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Battery giant Sonnen opens plant at former Holden site

Battery giant Sonnen opens plant at former Holden site

German energy giant Sonnen has opened a home battery manufacturing facility at the former Holden factory in South Australia, days after Bill Shorten announced plans for a household battery scheme.

Sonnen chief executive Christoph Ostermann flew into Adelaide from Germany for yesterday’s opening of the plant in Elizabeth, which will become the centre of Sonnen’s Asia-Pacific operations.

The state Liberal government recently announced a $100 million, household battery subsidy scheme, offering grants of up to $6000.

Sonnen is planning to make 50,000 energy storage systems in Adelaide over the next five years, creating about 430 jobs in the state.

TAFE SA has signed a mem­orandum of understanding with ­Sonnen to be the preferred accredit­ed training partner for ­installers of the battery systems and to fulfil the local workforce ­requirements.

“The state Liberal government’s home battery scheme has been pivotal in securing Sonnen’s investment,” Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said. “The batteries that Sonnen is manufacturing at its Adelaide facility will have a significant role to play in the smooth transition of the South Australia energy system to renewable energy.”

South Australia has one of the highest concentrations of renewable energy generation in the world, but also some of the world’s highest power prices.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said the introduction of more advanced battery storage technology would see South Australia confirm its position as a “world leader in the utilisation of solar technology”.

The government said the arrival of Sonnen would not affect Tesla’s operations in the state.

The Australian

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