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SA water project promotes renewable energy use

Rheem Australia has launched the Rheem Active Hot Water Control Project, to create the South Australian Smart Network.

The project behind the network, designed to improve the state’s energy system and increase the use of renewable energy, is undertaken by Rheem’s renewables brand, Solahart. The project has been awarded funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the South Australian Government.

Solahart’s partners include SA Power Networks, energy retailer Simply Energy, technology developer Combined Energy Technologies, and Marchment Hill Consulting.

The SA Smart Network is a connected network of smart products geared towards the use of renewable energy and improving the stability of the electricity network.

South Australian residents will be given the opportunity to install a heavily discounted Solahart PowerStore, a solar-smart, and grid-interactive electric water heater. In total, 2,400 eligible SA homeowners will be able to participate in the project.

In the first phase of the program, 400 participants of the SA Smart Network will receive a rebate of between $1,430 and $2,750 when they purchase a Solahart PowerStore, and up to $424 in energy bill credits over two years with Simply Energy’s Hot Water Program.

“We are thrilled with this initiative and collaboration,” says Rheem Australia CEO Chris Taylor.

“South Australians are leaders in the adoption and use of renewable energy solutions, and uniquely, this advanced technology partnership makes it easier for SA homeowners to further reduce their energy bills, enabling participation in the renewables boom whether or not they are able to invest in solar PV

“We will demonstrate that our advanced water heater technology helps stabilise the electricity network by using renewable energy when it is most abundant and avoiding the use of grid energy at peak times. While their water heaters will be silently working in the background to smooth the load on the state’s electricity grid, participants will be assured of the availability of hot water by our intelligent-centralised control, which takes into account each household’s individual needs.” 

It is estimated that 31 per cent of South Australian households already have rooftop solar power systems installed. According to Rheem, the Solahart PowerStore, together with the rebate, makes energy storage even more affordable for South Australian families. 

“In homes with solar, a Solahart PowerStore system monitors the solar power production to identify when excess solar energy is available,” says Solahart General Manager Stephen Cranch. 

“This excess energy is then used to heat water, rather than being fed to the grid,”

Solahart was recently named number one in the “Hot Water Systems” category for 2020 by comparison site Canstar Blue, for overall customer satisfaction for the second year running. ARENA and the SA government have each contributed $1.98 million of funding to develop the project and support households installing the new products. Project rebates are available to homes with and without solar power.

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