Ausgrid Solar workshops
Proactive electricity company Ausgrid maintains an active program promoting energy efficiency through their network of offices and via their website. By way of background, Ausgrid is the network operator that maintains the network of poles and wires in former EnergyAustralia areas.
On October 16th, Ausgrid welcomed us to their Silverwater Energy Efficiency centre for the first of a series of solar seminars. Greenforce Energy sent participants to ensure we’re up to date with the latest Ausgrid news and information.
Paul, Craig and team took the participants through the adjacent household energy display rooms, and then thoroughly introduced the current rebate and feed in situation in New South Wales. The displays detailing the different types of lamps available and their relative performance really are exceptional – and our team have visited this type of centre worldwide. With respect to the solar aspects of the day, our staff rated it as one of the most concise presentations on household solar seen so far.
Ausgrid will be holding more seminars, so stay tuned.
Solar PV Workshop Content
We’ve had a few requests for information contained in the workshop, so we’ll introduce some of the more interesting aspects through screenshots below.
How much solar energy will be exported ?
This information relates to solar in metro Sydney (NSW) within the Ausgrid territory. [Our understanding from the presentation] is that Ausgrid’s modelling shows that net export on small systems is more significant in summer months, and they have modelled solar power export under a net arrangement. One thing to note is that Ausgrid digital bidirectional meters aggregate across half hour intervals, whereas in other territories (such as Essential, Endeavour) there are meters that look at instantaneous output. The advantage of a half hour approach is it gives more benefit to end users, as items like fridges kick in and out across the half hour window (prevents unnecessary export).
By way of commentary, we add that it can be seen the percentage of export is quite low, however, it is worth noting that with the introduction of time of use billing, many customers move a substantial amount of 2pm – 8pm consumption to off peak times – this may affect the benefit.
Solar system growth – connection trends in the Ausgrid network, NSW.
It is interesting to note that in contrast to the negative press in the media, the Solar Bonus scheme was not overrun, and in fact hasn’t even reached its 300MW target. Note that this chart below shows Ausgrid only, and not all of NSW.
As can be seen, the withdrawal of the solar bonus scheme, combined with a temporary lack of certainty around the industry resulted in installation growth plateauing. The effect is to cause many companies and electricians to exit the market, increasing the maintenance burden on remaining solar PV contractors.
Solar PV System Maintenance Tips
The workshop also provided some helpful tips regarding maintenance and monitoring of your solar PV system
It’s essential to regularly confirm the inverter is turned on.
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