RedEarth's powering up The Block

August 3 2022 - 11:00pm
Powered up: RedEarth Energy Solutions is The Block's major sponsor this year, providing solar panels and battery energy storage systems to power the six luxury homes, and to support filming requirements.

A cloud hung over reality television show The Block this year - quite literally, said RedEarth Energy Storage's chief commercial officer Scott Andrews.

Mr Andrews was on site in Gisborne, Victoria, for nearly four months during the show's filming, and will feature on the show speaking with contestants and host Scotty Cam.

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"There were a lot of new challenges for the show this year," he said.

"They went out of the city, were building on 10 acre blocks through rain and mud in the middle of winter, and - the reason RedEarth got involved - they had no electricity, at all."

RedEarth is the major sponsor for the series - now in its eighteenth season - this year, providing solar panels and battery energy storage systems to power the six luxury homes.

"The single-phase power line that the original property was connected to wasn't enough to power six separate luxury homes. The options were to get more power poles and lines to the property, which can be expensive and time consuming; or, they could install solar and batteries, which is what happened."

Even the renovation, McCafe, and construction site offices were powered by renewable energy, with RedEarth installing temporary solar arrays and five of its HoneyBadger energy storage systems (holding eight batteries each) so that contestants could get on with renovating and building their houses.

Portable skid systems built by one of RedEarth's reseller partners, Linked Energy, also provided clean renewable energy for the sound and production crew for the duration of the filming.

"We had to do a bit of education with them so that they could understand how their stored energy was being used and decide how they'd use it. For example, after a few days of rainy weather they had less stored energy than they'd usually have, so they'd have to decide which appliances and tools they'd use, and when.

"They also weren't allowed to use back-up generators after 8pm due to noise restrictions, so that was an additional challenge they faced, especially with the cold mornings. Everyone managed exceptionally under the conditions."

RedEarth provided each home with 50kW solar arrays and its premium energy storage system, DropBear, which holds 14 of RedEarth's own Troppo batteries and comes ready to switch on RedEarth's proprietary private power plant technology, currently in beta testing.

"When installing a system, we consider many things including location, size of the property, how much electricity may be used, and what kind of weather may be experienced. For example, a house in northern Queensland will need a different system to the same sized house in Victoria because the amount of sunlight and expected weather events are different. There's no one-size-fits-all solutions."

Mr Andrews said that the DropBear systems installed for The Block had been deliberately oversized to account for future energy use.

"As well as powering the existing large homes with heated flooring, and high-end electronics, etc, we were mindful that these are 10-acre blocks and that the buyers may wish to add to their properties in the future, or charge their EVs, or use their energy in other ways.

"We've allowed for additional ways to use the electricity they're generating through their solar panels, and if they need any more, then RedEarth's systems are designed to be scalable, so it's a matter of adding more batteries to their existing systems.