Rooftop solar: Smashing records

During the last month of summer the number of rooftop solar installations continued to soar, with Small-scale technology certificates representing 22,709 PV systems and 164MW of capacity submitted in February. That’s 3.7 per cent up on January figures and a mighty 25 per cent above 2018's monthly average.

Victoria had another record breaking month, almost doubling the number of systems compared to February 2018, with the progressive state taking out top spot in both systems and installed capacity, according to the latest Green Energy Markets report.

The state government’s popular Solar Homes program that provides rebates of up to $2,225 to support the installation of solar panels rebate has shifted fence-sitters.

Discussions during backyard summer barbecues centred on rooftop PV, with conversations along the lines of “We are signing up and installing rooftop PV and plan to add a solar hot water systems and later on, a battery storage pack. How about you – have you applied for the state PV rebate? Timing has never been better, what are you waiting for?”

Victoria’s Solar Homes hotline was running hot during January too, which produced another record breaking month that led the way in the residential and commercial sector both in system numbers and installed capacity.

158MW of solar PV SGU were created STCs in January 2019; 20 per cent above the 2018 monthly average of 131MW but 4 per cent down on December according to Green Energy Markets which extrapolated data from the Clean Energy Regulator.

At the end of January, the 2019 average weekly net STC creation rate was 617,000 well up on the 2018 net weekly average of 571,000.

STCs representing 20,465 PV systems and 158MW of capacity were submitted in January.  System numbers were down on December figures by 5 per cent but 8 per cent above the 12 month average. 

On March 12, the Clean Energy Regulator announced the 2019 small-scale technology percentage at 21.73 per cent, equating to a weekly STC requirement of 569,000. 

At the end February, the 2019 average weekly (net) STC creation rate was 657,000.

Still in the month of February, STCs representing 4,993 solar water heating systems were created; a rise of 14.5 per cent on January figures and on par with  February 2018 (-1%). 

South Australia boosted the number of SWH systems, clocking up the highest installation rate since 2011, and a substantial 44 per cent above the 2018 monthly average.

During January this year STCs representing 4,338 SWH systems were created; down on December figures by 12 per cent.

In other market news 27 power stations were accredited in February with a combined capacity estimated greater than 137MW. 

The bulk of capacity came from one utility-scale power station: the 125MW DC Lilyvale Solar Farm in Queensland's central highlands.

Finally for those with an eye on the spot price: it opened February at $37.60 after gains of more than $1.25 during January before trending downward in the first half of the month, bottoming out at $36.15 mid-month.

It then picked up again and quickly rose then fell again. The STC spot price closed at $37.75 on March 6.