This Week In Solar Updates- Ending August 14th


This week in solar updates we have seen Victoria shut-up-shop in residential solar but take off in a Melbourne airport solar farm installation.

Melbourne’s Tullamarine Solar Update

As COVID-19 annihilates the aviation industry and sends Melbourne back into a stage 4 lockdown, the Tullamarine airport aims to make the most of the reduced traffic by installing a 12.4MW solar farm, which will ultimately be able to power all four terminals.

Due to be completed in 2021 (dependent on level 4 restriction delays), the solar farm will be one of the largest behind-the-meter solar installations in Australia. Set to generate 17GWh of electricity every year, the solar installation will fulfill almost 15% of the airport’s consumption needs.

Developed by Beon Energy Solutions and contracted with Next General Electrical, the Tullamarine solar team have used Canadian Solar monofacial panels to minimise panel glare around the runways. The myth around solar reflection negatively impacting airway procedures has recently been debunked by CSIRO in a Planes-reflection-on-skyscrapersreport on the green hydrogen potential of the aviation industry where they stated that “traditional silicon panels primarily absorb rather than reflect light.”

For more on this story visit pv magazine.

Victorian COVID-19 Stage 4 Solar Restrictions

As mentioned in last week’s solar energy update, solar was deemed an essential service for Victorians in the first wave of COVID restrictions, however, this time around it isn’t such good news.

After a nervous wait throughout the week, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services finally announced that solar installation would not go ahead under the stage 4 solar COVID restrictions.

Although solar panels are not to be installed on occupied residential properties under the new legislation, installation can occur on construction sites and residential renovation sites where the property is vacated.

In addition, the restrictions do allow critical repairs to solar systems in emergency situations when safety becomes a concern.

What Should I do?

If You Are An Installer

If you are an installer and you have been affected by these restrictions, Business Victoria has set up a COVID-19 business support and Industry Coordination Centre.

 The Industry Coordination Centre is designed to update businesses on the latest information, provide key COVIDsafe training, supply worker permits and offer avenues for financial support.

If You Are Looking To Install Solar

With electricity usage at an all-time high (damn working from home!), solar is an excellent chance to reinvent the way you approach electricity bills.

If you are looking to install solar, now is the best possible time to research the perfect solar solution for your needs. Solar Market provides a trove of updates, articles and reviews on everything solar. If you are ready to research just head to our blog section by clicking here.

If your renovating or currently building a home, take the solar quiz and start getting quotes from today.


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Download Your FREE Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition

Beginners Guide to Solar Power

If you’re considering solar for your property or just looking to maximise the savings for your solar system, download a FREE copy of our "Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition".

Become an expert and better understand the ins and outs of solar power and solar PV systems for your property.

Includes detailed explanations and diagrams of the various types of solar systems and their parts, solar battery storage systems, Government incentives, expected ROI periods, finance, energy-saving tips and more!

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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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