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Renewable energy game changer on way for Grafton

POWERED UP: Grafton Electrical electrician Jimmy Dawson, right, will be the beneficiary of a grant that will help train him to install the new Tesla powerwall batteries that promise to revolutionise the domestic use of renewable energy. Jeff Walters, the son of business owner Ian Walters, will also be trained later should demand for the product warrant it.
POWERED UP: Grafton Electrical electrician Jimmy Dawson, right, will be the beneficiary of a grant that will help train him to install the new Tesla powerwall batteries that promise to revolutionise the domestic use of renewable energy. Jeff Walters, the son of business owner Ian Walters, will also be trained later should demand for the product warrant it. Tim Howard

A GRAFTON business has secured a deal which will enable it to bring game changing renewable energy technology to the region by next month.

Grafton Electrical, the Valley's Solahart dealer, has won a Federal Government Skills Fund Grant to train a staff member to learn how to install the new Tesla powerwall batteries.

The Tesla battery has been described as a game changer in the domestic renewable energy sector.

Grafton Electrical director Ian Walters said the new technology can be fitted retrospectively to existing technology, making it possible to add battery capability to existing solar panel arrays.

He said the Tesla batteries enabled people to capture the electricity from their solar panels and use it at night or at peak use periods to cut their energy costs. It can also be recharged using off-peak electricity.

The Tesla website says the battery, which sells in the United States for US$3000, provides 7kWh of storage for daily cycle applications.

Mr Walters said Australian pricing had not been decided yet.

He said Solahart was one of four Australian companies Tesla had contracted to sell its products.

"The grant we applied for and got, is a 50/50 arrangement between us and the government to cover the costs of training an employee, Jimmy Dawson, to install the systems," Mr Walters said.

"Without having that Green Energy Council approved training, we would not be able to install the equipment.

Mr Dawson said the training would be a challenge, but was happy the company chose him to do it.

"It's something that helps us develop as a company and adds to my skills," he said.

Mr Walters said the training would be completed by the end of January in time for the first deliveries of the equipment in February.

The Federal member for Page, Kevin Hogan, praised Mr Walters and his team on winning the grant.

"Grafton Electrical is a great example of a small innovative local business that is looking to what customers will want in the future," he said.

"The Federal Government recognises that having a skilled and well-trained workforce is critical to any company's success. That is why we are working in partnerships with business through programs like the Industry Skills Fund."

Topics:  game changer, grafton, renewable energy

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