Germany battery storage maker Sonnenbatterie is set to release the full details of its much-hyped “free power” concept for households using rooftop solar and its battery storage systems.
In a grand event scheduled for Sydney on Wednesday evening, Sonnen will unveil its “Sonnen flat” offer that proposes “free power” to households using the system.
Of course, the power will not be free, because you need to buy the storage in the first place. But Sonnen promises to protect households against rising electricity prices, including the fixed costs that make up increasing amounts of consumer bills as networks respond to the growing use of solar and storage.
Earlier this year, Sonnen said the deal would include electricity drawn from the grid when the sun goes down and stored energy is used up.
In return, it said at the time, Sonnen would have access to its customers’ installed battery storage capacity to use as a sort of virtual power plant, to provide grid balancing services to network operators.
“The deal is, you buy a Sonnen battery to go with your solar and don’t pay for electricity any more,” Sonnen Australia head Chris Parratt told One Step Off The Grid in an interview in February.
“It’s like a mobile phone plan, where the customer purchases the phone up front and gets a plan, if you like. Or, if you use finance, you pay nothing up front, and pay monthly installments instead.
“That’s the way we see the market going,” Parratt added. “Eventually your electricity costs will look like a mobile phone plan.”
Sonnen is expected to unveil a retail strategy at the event, which may include the likes of Zen Energy, whose chairman Ross Garnaut will also speak, and which already uses the storage product.
Sonnen rolled out its flat rate model in Germany in September last year and now has 6,000 battery systems in the German balancing market.