Infinite Energy pulls plug on rooftop solar and battery business
One of Australia’s largest residential and commercial solar PV retailers and installers has announced it will exit the market, declaring low margins and once-in-a-generation disruptions to the supply chain brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have taken a toll.
Western Australia-headquartered solar installer and electricity retailer Infinite Energy confirmed on Wednesday it will stop selling rooftop PV and battery systems, saying maintaining a successful business model in a highly saturated and rapidly changing market is no longer sustainable.
“Infinite Energy advises it will cease selling solar rooftop and battery systems for both residential and commercial rooftops due to changing sector dynamics and previous national expansion plans being impacted by the onset of the pandemic,” the company said in a statement.
Infinite Energy chief executive officer Andrew Sutherland said it had been “a very difficult decision” given the company’s many years of operation.
“While the Western Australia (WA) solar market continues to add rooftop solar capacity, establishing a sustainable business model that can support a quality product offering in a highly saturated, low margin and low barrier-to-entry solar market has proved a challenge,” he said.
The company, which was wholly acquired by Japanese industrial giant Sumitomo Corporation in 2019, said it will continue to honour its obligations by completing outstanding installation contracts and providing associated support services.
“We want to reassure our customers that we will continue to honour our commitments, both supporting existing installations in terms of warranty as well as completing new installations currently under contract,” it said.
Founded in 2009, Infinite Energy has established itself as one of the nation’s largest retailers of residential and commercial solar PV and battery energy systems with offices in WA, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
As well as installing and selling distributed solar power systems, battery storage and EV charging infrastructure, Infinite Energy also has an electricity retailing arm. The company owns and operates a portfolio of solar energy systems at clients’ premises and retails the energy from those systems.
Infinite Energy said its electricity retail and solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) services would continue to operate while the future plans for the business are reviewed.
The decision to exit the installation and supply business comes despite the state government revealing that a record 3,000 WA households are installing rooftop solar systems each month.
More than 400,000 WA homes and businesses now have rooftop solar connected to WA’s main grid with more than 191MW of generation capacity added in 2021 alone.
WA this week followed South Australia to become the second state to allow residential rooftop solar systems to be switched off remotely as an emergency backstop to keep the grid stable.