Residential battery storage gets a boost

A USD$36.5 million [approximately AUD$51.2 million] investment in Sunverge Energy’s world-leading technology is set to advance the uptake of residential energy storage in Australia.

The new round of financing included a USD$20 million commitment from AGL Energy Limited (AGL), which Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) CEO Ivor Frischknecht said was a clear signal of confidence in Sunverge’s smart storage systems.

“This commitment from AGL will see one of Australia’s largest energy companies join other investors – ARENA, SBCVC, Siemens Venture Capital and Total Energy Ventures – to bring new residential storage technology to the Australian market,” Mr Frischknecht said.

Sunverge’s Solar Integration System combines advanced lithium batteries with a sophisticated control platform that allows power flows to and from the grid to be controlled as part of a Virtual Power Plant.

“This new investment will build on more than USD$7 million that ARENA and SBCVC have already invested through the Southern Cross Renewable Energy Fund to help Sunverge establish operations in Australia and overcome barriers to the widespread deployment of storage systems.”

As part of the strategic agreement, AGL is the exclusive channel partner for the sales of Sunverge’s intelligent energy storage systems in Australia.

AGL managing director & CEO Andy Vesey said the agreement gives AGL early mover advantage and helps the company accelerate its capabilities in this space.

“An emerging leader in demand response management for premises-based energy storage, Sunverge’s innovative energy solution will help us better meet the needs of our customers in a carbon-constrained energy future. This future is increasingly based on decentralised products and services including digital metering, solar PV systems, as well as new technologies such as batteries, electric vehicles and other ‘beyond the meter’ energy solutions,” he said.

“The significant transformation of our energy sector is being driven in part by evolving policy, emerging technology and changing customer demands and needs. We were the first major energy retailer to launch a battery product in the Australian market and we continue to focus on bringing new, innovative and integrated offerings to market.”

“As storage becomes more commonplace in Australian homes, we expect to see energy retailers firm up business models for selling new products and work through some of the regulatory constraints facing Australia’s emerging storage market,” Mr Frischknecht added.

“Solving these challenges will ultimately allow consumers to get more value from their rooftop solar systems and increase the supply of renewable solar power in our electricity networks, contributing to grid stability and reducing peak load stress.”