sonnen’s Energy Storage Leadership Around The World
Sonnen is one of our favorite cleantech leaders. It is great at innovation, leadership, and vision. Last month, I published a January interview with sonnen CEO and co-founder Christoph Ostermann. The good folks at The Beam went and created a transcript of it. If you can’t be bothered to watch a video but would like to read it, here you go!
Zach: So, we talked with you last year after you won the prize, I remember mentioning I was not surprised at all — I’m not surprised to see your ongoing progress, because Sonnen seems to be at the head of the game. What are some of the most recent big projects you guys have been excited about in the past year?
Christoph Ostermann: Oh, well, we had a very good year in 2017. Finally, the Australian market developed very, very nicely for us, mainly due to the reason of a retail power price increase on the first of July, by 25 or 30 percent or something like that.
You’re talking about for residential storage, right?
Absolutely. This has really kicked off the market and we are developing nicely over there, and then another highlight of 2017 is that the US business did very well. Unfortunately…
California and Hawaii?
California and Hawaii not as much as we thought. It was rather on the East Coast and also in the Caribbean Islands — for example, Puerto Rico due to the hurricanes….
We saw you were on the ground there, you made it to Puerto Rico, we have some coverage of your great work there. (See this, this, and this.)
It’s really unbelievable … if you have not seen it, you would not believe it. It’s unbelievable how the island is destroyed.
And the depressing thing now … there are still so many people without electricity, with roofs not on their homes. It’s a systemic problem. But what was your role? How did you get in to help them? I mean this is sort of a question that has been a little bit still unclear with you and Tesla. You have great — obviously, some of the best solutions to offer — but how did you get in?
How did we get in? I mean, first of all, we saw there is a huge need we have a partner in Puerto Rico we are working with since three years. It’s a company called Pura Energia. They told us about the problems they have on the island and then we sent a team over there.
Are they for-profit, where do they get their … ?
Actually, they are an installation company. But when we saw the state of the island, we decided to help very fast, especially for those who can’t afford an expensive storage system and solar immediately, and so we decided to put 15 sonnen battery systems into social projects as a donation. Pura Energia participated in doing the installation and everything necessary on this end for that.
And I think the videos we’ve seen were about that, connected with them and the installation.
I think the videos you’ve seen — I’m not even sure what you’ve seen …
We’ve seen some walking through some of the projects.
I think you saw the laundry in San Juan?