Darwin is one of Australia’s northernmost cities, and its location in the sunny tropics makes it one of the best places in Australia to install a solar PV system. The 1-for-1 Solar Buyback scheme on offer through NT Power&Water means great returns on investment for those who find the best deal on solar power. Because of the current low cost of solar PV systems, in combination with the Federal Solar Credit rebates, systems have never been more affordable.
To instantly compare solar PV system prices for your area of the NT, fill out the Quote Comparison Request form to the right of this page. You can also call Solar Choice on 1300 78 72 73.
The benefits of solar power in Darwin
Generating power with the sun in the top end of the Northern Territory
Getting the best deal on solar PV for Darwin residents means first understanding how a system benefits a home or business. Solar panels only produce electricity during sunlight hours, and how much electricity is generated depends on the intensity and duration of the sunshine.
The average Darwin roof will receive an average of about 4.6 hours of sun per day over the course of a year. This is one of the highest rates of solar insolation anywhere in Australia. Because solar Darwin is in the tropics, a south-facing roof there will actually receive more sunlight than a north-facing roof in on a building in more southerly latitudes–for example, Perth. Estimated daily generation figures for different size systems based on 4.6 sun hours are detailed below.
1.5kW solar system – 7.05kWh
2kW solar system – 9.2kWh
3kW solar system – 13.8kWh
5kW solar system – 23kWh
Please also keep in mind that due to Darwin’s location in a cyclone-prone region, certain building certifications are required for installing rooftop solar systems.
Electricity consumption vs solar energy production in Darwin
What system size is right for a home or business depends first on the owner’s goals and the budget available. Electricity use patterns for a building differ depending on the occupants’ behaviour. As an example, an average 3-person home consumes approximately 20kWh of electricity per day (although this number can be higher in the summer for homes that use air conditioning frequently). Solar power from a 5kW system would therefore approximately cover the consumption of such a home. Since homes and businesses in Darwin are eligible for a 1-for-1 Solar Buyback through Power&Water, building occupants need pay little mind to when electricity is being used; the solar system will offset the electricity bill by the same amount regardless of whether the power is exported or self-consumed.
Federal Government Solar Rebates for Darwin
Federal Government’s Solar Credit Scheme provides up-front rebates on solar systems. Newly installed small-scale generators such as solar PV systems are allotted a number of Renwable Energy Certificates (RECs, also known as Small-scale Technology Certificates or STCs). The number of STCs will be higher or lower depending on the average amount of solar insolation that is received in the area where there system is installed. STC prices fluctuate according to supply and demand. Solar installers will usually inform customers as to what STC price they offer when initial pricing details are decided. (STC prices are also clearly detailed in Solar Choice’s Solar Quote Comparison sheets.)
Darwin is in REC Zone 2. (REC Zone and applicable certificates can be calculated for free on ORER‘s website.) Systems installed in REC Zone 2 receive a base number of 115 STCs, plus 69 bonus certificates available through the Federal government’s Solar Credit REC Multiplier (3x for systems installed before 1 July 2012). The total numer of STCs is therefore (115 + 69 =) 184. Based on a certificate price of $30, customers would be eligible for a discount of $5,520 off the up-front price of the system. (This is also clearly detailed in Solar Choice quote comparisons.)
Saving money on electricity bill in NT: 1-for-1 Solar Buyback
Northern Territory Power&Water buys solar electricity that is exported to the grid at a rate equivalent to the retail electricity tariff that residents pay. If a home pays 19.77c for every kilowatt-hour of power that they buy from the grid, they will also be payed 19.77c for every kilowatt-hour of solar power that is exported to the grid. Solar system operators will not benefit any more from self-consuming their solar power than exporting it to the grid, so there is no need to manage the timing of electricity use to maximise the benefits afforded by the system (as is the case in states with no Feed-in Tariff such as NSW and WA, or states with Feed-in Tariffs, such as Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia.)
Sourcing the best solar power deals in Darwin
Solar Choice, as Australia’s free Solar Energy Brokering and advice service, assists customers in identifying the best deals on offer anywhere in Australia–including Darwin. Request a Solar Quote Comparison today by completing the form to the right of this page, or call us on 1300 78 72 73.
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© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
James holds a Master's degree in Environmental Management from the University of New South Wales. and an undergrad degree in philosophy from Bridgewater State University in his native Massachusetts. He has a keen interest in developments in the renewable energy field, with a focus on distributed solar and energy storage.
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