The Guardian reported Australia’s first bulk-buy scheme for solar battery storage has launched, and with this, more than 1,000 people in Newcastle expressing interest and more than 500 attending a sign-up event next week to buy home battery systems. The program is being opened to people all around Australia. The prices and the complexity of battery storage and the expectation that prices will come down has so farm discouraged purchases.
According to Simon Sheikh, managing director of Future Super and co-founder of the bulk-buy company SunCrowd, it will be hard for wholesalers, installers and retailers bring the prices down if the number of customers will not go up. He also added that the problem is how to scale up the solar industry faster so as to reduce the cost for the companies. Without a movement like SunCrowd, many people in the community will want to wait and what the company is doing is pulling that purchasing decision forward by getting the prices of the future today.
Mr Sheikh said the company worked by the interests of people from local communities and then working with the entire supply chain to get the best prices. By organising the purchases and installations in one sweep, it was able to save capital on all aspects of logistics including shipping, sales and installation.
The group started in Newcastle, and the event had been planned for just 100 people, but got more than 1,000 expressions of interest. They accepted 600 RSVPs for the initial event and have organised an overflow event for 400 people in Lake Macquarie. The initial focus will be on NSW, where a solar bonus scheme in effect. This scheme paid some solar owners generously for excess energy they fed back into the grid is set to end on December 31, 2016. With solar customers facing low feed-in tariffs after the set date, SunCrowd said it expected people in NSW to see batter storage as an effective way of using solar energy.