Solar Choice is running a Solar Community around Kununurra, in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. In addition to Kununurra, the community also encompasses Lake Argyle and Wyndham, WA. Residents of the region are encouraged to take advantage of a special bulk discount rate on solar power systems by putting forward the local community’s collective bargaining power.

Solar Choice is experienced in managing Solar Communities for other regional areas throughout Australia–most notably in Broome WA, and Bundaberg, Townsville, and Mackay, Queensland. As Australia’s nation-wide Solar Brokerage service, the Solar Choice team is able to negotiate with a range of local, regional, and national installers to broker the best possible deal for members of the local community. Inquire about getting solar power and how to become part of the Kununurra Solar Community today.

Kununurra Region: Prime Ground for Solar Power

The local areas of Kununurra, Wyndham, and Lake Argyle receive a significant portion of their electrical power from the 30-megawatt Ord River Dam hydropower station. Solar power, however, is an ideal supplement to this large, centralised power source. Solar capacity can be incrementally increased unit-by-unit, expanding the total capacity of electrical generation connected to the grid and mitigating the need for construction larger-scale plants in the future. Solar power is a generation source well-matched to Kununurra for a number of other reasons as well, most of which are of direct benefit to residents who install a system.

Solar PV systems in Kununurra can expect to receive plenty of sun. The area, near Australia’s northernmost tip, is one of the sunniest in the world. Furthermore, its location in the tropics means that, unlike non-tropical regions, the sun is sometimes to the north of and other times to the south of any given building–changing the dynamic of solar panel tilt angle and orientation that most Australian solar installers are accustomed to dealing with. In fact, thanks to its location (but rather counterintuitively for seasoned solar PV installers in most of Australia), a solar-equipped south-facing roof in Kununurra will receive more sun than a north-facing roof in Perth. This translates into higher system yields and increased savings on power bills.

-Thanks to the abundance of sunshine, the Federal government offers significant rebates on solar power systems in the Kununurra region. The Solar Credits Rebate available to those who go solar in the region are among the highest in the country. Kununurra is located in REC Zone 2, which means that 23 RECs will be are generated for each kilowatt of eligible solar power installed and connected to the local grid. REC prices fluctuate with supply and demand, but at the time of writing are hovering around $30 each–meaning a base rebate of approximately $700 per kilowatt. After the Solar Credit multiplier is applied, however, even more significant benefits are to be had. And thanks to the nature of the electrical grid in the region, residents of the Kununurra region are eligible for especially large up-front discounts on solar PV systems. This is one of the main reasons that solar power is a wise financial investment for local residents.

-Horizon Energy’s Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS)–Get paid to export your solar power to the grid. Horizon Power currently offers a 1-to-1 net tariff for solar feeders-in. Under this setup, solar customers get paid the same rate for each kilowatt-hour of electricity that their solar systems export as they themselves pay for electricity. This means that, in addition to the savings afforded by using their solar power directly, solar customers will received credits on their power bills for exported electricity. A 1-to-1 tariff is a generous offering; in contrast to Horizon’s offerings, Synergy customers on Perth’s electrical grid receive only 7c for each kilowatt-hour that they feed into the grid.

Now is the time to go solar in Kununurra

Take advantage of bulk discounts on solar through the Kununurra Solar Community

Residents of Kununurra may utilise their bulk buying power via the Solar Community facilitated by Solar Choice. Solar Choice, utilising its network of over 70 installers nationwide, has negotiated and secured competitive solar PV installation pricing with a number of local, regional, and national solar power installers.

Solar communities are not always a readily available option for regional areas, which have a much lower penetration of solar energy system installers than more densely-populated urban centers tend to do. Some Western Australia solar installers may charge travel fees when called out for one-off installations, and prices may be higher due to the lack of competition between installers. With the establishment of a Solar Community, however, these hurdles will be overcome as greater numbers make it more worthwhile for solar installers to travel the distance.

Benefits include:

-Leading quality, fully accredited solar installations with 25-year performance warranties and German inverters

-Payback of less than 3 years with an expected return over 30 years

-Protection against electricity prices which are expected to increase by over 30%

-Potential to reduce electricity bills by up to 100%

-Deposits of only $100 to secure interest on the limited availability for solar capacity on the Horizon East Kimberley grid

The price of solar PV systems nationally has never been lower

Due to a combination of global, national, and regional factors, the price of solar power has recently struck unprecedented lows. Low solar system prices means that return on investment and payback times have never been as attractive as now. Prices are projected to being rising again in the latter half of 2012.

Solar Power incentives in Kununurra will not be around indefinitely

The flipside of the factors that make Kununarra one of the most financially lucrative places to install solar power in Australia also mean that there is a limitation on the amount of solar that can be connected to the grid. The Federal incentives are likely to be scaled back in the coming years, especially with the introduction of a carbon price and speculation that the Government will withdraw some of its direct support for renewable energy sources.

Limits to the solar capacity that can be connected to the Kununurra grid

In addition to the possibility of incentive reductions is the fact that there is an absolute physical limit to the amount of solar power that may be connected to the region’s electrical grid without potentially causing service disturbances. Once this prescribed limit is reached, homes and businesses will not be allowed to connect to the grid or benefit Horizon Energy’s Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme.

Register your interest:

Information Session

Meet Kununurra Solar Community manager Iain McGregor for personal discussion on your solar project

Date: 31 January 2012

Time: 12pm – 6:30pm

Location: Kimberley Grande PKG Bare & Grille (20 Victoria Hwy)

Contact the Solar Choice Kununurra Solar Community Team

The Kununurra Solar Community team are available for further information, questions, and clarifications.

To arrange a personal visit to your home or business in Kununurra, Wyndham, or Lake Argyle, call, email, or request a Solar Quote Comparison by filling out the form to the right of the page

Contact details:

Solar Choice

Phone: 1300 78 72 73

Email: sales@solarchoice.net.au

Further reading:

Read more articles about Solar Power in Western Australia

© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

(Top image via http://expressway.paulrands.com/)

James Martin II

James Martin II

James has been working as analyst and online development manager for Solar Choice since 2011. He holds a master's degree in Environmental Management from UNSW, and a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Bridgewater State University in his native Massachusetts.
James Martin II

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