Commercial Solar Battery Storage | Solar Battery Storage Price Comparison


Ellinbank Dairy Research Center 100kW Solar Installation

Alpha-ESS Commercial Battery Storage System


Ellinbank Solar and Battery Storage – Striving toward carbon neutral farming

Ellinbank Dairy Research Centre is a fully functional dairy farm located in Gippsland, Victoria. It’s wholly run by the Department or Jobs, Precincts and Regions to provide valuable research to the industry and assist in making dairy farming more profitable and sustainable within Victoria.Dairy farming, by its very nature is environmentally taxing. Not only is the processing of milk an energy intensive process, but the livestock themselves contribute to greenhouse gases. Ellinbank is dedicated to the ambitious goal of becoming a complete carbon neutral farm. So far, they have achieved huge steps toward their target with initiatives such as electric farm vehicles.


A sustainable energy source

Part of the next steps the Research Centre took was to reduce their reliance on electricity from the grid. They went to the market seeking a 99kW solar energy system which was combined with a 30kWh battery. This battery was later upsized to 100kWh, making it one of only a small handful in Victoria in that size range.

KUGA Electrical won the tender and set about designing the solution. The solution had to be designed such that it was accessible for educational purposes, and that the battery operated in the most effective manner to complement the farms energy usage profile. KUGA Electrical supplied a solar and battery storage installation to assist in this goal and showcase the technology for other Australian farmers.


Battery Storage

Originally, the specification for the project had included zinc-bromine flow batteries. A large part of the spec for this was due to the fact that these were manufactured in Australia. This technology was ultimately dropped in favour of the lithium ion solution offered by KUGA (Alpha-ESS).

Despite being a Chinese company, Alpha ESS have committed to building a very large manufacturing facility in South Australia. As such, they are already subsidised by the SA State Government and will rapidly have increase local presence. The final battery solution installed by KUGA Electrical was the Alpha ESS Storion T 30, with 102kWh of usable storage capacity.


Advanced Battery Monitoring

Our commercial battery storage system comes with detailed monitoring applications and the ability to configure battery dispatch requirements for your specific business. The image shows the battery charge in green, solar PV production in yellow, export in red and grid consumption in blue. This example is typically of a business with heavy day time load.


Connect your Business to Virtual Power Plant (VPP)

Connecting your solar batteries to the Kuga Virtual Power Plant (VPP) gives you access to additional revenue. Our VPP software and hardware allows your businesses to generate revenue by trading energy, selling exported power to your employees at a discounted rate and/or connect to wholesale or FCAS markets. With solar storage costs reducing and connecting to a Virtual Power Plant the feasibility of batteries are attractive.

Why Battery Storage?

Solar energy is a fantastic way to draw clean energy directly from the sun. It is often not possible to match the energy requirements of a commercial farm exactly with the peak production from the sun.

Rather than waste the electricity generated by solar if it is not required, the power gets fed back into the electricity grid, where the owner of the system receives a credit. It is still preferable to use the solar power if possible, because the credit is substantially less than the power costs to buy.

In the case of Ellinbank, it was decided they would prefer to save this valuable clean power and use it at times of peak demand. This reduces electrical costs even further since they get charged based on the maximum electrical draw every month. This is measured in 15 minute intervals. This also reduces the electrical strain on the farms electrical supply, lowering the risk of circuit breakers tripping.

KUGAs design team analysed the historical electricity requirements of the farm and programmed a forced discharge of the battery during this time each day. This is a feature known as “load shedding” and further increases the savings produced by a battery storage system.

How much do solar batteries cost

The biggest obstacle to businesses installing battery storage is upfront cost. The good news is that this cost is rapidly reducing.With large and powerful Lithium Ion batteries becoming exceedingly popular in the automotive industry, energy storage was bound to follow suit. According to Bloomberg, Since 2010, the cost of lithium ion batteries has dropped by 85%. At the same time, global manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries close to tripled since 2014.In dollar terms: basic Lithium-ion battery pricing has gone from $1,706 per kilowatt-hour in 2010 to $259/kWh in 2018. By 2024, battery costs could be as low as $147/kWh.For commercial energy storage, this pricing for a completely installed three-phase battery pack translates to the $600/kWh mark.Here is an example to put into perspective: the Tesla model S has a battery capacity of 85kWh, weighing over 500KG. To install an equivalent capacity grid-connect unit for your business, would cost around $50,000.

The best solar battery storage solutions

In today’s energy environment, there are a host of experimental and promising battery technologies. In general- there are only four main battery technologies:

  • Lithium-ion(Li-ion)
  • Nickel Cadmium(Ni-Cd)
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride(Ni-MH)
  • Lead-Acid

Of these four types, Lithium-ion technology is by far the most common for energy storage.The reason these are offered for grid-connect solar systems are due to the following advantages:

  • High energy density
  • Little or no memory effect
  • Good charge retention when not used
  • Best performance to weight ratio
  • Safe for most applications

How much can I save by installing a battery with an existing solar system?

This largely depends on the energy profile. The way energy is used determines whether batteries are worthwhile for your business.Battery storage saves money for your business in four major ways:

Storing Excess Solar Power

The major downfall with solar energy is that it only generates power when the sun is up. This problem is solved through batteries, which save additional power for use later. For this to work, your solar system must have enough excess capacity to charge a battery.

Reducing Peak Demand Charges

Peak demand charges are based on the maximum power drawn by a business across a billing cycle (monthly or quarterly). Even if this maximum power is only required for a short time, your business will be charged accordingly. Batteries will discharge their stored energy during such periods – greatly reducing the drawn from the grid.

Store Off-Peak Power

Off peak rates (11pm – 7am) are significantly cheaper than during usual business hours. If your business is closed at night, your battery can charge itself to be used during the expensive daylight hours. This allows batteries to save money even without a solar installation at all!

Selling Power to Grid

Currently, retailers are offering feed-in tariffs of $0.098 as a minimum. Your battery can discharge this power into the grid for a credit against your power bill. Future virtual power plant (VPP) schemes will pay battery owners a premium to sell excess power to their retailers at times of high demand.

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Reduce peak demand consumption

Frequently Asked Questions

The short answer is yes, solar batteries (otherwise known as energy storage systems) are definitely worth it. They offer great amounts of energy for your home and can get you out of a tough situation if your utility grid goes offline.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of solar batteries:

Reduction of Energy Costs

The primary reason most homeowners or businesses go solar is that they want to save money on their energy bills. But what if you had the opportunity to never pay another energy bill ever again? How much money would you save in the long run? Solar batteries come in all shapes and sizes, and they provide enormous value to your home. As your solar panels continually absorb energy from the sun during the day, any unused energy for your home will then be sent into your energy storage system. A solar battery allows you and your family to use solar energy even at night, without calling upon your utility providers at all.

Security Against Black Outs

Blackouts are definitely annoying and can cause your family to be under quite a bit of stress. If you have a report you need to finish, or if you need to get something done electronically – having no power means getting no work finished. With a solar battery, you can protect yourself from blackouts that are caused by utility grid overloads, or natural disasters. It gives you the ability to carry on with a regular night, unimpeded by the lack of energy.

A large portion of energy bill costs for many commercial and industrial users are due to costly peak demand charges. In most circumstances, businesses have little control over when they use electricity and their peak demand, placing significant restrictions over how owners and managers can minimise the impact of rising energy costs.

Smart energy storage changes all of this. Businesses can combine large amounts of stored energy from inexpensive off-peak and renewable sources with smart technology that forecasts energy usage and optimises how the stored energy is used. This gives businesses the potential to use their own stored energy instead of the grid at times of peak demand. These ‘peak shaving’ events give businesses complete control over their electricity usage needs from their retailer, lowering their peak demand charges and providing real relief from escalating energy costs.

Solar batteries do have a long lifespan, but it’s great to know about the overall amount of time you have before you have to either get a new one or upgrade yours. As with all solar batteries, their lifespan varies from home to home. Some homes utilize a lot of power and have their energy storage systems running at maximum capacity at all times. Some homes only utilize the additional power when need be, especially if there are fewer people living in the home.

Like with all pieces of technology (including batteries), over time there is the degradation of circuits and storage capacity. For batteries, the constant cycle of storing and releasing energy causes the battery to degrade, in the form of resistive loss, lower storage, and lesser efficiency.

We just wanted to set the right expectations regarding your solar batteries and energy storage system, and on average most energy storage systems (solar batteries) meet your needs from 10 to 15, to even 20 years – depending on how you treat them. Having routine maintenance done on your solar batteries will also prolong their lifespans as well.

There are also factors from the batteries themselves that affect the build of the solar battery, which includes:

– The batteries composition: most solar batteries are made with modern lithium-ion technologies, which is the current standard. They are more expensive but are much more worth it than lead-acid batteries, which are generally cheaper.
– Depth of discharge: depth of discharge indicates the percentage that a solar battery’s system can totally discharge within certain charge cycles before risking long-term damage.

Ultimately, it will matter on the brand, and if the battery comes with an additional inverter unit.

There are also a couple of additional costs that don’t weigh heavily on the price, but more so on the overall utility of the unit.

The first factor is the installation costs of your solar battery. Energy storage systems require quite a bit of electrical work to be installed, and should never be done by anyone other than a professional. It will also take a significant amount of time, so if you’re looking to install a solar battery, make sure to have it installed while your solar energy system and inverter are being installed, to ensure that you reap the most benefits.

The second factor is the critical load of your home’s electrical circuits. Although they are getting closer every year, most energy storage solutions aren’t able to cover the different loads coming from the different portions of your home. You’ll have to have your solar battery installer pull certain circuits into a critical load panel.

The third factor is also the needs and wants of your home. Different solar batteries have different advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking to power your electric vehicle, your HVAC system, and your home’s appliances, you may need to have a higher storage level out of your battery.

In Australia, a 10kW battery costs anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000 – you should also add an additional $2000 for installation costs as an additional estimate.

If you want a free consult for your energy storage system, make sure to contact us here at Solar Run – and we’ll make sure that your energy needs are met within your budget.

The costs of an installation for a solar battery vary from installer to installer. Generally, the better the reputation of the installer, the higher the cost. You wouldn’t want to have a bad installation for a solar battery now, would you?

As we have said before “On average, the price of an energy storage system or solar batteries in Australia will range any from $800 per kWh to $2000 kWh depending on a variety of needs.”

Installation costs are usually tied with the purchase price of the battery as well – and for good reason. If the deal makes sense to have it both purchased and installed, why not have both at the same time? Also, certain inverter units don’t work or work well with different types of solar battery systems, so if you were to buy a solar battery, make sure that its parameters fit with your current solar energy system. If you would like to find out these parameters, contact us here at Solar Run for a quick consultation.

In Australia, it costs anywhere from $7,000 to $14,000 dollars to install a solar battery and an energy storage system. It really depends on the type of battery, the type of solar panels you have, and if the battery has an inverter unit or not. Either way, the installation of the battery itself can be a lot less depending on the installer. If you have purchased a solar battery beforehand or if someone has gifted it to you, contact Solar Run to get some approximate prices on the installation of the battery itself.


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