March 22 (SeeNews) - US microinverter maker Enphase Energy Inc (NASDAQ:ENPH) Monday opened a USD-4.4-million (EUR 3.9m) research and development (R&D) site in New Zealand that will support its big plans for the region.
The company is planning to roll out its solar-plus-storage Enphase Home Energy Solution first in New Zealand and Australia (ANZ) in winter 2016. The product combines solar power generation, the Enphase AC Battery, Enphase Microinverter System and the company's Enlighten monitoring platform.
“As a country with a significant proportion of renewable energy in its grid electricity, relatively low solar uptake and a tremendous desire for energy independence, we've observed a keen interest from New Zealanders in the upcoming launch of our home energy solution,” said Nathan Dunn, head of Enphase Energy Asia-Pacific.
The new global R&D facility in Christchurch gives Enphase a base for compliance testing and verification for its microinverters. There the company will also work on the further development of the Enphase AC Battery -- a modular energy storage system, and on the future generations of the Enphase Home Energy Solution.
Enphase has been present in Christchurch since 2011, with a focus on the design, development, and testing of microinverters for the Asia-Pacific and European markets.
STORAGE MARKET BLOOMS IN AUSTRALIA
IHS recently projected that around 30,000 Australian households will have photovoltaic (PV)-plus-energy storage systems by 2018 and said the market's explosive growth is already attracting major suppliers.
Utilities that have long opposed PV growth are now moving to distribute home-based storage systems in Australia. Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG), for one, started selling the Tesla Powerwall home battery in Australia in December 2015. AGL Energy Ltd (ASX:AGL), another major energy company in Australia, recently led a financing round for Sunverge Energy Inc and said it would be the be the exclusive channel partner for the sales of the US firm's intelligent energy storage systems in the country.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.890)