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LG Chem partners on solar-plus-storage with Sunrun in US, Solar Juice in Australia

Sunrun has issued full-year guidance of 285MW of solar PV installs. Image: Sunrun Facebook page.
Residential installer Sunrun has teamed up Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem, to offer solar-plus-storage systems in the US, while the battery maker also announced a partnership deal in Australia with distributor Solar Juice.

LG Chem will supply its lithium-ion RESU batteries for Sunrun’s BrightBox solar generation systems, which gives homeowners the ability to store solar energy generated during the day for use in the evening, offering significant savings on electricity bills.

“The energy storage market is advancing at a breakneck pace. At Sunrun, we are enabling a home energy management service that integrates rooftop solar generation with onsite energy storage to offer greater energy choice and savings to our customers while helping to modernize the grid,” said chief marketing officer Michael Grasso, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to offer LG Chem’s best-in-class battery technology to homeowners. The partnership with LG Chem supports our financing advantage, enabling our customers to install solar plus energy storage for little to no money down.”

San Francisco-based Sunrun started offering BrightBox this year in Hawaii, using Tesla batteries. The company has plans to expand the system to California in 2017. According to company co-founder Ed Fenster, the company is waiting to see how California regulators adjust electricity rates next year, and peak-hour prices in particular.

In future, BrightBox will allow consumers to adopt a time-of-use (TOU) rate model to time shift when solar energy is used to minimise peak prices. TOU is expected to be the most-used rate design in California by 2019.

SPI Energy subsidiary to stock LG Chem's 10kWh batteries

LG Chem batteries will meanwhile be supplied in Australia by Solar Juice, a subsidiary of China-headquartered SPI Energy, which claims to be the largest importer and distributor of solar products in the region.

In addition to LG Chem's RESU3.3 (48V, 3.3kWh) and RESU6.5 (48V, 6.5kWh) battery systems, Solar Juice will stock the forthcoming RESU10 (100V, 10kWh) devices, which will be made available later this year. 

"Australia is an ideal market for home energy storage, where over 1.5 million households, or approximately 1 in every 4 homes, currently have installed solar PVs. As a result, Solar Juice is well positioned to capture this large and growing market opportunities as a leading wholesale distributor," SPI Energy's chairman and CEO Xiafeng Peng said.

"We are looking forward to becoming more active in [the] Australian energy storage market by cooperating with Solar Juice," LG Chem director Jin Yong Park added.

Additional reporting by Andy Colthorpe.

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