FIMER And Wattwatchers Announce Australian Collaboration To Meet Recent South Australian Solar Export Control Regulations

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Partnership prioritises recent ‘Smarter Homes’ solar export control regulations in South Australia with a ‘life of device’ bonus subscription opportunity to mark the launch.

Technology flexibility, data-driven consumer empowerment and cost-effectiveness are the core themes in a new commercial collaboration between global solar and e-mobility solutions supplier FIMER, and Australian cleantech Wattwatchers Digital Energy.

Prompted by the recent introduction of strict export control requirements for new solar system installations in South Australia, Wattwatchers and FIMER are launching their
newly-forged partnership Australia-wide with a ‘life of device’ bonus subscription offer for solar installers to share with their householder customers.

FIMER, which acquired the ABB solar business in March 2020, offers a large solar inverter portfolio across the residential, commercial and utility-scale markets within Australia.

Wattwatchers offers an agile pathway for managing distributed energy resources (DERs) in real-time, incorporating both remote monitoring and load control, with robust cellular communications (augmented by a WiFi option for the ultra cost-conscious), and fleet capabilities underpinned by the Wattwatchers ADEPT IoT integration platform.

As well as its mainstream applications, Wattwatchers supports significant niche use cases including sites with sub-boards, where solutions based on utility smart meters aren’t an option; and also sites without broadband internet.

While the South Australian market is the first priority for distribution, given the immediate requirements of the state’s urgently-introduced ‘Smarter Homes’ regulations, FIMER is mobilising to enable the Wattwatchers technology relationship for its entire Australian distribution network.

The launch ‘special offer’ opportunity is available until March 31st 2021, or until stocks of the specially-subsidised solutions are exhausted, whichever is reached first. It is underwritten by subsidies from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) through the Wattwatchers-led My Energy Marketplace (MEM) project. It will be available via FIMER and its distribution network for solar installers to offer to their residential customers, who will need to register for the MEM mobile app, mydata.energy, and accept its terms and conditions.

Each eligible household that registers for the MEM will receive bonus data subscriptions free-of-additional-charge for the life of their Wattwatchers device, including cellular communications (SIM and data plan), access to data and the mydata.energy app itself. (The mydata.energy app also allows its users to compare their energy profiles with a wide selection of other retailers, and to switch suppliers using the app if they choose to.)

For installers, mainly in South Australia during the early stages of the FIMER-Wattwatchers collaboration, this can eliminate ongoing subscription costs to maintain solar export control requirements – in line with the ‘Smarter Homes’ regulations – for the operating life of the solutions they install.

This means a saving of $70 +GST a year on subscriptions in South Australia where solar export control is required, or $60 +GST a year in other parts of Australia, with a minimum of 3 years of operation. (The hardware warranty period is being upgraded from the standard 2 years to 3 years from the time a MEM-registered device installed with a FIMER inverter goes ‘live’ on the system.)

Wattwatchers CEO Gavin Dietz said the collaboration between Wattwatchers and FIMER was an innovative opportunity for both companies. ‘Flexibility and independence are key benefits of this new relationship,’ said Dietz.

‘By using Wattwatchers solutions in tandem with FIMER solar inverters, installers can cost-effectively deliver a prosumer experience for their customers that empowers them with energy data independently of power companies and their billing meters.’

In the case of South Australia and its new solar export limiting requirements, Wattwatchers was in the first round of “compatible technologies” named by state-wide network distribution business SA Power Networks in its role as a “Relevant Agent” for the Smarter Homes program.

‘This allows FIMER installers to meet the new requirements easily by having their customers nominate SA Power Networks as their agent of choice, with Wattwatchers as the enabling technology for solar export control.’

FIMER Australia Country Manager, Jason Venning said, ‘FIMER is happy to be collaborating with Wattwatchers to contribute to the reliability and stability of the South Australian power grid and help to maximise the uptake of renewable energy generation in the state.’

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