Solar Feasibility Report
Installation of a solar system is worth investigating if you’re looking to reduce energy costs and your carbon footprint.
T&O Consulting’s Solar Feasibility Report provides detailed analysis to determine whether there is a business case for investment in a solar system. The report provides indepth analysis of:
- Current electricity rates and demand profile.
- Location and roof suitability.
- System sizing, solar generation curve and annual yield.
- Solar market, providers, and technology explained.
- Capital costs of a solar system, including a comprehensive breakdown of payback period and long-term electricity and cost savings.
- Finance options, including leasing and power purchase agreements (PPA).
With business case approval, T&O also offer a Solar Tender service to assist in Solar System purchasing.
The Australian National Energy Market (NEM) has changed dramatically in the last few months and part of the reason is battery storage that is now online across the country. Between the large South Australian Tesla battery that has taken the state from a constant importer of electricity and fluctuations that sometime resulted in large blackouts to an exporter of electricity for the first time and the Avocado Farm in WA that has won international awards for working entirely off the grid using solar with battery storage (story can be found here), storage is changing the game for energy in Australia.
There are several applications for battery energy storage from grid scale applications to commercial applications, remote community applications and microgrids. Several large projects are now active across Australia – each proving that storage is a solution in solving the energy issues experienced by various industries. Batteries can provide power services and quick response times. There are different chemistries suited to different applications, with most of the attention focused on lithium-ion, the type used in Tesla batteries. However, other types of batteries are better suited to some niche applications (the aforementioned Avocado Farm uses saltwater batteries, see picture).
The potential for remote and regional areas of Australia to utilise off-grid solar and storage is now being considered for several remote communities. This also reduces the reliance on traditional diesel generators.
Energy storage has great potential to interact with the entire electricity sector. Some of these functions include;
- customer use behind the meter when conditions are not good for solar generation
- provision of network support services to increase reliability and network capacity
- the ability to take pressure off the grid during peak times of use and generation
This challenges the design of the NEM and associated regulatory frameworks, which are based on a traditional energy system of generation, transmission, distribution and retail. Technology drives regulatory reform but reform can also drive technology: an appropriate regulatory framework is essential to remove barriers to uptake and unlock revenue streams for new technology. Regulatory reforms have been considered and implemented to facilitate the efficient integration of storage in the market, but further reforms are required.
The Clean Energy Council suggest that all battery installations be performed by qualified installers, that are certified under the Council’s accreditation scheme
Trends in Utility Scale Storage
We are now seeing utility scale storage in the National Electricity Market with the world’s largest 100 MW Tesla battery recently installed in SA. This giant lithium ion battery can store enough energy to power 30,000 homes for over half an hour and has a proven response time off 200 milliseconds (which is too fast for the current billing system, meaning 30%-40% is unbilled).
The SA Government accesses some of the battery’s output to provide stability services to the grid and has the right to tap the battery’s full output to prevent load shedding blackouts if supply runs low over summer months.
The battery is charged by the nearby Hornsdale windfarm when power is plentiful and cheap. The operators will then have the right to sell some of it back into the grid when the supply-demand balance is tighter, and prices are higher.
It has proven so successful that Victoria is in the process of commissioning 2 storage solutions and many large businesses are now installing storage to work alongside already-installed solar and reduce costs long term.