Solar Energy Options in Regional & Rural WA | Infinite Energy

Solar Energy Options in Regional & Rural WA

Solar Energy Options in Regional & Rural WA

Written by Infinite Energy

If you’re considering installing solar on your regional, rural, or remote property, you may be wondering what the process entails.

With over 11,000 installations across Australia, including at properties in rural and remote areas, Infinite Energy understands the complexities of installing in remote areas, and can make the solar process as seamless as possible.

This blog will help you understand if you’re eligible to install solar at your property, the process of applying to install solar at your home, and the possibilities of going off grid.

 

Can I Install Solar on My Roof? – Homes on Horizon Power Network

While the increase in renewable energy sources like solar has been great for wallets and the environment, excess solar installations can cause intermittency issues in smaller, isolated power systems like those operated by Horizon Power in rural and remote areas in WA.

To avoid blackouts and other problems associated with intermittency issues, Horizon Power have a rooftop solar capacity cap for each town connected to the grid.

Referred to as Horizon Power’s Distributed Energy Target, you can view the kW available in each town that can be utilised by rooftop solar by visiting Horizon Power’s website.

 

Can I Install Solar on My Roof? – Homes on Western Power Network

Due to the South West Interconnected System’s (SWIS) enormous size, installing solar is not a problem for the majority of homes on the Western Power Grid. While 5kW is often referred to as the maximum inverter size for residential systems, it’s not strictly 100% accurate for three phase homes.

Assuming Western Power gives you approval, you can install an inverter above 5kW in size. However, in doing so you’ll lose the eligibility to join Synergy’s Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS), more commonly known as a feed-in tariff.

 

Will I Receive a Buyback Offer?

If you’re unable to consume all the energy your solar PV system generates, you may receive a feed-in-tariff or buyback price for any electricity you export to the grid.

The rates of these offers differ from town to town, reflecting the cost of electricity generation and distribution for that particular town.

For homes connected to the Western Power grid, you can apply for the Synergy Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS) – further details on this process can be found below.

For homes connected to the Horizon Power grid, you can check if you’re able to install a system and apply for the buyback offer by visiting Horizon Power’s website.

 

What is the Process of Installing Solar? – Homes on the Western Power Network

Step 1. Select your Provider and System

Choosing a supplier is one of the most important, if not the most important, part of installing a solar power system.

WA owned and operated, Infinite Energy is both a CEC Approved Retailer and ISO 9001 Compliant. With experience designing and installing systems of all sizes, from residential systems of 1.5kW right up to commercial systems of 600kW, Infinite Energy can design and install the perfect system for your needs.

 Step 2. Submit REBS Application

Once you have decided on your chosen solar PV system, you’ll need to apply for the Synergy Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (REBS). This allows you to receive a feed-in tariff for any solar electricity you export to the grid.

Infinite Energy will complete and submit this form on your behalf in order to make the solar process as easy as possible.

Step 3. Submit a Connection Application Form

Once the Synergy REBS form has been submitted, you may receive an email from Synergy instructing you to apply to Western Power for approval. Once again Infinite Energy will complete the approval on your behalf.

Depending on site layout and system size, your application may take up to 30 days to approve, although two to three weeks is typical. 

 Step 4. Installation

Once your Western Power application has been approved, Infinite Energy can proceed with the installation.

On the day of install, Infinite Energy will connect your inverter to the grid and commission your system.

Step 5. Completion and Billing

Investing in a new solar PV system for your home will require you to purchase or update to a bi-directional meter.

This will monitor and report both the incoming and outgoing electricity, and your electricity bills will then take into account the lower amounts of electricity you’ll need to buy from the grid, plus credits for the electricity generated by your solar power system that you don’t use.

All meter upgrades and reprogramming are completed by Western Power as instructed by Synergy. All associated costs are charged by Synergy, and will appear on your next electricity bill.

Fees are as follows:

  • SmartPower Single Phase 240V Meter – $138.24
  • SmartPower Three Phase 415V Meter – $235.04
  • Reprogram fee – $74.00

 

What is the Process of Installing Solar? – Homes on the Horizon Power Network

Step 1. Check your Availability

To find out if you’re eligible to install solar and receive the renewable energy buyback offer, simply use Horizon Power’s online eligibility calculator.

Step 2. Select your Provider and System

Choosing a supplier is one of the most important, if not the most important, part of installing a solar power system.

WA owned and operated, Infinite Energy is both a CEC Approved Retailer and ISO 9001 Compliant. With experience designing and installing systems of all sizes, from residential systems of 1.5kW right up to commercial systems of 600kW, Infinite Energy can design and install the perfect system for your needs.

Step 3. Submit a Connection Application Form

Once you have selected a provider and system, you will need to submit a Horizon Power Renewable Energy System - Connection Application Form.

Infinite Energy will complete and submit this form on your behalf in order to make the solar process as easy as possible.

Horizon Power will approve or deny your application within 10 days.

Step 4. Installation

Once your Horizon Power application has been approved, Infinite Energy can proceed with the installation.

You will also need to submit two additional forms (which once again Infinite Energy will complete and submit on your behalf):

  • A preliminary notice three days before the system is installed;
  • A completion notice within three days of the system being installed.

Step 5. Completion and Billing

Once Horizon Power has received the completion notice, they will upgrade or reconfigure your meter to a digital meter.

Your new digital meter will monitor and report both the incoming and outgoing electricity, and your electricity bills will then take into account the lower amounts of electricity you’ll need to buy from the grid.

Fees are as follows:

  • Meter exchange – $257.00
  • Reconfigure your existing meter – $66.00

This fee will appear on your next Horizon Power bill.

 

What is the Cost of Connection to the Grid?

Connection fees will depend on your location in WA, and the size and complexities of your system.

You will be told about any additional connection fees when you receive approval for your Connection Application Form.

 

Will Solar Provide Backup Power in the Event of a Blackout?

Unless you chose to go off-grid, installing solar will not provide you with energy in the event of a power blackout.

If something goes wrong on the grid your home will automatically switch off all power. This is to stop your solar PV system from feeding excess electricity into the grid, potentially harming those who may be working on/repairing the grid.

 

Can I Install a Battery at my Home?

In many instances, yes a battery can be installed at your home. However, the installation of batteries is at the discretion of the electricity provider (Western Power or Horizon Power) and is reviewed on a case by case basis with your Connection Application Form.

 

Can I Go Off-grid?

While going off-grid is technically possible, there are many factors to consider before doing so.

To begin, you’ll need to carefully assess the amount of roof space you have available. Will you be able to fit enough solar panels to cover your entire energy needs with no support from the grid?

In addition to considering the size of your solar system, you’ll need to consider the size of your battery. Your battery needs to be large enough to store and supply your household with all its energy usage during night time hours.

Rainy days and other occurrences may mean that your off-grid system may not always be able to supply your home with the power it needs to operate. To compensate for this, you’ll need to adjust your electricity usage, or consider the possibility of a backup generator.

When going off-grid, maintaining your power supply is no longer an electricity provider’s responsibility – it’s yours. This means it’s up to you to organise regular services to ensure your system is safe and performing correctly.

 

For more information about solar energy options in rural and remote areas, simply request a callback from one of our expert energy consultants.

 

 

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