The Sustainable Energy Association of Australia (SEA) has been working with SEA members in the solar industry to address challenges facing commercial clients wanting to install solar PV on their business premises.
The major challenge has been for those businesses interested in installing solar panel arrays of greater than 30 kW in size, but even systems less than 30 kW have been creating some issues for installation.
SEA adviser Neil Prentice and a number of SEA members have led the process, engaging with Western Power to collaboratively improve processes and outcomes on smaller (sub 30 kW) solar installations for commercial premises.
Recently a broad ranging stakeholder forum was held with Western Power, SEA, SEA Members, the National Electrical Contractors Association, Government and other industry representatives, to look at how to improve Western Power's handling of PV connection applications.
‘After listening to our stakeholders, we had a deeper understanding of how our processes were affecting them. We also found that they had some pretty workable requests in regards to what we could do to make their lives easier,' says Louise Avon-Smith, Manager Sustainability at Western Power.
SEA has welcomed Western Power's strong engagement to deal with issues that will cover off from both industry and Western Power's sides of the process.
‘SEA recognises that not all issues will be easy nor quick to resolve, and Western Power's readiness to engage actively with industry is much appreciated,' says SEA chief adviser Professor Ray Wills.
Western Power and SEA are planning a continuing program of engagement, and suppliers and customers interested in this process are encouraged to contact SEA - www.seaaus.com.au.
The latest data from the Australian Clean Energy Regulator shows that more than 750 000 homes in Australia are now equipped with solar PV panels totalling almost 1.7 GW of installed capacity.
Western Australia now has over 104 000 rooftops with solar installed, adding a total of 218 MW of solar capacity to the electricity grid in south-west Western Australia, but most solar is on homes and very few on business rooftops.
The suburb with the most solar installed in Western Australia is Mandurah and other areas sharing the postcode 6210, with over 5200 homes and 9.4 MW of capacity of solar installed. The Canning Vale area (postcode 6155) and the Wanneroo area (postcode 6055) are the next two largest with roughly similar numbers around 3200 homes having 6.4 MW of capacity.
Data sourced from Australian Clean Energy Regulator http://ret.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/REC-Registry/Data-reports
Industry works together to bring solar energy to business.
SEA Media Release - 24 July 2012