business units to tackle the opportunities of our industries applications and provide a seamless solution to our customers.” Anthony – a savvy marketer – explained part of the successful strategy is “to always be very clear on who the target market is and then develop a message to that target. Working out where to deliver that message takes research and some trial and testing to get it right.” Staff of 360Energy group which has developed in all directions and now covers all aspects of the solar and storage industry

He identified industrial scale solar projects as another big mover this year, saying “We have been fielding inquires to our Projects business from across the country and this year we are expecting to turn soil in larger scale projects of around 100 MW to 150 MW. “Some we are helping with finance, others we are providing the entire EPC service and other part thereof. So in terms of dollars growth this will be the fastest growing market for us this year.” Unsurprisingly, much of today’s focus is also on energy storage, capturing solar energy and the software systems that drive and report on that. Anthony says building and operating embedded networks is not new but combining the latest solar and storage technologies wherever possible is a point of difference. 360 Group CFO Tim Blackmore explained that funding partnerships enable the company to integrate solar and storage solutions into communities at no upfront cost.

Software advances 360Energy has also been busy creating its own software systems that improve the efficiency and output of their energy storage systems by as much as 15 per cent. The software 360View delivers detailed analysis that enables demand management and trading of energy amongst their own systems, others, and the energy grid. Group Executive Chairman Chris Young said “Our software solutions also enable some of our more creative business models when combined with innovative finance and supply chain structures. We can use these structures ourselves or package up for others in the industry. “We offer the market an umbrella approach to a range of products and services, from EPC to Finance, supply chain to installation services … the implementation of community energy infrastructure and integrating storage systems and solar into embedded networks and building micro grids for regional or remote communities. We are able to deploy our own retail billing systems when required in these networks. Michael Anthony added “Understanding how the application of our technologies can release independence and economic development for families and communities is the core motivation for me, we want to share this knowledge.” In upcoming issues of Solar & Storage Michael Anthony will present his views on large-scale solar, storage sales, integrated networks, microgrids and more.

46 WINTER 2017


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Pile driver hits pay dirt With a target of more than 100 piles per day and strict accuracy requirements, a contractor trialled Vermeer’s new pile driver and was thrilled to double the quota and finish the job six weeks early.

Civil and Allied Technical Construction (CATCON)

pile, taking off any coating to stop rust, and

had previously experienced issues with speed,

mushrooming the top of it, he explained. “The

accuracy, and damage to piles due to inefficient

Vermeer PD10 has a special bash plate designed to

piling equipment at a large-scale solar farm.

give the heavy knock that the piles need without

To avoid a repeat of these problems during

damaging them.”

construction of the 25 MW Barcaldine solar farm

ownedCPD by Elecnor Australia, they chose Vermeer’s PROMO

PD10 Laser-Guided Solar Pile Driver for the project. The project is designed using single axis tracking technology for maximum solar collection at the farm expected to generate 53,500 MWh annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 50,000 tonnes per annum. It will cover 93 hectares of land. Construction of the project includes 11,000 4m and 4.8m piles, and 79,000 solar modules. Each solar module is 3m wide and sits 2m above the ground. The project brief outlined that the 11,000 piles had to be driven approximately 2m into the ground with less than 5mm variance in spacing, vertically plum, and within height variances of 4mm. This had to be done at a rate of at least 120 piles a day.

CATON had experienced challenges with previous pile drivers, so a back-hoe and auger were brought in as backup in the event they were needed. However, when the trial began, the PD10 had put in all six piles, plum, within 2mm of spacing and within 1-2mm of height in the same amount of time that the auger bore had drilled one foot of its first hole. Precise pile placement is very important, as panel motors are later mounted on them. “CATCON was very happy with the results, they couldn’t believe the speed and accuracy,” O’Grady said. The PD10 has run smoothly since its trial and due to its speed, accuracy and reduction in pile damage, CATCON has purchased two PD10 Pile Drivers. O’Grady and Vermeer project support team

Meeting requirements with the PD10

members Simon Coles, Richard Punter and Colin

The Vermeer PD10 Laser-Guided Solar Pile

machine’s capabilities.

Driver was used to successfully install piles at the Barcaldine solar farm. The laser and GPSenabled pile driver comes with an integrated control system enabling users to see important information, including pile height, angle and engine readings at the touch of a button. It features fast tracking for faster cycle time, ergonomic dual joystick control, one touch auto plumb button, and wide track pads for reduced site disturbance. The machine is also equipped with Vermeer InSite, a tool that allows the contractor to see vital

Maginnis spent five days on site training the operator and supervisor on how to best use the Elecnor was expecting 120 piles a day. The PD10 was able to achieve 290 a day on the project, in all 11,000 piles in 90 days, six weeks ahead of schedule, within tolerances (sometimes within 1mm) and with almost no damage to, or mushrooming, of the pile head.

An eye on the future O’Grady believes Vermeer’s role in the future of solar farms will be significant, saying “Australia is becoming a leader in solar power and Vermeer

information from the computer in the office, such

is excited to be able to make the construction of

as idle time, work time, fuel usage, and machine

solar farms more efficient.

location. Anthony O’Grady, Queensland Area Sales

“We offer a wide variety of specialised machinery used in the construction of solar farms, including

Manager Construction Equipment at Vermeer, said

trenchers for underground cable installation,

the company designed the machine around the

electronic utility locators and vacuum excavators.

unique requirements of solar pile installation. “One of the biggest problems with pile driving is that machines tend to damage the top of the

“The PD10 has been a standout for contractors because it allows projects to move forward ahead of schedule without sacrificing accuracy.”

Opinions expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the Australian Solar Council Opinions expressed on this page are not necessarily those of the Australian Solar Council 48 WINTER 2017

Solar & Storage 49


Our thanks to sponsors GCL, Redback Technologies, AlphaESS, AC Solar Warehouse, BYD and SSE IMAGES: ADRIENNE BIZZARRI, WWW.ADRIENNEBIZZARRIPHOTOGRAPHY.COM.AU


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SOLAR PHILANTHROPY

Good things come to good people Solar philanthropy Rob Edwards of It’s Time Foundation is a serial solar philanthropist who was in full flight at this year’s Solar and Storage Expo. In a show of corporate social responsibility the Solar and Energy Storage Councils sponsored the It’s Time stand on behalf of Rob’s ongoing quest to fund rooftop PV at schools in Fiji that are installed by teams of able volunteers. The stand attracted enormous interest not just for the work of the foundation but also for the rather tricky but fun challenge whereby passers by were invited to float and land dollar notes in a shoe-box – quite a bit harder than it looked. Rob Edwards expressed his gratitude to the Solar Council saying “Of course, as a charity we cannot independently play that [expo] game. The solar conference was a great success for us with one of the important outcomes being follow-up meetings with a large organisation considering Its Time as the target for staff fund raising that they will match. “There were also many installers considering contributing each time they deliver a residential solar unit; some rotary clubs taking the concept back to their meetings; and offers of equipment support so lots of great and different ideas that should help us take things further.”

Rob also handed out “Heaps of business cards … and there are sure to be many more conversations in the future. We also had the opportunity to reacquaint with some of the people who have been generously supporting us for many years. “And you know what, I felt that many people enjoyed the conversations about solar making a difference purely for the greater good,” Rob said. Fellow It’s Time volunteer (and contributor to this magazine) Maja Gajic who recently gained her PhD also secured a few months worth of work following a discussion with Envirogroup. http://iitime.org/

Teddies to soothe the spirits Delegates at the Solar and Storage conference got to meet “little hero” Campbell Remess, the 12-year-old Tasmanian brainchild of Project 365. Each and every day Campbell stitches together one cute-faced, bright-coloured, furry teddy bear – 1000 to date – to give away at children’s hospitals and to comfort individuals going through tough times in their lives such as bullying. The story of selfless and kindness did not go unnoticed by Universe Solar who helped coordinate the installation of a 5 kW solar PV system at the Remess family home in Hobart. The system features 20 Enphase S270 microinverters and 20 Suntech Power 260 W PV modules provided by Enphase Energy and Suntech, Home Efficiency Group and Platinum Edge Electricals who contributed toward the installation and certification of the system. This project was managed on a pro-bono basis by Leeson Group and Universe Solar, with further donations received from the solar industry going toward funding Project 365 by Campbell who is now introduced as “Australia’s most internationally renowned teddy bear maker”. Campbell is pictured with (L to R) Nathan Dunn (Enphase), Peter Leeson (Leeson Group) and Peter Novak (Suntech)

52 WINTER 2017


AUSTRALIAN SOLAR COUNCIL MASTER INSTALLER PROGRAM The Australian Solar Council has launched a major new initiative to promote quality solar installers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Master Installer Program. 4 Join the Master Installer Program, complete the training and be recognised immediately as a quality solar installer. 4 Use the Master Installer logo to strengthen your business brand

4 Get listed on our Master Installer customer map 4 100 Express CPD Points â&#x20AC;&#x201C; train online, wherever you are, whenever it suits 4 Get access to latest updates on new products, standards and regulation changes Join today. Just $330 (including GST). Find more information, visit www.solar.org.au or email anna@solar.org.au Join the Master Installer Program and help us promote quality solar installations.


SOLAR & ENERGY STORAGE Industry Events Visit www.enfsolar.com to view a bigger list of solar and storage industry conferences

The 9th Guangzhou International Solar PV Exhibition 2017

Solar & Storage Live 2017

16 to 18 Aug 2017 Guangzhou, China

mmanthena@solarmedia.co.uk

grand.ev@grahw.com www.pvguangzhou.com

uk.solarenergyevents.com

12th AsiaSolar Photovoltaic Innovative Technology Product Exhibition & Forum

Taiwan International Photovoltaic Exhibition 2017

24 to 26 Aug 2017 Shanghai, China

18 to 20 Oct 2017 Taipei, Taiwan

merry@aiexpo.com.cn www.asiasolar.net

EXPO Solar 2017 6 to 8 Sep 2017 Seoul, Korea save@infothe.com www.exposolar.org

Solar Power International 2017 10 to 13 Sep 2017 Las Vegas, Nevada, USA info@solarpowerinternational.com www.solarpowerinternational.com

5th International Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo Osaka

3 to 5 Oct 2017 Birmingham, UK

pv@taitra.org.tw www.pvtaiwan.com

All Energy 2017: The Future of Energy 11 to 12 Oct 2017 MCEC, Melbourne www.all-energy.com.au

Australian Solar Council and Energy Storage Council 10 to 11 Apr 2018 Sydney International Convention Centre Smart Energy – 56th Annual Solar & Storage Conference &

20 to 22 Sep 2017 Osaka, Japan

Exhibition

pr-eng.wsew@reedexpo.co.jp www.pvexpo-kansai.jp/en

www.solar.org.au

Want to reach thousands involved in solar and storage?

GIVE BRETT A CALL Did you know? Solar & Storage magazine is read by as many as 20,000 people associated with the solar industry. The span of industry professionals receiving and reading the publication ranges from small-scale to large-scale solar project designers, PV and smart energy system installers, builders, technicians, manufacturers, academics, electrical engineers, trainers, consultants and industry thought leaders. If you would like to boost your presence among the solar community across Australia, contact Brett Thompson. Brett brings his skills and expertise to the Australian Solar Council
 and the Energy Storage Council across the range of publications, as well as events including the industry’s leading show, the Solar and Storage Conference and Exhibition. Brett believes the industry could hit new highs during 2017 and he’s here to help members boost the exposure of their brand and their revenues.

Contact Brett on 0402 181 250 or brett@solar.org.au

54 WINTER 2017


Solar industry Positive Quality™ and performance THE AUSTRALIAN SOLAR COUNCIL’S Positive Quality™

The Positive Quality™ program admits and

program sets rigorous standards that ensure

endorses manufacturers that are independently

manufacturers who achieve and maintain high

tested and verified through plant visits. The

standards are singled out and recognised.

initial assessment consists of a company’s entire

Three prominent panel makers: Jinko, Opal Solar and Perlight Solar meet those high standards and proudly display the Positive Quality™ logo, a symbol

manufacturing processes undergoing independent and intensive inspection and testing. This is carried out by the Solar Council’s specially

of manufacturing excellence, which sends a signal of

appointed Positive Quality™ specialists in a three

confidence to consumers.

step process: Certification check and compliance

Participating manufacturers are fully recognised,

with IEC and Australian standards; Factory inspection

consumers enjoy peace of mind and the industry’s

with a 60-point check; and a Product quality check:

reputation is strengthened, delivering Positive

appearance, IV, EL, Hi-Pot, and leakage current. Positive Quality™ participants’ premises are then

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™

inspected at random every 12 weeks to ensure the continuity of those high standards. All solar PV manufacturers of high quality can participate.

Trustmark. The Solar Council developed the program because

Contact Positive Quality™ Manager

the generic appearance of panels makes it difficult to

Brett Thompson on 0402 181 250,

determine good from bad, unless an identification

email brett@solar.org.au or

mark denotes otherwise. A logo that signifies

visit www.solar.org.au

superior quality.

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

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Solar Council Corporate Members For full listing of Solar Council Corporate Members see www.solar.org.au

Platinum Members Greenbank Environmental

360 Energy

Silver Corporate Members DNV-GL

Jinko

Enphase Energy

LG Electronics Australia

Solar Juice

Solargain PV

Gold Corporate Members ABB

SolaX Power

GCL

SolarReserve

EnviroGroup Rheem Australia

Sonepar Pacific

All Grid Energy Link Energy Apricus Australia

SSE Australia

Environmental Property Services

Suntech Australia

Our Energy Company

Sungrow Green Energy Trading

ASM Money Redback Technologies

Siemens

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Trina Solar (Australia)

Enernoc EPC Solar

rinovasol GmbH

Solar Depot

Risen Energy (Australia)

True Value Solar

HID Australia

Vermeer

WINTER ADVERTISING CONTENT ADVERTISER

PAGE

WEB ADDRESS

360 Energy

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ABB

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ASM Money

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Century Yuasa Batteries

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CMA Solar

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Fronius GCL

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GNB Industrial

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Imeon Energy

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LG Chem

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LG Energy

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Link Energy/PowerArk Solar

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R & J Batteries

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Redback Technologies

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Risen Energy

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Solar Juice

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SolarWatt

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Sungrow

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Sunpower

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Trade in Green Vermeer 56 WINTER 2017

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Solar Storage Winter 2017  
Solar Storage Winter 2017