Our local start-up journey amid a pandemic

> 15 January 2021

Our local start-up journey amid a pandemic covered by Cornwall Insights Australia and featured in our Annual Report

In the below company update looking back on our success and growth over the past year, Robert Owens, Chief Executive Officer, SmartestEnergy Australia, explores our local start-up journey during a pandemic. His article featured in Cornwall Insights Australia Industry Perspective Report, which was published at the close of 2020. In addition, highlights are included in the SmartestEnergy's Group Annual Report that launched this week.

2020 was a year of many firsts for us in Australia, as we set out to establish our operations and secure our first customers in record time. In the backdrop of a global pandemic, with remote working being the norm, we onboarded new employees virtually and kept up communications to engage a dispersed workforce. Throughout, we’ve taken the time to celebrate wins, both big and small, that have been achieved in such a challenging period.

Highlights of the year include gaining our licences in eight months and winning our first customer in nine months, while showcasing our understanding and passion for industry developments with the launch of our monthly newsletter for brokers in partnership with Cornwall Insights.

Behind the scenes, our focus as a business has been on developing viable alternatives for wholesale, retail and generation customers. We’ve been working to understand their needs and have been developing the products and services that will suit their circumstances and the Australian market.

In October, we announced our next generation energy project with CEP.Energy, which will see SmartestEnergy manage and operate 400MW of Virtual Power Plant (VPP) located at various industrial park sites across the country. The CEP.Energy project will go on to build an impressive 1,000MW battery bank made up of aggregated batteries in a VPP, including the commissioning of three largescale utility batteries.

This VPP is a great example of the far-reaching and innovative projects that we’re looking to be involved with in 2021 and beyond. Industry innovations like this will shape the way we produce and procure energy from renewables; empowering brokers and businesses to profit from the energy revolution and play a more active role our transition to net-zero carbon.

Our ambition to be a next generation energy company is closely aligned with the wider SmartestEnergy Group. In establishing our business in Australia, we’ve been able to leverage experience from colleagues in the UK and the US, while also benefiting from the local knowledge and expertise of our newly formed team in Australia.  

Marubeni Corporation of Japan have also played a key role in the formation of our operations in Australia. Their presence here exceeds 60 years, and as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marubeni, SmartestEnergy remains stable and well-resourced; able to embark on innovative projects that shape the future energy system. 

Early in 2021, we’ll be moving into a new office in Sydney, and hope that our growing team and business contacts are able to enjoy the new premise and connect in-person with the pandemic restrictions lifting and a ‘new normal’ taking shape. We remain excited and confident about what the future holds for us, and the industry as a whole in 2021.

Wishing all our colleagues, stakeholders and customers a healthy and successful 2021.

Yours Sincerely,

Robert Owens

Chief Executive Officer, SmartestEnergy Australia


For more information about us, and the other SmartestEnergy Group companies:

> Read the Annual Report publication announcement

> Download the Annual Report