Man assembling Sonnen batteries

Enlarge / An employee working for the manufacturer of solar batteries, Sonnen GmbH, in the Bavarian village of Wildpoldsried in southern Germany is pictured on July 5, 2016. (credit: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

In September, South Australia confirmed a plan to set up an AU$100 million (USD $72 million) fund to help households purchase home energy storage batteries. Households could receive subsidies of up to AU$6,000 (USD $4,300) on a purchase of a battery that would store electricity either from a solar-panel system or from the South Australian grid. The electricity could then be used during an emergency or a blackout.

After a year as the home of the world’s largest grid-tied battery (built by Tesla), South Australia is becoming a hub for battery investment.

Other, non-Tesla battery makers are taking note. This week, German battery maker Sonnen started producing batteries at an old GM Holden factory in Elizabeth, South Australia. Sonnen has long experience in the home energy storage market, deploying batteries for German households before Tesla announced its Powerwall. Now, it intends to use its Elizabeth factory to produce batteries not only for South Australians who hope to take advantage of the government’s new subsidies but also to ship home storage batteries to other places in the Asia market, according to PV Magazine.

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