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This Week In Solar News- Ending August 21st

 

In this week’s solar news, Victorian solar installation is still restricted while New South Wales makes movements to install the world’s largest renewable mini-grid.

Broken Hill is in the News for Solar!

Estimated to be running within three years, a $500 million wind and solar energy project is set to be the world’s largest renewable energy mini-grid system. Broken Hill, in rural NSW, is set to have the mini-grid system as a backup power supply in the event of a second black-out.

Over a decade ago the small town experienced a major power outage, annoying its 18,000 residents hugely. During the outage, two back up diesel turbines had to be used for a week -with fuel from Adelaide being trucked in to keep it running.

As a result, Broken Hill aims to “ have a crack at getting into a 21st– century power supply” as explained by Andrew Kingsmill, Transgrid’s Head of Network Planning, in order to attract renewable industries to the regional town.Weekly Solar Roundup Image

WA Does Even More Renewable Energy Stuff

We’ve talked previously about Mark McGowan (who is an absolute legend) and his investment into renewable energy for WA. Recently under his government we have seen community solar batteries be installed in Margaret River, Meadow Springs, Port Kennedy and more. We have seen his government launch a $66.3 million package that is focused solely on investing in renewable technologies.

So, it’s no surprise that the McGowan government are pushing the Renewable Hydrogen Strategy forward by a decade. This has now become a part of the “unprecedented times” recovery plan to create local jobs whilst investing in green industries that support the future of WA.

The government has committed $5.7 million to a renewable energy microgrid in Denham (in the Gascoyne region) to use the solar power system to produce hydrogen from water. This will be an Australian first and will test how feasible it really it to implement microgrids that incorporate hydrogen into the regional areas of the state. Within this $66.3 million package there are many projects in the pipeline, it’s nice to see Premiers increase their economy whilst investing in what the citizens actually want (we want to reduce how much we hurt the earth in case you can’t remember).

Lets Learn Some Lessons

In the spirit of Gladys Berejiklian in a press conference this week “lessons have been learnt”.

Eastern Australia is looking down the barrel of a second lock-down. With Victoria being the first to implement stage 4 restrictions, we now know that solar will not be deemed an essential, and as such, thousands of people have been left without solar installed during their home lock-down.

We have learnt during these lockdowns that home energy consumption has sky-rocketed when entire cities working from home. If you were on the fence about installing solar before, now is the time to decide. With solar installation still operating in every other state, you can still prepare for a potential lock-down and a lifetime of saving on electricity bills.

If you’re in Victoria, installing solar may not be an option right now but you can still save on your power bills while you are working from home. We offer a free energy comparison tool so you can compare your energy bills with other providers to find the best deal. If you are getting ripped off, you can switch with ease. Compare now and start saving straight away.

If you are able to install solar, now is the time to get your solar journey started. Get 3 no obligation, free Solar Quotes to invest in solar panels and cut your household bills.

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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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