German battery storage giant and major Tesla rival, Sonnen, has opened up competition on yet another front in Australia, with the announcement this week of a partnership with a local roofing company that is set to launch its own version of an integrated solar tile.
Sonnen said on Thursday that it had signed an agreement with Australian company Bristile Roofing to be the national supplier of solar powered energy storage systems for homes using its new solar tile, which is due to hit the market in September.
Under the deal, Bristile will offer the Sonnen AC Coupled modular battery storage system to the builder market, as well as its new Sonnen DC Hybrid range.
The storage system includes an inverter, battery modules, and an energy management system with built-in smart appliance control. The systems have a 10-year guarantee, but are designed for a 20-year life, according to Sonnen.
Bristile, which is a part of the building materials group Brickworks, says it expects to target the estimated 102,000 new-build homes throughout Australia in 2017-18, with a number of builders the company deals with “looking to offer integrated solar systems” as a standard feature of off-the-plan homes.
Sonnen, which launched its battery line in Australia just over a year ago, has since claimed that it is its biggest market outside Europe, and says it could soon be its biggest market in the world.
“We are delighted to partner with Bristile because of their prominent involvement in supplying quality products to the building industry,” said Sonnen Australia managing director, Chris Parratt, in comments on Thursday
“(We are) particularly excited about the new Solartile technology that Bristile intend to offer the market later this year.
“The new home market is going to be one of the biggest channels for solar and storage as it will be a prominent feature for home builders in their designs,” Parrat said.
The deal come’s just weeks after Tesla announced that its own, much-hyped solar roofing tiles were open for Australian orders, with down-payments, ahead of delivery in 2018.
Tesla, which has previously claimed the tiles would be no more expensive that a regular roof, making the solar power generation “a bonus”, has estimated that the “typical homeowner” should expect to pay $US21.85 per square foot for the tiles. Bloomberg, however, puts the price at $US42 per sqaure foot, including materials and labour.
Prices are yet to be revealed for the Bristile Solartile, but a company spokesperson told One Step Off The Grid that a “soft launch” of the product could was expected in July.