Sonnen joins crowded Oz market

The residential Australian energy storage market continues to hot up, as Sonnen, Enphase Energy and LG Chem all make announcements. Photo: sonnenBatterie, the Sonnen battery system

The residential Australian energy storage market is hotting up, with announcements from Sonnen, Enphase Energy and LG Chem. Photo: sonnenBatterie, the Sonnen battery system

By Jason Deign

German storage player Sonnen today became the latest major player to join the race for supremacy in Australia’s increasingly crowded residential energy storage market.

The company is looking to attract Australians to its sonnenBatterie product, which is a modular lithium-ion battery system capable of storing between 2kWh and 16kWh per household.

“Our first partner is True Value Solar, Australia’s largest solar company,” confirmed Mathias Bloch, Sonnen spokesman.

The company threw its hat into the Australian ring in the week after LG Chem and Enphase Energy both unveiled news of growing demand for storage products across the country.

LG Chem said it expected to see a five-fold increase in Australian shipments this year, to 3,000 units, and Enphase Energy was reported to be looking to Australia and New Zealand for the bulk of up to USD$20m in sales.

US microinverter maker Enphase expects to ship around 4,000 storage systems this year and said it will start generating revenues across the antipodes by the second half of 2016.
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AES: European portfolio grows 20MW in fortnight

AES Energy Storage Solutions is now powering the largest fleet of advanced energy storage in Europe, with the completion of its Advancion battery storage arrays in the Netherlands and at Kilroot Power Station, Ireland.

AES Energy Storage Solutions is now powering the largest fleet of advanced energy storage in Europe, after completing Advancion battery arrays in the Netherlands and at Kilroot Power Station, Ireland. Photo: AES Energy Storage

By Jason Deign

AES Energy Storage Solutions has stepped up its European presence with the completion of two 10MW battery plants so far this year.

Last week the company announced the start of commercial operations for a storage array in the Netherlands, six days after confirming completion of the UK’s largest-ever battery plant, in Northern Ireland.

The AES Netherlands Advancion Energy Storage Array was completed in December, “enhancing European grid reliability with fast response ancillary services,” said the company in a press release.

It uses Panasonic lithium-ion batteries to serve TenneT, the Netherlands national electricity transmission system operator (TSO), with up to 60 minutes of primary operating reserve, a company spokesperson said.

AES UK & Ireland’s Kilroot Advancion Energy Storage Array, at Kilroot Power Station in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, is broadly similar, also boasting an Advancion 4 management system and 10MW, but with 5MWh of capacity instead of 10MWh.
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LG Chem: C&I to be as big as grid-scale

LG Chem battery boss sees huge growth in C&I storage. LG Chem is also taking on Tesla in home energy storage and increasing its grid-scale projects.

LG Chem battery storage boss sees huge growth in C&I storage. The company is also taking on Tesla in home energy storage and increasing grid-scale projects. Photo: LG Chem

By Jason Deign

A top executive at LG Chem has added to growing optimism over the prospects for commercial and industrial (C&I) energy storage growth in the US.

Peter Gibson, LG Chem’s director of energy storage system sales, told Energy Storage Report: “In North America, revenue-wise the C&I segment in the next five years could be as large as or even greater than grid-scale.”

His sentiment echoes views expressed by project developers such as Sharp and Demand Energy, which are seeing growing interest in behind-the-meter systems among large energy users.

“Looking at the advantages storage can bring to demand-charge management, we’re very optimistic about how large that C&I segment could grow in the next five years,” Gibson said.

LG Chem last month unveiled a partnership with the worldwide electrical distributor Gexpro, the operating system developer Geli and the power converter maker Ideal Power to target the C&I market.
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Lithium-ion battery production picks up

Naoto Noguchi, President of Panasonic Energy Company, with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors.

Naoto Noguchi, President of Panasonic Energy Company, with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors. Photo credit: Panasonic

Two lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery makers have seen an uptick in production, according to press reports last week. LG Chem started production at its Michigan, USA, manufacturing facility last month, media such as MLive confirmed.
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