Commercial solar power in Melbourne & VIC

Nat Golf Club 100kW solar array aerial view

Solar power is an attractive investment option and great way to save money for businesses in Melbourne and across the rest of Victoria. This article provides an overview of commercial solar power in Melbourne and other parts of the state. The above image is an example of the aesthetic black panel installation at The National Golf Club on the Mornington Peninsula (developed by Solar Choice).

What are the benefits of commercial solar power in Melbourne?

Looking at long term averages of sunlight irradiance from the Bureau of Meteorology we can see that Melbourne receives roughly 4.18 sun hours per day on average throughout the year. That means that for each kilowatt (kW) of installed solar panels your solar PV system will produce 4.18 kilowatt-hours (kWh) on average per day before typical efficiency losses. Inputting that information into our model we have generated some indicative numbers on what different size solar systems can help your business save.

Note actual energy yields will vary depending on location, orientation & tilt angle and components used.

Solar System SizeAverage Daily Generation (kWh)Annual Solar Generation (kWh)Assumed Rate Paid by Business*Annual Savings (assumes 70% self-consumption)
10kW35.5312,968$0.25 per kWh$2,269
39kW138.56750,577$0.20 per kWh$7,081
70kW248.7190,779$0.18 per kWh$11,438
100kW355.3129,685$0.15 per kWh$13,617
500kW1776.5648,423$0.12 per kWh$54,467

*Solar can directly offset retail electricity rates, network consumption charges and AEMO and environmental charges

The above table is an indicative guide only. Solar Choice offers a free service to assess business’ electricity bills indepenently and make a recommendation on the optimal system size and design. Click the link below to get started.

 

Request a free solar business case and compare leading commercial installers

 

Commercial solar system pricing in Melbourne & Victoria

Solar power has never been more affordable in Australia, thanks in part to federal government subsidies available through Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET). For solar systems up to 100kW in capacity, 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).

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.

Indicative Solar Power Prices (Inc. STC Rebate & GST)
System Size10kW30kW50kW70kW100kW
Melbourne, VIC$13,190$32,270$57,520$75,650$97,430

 

The Solar Choice Price Index which tracks back to 2014 highlights a ~40% decline in the cost of a fully installed commercial solar PV system in the last 5 years as we’ve seen the underlying cost and efficiency of solar products improve significantly.

 

Commerical Solar Prices

 

Compare quotes from leading commercial installers via the Solar Choice online portal

 

Low maintenance investment

Solar systems generally have few moving parts and require little in the way of regular maintenance. Once installed, the lifespan of a solar system is 25-30 years. Inverters are typically replaced as a matter of course every 10-15 years, while the panels themselves only require a periodic electrical inspection (recommended every 5 years) and are usually self-cleaned during normal rainfall if not installed flat on a roof-space.

Tax benefits for businesses with solar

ABN holders may be able to claim depreciation and GST credit on solar system energy yields. Through financing packages, generally the repayments can be tax deductible meaning that nearly all solar project can be cash flow positive from day one – the loan repayents are less than the savings that are made on your electricity bill.

 

Financing for Commercial Solar Systems in Melbourne

There are a number of different ways to finance a solar system in Australia which can provide a cash flow positive solution from day one with no upfront costs. The 3 most common options are detailed in the below table.

TypeDescriptionTypical Terms
Chattel Mortgage
  • Solar system becomes colateral for loan
  • Full ownership (and depreciation benefits) from day one
3% to 6%2 to 10 years
Rent to Own (operating lease)
  • Solar system is ‘rented’ to business for certain term meaning repayments are deductible
  • Current tax rules deem that asset is on balance sheet
  • Business makes an offer to buy at end of term (usually 2 months of repayments) to acquire asset
3% to 6%2 to 10 years
Solar Power Purchase Agreement

(PPA)

  • Business pays only for the energy produced by solar at a lower rate than what they are paying their retailer
  • Responsibility to maintain the asset remains with ppa provider through term of agreement
  • Only financing method where asset is off balance sheet
  • Learn more about PPAs and see an example
8c per kWh to 15c per kWh7 to 30 years

Read our balanced assessment of the pros and cons of each financing method and a detailed example.

 

Interested in solar power for your business in Melbourne or elsewhere in Victoria?

Solar Choice Commercial has managed tenders for hundreds of medium- to large-scale solar projects since 2009, and is well-positioned to find the best-value solar PV systems for commercial clients in Melbourne and the rest of the state.

 

Request a free solar business case and compare leading commercial installers

Since 2008 Solar Choice has consulted with over 3,000 businesses around Australia and helped develop over 800MW solar commercial and solar farm projects.

 

Examples of Commercial Solar Tenders Managed By Solar Choice

You can see a range of photos for a range of commercial-scale solar projects that Solar Choice has brokered or developed on our Commercial Tenders Management page and below.

300kW West Gippsland Hospital Victoria

300kW solar array for West Gippsland Hospital in Gippsland, Victoria (Tender managed by Solar Choice.)

NGC solar array 2

Aesthetic 100kW solar power system for National Golf Club in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria (Tender managed by Solar Choice.)

Natex Engineering 100kW

100kW solar array for Natex Engineering in Melbourne, Vic (Tender managed by Solar Choice.)

Melbourne Zoo aerial view

100kW solar array across three buildings at Melbourne Zoo (Tender managed by Solar Choice.)

Mildura Early Learning Centre full array

40kW + 30kW rooftop solar installations for early learning centres in Mildura, Victoria (Tender managed by Solar Choice.)

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