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North vs. South of the River: Perth’s Solar Stand-Off

 

It’s the age-old discussion that’s been had in classrooms, households, workplaces and probably even train stations across Perth over the years… which is better, north or south of the river? So, we’ve decided to try and determine a winner the only way we know how; through solar installations.

How Did This All Start?

The truth is, we don’t know. However, Perth and its surrounds are home to some of the country’s most beautiful landmarks, including Kings Park, Cottesloe Beach, the Swan Valley, the Blue Boat House and Optus Stadium… to name a few. However, rather than embrace everything that the city has to offer and enjoy these things in unison, residents from either side of the river decided, at a seemingly crucial point in the city’s history, that there can only be one winner. We don’t prefer one side to the other, so the only thing we can do is have a look at cold hard statistics; that’s exactly what we’ve done.

Blue Boat House, Perth | Solar Blog

Why Solar Installations?

We didn’t think it would come to this either… using solar installation numbers to determine the champion of the north vs. south argument in Perth. Even so, rather than let emotions and biases get in the way, we’ll let statistics do the talking. We operate in the solar industry, so if you’re wondering ‘what do solar installations have to do with any of this?’, you’d be justified, but it’s the only thing that we can offer to the discussion. So, without going into any more depth about why we’re chiming in on this, let’s take a look at the numbers.

North vs. South: Perth’s Solar Stand-Off

According to the Clean Energy Regulator, Western Australia as a whole has had 388,325 small-scale solar installations (systems less than 100kW in size) since 2001! This makes it the 4th ranked state in the country for installations; a feat all West Aussies should be proud of. However, from January 2020 through until May 2021, Western Australia has installed 66,715 small-scale solar power systems, so we drilled down a bit and found the top 20 postcodes in Perth and its surrounds for installations. Check out the table below!

PostcodeSuburbs IncludedTotal Installations
6210 | SouthHalls Head, Mandurah and Others2,431
6112 | SouthArmadale, Harrisdale and Others2,423
6065 | NorthWangara, Wanneroo and Others2,305
6164 | SouthCockburn, Beeliar and Others2,207
6155 | SouthCanning Vale, Willetton and Others1,654
6171 | SouthBaldivis1,387
6110 | SouthGosnells, Southern River and Others1,301
6163 | SouthBibra Lake, Kardinya and Others1,297
6027 | NorthJoondalup, Ocean Reef and Others1,170
6030 | NorthClarkson, Mindarie and Others1,170
6107 | SouthCannington, Queens Park and Others1,119
6169 | SouthWaikiki, Warnbro and Others952
6025 | NorthCraigie, Hillarys and Others900
6018 | NorthGwelup, Karrinyup and Others882
6028 | NorthCurrambine, Kinross and Others846
6062 | NorthMorley, Noranda and Others834
6064 | NorthGirrawheen, Marangaroo and Others799
6122 | SouthByford, Darling Downs and Others784
6167 | SouthKwinana, Orelia and Others760
6026 | NorthKingsley and Woodvale723

What Are the Results?

Now, we know there’s been some debate as to what suburbs should or shouldn’t be classified as north or south of the river, so we’ve tried to keep it as non-controversial as possible with the suburbs. In terms of the number of postcodes, it’s extremely close. As you can see in the table, 11 of the postcodes are located south of the river and 9 postcodes are located north; however, the important number is the amount of installations, so let’s go through them. We do have a winner… and it’s a landslide.

From the top 20 postcodes, we can see that households and businesses south of the river in Perth have installed 16,315 small-scale solar power systems since the beginning of 2020. The top performing postcode in the state is 6210, which collectively acknowledges Mandurah, Halls Head and others including Erskine, Falcon and Silver Sands.

Furthermore, households and businesses north of the river in Perth that are featured in the top 20 postcodes have installed 9,629 small-scale solar power systems since the beginning of 2020. The top performing postcode that sits north of the river is 6065, which collectively acknowledges Wangara, Wanneroo and others including Landsdale and Tapping.

Optus Stadium, Perth | Solar Blog
Cottesloe Beach, Perth | Solar Blog

What Does This Mean?

We love Western Australia and all that it has to offer; including both sides of the river. The north vs. south argument is not important when it comes to solar installations; every Western Australian should be super proud of the state’s solar numbers. The main takeaway from this is the incredible popularity of solar power in the state, which is an amazing indicator that West Aussies are keen to continue moving towards a completely renewable future. Furthermore, if you’re looking at making the switch to solar, click here to get 3 free quotes from local installers! No matter whether you’re reading from Western Australia or anywhere else around the country. Finally, find us on social media and have your say… north or south?

 

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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