Philip Livingston (left) with Andrew Perry.

Retailer EnergyAustralia is getting into the smart storage game, entering into a $9.3 million partnership with solar tech company Redback Technologies in what represents the first investment by the retailer’s NextGen business unit.

The partnership will see Redback’s hybrid solar inverter systems promoted to EnergyAustralia’s 1.7 million customers. The system combines a smart solar inverter, battery enclosure and energy management software, enabling customers to decide whether to use, save or sell energy.

For example, major appliances like pool pumps, airconditioners and electric hot water systems can be scheduled to run when there is excess solar power, so less energy needs to be drawn from the grid at peak times. Machine learning enables the system to increase efficiency over time based on user preference and weather.

“With a Redback system customers can manage their energy consumption so they not only save money, but reduce their carbon emissions,” EnergyAustralia Executive – NextGen Andrew Perry said.

“As we’ve seen with solar systems, electric vehicles and battery storage, people are excited about technology that can help them manage their energy use, reduce carbon emissions and save money. EnergyAustralia’s partnership with Redback Technologies is about helping great Australian ideas and innovation get to market.

“We’re proud to be partnering with a company that’s driving Australian innovation in a way that’s good for customers and good for the environment.”

Mr Perry said the investment was a signal to the market, with new energy efficiency tech companies encouraged to get in touch with the NextGen business.

The company has not set a limit on funds it is willing to invest in the right technology.

Redback Technologies founder and managing director Philip Livingston said it was great to have the backing of a company like EnergyAustralia.

“Our partnership with EnergyAustralia significantly accelerates Redback’s technology roadmap and strategic plan for leading the disruptive change required for the mass adoption of renewables,” he said.

“Today marks a new day for the clean energy sector in Australia, and we at Redback could not be happier.”

The Smart Hybrid Solar Inverter system will be available through EnergyAustralia from early next year, with battery storage capacity between 3-12kWh.