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.

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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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My home Redflow ZBM2 energy system installation by Simon Hackett

Blog post extracted from Simon Hackett’s blog: Thoughts from the field 
Posted on

 

Here is some information about my home energy storage installation.

  • 2 x 10kWh Redflow ZBM2 zinc-bromide hybrid flow batteries
  • Redflow ZCell BMS
  • 2 x 5000VA Victron Energy inverter/chargers
  • 10 kWp solar panel array in four strings using 2 x SMA 5000-TL inverters
  • Victron Energy CCGX configured for solar self-consumption (Hub-4)

The live system (with performance charts) can be viewed here: https://vrm.victronenergy.com/site/share/a2040765

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Solar power ‘revolution’ on north coast

THE future of solar energy on the Coffs Coast was put into question on Friday when representatives from industry and government came together at the sixth North Coast Energy Forum.

The forum aimed to dispel doubts surrounding solar energy in the lead-up to the NSW solar bonus scheme ending in December. The forum discussed how solar batteries are shifting the energy system from a centralised to a localized model, meaning power is returning to the people.

Vicki Brooke, co-ordinator of the forum, said the aim was to achieve solutions in the face of a renewable energy “revolution”. “It’s a real game-changer now. The momentum for renewables is so strong that we are going to have our revolution,” she said. The forum showcased batteries from local energy groups such as the Bellingen Shire Electricity Alliance and Repower Coffs.

Speakers included Adam Marshall MP, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy. Geoff Tosio, renewable energy consultant from Solar Depot Bellingen, said solar energy now costed much less than coal. “There was a recent solar farm that achieved a price that’s half that of coal. “The game is up and it’s changing worldwide,” he said. Mr Tosio presented the ZCell, the first 10-year 100% discharge and 0% degradation battery.

ABC 7:30

Rooftop solar could threaten SA’s energy security

Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Broadcast: 21/11/2016 | Reporter: Alex Mann

Following the state-wide blackout earlier this year, experts warn that another threat to South Australia’s energy security could come from the rapid uptake in rooftop solar.

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A visit to Standard Solar – post extracted from Whirlpool

The following blog post has been extracted from Whirlpool.net.au with permission from its writer James Bishop: 

I visited Standard Solar see link to RFX [Redflow] and to his [James Graham’s] company website

James [Graham, Standard Solar CEO] is not a share trader. His options included and solar product or any of the battery technologies. He choose RFX not the other way around. He has pre sold all of his order from RFX.

In short. James has two ZBMs running with a GoodWe ES series inverter. He can access and see batteries via his phone or computer using secure ZCELL link. He can access the batteries also via the GoodWe  inverter management software on line or on his computer.

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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’”