Bright sparks: the innovative renewable energy companies calling SA home

20 December 2022

Thanks to a multitude of new renewable energy projects set to come online in 2022-23, an increasing number of innovative renewable energy companies are choosing to run their operations from our state.

Home to our country’s most established wind, solar, and battery industries, in the 2020-21 financial year, South Australia was, on average, powered by nearly 70 per cent renewable energy.

That compares to just 33 per cent in Victoria, 26 per cent in New South Wales and 20 per cent in Queensland!

Thanks to a multitude of new renewable energy projects set to come online in 2022-23 — including the Government’s $593 million Hydrogen Jobs Plan — an increasing number of innovative renewable energy companies are choosing to run their operations from our state.

Each driven by an ambitious vision and sense of purpose, iOEnergy, Oxamii, Zen Energy and Tindo Solar are four businesses making their mark on the world’s clean energy transition from South Australia.

Here’s how they’re making energy cheaper, greener and more reliable for locals and interstaters alike.


Clean energy startup iOEnergy — based in the Stone & Chalk Startup Hub at Lot Fourteen — is on a mission to accelerate humanity’s transition to Zero Carbon through affordable, clean electricity.

iOEnergy manages and connects grid integrated appliances to harmonise energy usage to when the electricity from the grid is cheapest and greenest.

iOEnergy’s electricity plans — which require a smart meter to record time of use of energy — are targeted towards households without solar panels, such as apartments, heritage-listed buildings or those with too much shade on the roof.

“For example, in the middle of the day there’s heaps of solar power being generated and the cost of delivering that power is much lower than at other times of the day,” IO Energy Solutions CEO Rob Morris told InDaily.

“So, by shifting usage — for example in heating water or charging a battery — into that middle of the day time, we can lower people’s power bills and also lower their carbon footprint.”

The plans have the ability to save thousands of dollars in electricity costs for people who work from home, retirees, cafes and small offices, which use the largest amount of energy during the day, Rob said.

“Cafes, for instance, could save up to $5000 in annual costs by using renewable energy.”

Rob said South Australia is the perfect testing bed for iOEnergy’s technology, before taking the company global.

“This is one of the best places in the world, with some of the highest amounts of renewables, to prove the technology, build it out and then we definitely have global ambitions.”


Founded in Adelaide in 2017 by banking professional Aaron Yew and software engineer Ray Carlaw, Oxamii’s vision is to build the world’s largest decentralised grid.

To do this, the start-up has developed a smart grid software platform that enables residents, community organisations, and businesses to buy and sell energy from renewable sources in their local community.

“The vision for our company is to build a decentralised grid; that means shifting away from big energy with large, centralised generation sources to a decentralised, community-focused grid like rooftop solar, small-scale generation, batteries and electric vehicles,” Aaron told SmartCompany.

“The benefit is that as a community group offering, people can buy their energy from other members in their community.

“That energy is matched by us, identifying each household, or dwelling as its own individual generator.

“From there, we essentially create a virtual aggregator of all the members to become that community’s generator. It also means any excess energy can be sold to other collective groups as well,” he said.

With community at Oxamil’s heart, Aaron said that members of the community energy group would have the option to contribute towards a local development project in their area, by paying a weekly fee to help fund it.

“I think the element of social impact is important because it defines to us what community energy actually means,” he said.

Zen Energy

Founded in South Australia in 2004, ZEN Energy has been providing renewable energy solutions to South Australian homes and businesses for almost 20 years.

The company’s name — which stands for ‘Zero Emissions Now’ — reflects its purpose, which is to lead communities into a zero-carbon world.

To do this, ZEN Energy has installed more than 30,000 energy systems in homes and businesses of all sizes across Australia, and is also an energy retailer, counting renewable energy leaders like the CSIRO and the South Australian Government among its clients.

The company has ambitious plans for the near future, with Renew Economy reporting that “Zen Energy is aiming to boost its share of Australia’s electricity market by a factor of ten over the next three years, with the focus on a combination of solar and battery storage.”

Tindo Solar

Tindo Solar is Australia’s only commercial solar panel manufacturing facility, and is located in Mawson Lakes — home to Technology Park.

Since its establishment in 2011, Tindo Solar has produced more than 284,000 solar panels, with an equivalent output of around 82.5 megawatts.

Its panels are designed and manufactured for Australian conditions and produced with materials sourced through ethical supply chains, making them favoured by many Australian clients, including the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the Dubbo Regional Council and GPT Group.

When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains from China, Tindo’s production skyrocketed, Shayne Jaenisch, the company’s CEO told ABC.

“We went from 64 companies contacting me to buy panels to over 1,000 in just over a year,” he said.

“The whole landscape for us has changed.”

With demand for Tindo’s solar panels not showing any signs of slowing, the company has just opened a new $11 million assembly plant, which has tripled its production capacity, and helping to create the next generation of high tech, green, advanced manufacturing jobs in Australia.