The next wave of battery storage that can bring your facility’s energy costs down

Battery storage is becoming popular in Australian homes and with government subsidies and price drops making it more attainable than ever before, now its time for commercial facilities to benefit as well.

Solar energy has been a slow boil in the renewables sector, with high functioning PERC technology developed in the late 1980s right here in Australia only becoming popular in the 2000s.

However, battery storage solutions has changed this. About 20,000 home batteries were installed in Australia in 2016 – almost triple that of 2015 – while sales are expected to peak at 33,000 in 2018.

The recently re-elected Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government in Victoria will also provide half-price solar batteries for 10,000 Victorian households as part of its $1.3 billion Solar Homes program.

But these batteries are not isolated to households. Battery storage devices are now being rolled out for commercial purposes and there are ways FM services can tap into this to deliver greater efficiencies and drive energy prices down.

Which battery storage solutions are right for my enterprise?

For small businesses that are no larger than a house, a typical house battery will likely fulfil the needs of the client.

However, for medium and larger enterprises, commercial systems will be required to meet the demand. This is a relatively new area of technology, but there are options available.

The German-made SonnenBatterie Eco is a high volume battery that is capable of covering about 80 per cent of an average household’s yearly energy requirement with self-produced and clean energy. This device manages energy by storing power when the sun is at its peak and the delivering power when the solar panels are not producing electricity.

For larger enterprises, the range of Tesla batteries are more likely suited to your needs. The Tesla Powerwall will meet 100 per cent of an average home’s needs in one day and will give you seven consecutive days of power if there is an outage from the main grid.

These Powerwalls can be daisy-chained together so the more solar panels and batteries you have, the less electricity you will need to pull from the grid.

How do I know if solar batteries will suit my enterprise?

The rule of thumb is that if you’re paying more than 15 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity at daytime rates, you will benefit from solar panels and battery solutions.

It is important to remember that you will need suitable roof space for the panels as well, so factor this into your planning.

There are many government rebates available as well, depending on your state or territory. Check with your local MP to find out what is on offer.

How to achieve sustainability goals and generate revenue

Before installing new solar technology, enterprises are going to want to know there are benefits – and there are.

Industry giants in the USA have already gone solar, including Wal-Mart, Target, Apple, IKEA, Macy’s, FedEx, Verizon, General Motors and L’Oreal.

Battery storage is getting cheaper, with the cost of lithium ion batteries falling by 80 per cent since 2010 and are expected to halve again within seven years.

It is also a clear indicator of meeting sustainability goals, which photography giant Canon has done by recently installing a commercial solar system on their Macquarie Park office building in tandem with their 1.5 per cent per year reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

That project covers about nine per cent of their total energy costs, which produces obvious savings in the bottom line as well.

Want to learn more about battery storage and energy management strategies? Visit Total Facilities at ICC Sydney from March 20-21 in 2019. Register now for free entry here.

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