This Week in Solar Energy Updates – Ending 31st of July

 

This week in solar energy updates, there are a variety of initiatives that are rolling out across all states. It has been good to see that COVID hasn’t disrupted the below solar energy roll-outs across the country.

Solar Energy for WA’s Recovery Plan

As part of Western Australia’s recovery plan, the McGowan Government have announced a $66.3 million dollar renewable energy stimulus designed to kick-start the economy, following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Elements of the renewable energy recovery plan are as follows.Solar energy updates

  • $56.3 million dollar investment into solar projects including; installation of solar in 500 social community properties, 10 schools installed with a green Virtual Power Plant and 60 bus and rail station solar hubs.
  • 50 standalone power systems and nine Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) in Western Australia’s North-West communities.
  • $10 million dollars towards the Clean Energy Future Fund for renewable innovator grants.

Victoria’s Solar Rebates for Landlords

Victoria has announced a $1,850 rebate on solar panels installed for rental properties in a bid to increase rental adoption of energy renewables. In addition to the rebate, Victoria has conveniently announced that the $1850 can be borrowed as a zero-interest loan, meaning that landlords increase their property value while the tenants reap the reduced rates in electricity. The loan is enough to cover a small solar system however a larger 6.6 kilowatt system is recommended for increased benefit and economic return. To discover the right solar solution for your property take our solar quiz.

SA Native Vegetation Aiding The Solar Industry

As part of SA Water’s plan to invest $300 million in solar and energy storage, the state utility is partnering with an environmental organization to revegetate the large-scale solar array arena. Over a tonne of native grass and salt bush seed will be distributed in the solar field as erosion, weed, heat and dust stabilizers – prolonging the lifetime of the solar infrastructure.

Enjoy this weekly solar energy update? Visit the blog page to discover the latest in solar energy across Australia.

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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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