Image sourced from http://www.repositpower.com/
Grid Credits with Reposit Power
I recently met with Dean Spaccavento, one of the founders of Reposit Power; an innovative product designed to optimise your batteries return on investment and foster a positive and mutually beneficial community relationship with the grid. Here’s my take on this innovative solution to the Battery ROI problem.
Is a positive return on investment possible with solar + battery storage ?
There is no doubt that Australia is excited and ready for battery storage. Big names such as TESLA, LG Chem and Enphase have all selected Australia as one of their launch markets for their home battery storage offerings. But what’s driving the Australian interest in battery storage and why hasn’t it quite taken off?
Grid Resentment driving Battery Enquiries
With the escalating cost of electricity, combined with the deregulation and reduction of solar feed in tariffs, plus the introduction of daily service charges and most energy retailers offering a rebate of between 0-6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh, (almost a quarter of the rate that energy is purchased at in Queensland) resentment against the grid and energy retailers has been growing. Consumers feel they’re getting a raw deal, especially on their solar power. And why should we buy it at such a high rate when it’s purchased back at such a low one?
We assume the retailers motivation is greed – but what’s the real reason we are offering so little for our clean solar power? Need. Fortunately, energy companies have no control over when the sun will shine. The downside is that as solar penetration increases, more and more power ends up being pumped back into the grid during peak solar production times – If nobody needs to consume that power – what value does it have to the energy companies? Next to none. It’s true that at times your power could be worth dollars not cents, but at other times it’s not worth a penny – This is why your retailer won’t pay generous feed in tariffs. – as they are forced to pay for the power fed back in, regardless of whether they actually need it. It’s understandable, but hard to feel sympathy for these huge companies, and it doesn’t change the fact that our excess power should have more value.
And so the resentment increases, the divide between grid users and energy providers widens and the battery and off grid solar enquiries come flooding in to Keen 2B Green. However, one key barrier still remains before those home battery storage lemmings start launching themselves over the cliff. The Return On Investment.
Why Australians Can’t See Past a Return On Investment
Now in Australia, we see ourselves as a progressive nation. Brisbane and Queensland have the highest penetration of rooftop solar systems in the country. We like the idea of renewable energy and home battery storage, especially since TESLA reinvented the product and elevated it from Green Geek / Hobby status and made home battery storage sexy with the TESLA Powerwall. But how much are we willing to pay for battery technology?
There’s a problem. During the solar boom, and relied upon today, the Solar Power ‘sell’ has never really been about the environment – it’s focus has always been a Return On Investment. In general, people want solar to save money, and if it’s good for the environment, that’s a bonus. And with good quality systems usually offering a 4-5 year payback period with a potential life of 25 years or more, why wouldn’t it be the motivating factor for buyers?
So what happens when you look at the return on investment for a battery? In simple terms, the average cost of the power provided by a battery over it’s projected life comes in at a higher cost than buying the same amount of grid based power (At today’s rates anyway). So if your motivation or interest in batteries is the hip pocket, rather than grid independence and sustainability – You’re probably thinking batteries are currently not worth it.
Enter the Disruptors.
Now if you’re a marketing geek like me the cogs are probably turning. The grid needs power, on demand and is willing to pay good money for it, but only at specific times. The consumer wants their excess power rebated at a fair price and for their battery to provide a positive return on investment. There’s an opportunity there.
Enter the disruptors. Now some of you may have heard of the ‘Sharing Economy’ – think global success stories Uber and Air BnB where ride sharing and room sharing has become commoditised. Introducing Reposit Power. – The sharing economy for community electricity. The Reposit goal is to facilitate energy users with excess power from their solar to be able to sell to the energy producers (The Grid) at the times they are willing to pay for it. The solution – smart energy storage. Energy users (You) can be provided with generous credits for your excess power, and the Electricity networks (The grid) being able to access the power when needed, meaning they are willing to pay a premium to access it. Community power and a fair go – It’s Poetic really!
So how does it work?
Reposit power is intelligent monitoring software combined with an energy meter designed to compliment your solar and battery storage system. The software connects everyday households as a community powerstation network. It monitors the energy market and identifies when the demand and price for energy is high and is able to dispatch and sell the energy stored in your battery, for a far higher amount than the rate at which your grid energy is purchased at. The Reposit Power software is optimised to identify how to make the best possible return for your power and can identify and respond to your power usage patterns and predicted weather events which might require you to store rather than sell your power, or charge during off peak times for customer on TOU Tariffs.
Is Reposit Power For Me?
Reposit Power is a new technology and the returns it generates rely on a fluctuating energy market beyond their control, meaning they can make no guarantees. However the ideal candidate would be a large energy user with a decent sized storage system and solar array. Reposit Power also works best for customers on a TOU – Time Of Use tariff (Generally found in New South Wales, rather than Brisbane and the rest of Queensland) as it can also facilitate off peak charging when required, offering even greater returns. Reposit also require you to switch to a partnered Energy Retailer such as Diamond Energy, Powershop (Vic & New South Wales) and Simply Energy in order to receive grid credits.
So Is A Positive Return On Investment Possible For Home Battery Storage?
Like Solar Power, each household uses power differently, and different communities and energy networks around the country will have different needs, which can’t always be predicted, so each Reposit power user will experience different returns. What we do know is that the cost of electricity is set to rise, and it is predicted that networks including Queensland’s Energex and Ergon networks will be following New South Wales’s suit and introducing ‘time of use’ and demand billing in the future – making technology like Reposit power highly valuable, and possibly the key to unlocking a positive return for a battery. That combined with the predicted fall in battery prices over the coming years means if a positive return isn’t available now, then it’s not very far off in the distance.
Reposit Power is now available from Keen 2B Green! If you’re excited about battery storage and want to talk about compatible solar and storage solutions with Reposit Power, contact Keen 2B Green today!- The Solar Specialists across Brisbane, The Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales.