From the category archives:

Installation advice

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

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

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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Introducing our Commercial Solar System Payback Calculator

February 28, 2018

Solar Choice has been managing tenders for commercial solar projects since 2010, during which time our engineering team has composed thousands of free Indicative Business Cases for commercial clients. On the back of this accumulated knowledge, we have decided to release a ‘lite’ version of our business case analysis engine to the world with our […]

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7kW solar systems: Prices, output & return on investment

February 28, 2018
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7kW solar systems, once relatively uncommon, have grown in popularity in Australia as the average solar system size has increased. A 7kW solar system could be the perfect match for an ordinary household with higher-than-average electricity consumption, or for a small business with accordingly small electricity needs. Back when Australia’s solar industry began booming around […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – February 2018

February 26, 2018
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This month we’ve changed up the style of the graphs that we use for our ‘Are We There Yet?’ Meter, and altered them to focus only on the ‘low’ end of the price spectrum. We’ve done this mainly for clarity’s sake but also because average payback periods for batteries are still very long for system […]

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Payback periods for commercial-scale solar PV systems: State by state

February 20, 2018
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There has never been a better time for Australian businesses to invest in commercial solar power. Last year Solar Choice analysed electricity bills & meter data to generate free indicative solar business cases for nearly 300 businesses, ranging from schools to farms to shopping centres to car dealerships to strata units to doctors’ surgeries (to […]

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100kW solar PV systems: Compare prices and installer options

February 20, 2018
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100kW solar systems are among the most popular commercial solar system sizes in Australia, as this size is the cutoff point for up-front incentives through the federal government (larger systems also receive a benefit, but it is ongoing). This article provides an overview of most of the key points that businesses need to know if […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for February 2018

February 19, 2018
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Average commercial solar system prices continue to hover at around $1.17 per watt ($1.17/W) for systems between 10kW and 100kW that we track in our monthly index. Please note that we will soon be publishing general information about pricing for systems above this threshold (i.e. LGC projects greater than 100kW) in the near future. Commercial […]

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‘Reposit First’ monitoring system is here! (Solartopia #10)

February 15, 2018

I am very happy to announce that I’ve finally got the first of three energy management/monitoring systems for my home up and fully functioning. Reposit Power have sent one of their ‘Reposit First’ units my way; it was professionally installed in about 2 hours on Monday this week. (Although my carbonTRACK system is fully installed, […]

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Tips for going solar with a fiddly, inner city rooftop

February 15, 2018
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If you take a look at the APVI’s Solar Status Map, a curious thing you’ll notice is that the penetration rates for rooftop solar in Australia’s most densely populated capital cities (primarily Sydney & Melbourne) are not as high as you’d expect. While the national average is over 15%, solar PV penetration in these inner city […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – February 2018

February 14, 2018
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Average solar system prices (on ‘primary’ offerings) have slipped slightly upwards since the beginning of the year, coming in at around $1.40/W – as opposed to about $1.30/W in December – due primarily to increased prices in Hobart & Melbourne. Average pricing for ‘premium’ and ‘microinverter’ systems, meanwhile, has dropped to $1.49/W and $1.80/W, respectively. Average solar […]

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Solar power in Canberra, ACT: Compare prices & installers

February 12, 2018
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Canberra, ACT is a great place to go solar in Australia, thanks primarily to the ever-improving economics of solar panel installations. This article takes a look at the some of the key considerations for going solar in Canberra, including system pricing, energy yields and incentives available to system owners. It also touches on battery storage. Take […]

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Solar power in Hobart, Tasmania: Compare prices & installers

February 12, 2018
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Like the rest of Australia, solar power system prices in Hobart have been on a downwards trajectory for several years now, making solar panels an option to consider for anyone living in Tasmania’s capital. This article is an overview of what you need to consider when when shopping for a solar system in Tasmania, including […]

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Solar power in Adelaide, SA: Compare prices & installers

February 12, 2018
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Adelaide, SA is a great place for solar power – and did you know that 30-40% of homes in the Adelaide area have solar panels installed on their roofs? With the cost of solar power at historic lows and electricity rates higher than ever, more and more Adelaide homes and businesses are making the move […]

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Solar power in Sydney, NSW: Compare prices & installers

February 12, 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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How do lithium batteries work? [Animated Infogaphic]

February 8, 2018
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Lithium has become the chemistry type of choice for grid-connect home solar battery storage in Australia (although lead acid still rules the off-grid space – for now). There are actually several different types of lithium batteries that are commercially available now, but the main two are lithium nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) and lithium iron phosphate […]

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Backup power with home solar battery storage: What are your options?

February 7, 2018
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Home battery storage is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, and one of the most in-demand features is backup power, which provides electricity to a home even when the grid is down. In this article we take a look at the main approaches to battery storage that you’ll come across as you shop around for a […]

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Two improvements to our Home Solar & Battery Calculator

February 1, 2018
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Following a major revamp of our Solar & Battery Storage Sizing & Payback Estimator midway through last year, we’ve just made a couple more significant improvements based on feedback from users. While these changes mean our calculator is now just a bit taller, it also means a higher level of sophistication and accuracy in results. Not […]

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Solar battery storage in Sydney: Know your options

January 30, 2018
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Solar battery storage is becoming an increasingly attractive and viable option for homes in Sydney, NSW. This article examines the different situations in which someone living in Sydney may consider installing home solar batteries, and give a detailed list of options for each of these situations. Getting educated about battery storage in Sydney Solar Choice has […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – January 2018

January 29, 2018
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After some significant additions to our battery pricing database (including some ‘recommended retail price’ (RRP) data from manufacturers), average ‘full’ battery system prices (i.e. including inverter) fell to about $1,580 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), with lows sticking around at $870/kWh. Average ‘battery only’ prices came in at just under $1,000/kWh, while lows were around $700. This […]

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What are the best cities for home solar battery storage? (January 2018 update)

January 24, 2018
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Having just published an article on the state of Australia’s battery storage market at the beginning of 2018 (recently updated), we decided we would endeavour to shed a bit more light on payback period differences between each capital city. Which cities have the best conditions for home solar battery storage? We’ve ranked them below (with an […]

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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

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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