The solar battery industry is still very much in its infancy, but already there's an Aussie upstart taking the challenge to a major brand. The Brisbane-based, Indigenous-owned AllGrid Energy is currently offering its ten kilowatt-hour home battery at a rate significantly cheaper than Tesla's much-touted Powerwall, which is due to enter the local market next year.
Like the Powerwall, the AllGrid GridWatt system stores power collected by solar panels, and according to the company can reduce your reliance on the national power grid by up to 75 percent. The system costs $12,000, which they say comes in at about 30 per cent less than the Tesla option – although due to its reliance on old lead acid gel batteries, the system must be installed outside. AllGrid currently services Queensland and South Australia, and sees remote indigenous communities as a potential area for growth.
"Obviously as an Indigenous company working with Indigenous communities, it’s a really big area of traction for us," AllGrid marketing manager Deborah Oberon told The Guardian. The company plans to train Indigenous electricians to help install the units, with the hope that they could be used to replace costly diesel generators.
"Once Tesla's system is available in February, that will be the moment that the game really starts to change...with the coverage and publicity that a company like Tesla get, we’re really confident the market will heat up," said Oberon, further predicting that 2016 would be "the year that storage really starts to kick off in Australia."