German battery giant to create 430 manufacturing jobs for SA

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A German energy storage giant has chosen the former Holden car factory in Adelaide’s northern suburbs as the centre of its Australian operations.

Sonnen will assemble and manufacture 50,000 energy storage systems at the site over the next five years, creating about 430 manufacturing and installation jobs for South Australia.

The company’s plans to establish a battery production plant in Adelaide were initially announced in February 2018, when the location was still under consideration.

Sonnen will set up its Australian headquarters at the former Holden manufacturing plant and begin assembling its world-leading home battery technology.

Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister David Ridgway says the new manufacturing centre will become sonnen’s central shipping facility for Australia and the Asia and South Pacific region.

“The State Liberal Government is delighted that sonnen has decided to make Adelaide the centre of its Australian operations and the jobs that will deliver for South Australians,” he says.

“Manufacturing has been a key foundation of SA’s economy for decades and this is set to continue on the back of leading companies like sonnen establishing an advanced manufacturing presence in our state.”

The State Government says the rollout of the battery systems combined with rooftop solar is expected to “provide significant savings to household electricity bills”.

The sonnen news follows the State Government’s announcement of its $100m Home Battery Scheme.

The scheme is set to provide 40,000 SA households with access to grants up to $6000 to pay for the installation of home battery systems.

Sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann says SA has a new reputation for being the centre of energy policy in Australia.

“We are very excited to begin manufacturing in SA for the Australian and export markets and anticipate Australia will become the world’s number one market for energy storage systems,” he says.

Sonnen runs a virtual power plant in Germany, where thousands of households are connected with a photovoltaic system (PV) and storage system, forming the decentralised sonnenCommunity.

“As the sonnenBatterie can charge and discharge up to three times a day, it is ideal once battery numbers reach a certain level, to form a virtual power plant capable of supplying energy to the grid on days of high demand,” Christoph says.

“50,000 storage systems will be able to draw down energy stored in the batteries to supply up to 150 megawatts of electricity to the grid, which is the equivalent of a gas-fired peaking power station.”

Header image: sonnen, Facebook.

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