Solar Power & Solar Panels Western Australia

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Western AustraliaWestern Australia

The incentives for how solar power is produced and consumed may have changed dramatically since the Solar Feed-in Tariff [FiT] component was reduced in 2011, but small-scale technology certificates [STCs] in Western Australia are still proving to be very beneficial.  A large percentage of Western Australia has access to lots of STCs.

Previously, customers were best off using as many appliances as possible outside of daylight hours so that they could export as much energy as possible. Now, the incentive is to use all major appliances during daylight hours so that you’re offsetting this usage with your own solar power. Now, most solar customers in Western Australia install systems which will offset only what they use during the day, taking into account any anticipated changes over the coming years such as a growing family or retirement.

With solar panel prices continually reducing in price each year, while the STCs remain quite high reducing, are two key benefits for Western Australian residents to invest in a domestic or commercial solar system.

The ever increasing cost of electricity means that solar is still a great investment and its benefits will only increase as years go by.

To work out your payback period and returns on investment, go here – Financial returns and payback periods or check out our Solar Savings Calculator.

If you have any questions about how to use the formulas or any other matter, please don’t hesitate to ask us a question.

STCs for Western Australia

With the intention of encouraging more Australian homeowners, community groups and small business owners to invest in solar systems, the Government created the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme to help offset the upfront cost of the solar system.  Under the scheme, any eligible, small [under 100kW] systems are entitled to a number of small-scale technology certificates [STCs].  These are also referred to as renewable energy certificates [RECs].

The total eligibility for an STC is determined by a combination of the system’s date of installation, geographical location plus the amount of electricity generated in megawatt hours [MWh].

A rough guideline for determining the amount of STCs that you might be eligible for is based on the assumption that one MWh is equal to one STC.

Postcode zones are one of the measures used to calculate the total quantity of STCs that a solar system may be eligible for,  once it is installed. Each zone [below] represents the level of solar radiation for a geographical area.

To find the zone value for a solar panel system, crosscheck the postcode of the address where the system is, or will be, installed with the postcode range provided here.

Postcode zones are one of the measures used to calculate the quantity of STCs that a solar system may be eligible for once it is installed. Each zone [below] represents the level of solar radiation for a geographical area.

Feed-in Tariffs for Western Australia

*Retail Energy Provider Current Rate More info
Synergy 7.1c/kWh website
Horizon 7.1c/kWh website

*Updated Feb 2019

Things You should Know Along Your Solar Journey

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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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