Many thanks to the Pyrenees Shire residents who came to the MASH Solar and Battery Bulk-Buy Information Meeting on Wednesday 3 March 2021. Almost 40 people turned up – with lots of questions about solar & batteries, rebates, feed-in tariffs. The event was opened by Cr Damian Ferrari, Mayor of Pyrenees Shire Council who are partners of the bulk-buy project in this region.
If you weren’t able to attend but would like further information, please visit the MASH Pyrenees web page or call the MASH team on 1300 466 274.
Some of the questions – and the answers provided by the speakers – are recorded below for general interest.
Q: If Powercor says we can’t feed our excess solar power back into the grid, where does the extra power go?
A: The power that can’t be exported goes into a heat sink – so it is lost. The ways around this are: to get a smaller system so use as much as possible of the solar power you generate in your home and have hardly any excess power to export. Another way is to get battery storage but this is pricey.
Q: Can we put solar on our woolshed?
A :That depends on the size and capacity of the cabling from your shed to the meter. This is something we assess with a site inspection.
Q; What incentive does a landlord have to put solar on for their tenant?
A There is a Victorian Government rebate available through the Solar Homes Program where you can get a rebate – worth up to $1,850 – for your own home and also for your investment property, providing your meet the eligibility criteria. See solar.vic.gov.au .
Q: I’m on the 66c feed in tariff. Would I qualify for the State Government Solar Panels rebate?
A: Yes as long as the solar was installed prior to 1 November 2009 and you meet the other eligibility criteria. However you would lose the 66c per kilowatt hour feed-in tariff and go back down to the single rate minimum feed-in tariff which is 10.2c per kilowatt hour.
Q; Has the quality of inverters improved over the last 10 years?
A: Absolutely! 10 years ago it was common to see inverters with just 3 years warranty, now many have 10 or 15 years warranty. They are much more efficient and most of them today have solar generation monitoring via an app.
Q: If the switchboard needs an upgrade, can you do it or do we need to get an electrician to do it?
A: We would do this as part of the installation process with a price ranging from around $300 to $1500.
Q; Can I oversize my solar system by say having 8kW of panels with a 5kW inverter?
A: Powercor, the network distributor for our region, allows you to have 33% more panels than the capacity of your inverter. So with a 5kW inverter, you can have 6.66kW of solar panels installed.