The Resilient Energy Collective bid to power Australia’s bushfire affected communities with stand-alone solar and battery storage has gained a new high-profile team member, with Risen Energy signing up to supply solar panels to the cause.
The Collective, an initiative of Australian software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes in partnership with Tesla and Australian solar company 5B, was unveiled in February as a quick and easy way to re-power communities cut off by the summer’s bushfires and storms.
With Cannon-Brookes supplying the initial capital for the project ($12 million), Tesla has contributed battery storage, and 5B has provided its pre-fabricated, easily deployed Maverick solar technology.
Risen Energy said this week it would supply solar panels to the Collective, off the back of Risen’s earlier collaboration with 5B, when it supplied its 400W Jaegar Plus series panels for an initial display and test site of the Maverick systems.
China-based Risen said the “noble cause” of the Collective was well aligned with its own goals – as a major solar project developer – to become more involved in local Australian communities while increasing awareness of the benefits of green energy systems in Australia.
And as RenewEconomy editor Giles Parkinson reported in February, the capabilities and ready availability of the solar and storage technology have indeed been a surprise to some.
According to Cannon-Brookes, some people in the communities had thought such technologies were 10 years away.
“They said, ‘does this run at night?’ Yes! They said, ‘Man, this is technology from the future!’ No it’s not, it’s stuff that you find on the shelves. The only new bits we added were nuts and bolts from Bunnings.”
Risen Australia’s general manager Eric Lee said that his company had also – at first – been “intrigued” by 5B’s pre-built, re-deployable solar system. But they soon saw it as a good fit with their 400W high efficiency panels.
“5B’s mission of delivering world-class technology to ensure clean energy is affordable and accessible, ties in with Risen Energy’s vision of a green future’,” Lee said.
5B’s chief technology officer, Rhett Evans, said Risen had been a great partner on the bushfire relief project.
“They were able to respond rapidly and decisively with local stock and local support. Risen’s product range and build quality is a great match to our prefabricated array systems and they have a committed and growing presence in the Australian market.”
Risen’s Jaeger plus series were launched in Australia in 2019, featuring 9 bus bars, 158.75 mm wafers and half cut cells. Risen has since announced it will be releasing two new panels in the market in 2020, including 500W modules made with large, 210 mm M12 wafers.
On the development front, Risen is behind the 100MW Merredin solar farm in Western Australia – the state’s biggest yet, and the 100MW Yarranlea solar farm in Queensland.