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Duncan Jacklin Blue NRG BW WBlue NRG General Manager Duncan JacklinBusiness-only electricity retailer Blue NRG has partnered with Australian smart energy innovator carbonTRACK to provide its customers with tools to remotely monitor and control their energy consumption.

As of February 2021, Australian-owned and operated energy retailer Blue NRG is offering its business customers access to carbonTRACK’s Energy Management System to help them reduce their electricity bills.

The carbonTRACK Energy Management System equips businesses to monitor and control their energy use by identifying their unique usage patterns and enabling them to optimise that use.

Blue NRG General Manager Duncan Jacklin said the carbonTRACK Energy Management System would provide customers with transparency and control of their energy use. “We’ve grown rapidly based on competitive rates, value-added energy services and local customer service,” he said.

Cameron Penfold Paul Fletcher and Tim Harris W(From left) Optus Retail’s Cameron Penfold, Federal Minister Paul Fletcher
with Redflow MD Tim Harris and Redflow batteries

Australian energy storage company Redflow Limited has partnered with Optus to deploy Redflow batteries as part of the Australian Government’s network Mobile Network Hardening Program. The Honourable Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, Paul Fletcher visited Redflow’s Brisbane headquarters to launch the initiative, which is funded in part by the Government’s bushfire relief package.

Minister Fletcher said: “I welcome the fact that Redflow’s innovative Australian technology is being used by Optus in their mobile base station battery upgrades, funded under the Morrison Government’s Strengthening Telecommunications Against Natural Disasters (STAND) program.”

Earlier this week, Optus installed its first Redflow battery system under the Government’s program at a black spot site in Lexton, Victoria.  It is planning to deploy Redflow batteries in at least 56 black spot sites as part of the program. Optus has also used Redflow batteries in the environmentally sensitive Daintree Forest in Queensland since 2019.

Leith Elsegood, principal of Redflow WA partner, TIEC ElectricalWA stockfeed supply company Semini Custom Feeds has ordered a 60-battery Large Scale Battery (LSB) – Australia’s largest Redflow-based energy storage system - to cut its fuel and energy costs by 80 per cent.

Working with Redflow’s WA partner, TIEC Electrical, Semini Custom Feeds expects the 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) system to cut its costs by about $120,000 per year based on current expenditure on diesel, maintenance and mains power.

The Redflow LSB is a powerful integrated system for deploying as many as 60 Redflow zinc-bromine flow batteries in large energy storage systems, delivering as much as 600kWh of energy storage capacity and comprehensive redundancy capabilities. Once the Redflow LSB and 400 kilowatts-peak (kWp) photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system is deployed, the family-owned business, located at Cowaramup, 260km south-east of Perth, near Margaret River, will also eliminate its need to buy electricity from the grid. The design aims to mitigate 80 per cent of the diesel and servicing costs and all costs for grid-connected services.

The Semini Custom Feeds order is the latest success for TIEC Electrical and Redflow in the WA agricultural sector. Last year, TIEC installed Redflow batteries at multiple rural sites including a WA orchard that has beaten bushfire blackouts and a rural “dream home” that has saved more than $100,000 by not connecting to the electricity grid.

Semini Custom Feeds CEO and Managing Director Jack Semini said the Redflow batteries, coupled with PV solar panels, would greatly reduce the company’s operational overheads. “Once TIEC has set up this system, it will greatly reduce the amount of diesel we need, which will be good for both our profitability and for the environment,” he said.

After a year of record sales that defied the economic impact of the global pandemic, Australia’s solar energy industry is poised for more growth in 2021 predicts Enphase Energy General Manager APAC Wilf Johnston. 

Enphase Energy General Manager APAC Wilf JohnstonMr Johnston said he expected next year to continue the current residential sales trajectory as consumers took advantage of lower prices, smarter technology and higher standards that would reduce the risk of fires and raise the overall quality bar for the industry.

Enphase Energy is the world’s leading producer of microinverters, smart devices that convert Direct Current (DC) energy produced by solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) energy, which can be used safely in homes and shared with the grid. Enphase technology deploys a microinverter under each solar panel – rather than a single inverter for the entire solar PV system - which delivers greater safety and reliability, panel-level monitoring and maximum performance across all roof types and in all conditions.

Mr Johnston, who has led Enphase in Australia for the past two years 19, has worked in the Australian solar industry for more than 12 years, beginning when he headed up the engineering and commercial project team at SunPower Corporation, then later as General Manager of Energy Matters and Flex.