Solar power is an attractive investment option and great way to save money for businesses in Brisbane and across the rest of Queensland. This article provides an overview of commercial solar power in Brisbane and Queensland.
Typical performance of a commercial solar system in Brisbane
Based historical sunlight irradiance data from the Bureau of Meteorology, a solar PV system in Brisbane will generate roughly 4.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per kilowatt of capacity per day on average throughout the year (with more int he summer months and less in the winter).
This means that a 10kW solar system will generate about 45kWh of energy per day, while a 100kW solar system will generate about 450kWh per day. Actual energy yields will vary depending on location, orientation & tilt angle and components used.
|Solar System Size||Average Daily Generation (kWh)||Annual Solar Generation (kWh)||Assumed Rate Paid by Business||Annual Savings (assumes 70% self-consumption)|
|10kW||45||16,425||$0.20 per kWh||$2,644|
|39kW||175||64,058||$0.15 per kWh||$8,071|
|70kW||315||114,975||$0.13 per kWh||$12,877|
|100kW||450||164,250||$0.10 per kWh||$14,947|
|500kW||2,250||821,250||$0.08 per kWh||$63,236|
Solar Choice’s engineers can review your energy bills and provide a detailed summary of the optimal system size, expected savings through the life of the project and a quote comparison from leading installers. Click the link below to get started.
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Commercial solar system pricing in Brisbane and Queensland
Solar Choice keeps track of commercial solar system prices for capital cities around Australia. For a full breakdown of cost trends by city and system size – visit our Commercial PV Price Index articles. The data used to create the table is sourced from our installer network database, which includes about 100 installers from across Australia.
Note pricing in below table includes:
- A full turnkey system including all parts and labour
- The federal government rebate (STCs)
Looking at the history of prices in Australia we observe a ~40% decline in the cost of a fully installed commercial solar PV system in the last 5 years. This has been driven by significant decreases in the costs of solar equipment as technology has improved and greater scale in production has been built. There are still some improvements on the horizon in the efficiency of solar panels, but likely that will be softened by the decreasing federal rebate in Australia which scales back annually and phases out in 2030.
Figure 1 – Extract from Solar Choice Commercial Price Index
Connecting Commercial Solar Systems with Energex and Ergon
Systems under 30kVA inverter capacity
For small commercial solar systems the application process is streamlined. To qualify for this cheaper and faster process the commercial solar system must not exceed 30kVA in inverter capacity. That means you can oversize the Solar Panels up to 39.9kW in capacity while still using a 30kVA inverter. A qualified installer can complete this application process on your behalf.
Based on Solar Choice’s experience allow 10 business days to receive invitation to connect
Systems over 30kVA inverter capacity
The cost to install systems with an inverter capacity over 30kVA increases per watt in Queensland. Ergon and Energex (who own the ‘poles and wires’ across the state) introduce an additional requirement to install a Grid Protection Unit (GPU) for all large solar projects. The GPUs are a necessary component help the network providers manage the voltage in their network but provide no benefit directly to the solar system owner. For larger systems there may be alternate requirements like export limitation and SCADA which are assessed on a case by case basis.
Based on Solar Choice’s experience allow 4 to 8 weeks to receive invitation to connect
What you need to get right in a Commercial Solar Project
Commercial solar projects follow more rigorous procurement processes and it is important to ensure you have a robust approach that will lead to a great solar investment.
Independent Financial Model
While the environmental benefits of solar projects are clear, most commercial solar projects come down to an evaluation of the financial attractiveness of the project. The financial model for these projects should be developed by experienced photovoltaic engineers who are not trying to sell you a particular solution. Solar Choice offers a free service where any business can receive a customised Solar business case developed agnostically to products, brands and financing arrangements.
Get a range of quotes from qualified, reputable solar installers
The best way to ensure you getting a competitive and innovation solution for your project is to engage a number of high quality solar installers with relevant experience. We often hear about projects going wrong where installers are selected on the wrong criteria and insufficient due diligence has been completed on the winning contractor. Solar Choice has developed a pre-vetted network around Australia since 2008 including all major, reputable commercial installers – talk to us about running a tender for your project.
Understanding the federal rebates
Commercial solar prices are at all-time lows in Australia, partially due to the federal government solar subsidies available through Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET). For solar systems up to 100kW of Solar PV, the RET provides an up-front incentive in the form of Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs). For systems larger than 100kW, the RET provides an ongoing incentive (until 2030) in the form of Large-scale Technology Certificates (LGCs).
Examples of Commercial Solar Projects brokered by Solar Choice
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