Best Solar PV power system deals Darwin, NT

Find the best solar power PV system deals in Darwin, NT

by Solar Choice Staff on March 7, 2012

in Solar and Renewable Energy Policy,State Government solar feed-in tariffs,NT

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 PowerWater means great returns on investment for those who find the best deal on solar power.

This article covers the basics of what you need to know about going solar in Darwin.

Why go solar in Darwin?

Running on the sun in the Top End

Although it probably goes without saying, it’s worth mentioning that solar panels only produce electricity during daylight hours; the exact amount of energy produced on a given day depends on the intensity and duration of the sunshine.

The average Darwin roof will receive an average of about 5.9 hours of ‘peak sun’ per day on average over the course of a year, according to figures from the Bureau of Meteorology. This is one of the highest rates of solar insolation anywhere in Australia.

The amount of energy actually produced by your solar system will depend on the size of the system that you have installed and its orientation. The table below provides an indicative guide as to how much energy various, popular residential system sizes would produce per day (averaged throughout the year) in good conditions.

Estimated solar energy production in Darwin, NT

(Select system sizes)

System size Est. daily energy production in kWh

(Assumes 80% system efficiency)

 1.5kW  7
3kW  14
5kW   23.6
10kW  47


Mark Testimonial - 7.6kW solar PV systemWhich way should you tilt your panels in Darwin?

Because Darwin is in the tropics, the sun is sometimes to the north (‘winter’ months) and sometimes to the south (‘summer’ months) of a given building. For maximum overall solar yields, this means that a near-flat tilt angle is the best, but thanks to ample sunlight and the PowerWater’s high feed-in rates, virtually all other orientations and tilt angles are acceptable as well (as long as there’s no major shading, that is).

Special considerations

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. Learn more about them here.

Use your solar energy or send it back to the grid?

Darwin is the last capital city in the country to still have a state-backed solar feed-in incentive scheme. A ‘1-for-1’ solar feed-in tariff is available through local utility PowerWater for systems up to about 5kW, meaning that anyone who owns a solar system will receive a bill credit equivalent to their retail electricity price for each unit of solar energy that they send into the grid. In terms of energy bill savings, this program effectively turns the PowerWater grid/network into a collective battery storage system for solar system owners – regardless of whether you manage to ‘self-consume‘ your solar energy or send it into the grid, you will save the same amount of money.

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 PowerWater 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.

Explore costs & return on investment with our calculator tool

How much can you save with a solar system in Darwin?

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© 2017 Solar Choice Pty Ltd 

Top image via Wikipedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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