EnergyAustralia is partnering with a solar inverter system developer as part of a $9.3 million deal to  put customers in control of their rooftop solar consumption.

EnergyAustralia has partnered with Redback Technologies for the Redback Smart Hybrid Solar Inverter system which combines a smart solar inverter, battery enclosure and “intelligent” energy management software.

The partnership is the first major investment by the EnergyAustralia’s NextGen business unit.

The solar technology will allow customers to decide how they use, save and sell energy captured from their roof-top solar panels, with the control system able to connect to a smartphones.

The technology will allow a customer to schedule major appliances including electric hot-water systems, air-conditioners and pool pumps to run when there is excess solar power available. This will mean households don’t have to draw more expensive energy from the grid during peak times.

The technology uses machine learning to gather intelligence over time based on user preferences and even external factors like the weather. The system aims to make the most of the energy captured by solar systems, making households less reliant on the grid and more independent.

EnergyAustralia Executive – NextGen, Andrew Perry, said the partnership with Redback was a great example of how EnergyAustralia is investing in the development of reliable, affordable and cleaner technology which puts the customer in control of their energy consumption.

“With a Redback system customers can manage their energy consumption so they not only save money, but reduce their carbon emissions,” Mr Perry said.

“We’re proud to be partnering with a company that’s driving Australian innovation in a way that’s good for customers and good for the environment.

“Our investment in Redback is a signal to the market, too: If you’re running a company with great ideas for new energy-efficient technology then get in touch with EnergyAustralia’s NextGen team.”

Mr Perry said EnergyAustralia had not set a limit on the funds it was willing to invest in the right business or technology.

Redback Technologies Founder and Managing Director, Philip Livingston, said he was excited by the partnership as it will assist Redback to continue to develop technologies which put customers in the driver’s seat.

“It’s great to have the backing of a company like EnergyAustralia that’s committed to leading change in the energy sector,” Mr Livingston said.

“Our partnership with EnergyAustralia significantly accelerates Redback’s technology roadmap and strategic plan for leading the disruptive change required for the mass adoption of renewables.”

Redback’s Smart Hybrid Solar Inverter system will be available to order from EnergyAustralia in early 2017 with battery storage capacity ranging from around 3-12kWh. As the system allows customers to use more of the solar energy they capture, smaller batteries can be used to keep costs down.

Lauren Cella

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