One of the promises of home battery storage was realised during South Australia’s historic blackout yesterday: Homes with batteries were able to keep the lights on even as surrounding building swam in a sea of darkness.

The most high-profile of these was the home of Simon Hackett, head of Australia-based flow battery developer Redflow, whose ZCell made a splash in the media when it was revealed this past June. Although ZCell installations are not slated to begin until October, Mr Hackett already has his Adelaide home equipped with 2x prototypes of the 10kWh ZCell batteries that are now making their way into the Australian market.

In an interview with RenewEconomy, Mr Hackett was glib. “One remembers the questions when we said we live off the grid – ‘do you live in a cave?’. Well, who’s living in a cold cave now?” His children were able to continue playing video games and had the lights even as the rest of the state lit candles to have light during the massive blackout, which was caused by a number of downed transmission lines during a major storm. They didn’t even realise the blackout had happened until an hour into it.

“The Hackett household is happily up and running as usual – I had got about 50% (charge) into the house (batteries) before the power failed (while I was on a plane to Brisbane),” he told RenewEconomy. Read the full article →

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Could solar towers (with storage) replace Victoria’s ageing coal plants?

September 29, 2016
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Analysts are scrambling to identify the possible impacts of the closure of Australia’s most polluting power station, and the withdrawal of more than 1500MW of coal-fired capacity from the Victorian grid. According to some, however, the impending closure of Hazelwood in Victoria could provide the impetus for the construction of the first large-scale solar tower and […]

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South Australia’s 16c/kWh solar feed-in tariff ends 30 September 2016

September 28, 2016
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South Australia‘s 16c per kilowatt-hour (kWh) solar feed-in tariff will be the first state-backed incentive of its kind to cease payments. The 16c/kWh rate – referred to as the ‘Transitional Feed-in Tariff’ – was made available to SA households who signed up for grid-connected solar between 1 October 2011 and 30 September 2013. The 16c/kWh […]

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Community groups dismayed as market rules lag behind modernising grid

September 28, 2016
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Consumer groups have cried foul over the latest ruling by the main policy maker in Australia’s energy markets, describing it as yet another roadblock to a transition to a clean affordable grid, and the shift to locally generated solar, battery storage and shared energy. The Australian Energy Markets Commission on Thursday announced it would reject […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index: September 2016

September 27, 2016
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The average price of a commercial solar installation fell to an all-time low of $1.26 per watt ($/W) between August and September, according to data from Solar Choice’s installer network database. The drop was consistent across all solar system sizes, although there were slight fluctuations from city to city. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All […]

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NSW to become battery storage hotspot after Solar Bonus expires, IPART survey confirms

September 27, 2016
Solar feed-in tariff questions

A NSW survey on rooftop solar households in the state has confirmed what the battery storage industry has been predicting for months now – that the market for residential energy storage is set to boom in NSW as a huge percentage of solar households come of premium feed-in tariffs. The survey – conducted by the […]

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How many times per day should you cycle your batteries?

September 26, 2016
Battery cycling

There are a lot of different ways to potentially get value out of a home battery storage system. Something that not many storage system shoppers realises is that it is possible to charge/discharge (or ‘cycle’) your batteries more than once a day. In fact, in the right circumstances, cycling your batteries more than once a day can potentially […]

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Localised energy trading could save over $1b in network costs: ISF study

September 26, 2016
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Regulatory changes to reward local energy generators for their contributions to the grid could unlock savings of more than $1 billion in avoided network costs, a major Australian study has found. The study – led by the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, and funded by ARENA – found paying ‘local network credits’ […]

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One reason why solar is more expensive in the USA than Australia: Larger installer profits

September 23, 2016
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According to the data, average margin for a rooftop solar installation in the United States market is 40 per cent. In Australia, some installers are struggling to get into double figures. For Australian consumers, this means some of the cheapest prices for installed rooftop solar in the world – a fact more than 1.5 million homes […]

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Solar Choice launches battery storage product lifespan comparison tool

September 22, 2016
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Solar Choice published a new tool that aims to make Australia’s nascent battery storage market a bit easier to navigate. With dozens of products now available throughout the country but still no broadly-used, standardised way to talk about battery value, we have put together a Battery Storage Product Lifespan Comparison Tool. The tool, which is […]

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Reflow’s ZCell residential battery installations to start next month

September 22, 2016
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The first batch of residential battery storage systems from Australian company Redflow is due to be delivered to customers next month, after a shipment of the ZCell units arrived in Australia on Sunday. The Brisbane-based company has experienced a series of delays, including an unexpected departure delay at the port of Los Angeles, but deliveries […]

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Global manufacturing glut could mean 20% drop in solar panel prices – within a year: BNEF

September 22, 2016

A glut in the global solar manufacturing market could deliver module prices as low as $US0.30/Watt in 2017 – a 20 per cent drop within a year, according to a leading analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Speaking at this week’s Solar Power International conference in Las Vegas, BNEF’s head of Americas, Ethan Zindler. said […]

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Battery storage for home solar systems: Compare system prices

September 21, 2016
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Battery storage is the next step in the evolution of home solar energy systems. More and more Australian households are considering batteries – in combination with a solar PV system – as a way to increase their energy independence and reduce their energy bills. Unfortunately, however most shoppers do not yet have the confidence to […]

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Levelised cost of storage: A better way to compare battery value

September 21, 2016
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When it comes to choosing batteries for home or commercial battery storage, it can be difficult to sift through the multitude of options to find the IDEAL battery for your application. The options range from different operating voltages, amp-hour (Ah) storage capacities, sizes, weights, brands and – to make things even more complicated – different […]

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Vic regulator recommends tariff changes to reflect ‘true value’ of solar

September 21, 2016

Victoria’s pricing regulator has published its final report on the Energy Value of Distributed Generation, recommending changes to tariff structures to reflect the true value of rooftop solar and other small renewable electricity generators. Marking a first among Australian regulators, the Essential Services Commission report, tabled in Victorian Parliament on Thursday morning, concludes that the […]

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Aquion ‘saltwater’ battery-powered nanogrid deployed for Chicago university

September 20, 2016
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An innovative solar and salt-water battery storage powered AC/DC nanogrid has been installed at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, US. The nanogrid, which will power the IIT’s ‘s Keating Sports Centre, has been put together by local outfit Azimuth Energy using their own solar hardware – a 180kW solar array – along with […]

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Solar power in Hobart, Tasmania: Compare prices & installers

September 20, 2016
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Solar power system prices have fallen significantly in recent years in Tasmania, as well as throughout Australia and the rest of the world. It is for this reason that installing a solar power system in Hobart (not to menion the rest of Tasmania) is a good investment for the right homes & businesses. This article […]

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Solar-plus-storage: How much battery capacity do you need?

September 20, 2016
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About one in three Solar Choice customers are asking about battery storage for solar power, but few have a clear idea of how much battery capacity they need. This article takes a look at the factors that come into play when considering how to choose the right amount of battery capacity for your solar-plus-storage system. […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – September 2016

September 19, 2016
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Average residential solar system prices for September 2016 have matched the all-time low seen in December of last year, when prices dipped just below $1.60 per watt ($1.60/W). In other news, for the first time we have colour-coded our pricing tables to make it easier to tell at a glance which locations and system sizes […]

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Diamond Energy helps ‘The Block’ to go green with solar & storage

September 19, 2016
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The Block’s ninety year old soap factory is now a leading light in the renewable renovation revolution, and Diamond Energy is proud to be part of it. The Logie-winning channel 9 renovation and design show, “The Block”, has chosen Diamond Energy to support renewable energy and move towards greener living. Julian Cress, Co-Creator and Executive […]

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Find the best solar power deals in Canberra, ACT

September 19, 2016
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Canberra, ACT is one of the best places to go solar in Australia, thanks to ambitious clean energy policy on behalf of the local government. This article takes a look at the some of the key considerations for going solar in Canberra, including system pricing, energy yields and incentives available to system owners. The benefits […]

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