Enphase Energy has been in our sights recently for their modular home battery — a more flexible contender to Tesla's Powerwall — but now Enphase has eyes on the southern hemisphere as well. Today, Enphase has opened a new research ad development facility in Wigram, Christchurch.
The new facility is set to bring Enphase's microinverters and AC Battery down south, hosting Enphase's second largest engineering workforce aside from its lead engineering team in California. Accordingly, both Australia and New Zealand will be the first countries to get their hands on Enphase's new Home Energy Solution, as was trialled in a Melbourne public installation earlier this year. The full system is set for a Winter 2016 launch.
While the new $US4.4 million New Zealand facility represents an expansion of their work down under, Enphase has had a presence in Christchurch since 2011, with a team that has been involved in the design, development and testing of microinverters bound for the Asia-Pacific and European markets. “By making a further investment in New Zealand, Enphase is now poised for future growth as we continue to build a world-class engineering team that will work in tandem with the team in California to develop future generations of the Enphase Home Energy Solution.” said Greg Steele, Enphase vice president of engineering.
The Christchurch team has thus far taken Enphase's microinverters through their fourth, fifth and most recently sixth generations, and will now be focusing on the future direction of Enphase — its wholistic Home Energy Solution. “New Zealand is an important market for the Enphase Home Energy Solution. 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, managing director for Enphase Energy Asia-Pacific.
While Tesla's Powerwall has seen tremendous interest in the southern hemisphere, Tesla's focus is on perfecting the battery itself, and leaving other elements to its various partners. Enphase's approach is quite different, seeking to offer the entire package in its Home Energy Solution — the battery, the Enphase Microinverter System that works with solar PV panels to maximise output and an energy-monitoring software platform, Enlighten.
For interested parties in New Zealand, the tech will be available from Winter 2016 through distributors Solar Partners NZ and YHI. You can register your interest for the Enphase Home Energy Solution here.