Australian households yet to invest in rooftop solar can now do so through their favourite Scandinavian furniture retailer, with the official launch of Ikea’s SolStråle PV and battery packages around the country this week.
The Swedish giant announced this week that Solstråle was available for sale and installation within 100km of any Ikea store in Australia – although some fine-print that reveals itself when you click through to the quotes page narrows it down to W.A., Queensland and Victoria, for now; and “coming soon” to NSW, S.A. and the ACT.
To get it out of the way; no, the panels do not come flat-packed, and no, households are not expected to assemble them using a set of vague instructions and an Allen key.
As One Step Off The Grid reported in February, Ikea enters Australia’s residential solar fray in partnership with seasoned local campaigner, SolarGain, and is offering a basic menu of Trina 370W panels in combination with Growatt inverters and batteries.
On prices, Ikea offers a ballpark figure based around a 6.6kW system – just as an example, based on the average system size installed around Australia – that ranges from the low- $3,000s to closer to $5,000 depending on where you live and whether any state government subsidies apply.
For a 6.6kW solar system and a 6.5kWh lithium battery, you can add roughly another $7,000 to the equation – again, depending on where you live and give or take any state government subsidies or deals.
This is not a one-size-fits-all-package, however, and Ikea strongly encourages customers to generate their own quote via the website – and then in consultation with SolarGain, to ensure system size matches household energy consumption patterns, roof size, budget, and local network specifications.
In a live webinar on Wednesday – hosted by Ikea partly to announce the official launch of Solstråle in Australia, but also to discuss the broader theme of “Doing Business for the Planet” – Australian retail manager and chief sustainability officer, Jan Gardberg, said that choosing the right local partner had been a top priority.
“In that journey, it’s been important to us to realise that we need to find strong partnerships with others that are experts in the field and …kind of marry our retailing experience, our customer focus, with SolarGain, in this case.
“(Together with SolarGain) we are able to offer (customers) a solar package that is, really, true value for money, with some guarantees*,” Gardberg said.
(SolStråle guarantees and warranties include: 5-year performance guarantee, 5-year installation warranty, 10-year manufacturer product warranties, and 25-year manufacturer warranty on solar panel nominal rated power output.)
The webinar included a live panel discussion with NSW shadow minister for the environment Kate Washington, the CEO of the Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia Andrew Petersen, and the clean tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Katerina Kimmorley.
Australia’s policy position on renewables and climate was a key talking point, as was the role of technologies like rooftop solar in Australia’s post-Covid recovery.
For its part, Gardberg said Ikea was keen to play an active role in helping Australian households to become more sustainable.
“Right now, people have been spending more time than ever at home and I hope that those existential questions (about sustainable living) have got right up on their agenda,” he told the panel.
“That’s the space that I would like us, Ikea, to take more of an active role. We can play as a catalyst into this,” he said.
“We have fantastic sun in our country that is shining there… as a Fin, every day is a fantastic beautiful summer here!” Gardberg added. “(Solar) can only be a success story. So I’m very optimistic about what lies ahead.”
Ikea is walking the talk on renewable energy, having set and met a target to produce and procure more renewable energy than it consumes by this year, 2020.
But in Australia, Gardberg revealed on Wednesday that the company was going another step further with the solar it has installed on its major retail outlets – at least in South Australia, anyway.
“Another exciting thing that is not so much talked about right now, but… in a couple of days time we can finally announce that we are also going in with a microgrid in Adelaide, on the Adelaide store,” he said.
“We came across a very fantastic company, Planet Ark, they had an idea about not only producing renewable energy on the rooftop (of the Adelaide store) but actually also to provide it to the community, to the close community.”
We’ll keep you posted on that as more information is revealed. In the meantime, if you want to install an Ikea sunbeam (SolStråle, in Swedish) on your roof, you can get a quote here.