Solar Helps Delay New Power Station In Western Australia

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WA’s solar households and businesses are collectively generating as much power as a major traditional power station.

According to The West Australian’s Daniel Mercer, given forecasts from Synergy of a continuing increase in solar uptake, the State Government now says a new power station would not need to be constructed in the state until 2029.

Synergy predicts there could be as much as 1500MW of solar capacity feeding into Western Australia’s electricity grid by 2020.

The rate that Western Australians have embraced solar is quite stunning. The numbers of solar power systems connected to the grid has grown from just three in June 2007 to 135,419 (Synergy customers) as of March 2014.

According to solar provider Energy Matters, a 5kW solar panel system installed in Perth can return a financial benefit of between $1,577 and $2,196 annually. In some cases, a system of this size can basically blow away an average household’s power bills.

Energy Matters’ Australian Solar Index estimates the internal rate of return of a system installed in Perth to be 17.8%; making it one of the best investments around.

However, as is the case in the rest of Australia, clouds are gathering on the horizon for WA’s solar industry and potential new solar households.

The Renewable Energy Target review is currently under way and concerns have been expressed regarding possible outcomes; including a gutting of subsidies.

Current support for acquiring systems can translate to thousands of dollars off the cost of going solar. The uncertainty surrounding the review means the best time to buy solar panels in Western Australia could be right now.

Going solar in WA doesn’t necessarily mean a significant up-front financial outlay. Energy Matters offers a zero-deposit “Save As You Go” arrangement to eligible customers where monthly repayments can be less than what would otherwise be spent on mains-grid supplied electricity.