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AGL’s Power Advantage: First Major Retailer to Launch Battery Storage

Who else wants to make the most of a domestic solar power system by getting a battery storage device?

In May 2015, AGL Energy Limited (AGL) announced the launch of a battery storage device for residential users and small businesses. This device aims to give consumers enhanced control over how they manage their power consumption by integrating energy consumption and storage. While you can already register for a 6 kWh battery storage device, AGL intends to make larger battery sizes available soon.

What is AGL Power Advantage?

The existing AGL Power Advantage device makes use of lithium-ion technology, and the company plans to use the same technology for all further Power Advantage models. The one currently on offer comes with a total storage limit of 7.2 kWh, of which you can use 6 kWh. This unit is ideal for homes that have 3 to 4.5 kWh of solar photovoltaic.

The Power Advantage battery weighs 140 kg, and it measures is 672 mm x 384 mm x 682 mm. The lifespan of this battery is 10 years or 5,000 cycles, whichever comes first. The reason it comes with around 80% depth of discharge is because complete discharge leads to a reduced lifespan.

The battery discharges at a maximum rate of 3 kW. How long it can keep supplying power depends on how much energy you consume. For example, if you require 1 kW, you can draw power for around six hours. If your demand increases to 3 kW, the time drops to around two hours. If you require more than 3 kW, you end up purchasing surplus from the grid.

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How does the Power Advantage fit in the larger picture?

We all know that buying energy from the grid in Australia is not cheap. While the average price of electricity in the US was around 12.16c per kWh in 2014, Australian consumers have to pay as much as 30c per kWh in some regions.

Fortunately, the use of rooftop solar systems is on the rise. Around 20% of all Australian homes had solar panels by December 2014. With the Power Advantage, consumers can look forward to saving on utilities by simply managing their need for electricity better than before. This is because the surplus power you sell to the grid is always cheaper than the power you end up buying from the grid.

While many Australians have professed their desire to go the solar way, the price of solar power equipment and its installation served as a deterrent. Not only are prices on their way down, even the Power Advantage costs noticeably lesser than power storage batteries of the yore.

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What does it mean for energy providers?

The fact that buying the Power Advantage is well within the means of many solar power users is a sign of concern for energy providers in the country. While the cost involved in setting up a solar power system might seem to add up to a tidy sum at the onset, the money consumers can save in the form of energy costs work in paying back these costs in a relatively short span of time.

Consumers in Australia already have another option other than AGL’s Power Advantage, which comes in the form of Tesla’s Powerwall. The Powerwall comes in two variants: a 7 kWh daily cycle model and a 10 kWh weekly cycle model.

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When can I get the Power Advantage?

Since AGL is only getting a limited number of batteries into Australia, availability of the Power Advantage will initially be restricted. You can register your interest by visiting the AGL website and providing your name, address, phone number and email address. Once you register, expect to hear from an AGL representative.

Shahedul Islam

Shahedul is the publishing assistant for finder.com.au. He's Internet savvy and loves to learn new things about finance and technology. He spends most of his time learning about the wonderful world of the internet.

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