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Solar Choice Staff

Warnings of energy storage market chaos, as industry unites against home battery ban

August 16, 2017
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A home battery storage installation guideline proposed by Standards Australia has again been slammed by the industry as fundamentally flawed and – if passed – likely to throw the energy storage market into chaos, both in Australia and overseas. Related PostsI’m (finally) going to live in a solar-powered home (15 Aug, 2017) In Australian first, […]

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Solar Choice brokers 100kW solar car park for Sunny Queen Farms in Queensland

August 14, 2017
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Solar Choice Commercial has brokered a 100kW solar car park for Sunny Queen Farm’s facilities in Carole Park, QLD. Sunny Queen is one of Australia’s leading producers of eggs, supplying their products to some of the country’s leading retail grocers. The construction of the solar car park is the culmination of a 9-month journey with […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – August 2017

August 3, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices have risen slightly following two consecutive months at their lowest levels since Solar Choice began keeping track in August 2012. This month’s higher average price – $1.55 per watt, as opposed to $1.45/W last month- is undoubtedly due at least in part to the recent drop in STC values and […]

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Battery safety standards decision looms large over industry

August 2, 2017
Tesla Powerwall 2

Standards Australia will soon decide whether to allow home lithium battery banks to be installed in a garage or external wall – or whether they’ll be required to live in ‘battery bunker’ in your back yard, accessible only to ‘authorised persons’. The consultation period for input on the proposed changes closes on 14 August, with […]

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Energy Unlimited: A roadmap towards 100% renewables for government, business & community organisations (Book review)

July 31, 2017
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Under the current government, it’s unlikely that we’re going to see a 100% renewable energy target for Australia as a nation, but accomplishing this goal on a smaller scale is certainly possible. For example, if you could run your  business on 100% renewable energy – and save money in the process – would you? Likewise, […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for July 2017

July 24, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain mostly unchanged at about $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) between June and July 2017. 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 or additional costs, such as ground-mounting, […]

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Australia’s 5B launches ground-breaking ‘solar farm in a box’

July 20, 2017
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Sydney-based 5B has launched a pre-fabricated, easily deployed solution for solar farm construction that looks set to revolutionise medium to large-scale solar in Australia (and possibly the world). The company’s rather bold tagline for the MaverickⒸ units is ‘solar re-invented’. On Wednesday 19 July, 5B held a demonstration of the MaverickⒸ’s easy deployment outside Customs […]

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Introducing our new Home Solar & Battery Storage Systems Guide

July 19, 2017
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Over the years Solar Choice has published thousands of articles on the topic of solar power and (more recently) battery storage. Much of this knowledge is spread across various parts of our website (mainly our blog), so we’re recently taken some time to consolidate all the most relevant materials in one place. The result is […]

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Big improvements to our Solar & Battery Sizing & Payback Estimator tool

July 13, 2017
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It’s been well over a year since we first released our Solar & Battery Sizing & Payback Estimator tool in February 2016. Through its life so far, this handy tool has been visited by over 50,000 people trying to determine whether solar battery storage is worth the the money. As a first effort, this tool was […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – July 2017

July 12, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices for July remain mostly unchanged since June’s big shakeup, hovering at $1.34/W. 5kW solar systems continue to offer the best value for money, and Perth is still the city with the lowest average prices. Average solar PV system prices for July 2017 Prices in the table below include both the up-front […]

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Walnut Energy: Battery solutions for commercial, industrial & grid-scale applications

July 11, 2017
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Walnut Energy is an Australian developer of containerised battery storage solutions for medium to large-scale commercial and industrial premises – not to mention power plants and microgrids. Their battery storage products can be deployed in on-grid, edge-of-grid and off-grid applications to deliver a range of capabilities which include storing energy, providing black out protection, voltage […]

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Ampetus Super Lithium: Modular, cost-competitive battery bank for homes

July 10, 2017
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Ampetus Energy is an Australian battery storage system developer offering one of the most cost-effective battery products currently available: the Ampetus Super Lithium battery. The battery comes with a 10 year warranty that is extendable to 15 years, and can be installed ‘loose’ or as part of a fully-integrated cabinet package. The company aims for […]

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7 good reasons to install battery storage now

June 28, 2017
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There are now dozens of home battery storage product options to choose from on the Australian market. Prices are coming down quickly, and as electricity prices rise (as they are set to do in most states) batteries are beginning to look quite attractive. As a counterweight to our article about reasons to wait to install […]

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

June 27, 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 solar energy that they send 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, since we […]

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Industry responses to the Finkel Review

June 22, 2017
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Earlier this month CSIRO Chief Scientist Alan Finkel debuted his panel’s report into reform of Australia’s electricity sector. Officially known as Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market but widely referred to as ‘the Finkel review’, the report has stirred emotions across the energy sector – with some saying it goes […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for June 2017

June 21, 2017
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Average pricing for commercial-scale solar systems has dropped to $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) from $1.23/W following some shakeups in the Solar Choice installer network (see notes in our Residential Solar PV Price Index for this month). Average 10kW system prices sit at $1.27/W, 30kW system prices at $1.19/W, 50kW system prices at $1.20/W and 100kW solar […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – June 2017

June 21, 2017
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This month saw one of the sharpest drops to average system prices since Solar Choice first began keeping track in August 2012. Between May and June, the average system price dropped 23c from $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W) to $1.34/W. This sudden decrease stands in sharp contrast to the very gradual changes that we’ve seen over […]

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

June 7, 2017
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Why don’t retailers offer higher solar feed-in rates? Does it matter if feed-in tariff rates are low? What are some of the alternative approaches to conventional feed-in tariffs that are beginning to appear in the Australian market? These are important questions to ask when considering going solar in Australia these days. We take a look at […]

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Can you go solar with a south-facing roof in Australia?

June 5, 2017
South-facing roofs okay for solar?

Anyone who has looked into installing solar panels in Australia would have quickly learned that north is the best direction for solar panels. If north is not an option, northwest and northeast are generally the next best options, usually followed by due west and due east, depending on the circumstances. But what about south-facing roofs […]

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3kW solar PV systems: Pricing, output, and returns

June 5, 2017
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How much does a 3kW solar system cost in Australia, and how much energy can you expect it to produce? This article takes a look a these questions, as well as returns and payback periods for 3kW solar systems. (This article was originally published in 2012 – we’ve recently updated it to reflect how circumstances […]

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Add more solar panels or get batteries? A customer case study

June 1, 2017
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Being a nation-wide advice & comparison service for rooftop solar, Solar Choice regularly receives enquiries from customers from people all over the country. We recently received a call from a NSW-based customer approaching retirement; her query was about whether it would make more sense for her to install a 3kWh battery bank for around $5,000, or […]

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Peer-to-peer trading with solar & batteries: What to look for

May 31, 2017
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‘Peer-to-peer energy trading’ is a buzzword that is thrown around quite a bit in Australia as the number of solar & battery storage systems grows. What is peer-to-peer energy trading and how can it benefit you? We caught up with Localvolts founder Jitendra Tomar to gain a fuller understanding of the concept – and to […]

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Battery storage: Retrofit or new build with solar?

May 29, 2017
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If you’re considering installing battery storage for your grid-connected home, you probably find yourself in one of two situations: You’ve already got a solar PV system on your roof and want to add batteries to it (possibly with the addition of a few more solar panels), or You don’t have solar yet, so you’re going to install both […]

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Retrofitting battery storage to an existing solar PV system: What to consider

May 29, 2017
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Lots of Australian homes are expected to install battery storage in the coming years. Many of these homes will install brand new solar-plus-storage systems, but quite a few will be retrofitting batteries onto a pre-existing system. What do you need to keep in mind for a battery storage system retrofit? Considerations for retrofitting energy storage […]

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Melbourne solar panels: Compare system prices and installers

May 29, 2017
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Are solar panels still worth the investment in Melbourne? It would seem so: Tens of thousands of Victorian households have installed solar PV systems in the last few years alone, with 10-15% of homes in the Melbourne area now meeting at least part of their energy needs with the sun. This article takes a look at […]

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What is a “Tier 1” solar panel? Tier 2 or 3?

May 24, 2017
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When purchasing a solar system, the quality of the components to be used is frequently a key consideration. However, differentiating one brand from another may not be so simple, especially in the case of solar panels, of which there are hundreds of brands on the Australian market. The terms ‘Tier 1’, ‘Tier 2’, and ‘Tier […]

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

May 16, 2017
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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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3kW vs 5kW solar system: Which is a better investment?

May 15, 2017
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One of the first decisions a household considering solar will need to make is the capacity (in kilowatts, kW) of the system to be installed. Two of the most popular residential solar PV system sizes in Australia are 3kW and 5kW. Which system size is the better investment – and why? You’ll save the most […]

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Queensland solar panels: Compare installers and system prices

May 12, 2017
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Solar panels remain a popular investment option in Queensland thanks to low solar PV system prices and ample sunshine.  Today, both homes and businesses alike consider going solar as a way to save on energy bills. Instantly compare solar & battery system prices 3 reasons to go solar in Queensland There are essentially 3 reasons for the current level […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – May 2017

May 11, 2017
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Average solar system installation prices for May 2017 hover at the same level as April‘s – $1.57 per watt ($1.57/W). 5kW solar systems continue to offer the best value for money at an average of $1.25/W – or about $7,100 installed. Average solar PV system prices for May 2017 Prices in the table below include both the […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for May 2017

May 11, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain unchanged for the second month in a row, coming in at $1.23/W, according to pricing from the Solar Choice commercial installer network database. Average 10kW system prices sit at $1.32/W, 30kW system prices at $1.21/W, 50kW system prices at $1.23/W and 100kW solar system prices at $1.15/W. Commercial solar […]

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