The Ridey family in New South Wales will be the first Australian family to adopt the sonnenFlat. The scheme, provided in Australia by Natural Solar in partnership with German battery supplier sonnen, will see a 10kWh sonnenBatterie Eco 8 installed alongside an upgraded rooftop system.
The two companies estimate the five-person family will enjoy savings on their electricity bills under the sonnenFlat contract, of more than $2,000 a year.
The Ridey family, who live in North Ryde, New South Wales, currently pay $566 a quarter for electricity, despite having a 3kWp rooftop solar array – which was installed over six years ago. The size of the PV system upgrade the family made alongside the storage system install was not revealed.
Under the sonnenFlat, the Ridey will family will make a regular payment to sonnen, rather than to their utility. The battery installed at their home will also be available to the grid for the provision of auxiliary grid services, such as frequency regulation.
Natural Solar CEO Chris Williams said that many of the 1.6 million Australian households that already have rooftop solar could sign onto the sonneFlat scheme rather than stick with their existing utility.
“Australia is becoming a battery community – the more people who adopt battery power and initiatives such as sonnenFlat, the greater influence they will have on the overall grid,” said Williams in a statement. “By participating in grid stabilisation services the sonnenFlat virtual power plant will generate revenue which can then be passed back to households,” he continued.
Sonnen and Natural Solar promote the sonnenFlat program as being a way for households to reduce their electricity bills to $0 – although they will have to pay a fee to be a part of the program. The program does protect households from utility price hikes, such as those seen in many parts of Australia earlier this year.
Sonnen claims that close to 30,000 homes in Germany and elsewhere in Europe have signed up to the sonnenFlat scheme.