Electronics giant Panasonic has struck agreements with three Australian energy utilities to trial its home-based battery storage options.
The company has announced pilot projects with energy companies ActewAGL, Snowy Hydro’s Red Energy and Ergon Energy to install Panasonic battery technology in solar-installed homes in a selected zone of customers in ACT, NSW and Queensland.
Panasonic says the system will help solar households double their rates of self-consumption from around 30% to 60%, by storing excess solar output during the day for use later.
The 8kWh lithium-ion battery storage system, with an output of 2kW, has been designed specifically for the Australian market.
The trials with Ergon, ActewAGL and Red Energy are set to last two years. Panasonic said it expects to begin its sales channel by October and all utilities involved say they expect to sell to their customers at that time.
“Over the 10-year plus life cycle of the battery, our modelling is showing a significant reduction in the reliance of Australian households on the grid during peak periods. The pilot projects are a first for Panasonic in Australia, and Panasonic’s battery demand response system will help distributors model peak shaving effects, realised through solar and battery storage systems and provide a cost effective alternative to grid infrastructure investments,” said Panasonic Australia’s Managing Director Paul Reid.
“For consumers, it means access to clean solar energy during the evening peak and potentially a lower energy bill. For the retailer, we can provide a levelling out of costs and potential competitive advantage with customers.”
Panasonic Corporation showcased the Residential Storage Battery System at the Australian Energy Storage Exhibition that took place at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney.
“We are in the midst of an energy revolution. The average person doesn’t realise it; they might put some solar panels on their roof and buy a few new high tech devices for their home, but they still flick the switch and get similarly reliable electricity, as they always have. In fact, for them, nothing much has changed. But behind the scenes a lot is changing,” he said.
“Today, the fact that we have Red Energy, AGL and Ergon Energy partnering with Panasonic says a lot about our rapidly changing electricity markets. There is clearly a need for energy companies and industry bodies and government to work together to drive and manage this change. ”