German energy storage company Sonnen will use the old Adelaide GM Holden factory to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, with the new production facility expected to be up and running within two months.
The site at Elizabeth will become Sonnen’s central shipping facility for Australia and the Asia and South Pacific region. The announcement comes after the South Australian government unveiled details regarding its $100 million Home Battery Scheme, which is to see $100 million in low interest loans for South Australia’s looking to invest in solar energy options for their homes.
Over the next five years, 50,000 energy storage systems are to be manufactured and assembled at the plant, creating approximately 430 manufacturing and installation jobs in the state.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway said the government was delighted that Sonnen has decided to make Adelaide the centre of its Australian operations.
“We have been working with Sonnen for many months and this investment is a huge vote of confidence in South Australia,” Ridgway said.
“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.”
Sonnen will eventually hope to run a ‘virtual power plant’, like one that they already have in Germany, where they connect thousands of households with a PV (photovoltaic) system and a storage system to form the decentralised sonnenCommunity.
Sonnen’s CEO Christoph Ostermann said the company was excited to begin manufacturing in South Australia for the Australian and export markets.
“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,” Ostermann said.
“50,000 storage system 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.”