Charles Sturt University is to install one of the largest rooftop solar installations in Australia for its campus in Wagga Wagga, NSW. Solar Choice managed the competitive tender for the project, which will have a peak capacity of 1.77 megawatts (MW) and will meet roughly 20% of CSU’s energy demand annually. The system will be more than 500 kilowatts (kW) larger than the current Australian record holder, the 1.24MW array at Brisbane Markets (also brokered by Solar Choice).

For the first 18 months of their enquiries into the solar energy market, Charles Sturt University worked on their own to try to reach an investment decision. The ACT Government eventually recommended that CSU reach out to Solar Choice to impartially develop, guide and manage the tender.

Through Solar Choice’s Commercial Tender Management Platform, 20 installers presented indicative bids for systems up to one megawatt (1MW) in capacity, including summaries of products, prices and warranties. This first phase allowed CSU to make their own pre-selection, and arrive at a final shortlist of four installers. Solar Choice then helped coordinate the site visit with the shortlisted entities, and co-drafted the frames of reference for the tender documents. Read the full article →

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Solar Choice brokers 100kW solar system for Balmoral Orchard in QLD

December 7, 2016
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Solar Choice has managed the tender for a 100kW solar system for Balmoral Orchard, an avocado farm outside of Toowoomba, Queensland. The orchard’s manager first approached Solar Choice in May 2016 looking for assistance with their large quarterly energy bills. Following the initial conversation with the manager, the land owner promptly called to introduce himself. He was […]

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CSIRO: Wind and Solar to provide nearly all Australia’s electricity needs by 2050

December 6, 2016
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A major new study by the CSIRO and Energy Networks Australia says wind and solar will provide nearly all Australia’s electricity needs by 2050, and the system will be cheaper for all customers. The study found that a decarbonised energy grid by 2050, with half of generation produced and stored locally, will save billions in […]

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Link to export solar from WA to Indonesia could be viable

December 6, 2016
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The development of a 2000km sub-sea cable to supply Indonesia with solar power generated in Australia’s north-west has been described as financially viable and possible within the decade. The West Australian reports that a private consultant, hired by the Pilbara Development Commission, is investigating the establishment of an underwater link to transport solar from the […]

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Solar power for homes: Still worth it in Australia?

December 6, 2016
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Lots of things have changed in recent years with regard to solar power for homes. The business case for going solar – the investment-worthiness of solar panels – has quickly progressed through roughly three stages since the solar panel boom began in Australia in around 2008. Making a long story short, these stages were: Stage 1 […]

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Let’s talk about ‘energy throughput’: Should it replace battery ‘cycle life’?

December 5, 2016
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Australians households are fairly solar-savvy lot. With a solar panel for every human being in the country, Australia is a world leader in solar uptake, and there’s tons of information online about how to shop for solar (Solar Choice is one case in point). It wouldn’t take anyone too long to learn to talk meaningfully in […]

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A Change in market rules will help reduce wholesale energy prices

December 4, 2016
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While the Coalition and the fossil fuel lobby has tried to use blackouts in South Australia as an excuse to go slow on renewables and abolish state-based targets, others are pushing for a rethink about electricity market rules and operations so the grid can embrace 21st technology and practices. A new report has highlighted how […]

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Retailers achieve big win in battle for behind-the-meter market

December 2, 2016
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Australia’s electricity retailers have won a major victory in the battle over access to the nation’s lucrative solar and battery storage market, after the Australian Energy Regulator effectively ruled networks out of the game. The AER’s new guideline – effective Thursday, but to be fully implemented by network distribution businesses by January 01, 2018 – […]

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1kW solar PV systems: Pricing, output, returns

December 1, 2016
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Should you install a 1 kilowatt (kW) solar system for your home? These days, 1kW solar system installations are relatively rare, as larger systems frequently offer better value for money at only a modestly higher price. The smallest size of system that Solar Choice keeps track of in our monthly Solar PV Price Index articles […]

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NSW Minister pushing for households to share energy with other households

November 30, 2016
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New South Wales parliamentary secretary Adam Marshall wants to slash the development fees for large-scale renewable energy projects in the state. The Young National Party MLA told the North Coast Energy Forum in Coffs Harbour last week that in the case of one 300MW solar project slated for his electorate, fees are 10 to 20 […]

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What’s a partial off-grid solar-plus-storage system?

November 30, 2016
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Going partially off the grid is a smart alternative for homes who want to become completely energy self-sufficient. A partial off-grid solar system is one that runs a few essential electrical loads – for example, the refrigerator, lights and television – on a separate electrical circuit that has no physical connection to the grid mains. […]

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Blockchain network disruption soon to arrive – with Australian company at forefront

November 29, 2016
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An Australian start-up has been named as a global leader in the development of “blockchain” technology in a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The BNEF report named Perth-based company Power Ledger as one of the companies leading development of the technology, which it says has the potential to “rapidly disrupt” the energy market status […]

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Power vs energy in home battery storage systems

November 29, 2016
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Different battery storage products have different specifications and capabilities, making them better or less well-suited for various applications. In this article we’ll talk about ‘power batteries’ vs ‘energy batteries’ – two terms that are sometimes used to describe battery products. Power batteries Power is a term generally used describe instantaneous electrical output. You can think […]

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Kilowatts vs kilowatt-hours in solar power & battery storage: Power, energy or capacity?

November 28, 2016
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If you’re shopping around for solar panels or a battery storage for your home, you’re undoubtedly come across the terms ‘kilowatt’ (abbreviated as kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh). These terms might be a bit confusing at first, so we’ve written this article to explain these terms and make them easy to understand. Power vs energy (vs capacity) When […]

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Solar panel cleaning: Why, how & how often? (Q&A with Lime Solar Cleaning)

November 24, 2016
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Should you clean your solar panels? If the answer is ‘yes’, then how often should you clean your solar panels – and what’s the best way to clean them? These are questions that many solar system owners have asked themselves. Solar Choice recently had the opportunity to catch up with Leanne Masters of Lime Solar Cleaning […]

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Battery storage take-up in Australia to snowball forward

November 23, 2016
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A NSW-based community solar and battery storage bulk buy program has been so successful that the promoters believe the battery storage sector may be in the early stages of mass-market uptake. The campaign, led by Suncrowd, has attracted thousands of people at roadshows in regional towns in New South Wales in the last few months, […]

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Climate conspiracy gets hold of Senate as Coalition attacks coal opponents

November 23, 2016
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Australia’s federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has attacked “latte-sipping” opponents of coal mining in a day at Parliament that also featured vigorous debate questioning climate science in the Senate. Asked during question time by Greens MP Adam Bandt about a US government report that warned of a 1.5m rise in sea levels by 2050 if greenhouse […]

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Integrated solar roof tiles cheaper to install than regular roof, says Musk

November 23, 2016
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Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has suggested his newly launched integrated solar roof tiles could actually cost less to install than a regular roof – making the renewable electricity they produce “just a bonus”. Musk made the claim last Thursday, just minutes – according to Bloomberg – after Tesla and SolarCity shareholders voted in […]

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Why depth of discharge matters in solar battery storage system selection

November 23, 2016
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Depth of discharge (DoD) is one of the key figures to keep in mind when selecting batteries for a solar energy system. What is depth of discharge and how should it play into your choice of batteries? What is depth of discharge? The term ‘depth of discharge’ is fairly self-explanatory – it describes the degree […]

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IEA questions Australia’s commitment to coal

November 22, 2016
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The International Energy Agency has questioned Australia’s commitment to extract thermal coal from huge new reserves in Queensland, in the face of what describes as “increasingly questionable” economics. In its latest World Energy Outlook, the conservative Paris-based organisation said thermal coal demand in China had peaked three years ago and was declining, leaving the fate […]

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Can you go off the grid with a 10kW solar system plus battery storage?

November 22, 2016
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We previously wrote an article about the feasibility of an Australian home going off-grid with a 3kW solar system – quite a small system size for such an ambitious endeavour. In this article, we’ll look at the case for going off-grid with a 10kW solar system – the unofficial upper limit for residential solar system […]

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Reports underline how far behind the climate eight-ball Australia remains

November 21, 2016
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Two new new global reports have underlined just how far behind the climate eight-ball Australia remains, just days after the Turnbull government said it would ratify the Paris Agreement. The first – the latest Climate Change Performance Index, released overnight in Marrakech by Climate Action Network Europe and German NGO, Germanwatch – ranked Australia fifth-last […]

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Commercial solar power in Melbourne & VIC

November 21, 2016
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Solar power is an attractive investment option and great way to save money for businesses in Melbourne and across the rest of Victoria. This article provides an overview of commercial solar power in Melbourne and other parts of the state. What are the benefits of commercial solar power in Victoria? Solar power is a great way for Victoria […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

November 18, 2016
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When it comes to solar power in Australia, lots of things have changed in the last few years. If you’re currently shopping around for a solar system, perhaps the most important thing you need to keep in mind is this: You’ll get the most out of your solar panels by consuming the energy they produce while it […]

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520kW solar array in Sydney CBD now open for public investment

November 18, 2016
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The Sydney company behind a 520kW PV array in the city’s CBD opened the project for public investment on Tuesday. Sydney Renewable Power Company (SRPC), an unlisted public company, which has the 25-year concession to finance and manage the PV array on Sydney’s new International Convention Centre (ICC), is offering 519 unlisted shares, each worth […]

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Commercial solar power in Brisbane & Queensland

November 17, 2016
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Solar power is an attractive investment option and great way to save money for businesses in Brisbane and across the rest of Queensland. This article provides an overview of commercial solar power in Brisbane and Queensland. Benefits of commercial solar power in Brisbane & Queensland Solar power is one of the best ways for Queensland businesses […]

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The network value of solar isn’t that valuable says Victoria regulator

November 17, 2016
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In the second phase of a report commissioned by the state Labor government, Victoria’s pricing regulator has concluded that the value to the network of rooftop solar is not as much as many might expect – and even then is subject to time and location. The 176-page report released by the Essential Services Commission on […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index: November 2016

November 16, 2016
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The average price of a commercial solar PV system dropped very slightly between October and November 2016 (from about $1.26 per watt to about $1.25/W) according to figures from the Solar Choice installer network database. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target […]

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How Trump could be great for battery storage

November 16, 2016
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Deutsche Bank has described the global battery market as being at an inflection point, with global consumption expected to treble from 70Gwh in 2015 to 210GWh by 2018, and then more than double again to 535GWh by 2025. The report, published on Thursday, said falling costs of technology – and particularly in the case of […]

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New report exposes myth around Australia’s “cheap energy”

November 15, 2016

Australia’s wholesale electricity prices  have hardly budged in the last few decades, thanks largely to the impact of renewable energy, a new report has shown. The report, the latest of Hugh Saddler’s monthly reports from Pitt & Sherry and The Australia Institute, suggests renewables have acted to help bring down wholesale prices from where they […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – November 2016

November 15, 2016
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Average solar PV system prices for Australia’s capital cities changed little between October and November of 2016, according to data from Solar Choice’s installer network database. Currently, the average price for a solar PV system in Australia sits at about $1.63 per watt. Average solar PV system prices for November 2016 Prices in the table below […]

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