ZEN makes bright move to Tonsley
ZEN Energy Systems is moving to Tonsley - find out why.
This article appears in City Limits magazine - Issue 45 - April 2014.
Leading solar energy and storage company ZEN Energy Systems is moving to Tonsley, adding to the rush of investment in the 61-hectare site which aims to become a hub for industrial innovation.
ZEN joins other South Australian businesses, including Basetec Services and Signostics in relocating to the former Mitsubishi plant.
Over the coming months, ZEN will bring its head office, administration, research and development, technical support, manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution operations from Norwood and Woodville to the newly opened TAFE SA Sustainable Industries Education Centre in the heart of Tonsley.
ZEN founder and chief executive officer Richard Turner said combining its operations in a state-of-the art facility was an exciting step forward.
“Moving into a campus with other advanced businesses and educators will help our business grow and increase the skills of our workforce while fostering greater innovation,” Mr Turner said.
“Our vision is to collaborate on campus with tertiary institutes and aligned smart businesses in South Australian to form a world class ‘centre of excellence’ in Adelaide.
“Tonsley is an ideal location as it’s close to the airport with a road link to the port and also has the potential to lift the profile of southern Adelaide and create employment in the region.”
ZEN employs 35 staff and is one of the largest solar providers in South Australia.
Established in 2004, it supports a network of 250 installers and franchises in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand.
In addition to designing and manufacturing solar panel systems, ZEN is a world leader in energy storage technology.
Its PowerBank system lets householders, businesses and utilities store energy generated by solar or wind power for later use.
The innovation that has led the company’s development has the potential to be further accelerated at Tonsley Mr Turner said.
“It’s important to stay ahead of the technology curve and being based at Tonsley will enable us to continue investing heavily in research while having good grass roots conversations with other innovative operators,” Mr Turner said.
“We will be supporting and working with TAFE’s renewable energy and thermal schools and have already installed solar panels and plan to spread them across the entire roof.”
ZEN’s operations cover home and commercial energy and utilities, enabling the use of smart energy storage systems to optimise and support the power grid.
Despite the reduction in subsidies for homes and small businesses, these markets remain strong and have enormous potential, Mr Turner said.
“The cost of ZEN’s solar systems are now one third of what they were 10 years ago, which balances out the loss of subsidies,” Mr Turner said.
“There are 50,000 villages in China that need power and 56,000 in India, so there are huge potential markets.”
In 2012, ZEN was identified as Australia’s fourth fastest growing business by BRW business magazine.
- More information is on the ZEN Energy Systems website.
City Limits Magazine
The City Limits Magazine is a community publication that keeps Marion residents in touch with what is happening in their community. It includes information about major projects, council initiatives and events, as well as profiles of community members.
It is published three times a year and distributed to 40,000 residents and businesses in the Marion Council area.