Sonnen to share revenues for grid services with consumers under new plan

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Rooftop PV storage in the residential setting has traditionally been there to optimise a household and provide electricity cost savings but it was not able to generate revenue directly.

That may be set to change with the sonnenConnect program launched in Australia this week.

The program will deliver financial incentives to eligible owners who provide Sonnen with access to their battery which in turn will allow the German-headquartered manufacturer to support the stability of the energy grid.

Nathan Dunn, CEO of Sonnen Asia Pacific, said the program marks a major change for the Australian market with householders now able to participate in grid stability while earning additional revenue.

“With the growing uptake of rooftop solar and home batteries globally, utilities are recognising the importance of home batteries in Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) or what is known as demand response, to stabilise the grid when there is a surge in the demand for electricity,” he said.

“Through sonnenConnect, we are rewarding customers who are providing us access to their sonnenBatterie when needed for demand response.”

This capacity has previously been limited to larger industrial assets and advocates say the new program has the potential to strengthen the position of the household within the energy system.

“Not only will they enjoy being energy independent, sonnenBatterie owners are working together as a community to stablise the energy grid that connects millions of homeowners in the National Electricity Market (NEM),” Dunn said.

To be eligible to participate in the program, homeowners will need to have a sonnenBatterie with at least 4 kWh capacity, not be on a sonnenFlat energy plan or connected to a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program.

Sonnen said eligible residents in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory will receive up to $41 per month or up to $1.32 a day. Those in South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania will receive up to $24 per month or up to $0.82 a day.

Those who opt to join the sonnenConnect program will continue to receive a feed-in tariff for any unused energy that is exported to the grid from their energy retailer.

Sonnen, purchased last year by global petroleum giant Shell, has previously reported that more than 3,000 sonnenBatteries have been installed in Australia and are participating in its VPP.

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