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Construction begins on Australia’s first smart solar-powered residential development

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A residential development in Western Sydney will become one of Australia’s biggest new age residential developments to have a fully integrated solar and home battery solution that will automate appliances and home energy consumption.

Located in Norwest, the Essentia project will include 74 homes and is expected to be completed by 2020.

The $1.5m installation deal was signed by Australian company Natural Solar, the nation’s largest installer of solar and battery solutions, and global developer Mulpha.

The partnership will see Natural Solar provide each home with a 5.13kWp solar systems and a 10kWh SonnenBatterie to store excess power from daytime solar production to maximise the energy produced.

Each SonnenBatterie can fully charge and discharge a total of 10,000 times which equates to 27.6 years of daily cycles – three times more than its closest competitor.

The homeowners will also be able to charge their battery using off-peak power purchased from the grid and use the stored power from the battery rather than when power is a lot more expensive.
Those who take up a capped SonnenFlat plan which starts at $30 a month which means the residents won’t receive a traditional electricity bill.

“Commentary on ‘the home of the future’ has been rife, but it’s clear to see the concept of the future is already here in Australia,” said Chris Williams, CEO & Founder of Natural Solar.

“A relatively new technology to the market has been transformational, with home battery storage solutions no longer a ‘dumb’ battery or storage device, but fast becoming a central hub within a smart home ecosystem.

“Not only will the Essentia Townhomes be guaranteed free electricity consumption with no daily supply charges on their electricity bills, these townhomes will have the ability to add state of the art home automation, giving residents the ability to communicate with the sonnenBatterie direct.”

Each battery has a smart learning algorithm and can learn from household consumption patterns and predict how and when power is discharged.

Natural Solar CEO Chris Williams with a SonnenBatterie

The SonnenBatterie is also smart enough to modify its behaviour based on the weather forecast and anticipate when the precise appliances residents will use to maximise energy savings.

“While homeowners will have the ability to access and remotely turn appliances on and off using the Sonnen app, the capabilities of the SonnenBatterie extend far further than this,” Williams said.

“Each SonnenBatterie will have the intelligence to decide when to turn appliances on and off in order to maximise self-consumption and savings.

“Essentially, your home will be able to make the tough decisions when it comes to power usage for you.
“In an increasingly competitive housing market, we are seeing consumers gravitate toward more energy efficient homes with properties that have a higher energy rating fetching a considerable premium.

“The energy savings are a vital component, while at the same time households with intelligent devices and home automation are key drivers in decision making process when purchasing a property.”

The project is in line with Mulpha’s smart city vision with the potential for at least 74 batteries and perhaps a wider rollout across Norwest.

Natural Solar revealed there has been a 2500 per cent increase in residential battery enquiries and a 1,100 per cent increase in commercial battery solution enquiries in Australia in the past 18 months.

“We are looking forward to working with Natural Solar on our exciting Essentia development,” says Tim Spencer, Executive General Manager from Mulpha.

“We’ve been through a lengthy process to find the right product, installation and operational partner for this development who can meet our cutting edge demands, and we are certain that both SonnenFlat and Natural Solar will be vital when it comes to powering our future city.

“We see the concept of smart homes as a vital point of difference in this high-end development.”