23% of South Australian homes now have solar panels

A total of 23 per cent of all households in South Australia now produce their own solar energy, according to new data, with another 17,000 installing rooftop PV systems in 2014 – a rise of 11 per cent over the previous year.

In an update included in the annual results of Spark Infrastructure – owner of SA Power Networks – it was estimated that there is now more than 550MW of rooftop solar on 174,000 installations in the state.

The update also noted that rooftop solar had had the effect of shifting the state’s daily peak power period from late afternoon to 7-7.30pm.

“PV is shifting (the) peak, but also helping reduce stress on the network during heat-waves,” SA Power Networks said in its presentation. 

Interestingly, SA Power Networks also indicated that it would be moving to change its network charges to “demand” based, rather than consumption based, thus addressing the overall fall in demand caused by the big uptake in rooftop solar.

But executives also admitted this change could encourage home-owners to install battery storage – a trend that could provide a further benefit for the stabilisation of the network.

Electricity sales volumes

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson