From the category archives:

Installation advice

Commercial solar financing: Cash, loan, PPA or operating lease?

June 18, 2018
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It may come as a surprise to some that an up-front cash payment for a commercial solar system may not deliver the best possible financial outcome for a tax-paying business. In fact, in many instances it may be the least attractive choice. So what are the alternatives? When it comes to paying for a solar […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – June 2018

June 6, 2018
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Even with substantial changes to the database used to compile this month’s index, average battery storage system prices have moved only slightly from May. This seems to be an indication of the fixed hardware costs of battery storage systems (mainly the batteries themselves). Even as competition increases and more players come into the space offering […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for June 2018

June 6, 2018
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Changes in the composition of Solar Choice’s commercial solar installer network, combined with price updates from several companies have resulted in a slight upwards shift in average dollar per watt ($/W) prices for commercial solar systems – up about 3c/W from May 2018 to $1.19/W. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – June 2018

June 6, 2018
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Average residential solar system prices have dipped down to $1.32 per watt ($/W) this month on the back of several factors, including changes to the composition of the Solar Choice installer network and updated pricing from installers that we work with. While not a historic low (we’ve seen $1.30/W in December 2017), it is the […]

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Energy storage conference highlighted strong storage potential

June 1, 2018

Running 23-24 May in Adelaide, the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition (AES 2018) saw the biggest names and leading companies in energy storage come together to showcase new technologies and processes in the sector. This year’s conference had the largest number of conference delegates and exhibitors compared to past events, with delegates enjoying presentations […]

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Solar Choice brokers 15kW solar system for Dovecare Medical Centre

May 30, 2018
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Solar Choice Commercial has brokered a 15kW solar system for Dovecare Medical Centre in Doveton, Victoria. The project is one of a number of medical centres that Solar Choice has assisted in making an informed decision about going solar. Dovecare’s owner approached Solar Choice in early 2017 seeking a solar system to help combat the […]

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Solar power & water heating: Everything you need to know (almost)

May 30, 2018
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Everyone who has solar panels on their roof wants to make the most of the electricity they produce, and one of the biggest energy consumers for most households is their water heater. Using solar energy to heat water is in fact a better option (financially) than an investment in battery storage – and as such […]

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Sungrow PowCube battery storage system (Analysis & review)

May 29, 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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East or west orientation for solar panels? What to do when north is not an option

May 22, 2018

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

May 21, 2018
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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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Achieving grid stability with smart technologies

May 16, 2018

The problems currently facing the efficiency and stability of the gird are multilayered, and grid-scale energy storage technologies are helping to deliver solutions, according to Gianpaolo Giuliani, Global Sales Director, Energy Storage for GE Energy. Gianpaolo Giuliani has been with General Electric Company (GE) for almost 19 years and at the end of 2013 he […]

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Sanjeev Gupta talks energy storage

May 14, 2018

As solar and energy storage technologies become more competitive, they will revolutionise how energy is consumed globally, especially in Australia, says businessman Sanjeev Gupta, who has cemented his place as a champion of renewables in Australia following recent investments in the energy sector. Sanjeev Gupta is the Executive Chairman of the GFG Alliance, majority shareholder of SIMEC ZEN […]

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Residential solar PPA in Perth property development a ‘game changer’

May 14, 2018

A residential property development in Perth’s northern suburbs is offering home buyers a rooftop solar deal that promises to cut their daytime power costs by 40 per cent. The solar power purchase agreement, a first of its kind for Western Australia, is being trialled at Yolk Property Group’s Amble Estate in Girrawheen – a mix […]

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CHOICE launches energy savings service: Should you sign up?

May 11, 2018
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Consumer advocacy researchers at CHOICE have launched a service which they claim will help to ensure that customers never pay more than they have to for electricity. The program, called CHOICE Transformer, costs about $100 per year but saves their customers $505 on average – possibly much more. Once a customer is signed up, CHOICE […]

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Major free showcase of energy storage technologies

May 8, 2018

More than 60 leading companies in the Australian and global energy storage industry will come together at the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition (AES 2018) on 23-24 May to explore the innovative energy storage technologies currently in the market and look at what’s next for the sector. The exhibition will be held at the […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – May 2018

May 4, 2018
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This month saw the most significant changes to battery installation prices since we started keeping track last November, thanks in part to an influx of data from companies in the Solar Choice network as they update their details for our price comparisons. While April saw an average increase in prices due to the addition of […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for May 2018

May 3, 2018
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Commercial solar system prices continue their (very) gradual decline, according to pricing data from Solar Choice’s network of installers. The average indexed price continues to sit at around $1.16/W – down from about $1.23/W a year ago. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives available through the federal Renewable […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – May 2018

May 3, 2018
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Average residential solar system prices continue to sit at about $1.35 per watt ($/W) for the second month in a row, despite a number of pricing updates from installers in the network across the country. A basic 5kW solar system – one of the most popular sizes – costs just under $5,700 on average, while ‘premium’ and […]

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Hybrid & ‘battery-ready’ solar systems: What’s the go?

April 26, 2018

As more and more Australian households investigate (and install) solar battery storage, the more we get questions about battery-ready or hybrid solar & battery storage systems. What is a hybrid/battery-ready solar system – and is one right for your home? Important note: This article focuses on grid-connected solar systems, but some of the technologies discussed […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for April 2018

April 23, 2018
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Average commercial solar system prices continue to sit at about $1.17/W for the second month in a row, according to data from the Solar Choice installer network database. 100kW and 70kW system prices come in at around $1.10/W nationally, while 10kW & 30kW are between $1.20-$1.30/W. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – April 2018

April 23, 2018
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This month’s data saw changes only in the larger two size categories that we track (i.e. 11-15kWh and 16-20kWh), where average prices actually increased slightly, due partially to the addition of high-end products from sonnen. For the time being our ‘Are We There Yet?’ Meter continues to track only battery prices in the best case scenarios […]

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The biggest barrier to microgrids

April 13, 2018

The establishment of viable business cases for different applications is the main barrier to the continued uptake of microgrids in Australia, according to Greg Allen, Executive General Manager, Carnegie Clean Energy.  Mr Allen has 20 years experience in engineering, specifically in business development and operational experience in the industrial plant and equipment, and solar industries. At Carnegie Clean Energy […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – April 2018

April 12, 2018
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Average solar system prices again fell slightly between March and April, down to about $1.35 per watt, the lowest we’ve seen since the beginning of the year, but not as low as the record of $1.30/W set in December of 2017. For April 2018, 5kW systems are coming in at about $5,700 out-of-pocket on average for […]

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Powershop, Diamond & Energy Locals top 2018 Green Electricity Guide

March 28, 2018
Green Electricity Guide

Who is the greenest electricity retailer of them all – and how do you know? Fortunately, every year the Total Environment Centre commissions a report on the topic, the results of which are documented in its handy Green Electricity Guide, which ranks the companies from most environmentally friendly to the least so. Part of the […]

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5 interesting alternatives to the ‘Big 3’ electricity retailers

March 27, 2018
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If you want to reduce your electricity bills, the first place you should look is your choice of electricity retailer, which is the company that sells you electricity. Although some people are unaware of it, in most parts of Australia you’re not stuck with a monopolistic ‘utility’ – you can pick and choose from a […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – March 2018

March 26, 2018
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With another month of minimal changes to battery pricing in our database, we’ve used the opportunity to again alter the presentation of our ‘Our We There Yet’ Meter to focus on the situations where batteries are looking most attractive, as most of the figures for other situations are still out of the ballpark. In particular, […]

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15kW solar systems: A great size for homes & businesses (if you can fit one on your roof)

March 20, 2018
Kennards Hire 15kW

15kW solar systems are a great system size for homes with high levels of energy consumption or businesses with small to middling energy needs – provided that they have sufficient roof space to install one. This article takes you through (almost) everything you might want to know about 15kW solar systems, including how much space […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for March 2018

March 19, 2018
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Average prices for commercial-scale solar systems continue to hang around $1.17 per watt, down from about $1.21/W this time last year, and down from about $1.30/W in 2016. 100kW systems are averaging about $1.10/W, while 10kW systems come in at around $1.28/W. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – March 2018

March 14, 2018
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Average solar system prices dipped slightly between February and March 2018 – coming in at about $1.38 per watt as opposed to $1.40/W last month – according to the most recent data from Solar Choice’s installer network database. While average prices decreased for most capital cities, Sydney and Canberra saw slight increases, due in part to changes […]

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Solar power for doctors’ surgeries & medical centres: What’s the go?

March 8, 2018
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Doctors’ surgeries and medical centres are among the best candidates for rooftop solar in Australia. Surgeries tend to use the most electricity during daylight hours; without solar, they pay their electricity company (the ‘retailer’) a lot for each unit that they draw from the grid. But medical practices that go solar can meet a good […]

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Expanding an existing solar system with more panels and/or batteries? Know your options

March 7, 2018
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There are nearly 2 million Australian households with solar panels installed on their roofs. Many of these households would like to add more solar and/or batteries to their systems, but the best path to accomplishing this is unclear, as there are a number of technical approaches that they could potentially take. If you’re in this […]

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