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Solar Choice Staff

Why doesn’t my electricity retailer give me a 15c solar feed-in tariff?

February 20, 2017
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Having just updated our article detailing the solar feed-in tariffs on offer in each state and territory, we thought it would be a good time to discuss the realities of solar feed-in tariffs in 2017. We’ll look at two questions: Why don’t retailers offer higher rates? And: Does it matter if feed-in tariff rates are […]

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Does rooftop solar still make sense in 2017?

February 16, 2017
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Rooftop solar on its own is already affordable enough to be a smart choice for virtually any Australian home with an unshaded roof and some daytime electricity usage. This is true even in the absence of generous, state-backed solar feed-in tariffs and the (slight) reduction of the up-front incentive for solar available through the federal Renewable […]

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Which electricity retailer is giving the best solar feed-in tariff?

February 15, 2017
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Feed-in tariffs in Australia: How they’ve changed Solar feed-in tariffs are arrangements where a solar system owner is paid for the excess solar energy that they send back into the grid. At one point in time, feed-in tariffs were mandatory in every state in Australia, and the rates they offered were quite generous. Much has changed, however, […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – February 2017

February 14, 2017
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Despite the decrease in the incentive available under the federal Renewable Energy Target that came in effect from last month, average solar PV system prices have moved little, according to our data. Although this month did see a slight reduction in prices (down to $1.60 per watt from $1.62/W in February), this is mainly attributable to changes in […]

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SA minimum retailer feed-in tariff (RFiT) has ended. What should you do?

February 10, 2017
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If you live in South Australia and have a solar system on your roof, there is no longer a guaranteed minimum rate for the excess solar that you send into the grid unless you are on the state’s Premium FiT program (which expires in 2028). The Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA) made the determination to eliminate the […]

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Tesla’s Powerwall 2 in Australia: Advice for shoppers

February 7, 2017
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Tesla leapfrogged its competitors last year with the announcement of its new generation of battery storage product: Powerwall 2. Tesla’s Powerwall 2 is a more powerful and sophisticated version of the company’s original Powerwall, which itself set a benchmark in Australia for both battery storage pricing and performance. It’s on sale for roughly the same […]

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CATCH Power – A solar diverter made for the Aussie market

February 6, 2017
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CATCH Power is an Australian company who say they have crafted a solar diverter perfectly tailored to Australian market conditions. By March this year, the company will offer four different versions of its device, all of whose settings can be adjusted to optimise savings – and two of which connect to the internet and allow the user […]

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Sizing inverters to optimise solar panel system efficiency

February 6, 2017
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The efficiency of the inverter drives the efficiency of a solar panel system because inverters convert Direct Current (DC) (as produced by the solar panels), into Alternating Current (AC) (as used by the electric grid). This leads many to wonder what effect over-sizing or under-sizing an inverter will have on overall system efficiency. This entry […]

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Solar battery storage in Melbourne, Vic: Compare prices & installers

February 5, 2017
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As prices fall, a growing number of Melbourne households are becoming interested in installing battery storage for solar energy. It is now possible to compare battery storage installers and prices in Melbourne by requesting a Battery Storage Quote Comparison from Solar Choice. What else do Melbourne homeowners need to consider before deciding on an installer and […]

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Zhongli Talesun’s solar panels in Australia

February 4, 2017
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Zhongli Talesun is one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world, with a 28 year history in the solar industry. The company offers solar modules for a range of applications in the Australian market, including a module with a 30-year performance warranty, a lightweight module and a ‘zero potential-induced degradation’ module. Talesun solar […]

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Malcolm Turnbull lays out his thoughts on renewable energy in his NPC address

February 4, 2017
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Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has laid out his thoughts on renewable energy, electricity pricing and supply, as well as on “clean coal” and gas, describing energy as a “defining debate of this parliament” in his National Press Club address on Wednesday. Related PostsClean energy start-up accelerator program launches in Sydney (11 Feb, 2017) NSW […]

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A comparison of home energy management systems in Australia

January 26, 2017
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Solar PV systems are already commonplace and affordable in Australia, and battery storage is getting there quickly as well. Increasingly, Australia’s solar homes are looking for ways to maximise the value that solar & storage are able to deliver. Home energy management systems (sometimes referred to as EMSs or HEMS) are fast becoming a popular […]

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What size solar power installation should you buy?

January 25, 2017

A Solar Choice broker will help you, at no charge, decide what size solar energy installation best suits your needs and budget. In the meantime, we hope the following article will assist you in making the right decision. (This article was originally published in 2009 – we updated in January 2017 to reflect the new […]

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Solar Choice site stats for 2016: Looking back on a stellar year

January 20, 2017
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Rooftop solar is the energy of the people in Australia. In less than half a decade, solar panels have gone from being pricey ‘green bling’ to something that any home or business with some unshaded roof space would contemplate as a practical way to save money & bolster energy independence. More than one in ten […]

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Solar-plus-storage: How much battery capacity do you need?

January 20, 2017
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Lots of Solar Choice customers ask about battery storage for solar power, but not many have a clear idea of how much battery capacity they need. This article takes a look at the factors that come into play when considering how to choose the right amount of battery capacity for your solar-plus-storage system. How much energy independence […]

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5kW solar systems: Pricing, output, and returns

January 17, 2017
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The average solar system size in Australia has grown in recent years to about 5 kilowatts (kW). What are the price ranges, electricity yields (in kilowatt-hours, kWh) and financial returns that a household can expect from a 5kW solar PV system? This article was originally published in 2012 – we’ve recently updated it to reflect […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2016

January 12, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices continue at about $1.25/W for the fourth month in a row, starting off the new year with no eventful news. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target as well as GST, but do not incorporate meter installation fees […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – January 2017

January 12, 2017
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Average solar system prices for the new year continue to hover around $1.62/W, as they have for the past six months or so. Smaller systems (1.5kW – 2kW) continue to be the dearest on a $/W basis, while larger systems (5kW – 10kW) offer the greatest value in terms of peak output capacity. By our […]

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Solar battery storage in Canberra, ACT

January 7, 2017
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Battery storage for residential solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Australia – including in Canberra, ACT. If you’re a Canberra resident looking to install a battery storage system for your home, what are the main things that you need to consider? Solar Choice has developed a number of large-scale solar projects in the ACT, […]

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Solar power in Sydney, NSW: Compare prices & installers

December 19, 2016
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Sydney is a great place for solar power, and roughly 10-15% of Sydney area homes have solar panels installed on their roofs. This article is an overview of everything you need to know if you’re considering solar power for your Sydney home – including how you can compare system prices and installers who operate in your […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – December 2016

December 15, 2016
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Average solar PV system prices for December sit at roughly $1.62 per watt ($1.62/W). Average system prices in Australia have hovered around this price point since about July of 2016, although there have been some changes on a city-by-city and size-by-size basis. Average solar PV system prices for December 2016 Prices in the table below include […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for December 2016

December 15, 2016
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Average commercial solar system prices saw virtually no change betwen November and December, according to data from the Solar Choice database. Prices have hovered around the $1.25 mark since September. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable Energy Target as well as GST, but do […]

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Is it okay to put my solar panels flat on my roof, or should they be tilted?

December 14, 2016
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Solar panel tilt angle and orientation are two of the most important factors in determining how much electricity your solar panel array will generate. If you live in Australia and have a grid-connected solar system, your solar panels will be installed at the angle and aspect of your roof. In most cases – provided you have […]

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$100 million battery storage project to be developed in South Australia

December 13, 2016
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A $100 million battery storage project is set to be developed in South Australia, in an effort to demonstrate that grid connected stationary energy storage can be a cheaper and more secure option than new transmission lines or gas plants. The project is a collaboration between RES, one of the world’s biggest developers of battery […]

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Is a solar lease or solar PPA right for you?

December 12, 2016
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‘Solar leasing’ deals have been the main facilitator of residential solar panel uptake in the United States, with the majority of systems being installed under such arrangements. Although solar leasing schemes have been on offer in Australia for some time now, they have not proven to be an overwhelmingly popular option. Is a solar lease right for […]

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Solar Choice manages tender for 1.77MW solar installation at Charles Sturt Uni

December 8, 2016
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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 […]

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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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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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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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