Enphase is the world’s largest and leading manufacturer of Solar Micro Inverters, and since Enphase set up camp here in Australia 18 months ago, Solaray Energy has partnered Enphase to quickly become the largest installer of Enphase Micro Inverter Systems in NSW.
Since then, Enphase has been working on some big plans for the Australian Solar Market, with the release of the successful M250 4th generation microinverter, and now the sky is the limit with storage solutions just around the corner.
These plans involve an AC Battery, a compact and modular plug-and-play energy storage system, which will be used with the new Enphase Energy Management System to allow households to generate solar power during the day, and then use it when needed such as in the evening when heating and lights are turned on.
Enphase CEO Paul Nahi describes the need for such a system: “if the idea is to give more control to the consumer over their energy, with the goal, initially, of reducing their energy bill, then you have to have storage. You need to be able to use your energy when the solar isn’t there, and that needs storage.”
Solaray Energy is proud to announce that we have been chosen to be involved in the testing of this new product, which is slated to begin in 2015 in the US, Europe and Australia. And according to CEO Paul Nahi, the Australian pilot program will be one of the biggest.
Enphase in Australia
With the current uncertainty in the Australian renewables market, it is a fair question to ask why Enphase see Australia as one of the best markets in the world for solar. But as explained on RenewEconomy by Nahi: “We don’t look at immediate solar policy,” he said. “Solar policy, by definition, swings left and right.”
“Our goal is to provide the technology to enable mass adoption of solar. We look for political stability, we look at the right isolation, we look at GDP growth, we look at a bunch of things that make up a viable long-term solar market, and Australia certainly does fit that bill.
“The Australian solar market is actually fairly advanced. The US is still years behind Australia, which in a way, represents an opportunity for us because we can create products and services that an evolving, a burgeoning solar market really needs and can leverage. Storage is a perfect example of that. (It’s) really one element of the energy management system.”
And we at Solaray agree. The Australian solar market is one of the most developed in the world, and the majority of new houses and renovations projects are now looking to incorporate an advanced energy management system into the building plans and the budget.
The exciting news for existing Solaray customers is that an Enphase Solar System will plug-in to the new Enphase Management System, making it a natural next step for anyone looking to further reduce their power bill, and their reliance on polluting fossil fuels such as coal and gas.
Many people will also be looking to take energy management that one step further, and will charge their electric car with solar power, potentially eliminating both their power bill and the expense of petrol!
This is where the future of Solaray Energy lies as we look to grow our partnership with leading manufacturers such as Enphase. As a leader in renewable energy solutions for households and businesses in NSW, we see the industry moving towards Energy Management Systems, where households integrate solar panels and small wind turbines with storage and energy load management.
The Australian energy market is on the cusp of incredible change. An Energy Management System should allow consumers to buy energy overnight at off-peak rates and then sell the energy back into the grid when the price of power peaks – typically during the afternoon. Solar power is already a no-brainer for most Sydney households, with 1 in 5 houses already having solar power installed. With storage we could see that number explode, causing a significant disruption to the energy utilities and distributors.
As described by the Enphase CEO Nahi:
“The battery market today reminds me of exactly where solar was in 2007. In 2007, everybody was excited about solar, but we weren’t sure why. It was so expensive!
“But there was this sense that it was going to be huge. So it’s kind of like, forget it, let’s just make it happen. And now look.
“Batteries feel exactly the same way. Everybody’s excited about it, everybody recognises it’s going to happen. And nobody has any idea how it’s going to work. And we’re ok with that. We understand that we have to get to scale, and that’s going to occur over a couple of years. But we have to apply technology to that.
“We’re going to learn a lot,” he adds. “The energy industry is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the past 100. There’s a huge, really seismic shift that’s occurring.”
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