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Solar Choice Staff

Is home solar battery storage worth it? (Jan 2018 update)

January 18, 2018
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Since 2015 Australians have been talking about home battery storage being on the cusp of financial viability. Are home batteries worth the investment in 2018? We’ve crunched the number for all of Australia’s capital cities to find out. This article was originally published in February 2017. We then had an August 2017 update, followed by […]

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Sungrow PowCube battery storage system (Analysis & review)

January 17, 2018
Sungrow PowCube battery

Inverter manufacturer Sungrow has recently introduced its PowCube battery storage system into the Australian market. The PowCube system consists of a Sungrow SH5K Hybrid inverter and up to 3x SPB4K8 battery units, which have been developed as part of a joint venture between Sungrow and battery manufacturer Samsung SDI. The PowCube system promises to be […]

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Solar power in Sydney, NSW: Compare prices & installers

January 16, 2018
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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 5-point guide to everything you need to know if you’re considering solar power for your Sydney home – including how Solar Choice can help you compare quotes. 5 good reasons to go solar […]

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Kilowatts vs kilowatt-hours in solar power & battery storage: Power, energy or capacity?

January 15, 2018
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If you’re shopping around for solar panels or a battery storage for your home, you’re undoubtedly come across the terms ‘kilowatt’ (abbreviated as kW) and kilowatt-hour (kWh). These terms might be a bit confusing at first, so we’ve written this article to explain these terms and make them easy to understand. Power vs energy (vs capacity) When […]

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Is home solar power still worth it in Australia in 2018?

January 11, 2018
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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?

January 10, 2018
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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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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2018

January 10, 2018
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Slight decreases in most capital cities and across most system sizes resulted in an overall average commercial solar system price of about $1.17/W – the lowest on record since Solar Choice began keeping track of commercial solar system prices in May 2014. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – January 2018

January 9, 2018
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In this month’s Solar PV Price Index, the average price for a ‘primary’/standard solar PV system offering remains almost unchanged from December, at about $1.31 per watt ($1.31/W). The average for a premium system was $1.56/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.93/W – both up slightly from last month. Average solar PV […]

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Solar Choice office closing dates for Christmas/New Years holiday period

December 21, 2017
Solar Choice Christmas

Solar Choice will be closing up shop for the holidays on Friday afternoon this week. Please note that our office will be closed for two weeks from Saturday 23 December, reopening on Monday 8 January 2018. During this period some members of our team will be (mostly) unavailable via email and phone, and our 1300 number […]

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Victoria to introduce variable rate solar feed-in tariff – as high as 29c/kWh during peak times

December 20, 2017
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The Victorian Essential Services Commission (ESC) has proposed a variable-rate feed-in tariff for solar & battery system owners in the state. A draft decision from the ESC on the matter puts the state’s minimum solar feed-in rate (for off-peak periods) at 7.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (7.2c/kWh), while households exporting solar to the grid at peak […]

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Always know which electricity plan is best for you: WATTever launches Deal Tracker service

December 14, 2017
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Choosing the right electricity retailer & plan is an essential first step in keeping power bills under control. For Australia’s nearly 2 million solar households, the question is arguably even more important because in most states different retailers offer different solar feed-in tariff rates. Unfortunately, higher feed-in tariff rates are sometimes used as ‘bait’ to […]

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

December 5, 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. Note that this article […]

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Solar energy self-consumption explained

December 4, 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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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for November 2017

November 29, 2017
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Average commercial solar system prices remain at about $1.20 per watt (after STC incentive and GST are applied) for the month of November, according to data from the Solar Choice network. While the larger system sizes (30kW, 50kW, 100kW) remained mostly unchanged, average prices for 10kW systems dropped slightly – from $1.34/W last month to $1.30/W this […]

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Stunning aerial imagery of Charles Sturt University’s 1.77MW solar array

November 24, 2017
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Charles Sturt University has this week officially opened its multi-roof, 1.77 megawatt (MW) solar system at its Wagga Wagga campus in south-west NSW, the tender for which was managed by Solar Choice in 2016. The solar arrays – which have been commissioned in stages throughout 2017 – are integrated into the university’s embedded electricity network, […]

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Inaugural Manly Solar Beach Hub Drinks

November 22, 2017
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On Thursday 16 November Solar Choice held its inaugural Manly Solar Beach Hub Drinks on our ‘board room’ balcony overlooking Manly Wharf and Harbour. The get together was an enjoyable gathering of northern beaches based industry characters and businesses, with over fifty attendees during the evening to celebrate Manly’s ever-expanding solar energy precinct – and […]

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New solution turns forklifts into commercial solar batteries

November 22, 2017
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RossiniEnergy has developed a device that transforms underused forklifts into energy storage systems for businesses. The solution, called Nuvolino, is already in commercial operation in Italy and France – and has recently made its debut in Australia. Energy storage: A powerful solution with just one problem The transition to a resilient, sustainable power generation will […]

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Is home solar power a scam?

November 21, 2017
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Because of our position in Australia’s solar industry as a comparison and advisory service, we get feedback and comments of all sorts. One of the most confounding that we have heard the broadsweeping statement that ‘solar power is a scam’. The fact alone that there are nearly 2 million homes around the country that have […]

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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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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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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 PostsNewly formed battery giant Fluence aims to take on Tesla (11 Jul, 2017) sonnenFlat: sonnen’s […]

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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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