Commercial Solar Power in Sydney NSW – Prices, Output and Returns

Sydney Maritime Musuem commercial solar panel install eArche 235kW

Solar power is an attractive investment option and great way to save money for businesses in Sydney and across the rest of New South Wales. This article provides an overview of commercial solar power in Sydney, as well as the rest of NSW.

What is the typical return on investment for Commercial Solar Projects?

Based on historical sunlight data from BoM, you will receive 3.87 kilowatt hours (kWhs) on average per day for each kW of solar installed on your roof. This figure is higher in summer and lower in winter, and depends on the tilt and orientation that the solar panels are installed. Using these averages see the below table which shows how a typical commercial solar panel system will perform.

Solar System SizeAverage Daily Generation (kWh)Annual Solar Generation (kWh)Assumed Rate Paid by BusinessAnnual Savings (assumes 70% self-consumption)
10kW3914,126$0.25 per kWh$2,472
39kW15155,089$0.20 per kWh$7,713
70kW27198,879$0.15 per kWh$10,382
100kW387141,255$0.12 per kWh$11,865
500kW1,935706,275$0.10 per kWh$49,439

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.

Request a free solar business case and compare leading commercial installers


Prices for Commercial Solar Panels in Sydney

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).

The below table shows average pricing for commercial solar installations across each capital city. This is published and updated monthly in Solar Choice’s commercial price index

Adelaide, SA$11,040$30,700$53,550$72,890$95,490
Brisbane, QLD$11,890$31,190$53,670$74,970$97,090
Canberra, ACT$9,310$26,800$49,270$70,600$96,510
Hobart, TAS$13,110$33,250$57,660$78,040$94,020
Melbourne, VIC$12,550$31,360$53,490$72,150$96,390
Sydney, NSW$12,160$29,000$51,770$68,730$93,660
Perth, WA$14,170$33,730$61,040$76,440$94,150


Solar Choice keeps track of commercial solar system prices for capital cities around Australia noting a ~40% decline in the cost of a fully installed commercial solar PV system in the last 5 years. 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.

Commerical Solar Prices

Low maintenance investment

Solar systems – unless they are perched on solar trackers – generally have no moving parts and require very little in the way of maintenance or inputs once they are installed and functioning. In most cases the natural tilt of the panels will enable them to be cleaned in heavy rainfall, so it is not worth the cost of getting solar panels cleaned. Generally speaking it is worth getting an electrical inspection every 3-5 years to ensure all components are performing well.

Tax benefits for businesses with solar

ABN holders may be able to claim depreciation and GST credit on solar system energy yields. There are also tax benefits through lease agreements and Solar Power Purchase Agreements which enable the asset to be off balance sheet.

Financing for Commercial Solar Systems in Sydney

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

Power Purchase Agreement
  • 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 kWh

7 to 30 years

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

Popular commercial solar system sizes

The most common sizes used in commercial solar installations are 10kW, 30kW, 50kW and 100kW. Solar systems can of course also be any size in between, and may also be much larger. See some examples of below of the hundreds of Commercial Solar project Solar Choice has assisted with over the last 12 years.

ISCAR solar PV system 30kw
30kW solar system on the roof of Iscar headquarters, Sydney. (Tender managed by Solar Choice.)

50kW solar PV system at Crescent Head

50kW solar installation at Crescent Head Country Club in Crescent Head, NSW (part of the Solar in Clubs program. Tender managed by Solar Choice.)

Interested in solar power for your business in Sydney or NSW?

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 Sydney and the rest of the state.

Among the benefits of choosing Solar Choice Commercial to run your commercial solar project tender are:

Access to Solar Choice’s online Tender Management Platform, which provides instant market transparency for many of the leading commercial installers in Australia across a range of sizes (as small as 1.5kW to over 1 megawatt).

A free, indicative business case analysis based on your historic electricity bills.

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.


© 2016 Solar Choice Pty Ltd


  1. I am the chair of a body corporate which has some electrical issues within the building. We are currently engaged with an electrical consultant to discuss the issues within the building and are looking at using solar as a solution to provide adequate power to the units. There are 15 apartments in total.

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