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Launch of online solar power calculator for homes and businesses

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PRESS RELEASE

SunSPoT, a new online platform that can be used to calculate the solar power potential of any rooftop – home, business, factory or school – will be launched on Thursday 5 April in Sydney at UNSW.

In a new initiative, Energy Data for Smart Decision Making, supported by the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs programme, SunSPoT will be rolled out across Australia in a partnership between Councils, technology partners, UNSW and the Australian PV Institute (APVI).

The Energy Data for Smart Decision Making project aims to work with councils and their communities to provide independent and open source data and tools for distributed energy decision-making.

Early-adopter councils, who are already project partners, including KuRingGai, Willoughby, Randwick, Northern Beaches and Lane Cove, with more cities and towns to be added as the program expands.

The project has key technology partners in Australian companies Solar Analytics and Enosi who contribute energy monitoring, data and an energy exchange platform. The team is working together to increase energy awareness and provide consumers with the information they need to make smart energy decisions.

SunSPoT was developed at UNSW by Dr Anna Bruce and Dr Jessie Copper, from the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering. The interactive platform uses GIS data to estimate the technical potential of rooftop solar, accounting for the tilt of roof surfaces and shading at the site.

It can be used on a single rooftop, or to assess the potential across geographical areas, with analysis of Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney, discovering enormous untapped potential for solar power installations across a range of buildings. As solar PV continues to be deployed at record rates on Australian rooftops, such analysis can help councils and the electricity industry plan for the solar future.

Renate Egan, APVI Chair and Associate Professor at UNSW, says “Australia leads the world in rooftop solar, but there is still lots of potential for adding more solar, and it’s now the cheapest form of electricity generation. SunSPoT aims to give energy consumers the information they need to make a decision how much solar they should install, and how much they will save when they do.”

Councils partner with UNSW and the APVI to have their local government area mapped. With the support of the Smart Cities and Suburbs funding and through technology partner Solar Analytics, SunSPoT will be further developed to incorporate half-hourly PV generation and electricity consumption data as well as retail tariffs and export (feed-in tariffs) [1]. This will provide free and independent information to help electricity consumers make better decisions about investments in PV and storage. The upgrades will also help consumers to select suitable retail tariffs for their circumstances.

The Energy Data for Smart Decision Making project will also include development of a number of other models as part of an open-source modelling platform being developed by the Centre for Energy & Environmental Markets at UNSW. One exciting model under development will assist community groups make decisions about PV, storage, tariffs and arrangements for sharing or aggregating energy to obtain savings in the electricity market.

The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure & Cities, will launch SunSPoT on Thursday.

Speaking at the launch will be:

Councils interested in having their local government areas mapped should contact Dan Stevens, Community Development Manager with the APVI at [email protected]

 

[1] Under residential PV export (feed-in) tariffs of 0-12c/kWh compared to around 25-40c/kWh retail prices, the amount of electricity self-consumed saves 25-40c, whereas that exported to the grid is only worth 0-12c. The amount exported is therefore an important determinant of bill savings from installing a PV system and will be included in the analysis.

 

BACKGROUND ON THE FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AT UNSW

UNSW’s Faculty of Engineering is the powerhouse of engineering research in Australia, comprising nine schools and 42 research centres. It is ranked in the world’s top 50 engineering faculties. It is home to Australia’s largest cohort of engineering undergraduate, postgraduate, domestic and international students. UNSW is ranked #1 in Australia for producing millionaires (#33 globally) and ranked #1 in Australia for graduates who create technology start-ups.

BACKGROUND ON THE AUSTRALIAN PV INSTITUTE (APVI)

The Australian PV Institute is a not-for-profit, member based organisation which focuses on data analysis, independent and balanced information, and collaborative research, both nationally and internationally, to support the increased development and use of PV.

BACKGROUND ON SOLAR ANALYTICS

Solar Analytics is an Australian software company that designs, develops and supplies intelligent solar and energy monitoring solutions. Solar Analytics’s mission is to empower people to navigate the changing energy landscape.

BACKGROUND ON ENOSI

Enosi is an international enterprise transforming the energy industry by creating a truly open source decentralised electricity exchange. Enosi is focused on creating a distributed energy transaction platform with a broad global application.

Contact: Renate Egan, Chair APVI  [email protected]   Phone 0408 223 653  

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