EnergyAustralia has invested $9.3 million in Brisbane-based solar energy start-up Redback Technologies, establishing a partnership aimed at increasing the uptake of reliable, affordable and cleaner energy solutions among homeowners.
Under the partnership, Redback’s integrated hardware and software technologies, which capture, store and manage solar energy, will be promoted to EnergyAustralia’s 1.7 million customers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia.
The Redback Generation 2 Smart Hybrid Solar Inverter System is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure Internet of Things (IoT) Suite cloud platform, which enables updates and upgrades as the technology develops. In addition, the system uses machine learning to gather intelligence over time, including user preferences and data from external factors like the weather, and homeowners can control it remotely using a smart device.
“Our technology roadmap is being accelerated”
According to Philip Livingston, founder and managing director of Redback Technologies, the investment from EnergyAustralia will allow Redback to continue developing smarter technologies and will see the company create approximately 60 new jobs before the end of 2016.
“Our partnership with EnergyAustralia significantly accelerates Redback’s technology roadmap and strategic plan for leading the disruptive change required for mass adoption of renewables,” he said.
“Redback’s growth is creating significant employment opportunities for those in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors. We are always on the lookout for thought leaders who are passionate about changing the world.”
“The partnership is helping great ideas get to market”
Andrew Perry, EnergyAustralia Executive – NextGen, said the investment reflects the energy retailer’s commitment to giving consumers more control over their energy consumption in ways that help households save money and reduce carbon emissions.
“We know electricity costs are a concern for many households and the ability to manage consumption is a key to keeping bills low,” he said.
“With the Redback system, the customer can make the most of the energy captured on their own roof tops – they decide if they want to use the energy right away, store that energy or even sell it to the electricity grid.
“As we’ve seen with solar systems, electric vehicles and battery storage, people are excited about technology that can help them manage their energy use, reduce carbon emissions and save money. EnergyAustralia’s partnership with Redback Technologies is about helping great Australian ideas and innovation get to market.”