German energy giant to build battery factory in SA

German energy storage giant sonnen has announced plans to establish a battery manufacturing facility in South Australia.

The facility will be located at the former Holden site in Elizabeth and is expected to be producing batteries by November 2018.

The assembly and manufacture of 50,000 energy storage systems in Adelaide in the next five years will create around 430 manufacturing and installation jobs in the state.

Sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann said the partnership underscores South Australia’s new reputation as the centre for energy policy in Australia.

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

The rollout of sonnen’s battery system, combined with rooftop solar, is also expected to provide significant savings to household electricity bills.

“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,” Mr Ostermann said.

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

“The state government is delighted sonnen has decided to make Adelaide the centre of its Australian operations and the jobs that will deliver for South Australians,” Mr Ridgway said.

“We have been working with sonnen for many months and this investment is a huge vote of confidence in South Australia.

“Manufacturing has been a key foundation of South Australia’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 announcement came after the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) signed a MOU to deliver a $100 million funding package to support the state government’s Home Battery Scheme.

The scheme will see battery systems installed in 40,000 households in South Australia.

Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the announcements confirm South Australia is a “world leader in the utilisation of solar technology”.