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Solar Choice Staff

GreenPower vs rooftop solar (vs both)

November 7, 2017
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GreenPower is an attractive option for Australian households who want to support renewable energy production. Is opting for GreenPower a better idea than installing rooftop solar? In this article we take a look at how both options support renewables uptake, and examine the pros and cons of opting for one, the other – or both. […]

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Upsolar solar panels in Australia

October 31, 2017
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Upsolar is a leading international developer and producer of quality solar photovoltaic (PV) modules at competitive prices. The company was founded in 2006 in Hong Kong, and has offices in Australia, the Americas and Europe. Upsolar solar modules: One of the best ‘quality-to-cost’ ratios on the market Upsolar develops and produces solar photovoltaic (PV) modules […]

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How much money can you save on power bills with a Tesla Powerwall 2?

October 26, 2017
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Previously we’ve looked at the question of payback periods for home battery systems such as Tesla’s Powerwall 2, LG Chem’s RESU and Alpha ESS’s Storion Eco. These articles focused primarily on the investment case for installing a battery bank (usually with a 5kW solar system) and looked at meaningful numbers like ‘payback period’ and ‘internal […]

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East or west orientation for solar panels? What to do when north is not an option

October 26, 2017

Determining the orientation and tilt angle of your solar power generation system is one of the most important considerations in designing your solar power system. As we have mentioned before, in the southern hemisphere, due north is usually the best orientation for panels. But not everyone has a perfectly oriented roof. When your two best options […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for October 2017

October 26, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices stay steady at about $1.20 per watt for the month of October. The average price of a 100kW system comes in at about $1.10 per watt – or about $110,000 for a fully installed system (after STC incentive and GST are applied). Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – October 2017

October 17, 2017
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Average solar system prices hold stable for the third month in a row, with the average price per watt ($/W) for an residential solar system installation coming in at about $1.44/W. The most popular and best value solar system size is still 5kW, costing about $1.14/W or $5,700 for a fully installed system. (Due to […]

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

October 16, 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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Australia now has over 6 gigawatts (!) of small-scale solar after record August

September 14, 2017
98MW solar installed Aug 2017

Without googling the answer, do you know what the capacity of the largest conventional power plant in Australia is? I couldn’t, so I did google it – and now I can tell you that the answer is 3.25 gigawatts (GW). Unsurprisingly, it’s a coal plant: The Loy Yang Power Station in southeastern Victoria. Loy Yang […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – September 2017

September 5, 2017
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Average residential solar system prices are roughly on par with last month’s figures – about $1.43 per watt for a fully installed system. 5kW systems continue to offer the best value for money, at about $1.13/W, or about $5,600. Average solar PV system prices for September 2017 Prices in the table below include both the […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for September 2017

September 5, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices continue to hover around $1.20 per watt for the month of September, following an STC-driven increase between July and August. 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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Export control & grid protection for commercial solar installations from BCJ controls

September 4, 2017
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BCJ Controls is a solar technology company set up by ex-utility industrial electricians. Between them they have significant experience in electrical grid protection and switchboard building, as well as dealing with utilities on a day-to-day basis. When you have a large solar system connecting to the grid, the local power network generally requires special precautions […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for August 2017

August 24, 2017

August saw a slight increase in average commercial solar system prices as compared to July, due to a combination of price modifications due to changes in the value of STCs as well as slight changes to the composition of our network of installers. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

August 23, 2017
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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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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 PostsPro-battery changes to energy market rules delayed to 2021 (5 Sep, 2017) How SunTenants bringing […]

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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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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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