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Canada’s Eguana will set up local manufacturing to join South Australia Home Battery Scheme

Eguana Technologies 'Evolve' AC-coupled home energy storage unit. Image: Eguana Tech via Twitter.

Calgary-headquartered Eguana Tech has joined high-profile rivals like Tesla and Sonnen in targeting South Australia’s residential energy storage market, announcing it has become eligible for the state’s incentive programme.

The South Australia Home Battery Scheme, launched by the state government, offers a maximum of AU$6,000 assistance per household for the purchase of battery energy storage. Home storage systems are typically, but not always, paired with solar PV, and homeowners can get back between AU$500 and AU$600 per kilowatt hour of battery storage capacity purchased.

Announced in September and then launched a month later, the scheme will assist up to 40,000 households financially, with the state government putting in AU$100 million and peer-to-peer lending group RateSetter later committing the same amount of funding in the form of low-interest loans. In addition to the incentive scheme, the state is also conducting a separate, large virtual power plant (VPP) project involving up to 50,000 Tesla Powerwalls as well as setting up the AU$50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund (GSSF) to assist large projects. Meanwhile, the 129MWh Neoen-Tesla project at Hornsdale has been hailed an "undeniable success" after its first year of operation

The government is keen to put distributed small-scale storage on its networks to help manage peaks in energy demand. As such, eligible battery energy storage systems (BESS) must be able to aggregate their capabilities into virtual power plants. Providers must also show evidence of employing local people and using local facilities for manufacturing where possible.

Canadian energy storage technology integrator and manufacturer Eguana Tech, which has a partnership with LG Chem to use its battery modules in Eguana’s AC battery storage systems, now joins just seven other providers: Alpha-ESS, Tesla, Sonnen, Enphase, Varta, BYD and LG Chem itself.

Sonnen has set up local production facilities to meet both local demand and the Battery Scheme’s criteria. Assembly line work began in late November 2018, celebrated at an event attended by State Premier Steven Marshall. Eguana said it will produce its own storage system, Evolve, in South Australia.

“The Virtual Power Plant requirement for the Home Battery program is the first of its kind and the Evolve product was designed and developed to deliver a full suite of grid services supporting sophisticated programs like these that go well beyond basic backup power and self-consumption capabilities,” Eguana Technologies CEO Justin Holland said.

“We have already begun working with South Australian government services to establish supply partners and manufacturing capabilities in South Australia and look forward to supporting the South Australian economy and energy storage customers.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said his department had been “working with Eguana for some time now to attract them to our state and this investment is further proof that South Australia is indeed the heartland of renewables in our country”.

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