by Henry Gilbert and Deborah Oberon

Energy security and reliability. These are words to pause and reflect on in the wake of the series of catastrophic storms that have swept across South Australia. These supercell storms destroyed 22 transmission towers which caused the grid to completely shut down. 80,000 homes were left completely without power, and ElectraNet and emergency teams have been working around the clock to get everything up and running again. We are all guilty of taking our power supply for granted every time we switch the light on or open the fridge. Energy security and reliability are to be valued.

One couple in South Australia have a lot to be thankful for as the storm kicked in and the grid shut down. As the lights in the houses around them blacked out and people were unpacking their supplies of candles, the lights and the fridge in the house of Greg and Marjon Martin stayed on. Greg and Marjon were the happy purchasers of the very first WattGrid 10 storage system. Residents of Adelaide City Council, they were fortunate to receive over $4,000 of funding from the council as a rebate for their system through the ACC’s Sustainable City Incentives Scheme.

We spoke with Marjon about what happened during the storm.

“It was the first experience we had of being in a blackout since the solar and storage had been installed. It was great to see which circuits were still on in the house. We had lights, the fridge, the kettle and the stove. The blackout happened in the evening so the neighbours could see we still had power. A few of them dropped in for cuppas and then stayed for dinner. It was lovely to be a port of calm in the storm!”

The WattGrid system and AllGrid’s new lithium variant system have an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) function which means that when the system is installed it will be programmed so that your household’s most important circuits will be able to keep running for hours in the event of a blackout. This is a really important feature and many storage systems don’t have it, including some of the leading brands on the market.

“It was great to know that sunlight from the previous day had been caught on solar panels, and charged into the WattGrid battery, and was now shining from the light bulbs in our house even when the rest of the street was in darkness.” Said Marjon.

power pylon SA
photo courtesy of ABC.net

South Australia is currently getting 33% of its energy needs from renewable sources with a  target of 50% by 2025. Were renewables to blame for the power outages? A quick look at ElectraNet’s website will reveal this to be a misguided sentiment. It doesn’t matter what kind of energy supply you are using; power goes out if the grid goes down. The only way you’re going to have a reliable and secure source of energy in a situation like that is to have a hybrid storage battery coupled with solar panels.

Recently AllGrid Energy partnered with Redback Technologies in order to combine their market leading inverter technology with the WattGrid and AllGrid storage systems. The inverter is known as a ‘Four Quadrant Inverter’ and offers a level of intelligence and control that gives you the best value for your investment. Find out more about how the inverter technology works here.

In this day and age, climate change looms as an increasingly threatening presence on the horizon of our future. We don’t know exactly how the warming climate is going to affect the thermodynamic systems that are intrinsic to the weather. What we do know is two things: human caused warming is increasingly the likelihood of extreme weather events, and human caused warming is going to increase the severity of these weather events. Investing in solar and storage is a wise way to look after your family and home in a blackout.

If you are an Adelaide City Council resident, make sure you check out what financial incentives are being offered to assist you with your investment.

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