Solar Choice News

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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Australia’s grid-scale storage boom, mapped

February 15, 2018
Energy storage boom

A report published today by the Climate Council had some pretty impressive stats on home battery storage uptake in Australia – you can read about that on One Step Off the Grid. But the report also had a lot to say about the growing number of large scale energy storage projects being rolled out across […]

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Home battery storage uptake tripled in 2017 in Australia

February 15, 2018
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As rooftop solar continues to boom in Australia, a new report suggests household battery storage could soon follow suit, with uptake predicted to have tripled in 2017, and costs of the key technology expected to halve in less than seven years. The report, published by the Climate Council on Thursday, puts estimates on home battery […]

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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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South Australia unveils another big battery, this time with solar

February 5, 2018
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South Australia is set to get another “big battery”, this time a 21MW/26MWh storage system next to a new 44MW solar farm to be constructed by Tilt Renewables. The project, which will be situated next to the Snowtown 1 wind farm in the state’s mid-north, was announced by the Labor state government, hot on the […]

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7 things to know about Tesla’s world’s biggest virtual power plant

February 5, 2018
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The 250MW Tesla virtual power plant in South Australia unveiled on Sunday is not just the world’s biggest of its kind, it’s a huge leap towards the future grid, where around half of electricity demand will be sourced from local generation, from houses and businesses. But how exactly will it to work? Here’s some of […]

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Liddell, the coal plant that “predates colour TV”, trips again

January 31, 2018
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The National Electricity Market’s “summer of trips” continued this week, with a unit at AGL Energy’s Liddell coal power plant in New South Wales dropping out on Tuesday afternoon, and taking around 400MW of generation capacity with it. Two units out at Liddell. That’s equivalent to all 3 un-mothballed gas backup plants that AEMO bought […]

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Victorian electricity prices on the rise in 2018

January 31, 2018
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Whilst most Australian’s have been enjoying a break at the end of 2017 and in the first weeks of 2018, Victorian electricity retailers have been busy updating their pricing. It will come as no surprise that electricity prices have gone up. While not quite as dramatic in absolute terms as the 15-20% increase that hit […]

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Plunging costs make solar, wind and battery storage cheaper than coal

January 30, 2018
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Wind and solar power costs appear to have crossed a new threshold, after a US energy tender suggested “firm and dispatchable” renewables were now cheaper than existing coal plants. The stunning revelation, quietly released over the Christmas/New Year break, came from Xcel Energy in Colorado, which last year put out a “request for proposals” (RFP) […]

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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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Trump’s solar panel tariffs: Impact may not be huge for US homes

January 28, 2018
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Given the intense interest that the news of a new import tariff for solar panels in the USA recently announced by the Trump administration has received even here in Australia, we reached out for comment on the topic to our American friends at PowerScout. As a comparison service for solar that spans the US, PowerScout […]

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Tesla big battery moves from show-boating to money-making

January 24, 2018
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Since its launch in December, the Tesla big battery, formally known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve, has mostly been performing a mixture of tests, trials and just a little showboating. The latter has included going from zero to 100MW in 140 milliseconds, jumping in ahead of contracted generators to arrest falls in frequency as big […]

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Australia on track to meet Renewable Energy Target – 3 years ahead of schedule

January 24, 2018
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The Clean Energy Regulator has announced that the 2020 renewable energy target is effectively met – three years ahead of schedule – with some 6,500MW of large scale wind and solar projects already built, under construction, or committed. The announcement by the CER confirms separate analysis by private consulting firms that suggest that the much-reduced […]

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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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Solar installs through the roof, as Australians deliver record growth

January 18, 2018
Sunwiz solar growth 2018

Extraordinary figures continue to roll in from the year that was for renewable energy in Australia, but easily the most outstanding so far are the numbers – and “eye watering charts” – that have just come in on national solar PV installations for 2017. The latest tally from PV market analysts SunWiz has revealed a […]

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Second Tesla “big battery” to power Victorian farm

January 15, 2018
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French renewables developer Neoen has once again selected US battery maker Tesla to partner with it on another ground-breaking Australian project – the construction of a wind farm and battery storage facility that will help power a regional Victoria farming business. The wind and battery project, first flagged in mid-2017, will pair the 204MW Bulgana […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for January 2018

January 10, 2018
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Slight decreases in most capital cities and across most system sizes resulted in an overall average commercial solar system price of about $1.17/W – the lowest on record since Solar Choice began keeping track of commercial solar system prices in May 2014. Commercial solar system prices (10kW-100kW) All prices in the tables below include incentives […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – January 2018

January 9, 2018
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In this month’s Solar PV Price Index, the average price for a ‘primary’/standard solar PV system offering remains almost unchanged from December, at about $1.31 per watt ($1.31/W). The average for a premium system was $1.56/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.93/W – both up slightly from last month. Average solar PV […]

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A look back at 2017: A year that smashed multiple Aussie solar records

December 21, 2017
Solar records 2017

2017 has been a year of records for Australian solar power, and the year’s not even quite finished yet. Here are some of the highlights of the 10 records that have been broken in 2017 (some of them multiple times). 1. Fastest time to reach 1GW of commissioned solar in a calendar year. There’s only […]

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Victoria to introduce variable rate solar feed-in tariff – as high as 29c/kWh during peak times

December 20, 2017
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The Victorian Essential Services Commission (ESC) has proposed a variable-rate feed-in tariff for solar & battery system owners in the state. A draft decision from the ESC on the matter puts the state’s minimum solar feed-in rate (for off-peak periods) at 7.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (7.2c/kWh), while households exporting solar to the grid at peak […]

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2018: When battery storage will get a grip on the grid

December 20, 2017
Battery forecast

A new forecast on battery storage growth in Australia has predicted an additional 800MWh of utility scale batteries installed or in construction by this time next year, and almost as much battery installed behind the meter by the end of 2018. The forecast comes from Ray Wills: a Western Australian energy expert and “futurist” with […]

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AEMO plans for future (clean) grid, with no mention of base-load

December 20, 2017
AEMO no baseload

The Australian Energy Market Operator has effectively thrown down the gauntlet to the federal government on its climate and technology assumptions, with the first installment of its mini white paper on energy, the Integrated System Plan (ISP). In a discussion paper released on Tuesday, AEMO says the future grid will be dominated by wind, solar, […]

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Always know which electricity plan is best for you: WATTever launches Deal Tracker service

December 14, 2017
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Choosing the right electricity retailer & plan is an essential first step in keeping power bills under control. For Australia’s nearly 2 million solar households, the question is arguably even more important because in most states different retailers offer different solar feed-in tariff rates. Unfortunately, higher feed-in tariff rates are sometimes used as ‘bait’ to […]

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Rooftop solar: Australia’s greatest opportunity – and its greatest risk

December 14, 2017
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The huge amounts of rooftop solar PV being installed on Australian homes and businesses is rapidly becoming one of the grid’s greatest assets, but they could also represent one of its biggest risks. Australian Energy Market Operator principal Dr Jenny Riesz has warned that if Australia’s tens of gigawatts of distribute PV are not properly […]

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Resisting energy transition like trying to resist internet: AEMO chief

December 13, 2017
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Trying to resist the global transition to renewable energy-based grids is like trying to stop the internet, the chief of the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned. In an interview with RenewEconomy, AEMO CEO Audrey Zibelman said Australia would be a world leader in the transition to a cheaper, smarter, cleaner and more reliable grid, […]

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Battery Storage Price Index – December 2017

December 13, 2017
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Welcome to the second edition of Solar Choice’s Battery Storage Price Index – the companion to our Solar PV Price Index, which covers solar system installation prices around Australia. The aim of the Battery Storage Price Index is to assist you in determining whether batteries are right for your home. Average battery system prices for […]

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Commercial Solar PV Price Index for December 2017

December 12, 2017
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This month’s Commercial Solar PV Price Index sees the introduction of 70kW solar systems for the first time (a long overdue addition). The average cost of installing a commercial solar system in Australia currently sits at around $1.19 per watt ($1.19/W) – nominally less than last month‘s figure of $1.20/W and a modest improvement over […]

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Residential Solar PV Price Index – December 2017

December 12, 2017
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The average price per watt ($/W) for primary offerings was $1.30 this month – down slightly from November and a new low since we began tracking prices in 2012. The average for a premium system was $1.54/W, while the average for a microinverter system was $1.86/W. December marks the second month using our new Solar […]

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Australia hits new rooftop solar high as homes and businesses get smart – and go big

December 7, 2017
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Australian homes and businesses installed a record monthly total of 120MW of rooftop solar in November, beating the all-time high set in June 2012 and rounding off what is now certain to be a record breaking year – and this time without the help of premium feed-in tariffs. So what is driving this new solar […]

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ATA launches free home solar and battery sizing tool

December 6, 2017
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Australian homes looking to install solar and battery storage systems can now access a free-to-use tool offering them key guidance on the system size, expected energy bill savings and payback times. The online service – available here – was launched by not-for-profit Alternative Technology Association (ATA) on Tuesday. It aims to bridge a knowledge gap […]

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ARENA still has $700m to spend, to bring down cost of storage

November 29, 2017
ARENA battery portfolio

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has tipped 2018 to be a big year for large-scale energy storage, as the Agency focuses its efforts and remaining funds on the integration of large-scale solar and wind. In an address to the Large Scale Solar and Storage conference in Sydney on Monday, ARENA investment director Dan Sturrock said […]

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