sonnen offering Aussies ‘free power’ via sonnenFlat

German solar battery creator sonnen are offering Australian households ‘free power’ through their sonnenFlat service in an order to bolster their foothold in the Australian market.

Natural Solar, sonnen, and sonnenFlat

sonnenFlat sonnenBatterie
The sonnenBatterie with sonnenFlat energy tariff (source: sonnen.com.au)

Australian supplier and installer of solar products, Natural Solar, have been signed up to manage the offer for sonnen. They are also responsible for the supply and install of Tesla Powerwall 2’s, so they have plenty of experience in large scale product launches.

Sonnen were launched 7 years ago in Wildpoldsried, Germany, and has been growing at a rapid pace since, including their foray into the Australian energy market in 2016.

According to The Australian, sonnen have already gained a massive 13% of the Australian market share since entering it last year. They also sold over 11,000 battery units, ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 – and sonnen sees Australia as its ‘second most important’ market behind Germany – so they are willing to take a (potentially) loss leading strategy in order to gain greater market share for the medium-long term.

The sonnenFlat energy tariff is for sonnenBatterie owners where you receive a guaranteed, prearranged amount of energy for a monthly fee. “In return, some of the energy stored in the sonnenBatterie will be used to assist in the stabilisation of the electricity grid” – according to the sonnenFlat site.

Natural Solar’s website states that the ‘free power’ will be under a tiered system and have explained it thusly:

“Looking at the Germany model for sonnenFlat … storage determines the amount of free electricity the owner is entitled to.

The website also states that: “If a customer exceeds the amount based on their tier, then the owner starts to get charged only for electricity imported from the grid (not from power generated from your solar system and power utilised from your battery) at a rate significantly lower than standard retail electricity rates.” If you can get approved, this sounds like the sort of offer that will propel residential solar+storage from the ‘maybe’ category into the ‘definitely’ for those waiting for a chance to jump into the market.

How to sign up for sonnenFlat

You can register your interest for the sonnenFlat energy tariff trial by visiting this page on the sonnen website.

Sonnen / Bristle Roofing Solartile

Sonnen have been in the news recently as they’re offering an alternative to the Tesla Solar Roof – the sonnen Solartile – click the link to learn more about how it will work in conjunction with the sonnenBatterie (and presumably the sonnenFlat tariff offer). It’s great to see a strong Tesla Powerwall competitor also offer alternatives to the Tesla roof tiles – the two in conjunction with their new ‘free’ energy tariff will undoubtedly ensure we see and hear a lot more about Sonnen in the future.

sonnenFlat packages and cost

Here’s a breakdown of the sonnenFlat pricing structure – definitely starting to look like solar can be a real money saver!

sonnenFlat Cost and Pricing Packages
sonnenFlat Cost and Pricing Packages (source: sonnen)

Alice Springs Solar to end blackouts

Some big news coming out for residents suffering the solar drought in the Northern Territory – the new Battery Energy Storage System will transform Alice Springs solar and is slated to be one of the largest grid-connected storage solutions in all of Australia.

BESS and Alice Springs solar

Solar Energy in the Northern Territory has lagged far behind the other Australian states in terms of residential and commercial solar uptake (January 2017 PV output was 4,049MWh vs Queensland’s 126,629MWh) – so it’s great to see new government owned company Territory Generation announce the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).

Territory Generation Logo - Alice Springs Solar
Territory Generation Logo (source: territorygeneration.com.au)

The cutting-edge BESS will be installed by Vector Energy and will be a 5mW storage system, capable of supplying energy to the grid for up to 40 minutes if required.

It will cost approximately $8.3 million to develop and modelling done by Territory Generation, or ‘T-Gen’, shows that this will  be recouped within four to five years. Chief Executive Officer of Territory Generation Tim Duignan, was quoted as saying “We’re replacing aged electricity generators with the latest equipment, to provide efficient and reliable power supply, drive down the cost of producing electricity and to support a transition to renewable energy.”

Duignan also noted that this is an important project as it improves the reliability of base-load power – imperative as we transition to renewables (there are overcast days even in the Northern Territory). Just having solar panels or wind generators isn’t enough – as we saw in South Australia last year if base-load power isn’t sufficient it will lead to widespread blackouts. On that note, in the same week as the ABC are reporting that South Australian power prices will be the highest in the world as of Saturday, it’s good to see projects with clear modelling and positive financials – there is quite a lot of short-medium term pain coming up for energy bills nationwide.

The BESS is set to be completed by late 2017.