Australian sales of Enphase Energy’s home battery storage system have begun in earnest this week, with local distributors now taking orders ahead of the first delivery of the batteries in a few months’ time.
The California-based inverter maker and smart technology company said on Monday the first global shipment of the 1.2kWh AC Battery was estimated to arrive on Australian shores in August, for distribution by Enphase’s regional network of more than 1,000 installers, including in New Zealand.
Enphase is not saying how many of the modular “plug and play” systems will make up this first shipment, but told RenewEconomy the company had been taken aback by the level of pre-order demand, even despite their own bullish predictions for the Australian market.
“To say we are pleased is an understatement, indicative orders for the Enphase Storage Solution have exceeded our every expectation,” said Enphase Asia Pacific managing director Nathan Dunn in an emailed statement on Monday.
“Our planned shipment volumes are currently being revised up considerably in order to meet demand.”
The lithium-ion phosphate battery, which we previewed here in December 2014, is expected to be popular for its flexibility – it is suitable for addition to any existing rooftop solar system, regardless of the brand of inverters or solar panels already in use – as well as for its modularity and and ease of installation; each 1.2kWh unit weighs only 25kg and can be wall-mounted indoors, and interconnected with standard AC wiring.
Other specs for the battery include a depth of discharge greater than 95 per cent, an ambient operating temperature range of -20°C – 45°C and a warranty of up to 10 years or 7300 cycles.
The battery also comes with Enphase’s cloud-based Enlighten energy management system, which helps households to maximise their solar self-consumption or store energy generated for use at times when grid electricity prices are at their highest – and to monitor all this via a their “device” of choice.
According to Enphase, when used as a part of the company’s Home Energy Solution, the AC Battery can deliver one of the lowest up-front costs and highest lifetime values in the current energy storage market.
Prices for the units – which come with the Enlighten program as a standard feature – are expected to vary from distributor to distributor, and depending on what sort of solar and energy management system the customer already has.
According to Queensland distributor AC Solar Warehouse, the fully installed price (with GST) should range between $2,700 (if the customer already has an Enphase solar system and Envoy-S metered) to $3,700 for installation with a non-Enphase solar system.
AC Solar’s managing director, Grant Behrendorff, confirmed that demand for the Enphase units had been impressive – at least among his company’s clientele – with pre-orders numbering in the hundreds in the few days since last week’s solar conference in Melbourne.
Other authorised distributors in Australia include One Stop Warehouse, RFI, Solar + Solutions and SunEdison. Homeowners can be connected with local Enphase installers via www.enphase.com/au/quote.
NSW installer Solaray Energy says depending on the customer’s situation, pricing should range from about $2200 – $3000 including GST for the Enphase Storage System with one battery (fully-installed), with additional AC Batteries going down in price.
Another NSW installer, GoSolar Newcastle, says they will price Enphase AC Batteries at around $2500 each, including GST, fully installed.
Envirogroup in Victoria has been pre-selling the Enphase AC Battery for $1990 including GST fully installed, or $2500-3000 with the Envoy-S Metered included.
“The Enphase AC Battery is one of the most exciting batteries to hit our shores recently,” said Karl Edmondson, manager of solar battery design at EnviroGroup. “The low entry price and modular design make it very easy to integrate with new or existing solar systems”
“Pricing for grid-connect battery systems are now literally starting at under three thousand dollars fully installed,” he said