Jobs surge as battery maker sets up shop in SA

A SECOND solar home battery builder will set up operation in Adelaide, with plans to create more than 100 jobs, as the state prepares for a massive expansion in the use of the emerging technology.

The State Government hopes up to 40,000 homes will have batteries connected to home solar, in a bid to halt blackouts and get prices down.

Alpha ESS SMILE5 battery system.
Alpha ESS SMILE5 battery system.

The scheme offers households subsidies of up to $6000, and preferences companies which assemble or build batteries in SA. Mining and Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan will today reveal that Chinese firm Alpha ESS will join German Sonnen as a second local battery maker.

The priority provider period for the home battery scheme expires at the end of the year, after which competitors can also offer their products.

Alpha-ESS has committed to establishing its facility by the end of next June but will start SA assembly next month.

In two to three years, Alpha ESS anticipates they will assemble more than 8000 batteries a year, creating between 100 and 120 jobs. Mr van Holst Pellekaan said SA was "set to become the home battery capital of the world" as storage was added to existing solar systems and new ones that could be funded through cheap loans.

"This is great news for South Australians who want to install a home battery to store their renewable energy and drive down costs for all consumers," he said.

Alpha ESS spokesman Dong Lin said SA had "one of the most ambitious government-led schemes" in the world. "SA's leadership in renewable energy projects and the state's natural resources in wind and solar all create a positive environment for energy storage companies like us to be part of the economy," he said.