Simon Hackett: Governments can improve the power grid by saving money

By Simon Hackett (Redflow Limited executive chairman), The Advertiser

NOW is the time for governments to act to reap the full rewards of the renewable energy revolution.

What Australian governments started more than a decade ago with public sector subsidies to kickstart the local photovoltaic solar panel industry is approaching maturity with the advent of affordable batteries for homes and businesses.

But the goal for distributed energy storage systems should not be to replace the electricity grid, but to fulfil it. Although this may require regulatory and operational changes, it is eminently achievable.

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Energy Jumps Out Of The Gates

By Ben Potter, Australian Financial Review

Renewables – Entrepreneurs point out the investment potential of green technology.

Inspired by Bill Gates and friends’ decision to plunge $US1 billion into clean energy? Well don’t be put off by the Turnbull government’s December backflip on carbon emissions policy. Good technologies have global markets says Simon Hackett the Internode founder, Tesla electric vehicle collector and now, chief executive and shareholder of battery developer Redflow. Australia is also a great test-bed for solar and wind energy. “It’s not necessarily the end of the world if the Australian environment is not consistent in its support for investments in this space,” Hackett says. He adds that there is a rising number of investors like him who “in the face of desperate disappointment with government policies in this realm are trying to make whatever difference they can”. Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures is backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Virgin founder Richard Branson and Alibaba founder Jack Ma – that’s a huge vote of wealth and business acumen. It’s clear from the group’s website they want to invest in fundamental, breakthrough science. That’s where the big wins – the “10xers” – come from, says Hackett, referring to investments that get you 10 times your money. But anyone aspiring to follow in their footsteps might have to wait a long time for the jackpot they must also adhere to basics.

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New Powerwall: Great tech, but still a hard sell as a money-saver

By Lindsay Handmer, read article here.

DID YOU BUY THE TESLA POWERWALL sometime in the last couple of weeks? You should have waited: Tesla has released a new Powerwall, with a 13.5 kWh capacity, priced at $10,000 in Australia. The new battery has more than just a beefed capacity. There’s improved peak-power handling, a built-in inverter (which will save you some money), and both a DC and AC version. The warranty has also improved, with a guaranteed 70% capacity left after 10 years for normal solar use, or 70% capacity after 37.80 MWh of throughput in other uses.

While many armchair analysts have jumped in claiming the new unit can pay for itself in as little as six years, most of these calculations continue to neglect aspects including efficiency losses and battery degradation over time. They also tend to be quite misleading, by using a combined solar and battery system, rather than looking at the total set up an operating costs of each. So it’s up to us to present the brutal financial realities of bolting a big lump of batteries to your wall.

Continue reading “New Powerwall: Great tech, but still a hard sell as a money-saver”

Soaring Australian Power Prices Open Doors For Redflow Battery

By

Redflow, the Australian zinc-bromine flow battery maker, announced on December 5 it had approved a further seven installers for its ZCell storage system, meaning the company now has installers in every state and territory in Australia.

The batteries, which Redflow claims are the smallest flow batteries in the world, appear to be flying out of the factory since they were launched in March. The company announced its first approved installers in September, and already the total has reached 12.

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Redflow extends ZCell installer coverage

PRESS RELEASE

Australian battery company Redflow Limited today announces seven more approved installers for its new ZCell energy storage solution, including additional coverage in regional areas and the NT.

Redflow’s latest approved ZCell installers are SSE Systems in the ACT; Riverina Complete Solar in Griffith, NSW; Country Solar NT in the Northern Territory; Apex Communication Technologies and Sustainable Works, both in SA; Veida in Victoria; and Green Gateway in WA. Redflow now has a total of 12 installers offering services in every state and territory of Australia.

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Vic, NSW gas bans’making SA issue worse’

Written by Australian financial Review, Simon Evans

South Australian Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis says bans and moratoriums
in Victoria and NSW on onshore gas exploration are exacerbating a shortage of gas in the national market as he puts a deadline of December 6 on a $24 million carrot for gas explorers in his home state.

The SA Treasurer and Energy Minister is trying to inject some extra gas
supply into the market with a package that includes grants for companies
unlocking gas reserves in the state, providing those gas supplies are offered to the SA market first It is an attempt to increase the competition
in the market and to boost the supply of affordable gas to South Australian
gas-fired generators in a bid to lower electricity prices in South Australia,
which are the highest in the nation. Continue reading “Vic, NSW gas bans’making SA issue worse’”

Conservation SA conserving energy with ZCell battery installation

Written by ITWire, Peter Dinham

South Australia’s peak environmental organisation, Conservation SA, has installed two ZCell batteries to charge an electric car and to provide energy for emergency lighting and data centre back-up for its office.

Redflow, the developer of the ZCell batteries, says this first installation of ZCell batteries for commercial premises allows Conservation SA to store energy collected from a 13 kilowatt (kW) array of Tindo solar panels on the roof of its building, The Joinery, in central Adelaide.

The installation follows Redflow’s announcement last week of its first ZCell residential deployment at the home of Google Australia’s Alan Noble at his Willunga property in South Australia. As well as providing back-up power for Conservation SA’s emergency lighting and first floor data centre, the ZCells will charge the GoGet electric vehicle that is based at the site. Continue reading “Conservation SA conserving energy with ZCell battery installation”

Conservation SA installs first ZCell batteries

By Technology Decisions, Dylan Bushell-Embling

South Australia’s peak environmental organisation Conservation SA has
installed its first two ZCell batteries to provide energy for a data centre backup and emergency lighting system for its office.

The first installation of the Australian-developed ZCell batteries at a commercial building will allow the peak body to store energy collected from an array of Tindo solar panels on the roof of its building in central Adelaide.

Conservation SA will also use the batteries to charge the GoGet electric vehicle based at its Adelaide site. Continue reading “Conservation SA installs first ZCell batteries”

Are flow batteries the future of home energy storage? Q&A with Redflow’s Simon Hackett

RedFlow’s ZCell is one of the most is one of the most in-demand battery storage products on the Australian market; it also stands out for being one of the only ‘flow batteries‘ currently available. Solar Choice had the opportunity to catch up with RedFlow CEO Simon Hackett about the role of flow batteries (and the ZCell) in Australia’s energy transformation, in the process discussing how the ZCell compares to the vast array of lithium-based batteries sweeping the market. Our conversation is included below. Continue reading “Are flow batteries the future of home energy storage? Q&A with Redflow’s Simon Hackett”

Tesla Powerwall demand jumps 30 times after blackouts

by Financial Review, Simon Evans
Demand for Tesla’s Powerwall home storage batteries has jumped more than 30 times at some large installers after power blackouts in two states.

Installers say “blackout proofing” has become a new buzzword among householders.

The surge in inquiries about home storage battery systems has been almost overwhelming as it adds a new level of demand from customers previously focused on environmental considerations and reducing power bills from weaning themselves off the traditional electricity grid.

Natural Solar managing director Chris Williams, who runs a national firm with its headquarters in Sydney, said the biggest jump had been in South Australia and Victoria, but demand had spiked across the country after the blackouts put the future of electricity grids and renewable energy sharply into the national spotlight.

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