What is the true value of solar power in Queensland? The true value of a solar power system depends not only the price that the owner pays for it, but also (and more importantly) on the quality of the components used and the installation work itself. In Queensland, as anywhere, if the system does not bear yields in line with initial calculations of system size and output, the real value of the solar system will not be realised by the owner/operator.
Getting real value out of your solar PV system in Queensland
Queensland is the last state in Australia with a truly generous Solar Feed-in Tariff, although it was recently announced that this is will soon be reduced for new applicants. From the date of the announcement, those interested in solar power have approximately 2 weeks to submit their paperwork to their electricity distributors, and approximately a year to have their systems installed. Many Queenslanders are therefore doing their best to ensure that they beat the deadline. In the rush, however, it is important to ensure that the system which you ultimately select is one that will truly deliver the on the value proposition that most expect from a solar system in the Sunshine State.
The rush to make the 9 July Queensland Solar Bonus Feed-in Tariff scheme deadline
In order to make the 9 July deadline for Queensland’s Solar Bonus Scheme whilst saving money on the initial outlay of the system, some Queensland residents are putting down deposits on systems whose inverters are ‘oversized’–i.e. with a nominal capacity greater than the cumulative nominal capacity of the solar PV panel array. An example would be a 5 kilowatt (kW) inverter with only 2.5kW of solar panels. Although this may be an effective solution in the short-term (for around 6 months), there are a number of disadvantages to this strategy. First of all, the efficiency of the system will be compromised for as long as the oversized inverter is in place, lengthening payback periods and decreasing overall return on investment (ROI) of the system. Secondly, in the event that the system owner is subsequently unable to install the additional panels (e.g. finances no longer permit, or compatible panels cannot be sourced affordably), they will be thereafter stuck with an underperforming system. This may be acceptable for those who have done a full cost-benefit analysis of installing a properly sized system vs one with an oversized inverter, but generally speaking owners do not get the true value from their solar systems in terms of yield over time in such cases.
At the moment, there is ample potential in Queensland to install a good quality solar system at a reasonable price, and the returns afforded over the lifetime of such a system will be significant. If you are still looking for an installer in order to submit your paperwork before the 9 July deadline, you can receive a free and instant comparison of solar power system installation quotes by completing the form to the right of this page.
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.
James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
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