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Australia adds 107MW rooftop solar in October as 2017 heads for record year

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National PictureSunWiz

Australian homes and businesses continue to install solar at an impressive clip, adding more than 100MW of rooftop PV capacity for the month of October, up from 97MW in September, and almost guaranteeing a record 1GW-plus total for the year.

In its latest monthly update, solar industry analysts SunWiz have charted another another “massive” month of small-scale solar installs, pushing the nation’s total installed PV capacity to 6.7GW, 6GW of which is made up of systems sized at 100kW and below.

According to the report, registrations in October shot up to 107MW, making it the best ever October, the fourth-highest ever level of registrations in a month, and more than double the volume of 22 months ago.

MonthofRegSunWiz

And with volumes this high, SunWiz notes, “it looks like we’re headed for the best ever Q4 AND best ever year,” with total registrations at 852MW for 2017, making the market “almost certain to eclipse 1GW of rooftop solar this year.”

One of the stars of the month for the PV market was commercial solar, with installations in the 10kW-20kW range outdone, in volume, by installs in the 75kW-plus range, as you can see in the table below.

SunWiz notes that the growth in volume occurred in every category, but was especially pronounced in the 6.3-8kW range and in the 75-100kW range.

CommercialTrendsSunWiz

“Volumes grew substantially in the 75+kW range, which tallied over 10 MW – 10 per cent of the volume … – which is a new record,” the report says.

“The proportion of commercial solar grew to 32 per cent, just below a previous record.”NationalTrendSunWiz

At a state level, Queensland continues to lead PV installation rates, although followed fairly closely by New South Wales – which is having its biggest year ever – and Victoria, which SunWiz says this month captured some market share off significant growth in its commercial market, favouring systems in the 75-100kW range.

StatesofSolarSunWiz

The report notes that Victoria – which last month legislated its own large-scale renewable energy target – surged to 20MW installed capacity in October, putting it 35 per cent ahead of the same time last year, and on track for its best year ever.

Western Australia “remains the state with the least commercial proportion,” the report says, and an average of 6kW/system. “But who’s complaining with record monthly volume and a year that 52 per cent ahead of any other year.”

On prices, the SunWiz notes that prices rose for smaller systems, and rose in Melbourne. But prices in Perth and Sydney hit their lowest level ever, according to data from Solar Choice. SystemSizesSunWiz  

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  • Nick D

    We the people

    • trackdaze

      Vote of no confidence.

  • Andrew Roydhouse

    Has anybody done the numbers (spreadsheet time) on what each state’s future demand may look like with the explosion in residential roof-top, commercial and industrial systems as well as the proposed (but not yet begun) mega-scale hybrid projects such as the greenhouse, steelworks, Sun Metals, Telstra, Dept of Defence as well as a resurgence in the private school sector’s take-up etc?
    Just back-of-the envelopes (took 3) figuring suggests that SA’s typical daily grid supplied demand may be as low as 18 to 25% lower by 2021.

    Vic. Qld & NSW all look as if total annual grid demand could be down between 9 to 17% just based on what has been announced as reaching financial close.

    With the various Aluminum smelters receiving electricity price subsidies worth north of $200m per annum – the clock must surely be ticking.

    If they were to close then you would not want to own ANY Australian thermal coal mines.

    • Tom

      At this rate SA will have negative demand in 5 years

    • Ian

      The commercial uptake is interesting, more analysis of this sector would be worthwhile. 1. What percentage of commercial operations have solar? 2. Which types of businesses are installing solar? 3. What percentage of its total demand does the average business aim for? 4. How many are installing batteries in addition to solar? 5. What percentage commercial solar installs are on company owned premises and what percentage are on rented properties?

      Big box retailers would seem the ideal installers of solar , but apparently many have flimsy roofs unable to support rooftop solar. How true is this assertion and what percentage of shopping complexes are actually installing solar?

      • Andrew Roydhouse

        “Flimsy roofs” = TRUE for one VERY well known industrial/storage site developer. Least cost construction rules in their case unfortunately.

        A business opportunity for anyone to run with – solar panel car-ports for business/commercial/residential. Seems an obvious opportunity (given how many airport car parks are heading that way for example) yet noobdy seems to be running with it.

        • Steve Applin

          Ground mounting adds a minimum of 30% to the cost of PV.

          The issue you get with many larger businesses is that they unbundle their electricity invoices (the individual components – retail electricity, network charges, capacity charges etc are split out on the) and PV is not cost effective because it only reduces the retail electricity component of their bill, which is not a very big component of it: 20% – 25%.

  • Ray Miller

    In Queensland a combination of demand changes and retail price and low cost of solar as the volume increases makes it a business no brainer. Many schools also are caught up in the exploding cost of retail electricity and are putting solar on every available surface. Solar is a good match for business and school air-conditioning so expect the trend to continue.
    I’m surprised it has taken this long as the business PV match has been attractive for some time, just the idea has just started to spread, on a me too basis.
    Let the revolution continue.

    • George Darroch

      It almost perfectly matches the needs of schools, particularly in the warmer states.

  • Ray Miller

    The next big trend will be business adding equipment to manage demand charges so they will watch their peak demand and take steps to keep under thresholds, which could be a combination of load control and batteries. Once you have the solar and inverter equipment the added control equipment is a small addition, but adds significant value.

  • rob

    DO ANY OF YOU EVER PROOF READ YOUR ARTICLES? SO MANY SPELLING MISTAKES AND USING THE SAME WORD TWICE? ESPECIALLY SOPHIE! FFS if you want to seem professional at least have perfect grammar!

    • rob

      @sophie every article I read that you post have several spelling or grammar problems….you are only one……all the others too! Sorry but the worst offender gets labeled first!

      • rob

        It is almost as bad as Giles or his Buddy using the the word “indeed” sometimes 3 times in a row on the podcasts……..indeed indeed indeed sends me “cray cray” on almost every podcast……
        However I’m such a Greeny and read every post you present and am an avid fan of the page………Please , however fix the issues I have addressed
        Many thanks

        Rob Stroop