Alpha-ESS To Manufacture Solar Battery Systems In Adelaide

Alpha ESS batteries - SA Home Battery Scheme

Sonnen is no longer the only game in town for heavily subsidised energy storage in South Australia, with an announcement yesterday Alpha-ESS had joined the Home Battery Scheme.

SA’s Home Battery Scheme began accepting subsidy applications on October 29. Battery systems that are or will be manufactured/assembled in the state have been given a head-start for the subsidy, which is up to $6,000 per instance. Battery systems from other manufacturers won’t get a look-in until the beginning of next year.

Up until yesterday, there was only one choice of battery manufacturer during the initial nine weeks; Germany’s Sonnen, which is establishing an assembly plant at the former GM Holden manufacturing site in Elizabeth. Sonnen recently released subsidy-inclusive prices for its battery systems in South Australia purchased direct from the company – they aren’t cheap.

Sonnen now has some initial competition in the form of Alpha-ESS. The company claims 10,000 of its battery systems have been installed in more than 30 countries around the world, including thousands in Australia.

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Nantong City, China, Alpha-ESS also has offices in Italy, Germany and Australia.

The company will initially assemble systems in SA in partnership with Minda Commercial Enterprises, which is South Australia’s largest non-government disability support organisation.

“This will provide ongoing work opportunities for South Australians with disability,” said Alpha-ESS Managing Director Dr Dong Lin. “This is a perfect fit with our commitment to world’s best social and environmental outcomes.”

Alpha-ESS will also be making use of Minda Commercial Enterprises’ warehousing, logistics and dispatch services, plus Minda will handle recycling of packaging and electronics/batteries once they reach the end of their service life.

Alpha-ESS will later move to a dedicated facility and plans to manufacture more than 8,000 systems per year in Adelaide by 2020.

Only one Alpha-ESS model is currently listed on SolarQuotes’ solar battery comparison table; the ECO S5. It features just under 13kWh of usable capacity and we note an estimated price of $12,375; although this figure may be out of date. It doesn’t appear that particular system will be available under the SA Home Battery Scheme; instead other models from the company’s all-in-one Storion range will be offered.

Alpha-ESS says it has batteries available for immediate installation in South Australia.

I spotted SQ’s Ronald poring over related documents yesterday; so stay tuned for an in-depth review on Alpha-ESS home batteries here on SolarQuotes soon(ish).

UPDATE December 5: Ronald has published his Alpha ESS battery review.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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