AlphaESS Opens New SA Battery Production Facility
Ramp-up of a new SA battery plant
AlphaESS, one of the pioneer manufacturers in the energy storage market in South Australia, has opened a new facility at Lonsdale, as part of its commitment to the South Australian Government's Home Battery Scheme. AlphaESS batteries will form part of a new virtual power plant launched into the market this week by ShineHub and energy retailer Powershop.
AlphaESS was the second battery manufacturer to join the government's scheme.
Since commencing assembly in Australia, apparently more than 5,000 AlphaESS systems have been installed
With AlphaESS' first production line installed and operating at Lonsdale, the new facility will allow AlphaESS to increase their production of batteries from around 500 per month for the rest of 2019, and up to 1000 systems per month next year.
AlphaESS set up office in Australia in 2015 and committed to assembling its batteries in SA in November. The initial plan was to manufacture battery storage systems in partnership with disability service provider Minda Incorporated, and later move to a dedicated facility.
"Minda Commercial Enterprises will also handle recycling of packaging as well as electronics and batteries at end of life and we will use Minda Commercial Enterprises' extensive warehousing, logistics and dispatch services," AlphaESS Managing Director Dong Lin said.
Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan welcomed the news that AlphaESS have transitioned to a permanent facility in SA. "We are pleased AlphaESS is expanding its production outfit, providing a boost for local jobs and industries," the minister said.
The manufacturer's original plan was to assemble more than 8,000 of their SMILE 5 batteries per year by 2020. But, under the new plans for up to 1,000 systems per month next year, the annual output could even reach 12,000 systems. By comparison, Sonnen's Elizabeth assembly plant aims to produce 10,000 batteries a year.
"We are now ready to bring our investment and operation to the next level, to boost the energy transition in South Australia," Lin said.
AlphaESS currently has more than 20,000 residential and commercial systems running in more than 50 countries globally. As a result of production increases, AlphaESS intend to employ between 80 to 100 people over the next six to 12 months.
SA's VPP pool
AlphaESS batteries will also form part of a new virtual power plant (VPP) launched into the market this week by solar installer ShineHub and energy retailer Powershop. The new VPP offers savings of up to $7,000 on the cost of an AlphaESS battery using the subsidy of up to $6,000 available from the Home Battery Scheme and a further $1,000 discount.
For those who don't have the money to buy solar panels and a battery upfront, ShineHub is offering customers to enjoy the benefits while paying them off as they go kind of like a mobile phone plan.
"To offer a battery for a home owner at a dollar a day on the pace you go plan, or if with panels and a battery at 3 dollars 50 per day." said ShineHub Chief Executive Officer, Alex Georgiou.
South Australians can join the ShineHub VPP if they have an existing AlphaESS battery or by purchasing a new one, and will receive a payment from Powershop every time their battery is used to support the grid. ShineHub estimates that depending on the household and battery size, households can anticipate savings of $300 per year on their electricity bills, on top of the savings from installing solar panels and a battery.
The energy minster is also urging more householders to take advantage of the battery subsidy the target was 40,000 households within the next 3 years, so far only 3,000 have signed up.
"The South Australian Government's Home Battery Scheme is putting more power in the hands of consumers with households being offered incentives - saving them thousands of dollars - in return for adding their battery into a virtual power plant." said Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
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