Powercor, the network distributor for much of central Victoria, is rolling out a Solar Hotspots Program across western Victoria over the next four months to help an estimated 50,000 customers who are generating excess power from rooftop solar to export back into the grid.
Targeting areas with high levels of rooftop solar penetration, the Solar Hotspots Program will improve export capacity and reduce tripping of solar systems that can otherwise be caused by voltage issues when excess solar is exported into the electricity network.
Together these network upgrades aim to enable at least 80% of new solar export applications to export 5kW.
Between March and June 2021, dedicated field crews will be working on up to 30 locations a week to increase power network capacity in Ballarat, Bendigo and Portland as well as the precinct between Sunshine and Point Cook in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
“We do not prevent customers from installing rooftop solar but we have a responsibility to all our customers to make sure any excess electricity is safely exported into the network,” Powercor spokesperson Mark Clarke said.
“Solar exports can affect the quality of power supplied by electricity networks because by injecting electricity, they impact on voltage. This potentially impacts other customers including those without solar.”
Hot spot areas that are being upgraded that fall with the MASH bulk-buy areas include: Maryborough, Bendigo, Ballarat and Kyneton.