Nearly 3000 new small-scale rooftop solar system installed in Queensland in August

Households in Australia’s sunshine state of Queensland continue their rush to rooftop solar, with the latest data showing another 2,794 systems of 5kW or less were added during the month of August.

The data, from network operator Energex, shows that the systems were added in south-east Queensland, including the capital Brisbane and the Gold Coast – areas serviced by Energex.

This was the lowest since early 2011, but it brought another 11.5MW of capacity into the system, despite the fact that participating households are being paid little for their exports.

The figures have surprised network operators, as have the average size of the new systems of 4.12kW – large considering the tariffs are designed to encourage self consumption.

There are now 66,737 systems on the retail-only feed-in tariff, representing one-quarter of all small PV systems. The number of systems with the former 44c/kWh tariff has fallen as houses hosting those systems are sold.The month of August also saw growth in larger rooftop systems of 5kW or more, with 107 installations worth 1.47MW of capacity connected to medium and large business and commercial customers.

This has increased Queensland’s commercial systems total to 1,347 at 17.8MW of capacity.

Energex believes this growth in large systems is fuelled by focused marketing, a desire to remain on energy-only tariffs (i.e. remain below the 100MWh pa threshold) and the maturing and more efficient connection processes under the ‘zero export’ option.

In total, Energex now has 267,656 rooftop solar PV systems connected and  871MW rated inverter capacity.  About half of this output is fed into the network, and half consumed at the point of generation.

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson