Soaring Australian power prices open doors for Redflow battery

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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.

“Converting the world energy grid to becoming majority renewable-sourced is entirely achievable by using batteries to time-shift electricity,” said CEO and executive chairman Simon Hackett.

“The strong level of engagement from installers reflects that demand from both residential and business consumers. Each of our 12 installers has ordered ZCell batteries from Redflow already, with one order for 48 ZCells, worth about $600,000.

Electricity is expensive in Australia.

Carbon & Energy Markets, an Australian energy and electronics consultancy, showed that out of 91 countries and regions around the world, including the US, Asia and Europe, only Denmark’s household electricity prices were higher.

This July, Energy Consumers Australia, an economics consultancy, said households in New South Wales paid the highest bills in the world.

Hackett says Redflow has approached local and federal governments to highlight the benefits of public support for more widespread storage.

“Added to the high cost of electricity in Australia is the fact that a number of states, including New South Wales, are finishing their generous solar feed-in tariffs which have run for the past decade,” said Hackett.

“By creating a situation where people with solar panels are receiving less for the energy they feed into the grid than they pay for energy they obtain from the grid, this is encouraging many people in these jurisdictions to consider batteries to store their PV solar energy until they need it – that is, self-consumption.

“As well as cost reductions, a strong motivator for people enquiring to buy our batteries is the desire for a reliable back-up power supply. This became a primary motivator for people enquiring a couple of months ago after a major power outage cut off electricity for the entire state of South Australia.”

The latest seven installers approved by Redflow in Australia are SSE Systems in the ACT (Canberra area); Riverina Complete Solar in Griffith, NSW; Country Solar NT in the Northern Territory; Apex Communication Technologies and Sustainable Works, both in South Australia; Veida in Victoria; and Green Gateway in Western Australia.