RedEarth and Real Estate Development Partner to Supply Home Solar + Storage Systems for New Homes in Australia

  • 2024-01-12 09:55
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The dream of solar power for every new home in Australia is one step closer. RedEarth, an Australian designer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery storage systems, has signed a multi-million dollar contract with a major housing developer to supply solar power and batteries to buyers of its new homes across Australia - participating buyers will also be linked to a high-return virtual power plant (VPP).
CharlieWalker, CEO and co-founder of RedEarth, says the deal will cover thousands of Australian homes over time, with the first solar homes currently under construction.
He didn't name the developer yet but said more details of the agreement would be revealed soon.
Homebuyers will be able to choose from a minimum 6.3-kilowatt solar system (without batteries) or a combination of solar and batteries that will fully meet their electricity needs.
The benefits of integrating solar at the construction stage include lower costs through volume purchasing and manufacturing, as well as consistency in contractor installation.
Walker says, "In Australia, you have enough energy hitting people's roofs every day to create a surplus of electricity. It makes sense to make, use, and store your power and monetize the excess."
RedEarth uses software from another innovative and established Australian technology provider to securely monitor and manage its VPP's energy production and use.
It calculates that by selling excess energy back to the grid when energy prices are high or offloading it for other energy users, RedEarthVPP will realize "up to 80 cents per kilowatt hour" for excess residential generation. The management system will continually optimize the price it can get for a customer's energy.
Walker said RedEarth's platform can support the interests of both the grid and VPP members by coordinating with its participants in a given zip code to supply energy locally at a slightly better price than other suppliers when the region's supply is unable to keep up with demand for some time, and by helping to mitigate shortages across the grid as its capacity grows.
Though they won't get as high a return, customers on the RedEarth platform also have the option of selling their energy back to their electricity supplier, such as Origin or AGL, for a credit, which they can then pass on to a relative or friend.
Walker says RedEarth treats each solar system in its VPP as an investment and provides quarterly reports on the returns generated by each system.
Other benefits of this VPP include constant monitoring of solar cell performance through secure telemetry; the system alerts RedEarth if power generation is not meeting expectations or if there is a malfunction.
Walker says, "Our goal is to call our customers before they call us."
VPP participants can contact RedEarth if they want to increase the capacity of their system, such as when they buy an electric car and need more battery storage to power their commute.
Walker says although Australia leads the world in rooftop solar uptake, with one in four homes now generating their power, a large-scale campaign has yet to materialize.
Walker says: "It's still early days, but we do see that every rooftop in Australia becoming its power plant is a way of intelligently building a renewable energy capable grid."
RedEarth is releasing its first personal power plant in 2019 after several years of development and testing, as well as offering Australian engineered and manufactured products for the off-grid and large-scale energy storage markets.
He said existing homes wanting to join his new VPP are welcome, but RedEarth believes targeting new buildings is "the way to get the most progress, the quickest way" at this stage of Australia's renewable energy transition.

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