“If only the numbers stacked up,” said every solar household desperate to reap the benefits of a battery, but faced with a questionable return on investment. Yesterday this all changed, with the launch of the AlphaESS ‘Smile’ 13kWh battery – a total game changer that is set to make top quality batteries a financially viable option for the many, not the few.
Until now, this has been the issue with batteries:
Everyone loves the idea of batteries – they can cut your bills by up to 90% (or more), be energy self-sufficient, join a virtual power plant to earn extra money and support your community, and most can provide power during a blackout too. Feed-in tariffs have been slashed and continue to decline, so batteries are the best way to fully benefit from solar moving forward. Not to mention, COVID-19 has left us with higher energy bills than ever!
The problem has been the price tag of batteries and more specifically, their payback periods. Batteries have been averaging $14,690* and only certain states have battery rebates in place, so for many households the balance sheet just hasn’t added up. If the payback period is longer than the warranty, why would you bother?
Enter, the game changer!
Yesterday we helped officially launch the AlphaESS Smile 13.3 kWh Battery. Check out these specs:
· 13kWh battery
· 10-year warranty
· Battery design life of around 15 years due to its 8,000 cycle rating
· Comes with everything you need to hook it up to an existing solar panel system
· Can be installed in a garage or outdoors
Why is this such a big deal?
Because a reduced price and larger battery system finally make this a financially viable option for many more Aussie households - without any Government rebates or incentives.
Let’s take a look at the payback period for this battery in a ‘real life’ scenario:
1. Installs the 13kWh Alpha ESS Battery for around $9,900 fully installed.
2. Joins our popular Community Virtual Power Plant plan for free, which pays $0.45/kWh for any battery power used for the VPP (link).
The key figures:
· Over 10 years, total electricity savings is predicted at over $15,000
· Over 15 years, total electricity savings is predicted at nearly $27,000
As this blog is all about ‘crunching the numbers’, here they are in all their Excel spreadsheet glory…
For all the solar tech nerds out there (like us), here’s a breakdown of the considerations we weighed into these calculations:
· We factored in 13.34kWh total battery storage, 90% depth of discharge to be conservative, resulting in 12kWh of usable energy storage.
· We discounted that 12kWh by 4.5% which is the line losses when converting battery power into power for the home (DC to AC power). That resulted in 11.46kWh usable AC energy. (Sidenote: If we’ve already lost you at this point, feel free to skip to the bottom, our solar consultants can cut through all the complex stuff and just let you know the relevant bits for your household!)
· Grid electricity price is $0.275 with a 6.5% increase per year.
· We’ve used a solar feed-in tariff of $0.06/kWh. We have not projected that this will decline, even though these credits are rapidly falling, and some are even suggesting that people who send power back to the grid may one day be charged for it (instead of being paid for it). If those things happen, the savings will be even higher!
· We have included Virtual Power Plant earnings based on our existing Community Virtual Power Plant which pays $0.45/kWh for battery power that goes back to the grid, along with $0.45/kWh when the battery is charged from the grid during an excess grid power event. We have projected that to increase little by little each year as virtual power plants become an increasing part of the energy mix of Australia.
· Please note that the battery has a 10 year warranty. We included 15 year savings numbers as the battery is designed to last that long.
· As this is a larger size battery, you need to make sure your rooftop solar is big enough to charge it up each day. We have assumed that the existing solar panel setup is big enough to fully charge the battery each day. If it is not, then we advise you to get a smaller battery and use the extra money you saved to add some more panels onto your house.
The launch of this battery is an exciting and important step in moving towards a future where solar batteries are much more affordable and attainable for everyday Australian households. Want to hear more about it? Check out this coverage of the launch on 7News.
If you would like us to crunch the numbers for your household, get in touch to line up a chat with one of our solar consultants by clicking here: https://shinehub.com.au/event/book-consultation
*$14,690 average market pricing for a battery retrofit is based on Nov 2020 average market pricing for a 13kWh battery fully installed with a battery inverter/charger as referenced on www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/battery-storage-price