When considering installing solar power, there are factors to consider depending on where you live. The good news is that with plenty of sunshine, Darwin is one of the best cities in Australia to install solar power. The Bureau of Statistics reveals that Darwin receives an average of around nine hours of sunshine a day, making the choice of solar energy both cost effective and environmentally friendly.
Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, as a large initial investment, going solar isn’t always an easy choice. At Canstar Blue, our goal is to answer all of your burning questions about Darwin solar power and equip you with the tools you need to make sound financial decisions. Let’s start!
How much do solar panels cost in Darwin?
To purchase and install a new solar system in Darwin, you can expect to pay between $5,800 and $13,700. Systems under 3 kW should cost you less than $6,000, while mid-size systems will cost you between $7,000 and $9,000. Large systems between 7kW and 10kW cost over $10,000 to install in Darwin.
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Source: Solar Choice – May 2022 Solar Price Index. Prices are after STC and GST rebates applied.
According to SolarChoice, solar installation costs in Darwin are significantly higher than the national average. However, the data in the table above should only be used as a guide. The actual cost of your installation may be lower (or higher) than estimated. Several factors influence the cost of solar panels, including the type of system, where you live, and even the pitch of your roof, so it’s a good idea to talk to a solar installer for a more accurate quote.
How many homes have solar power in the NT?
According to the Clean Energy Regulator, more than 20,000 small-scale solar systems have been installed in Darwin and the wider Northern Territory. Data from the Australian Photovoltaic Institute reveals that 3,020 such systems of 10kW and below are in Darwin.
Darwin Solar Rebates and Incentives
At the time of writing, the Northern Territory Government is currently offering a number of rebates and incentives to Darwin owners, including the Federal STC rebate and the NT Home and Business Battery Scheme.
STC in the Northern Territory
Aavailable to Darwin and other Northern Territory homes is an incentive known as Small Scale Technology (STC) Certificates. This federal program rewards homeowners who install solar energy by reducing the initial cost of installing solar panels or hot water systems.
The government assigns a number of certificates to each household, which is determined by the size of the system and where you live in Australia. Your solar installer will then use these certificates, capped at $40 per STC, to subsidize installation costs.
NT households are in the best position to receive the most STC thanks to the significant amount of sunshine that Darwin’s rooftops see. Australia is divided into four STC zones and households in Darwin are in Zone 1, receiving more STC than those in Zones 2, 3 and 4. This means that solar installation in Darwin is more subsidized than in other other big cities like Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
Battery Program for Homes and Businesses Northern Territory
Households in Darwin seeking to install a solar battery may be eligible for a grant of $450 per kilowatt-hour battery capacity, up to a maximum of $6,000. Eligible owners must be in the Northern Territory and install a battery that is compatible with a virtual power station and listed on the government’s list of eligible batteries. The financing can be used either for a simultaneous installation of solar panels and batteries, or for a battery only for households already equipped with solar panels.
Solar companies in Darwin
Until In 2020, the Northern Territory offered Darwin residents a premium feed-in tariff (pFiT) of 26.05c/kWh, which was the same as the standard electricity tariff at the time. On April 5, 2020, the government announced a new standard feed-in tariff of 8.3c/kWh for all new solar installations.
Where a system was installed on or before April 5, 2020, the pFiT can be maintained for four years provided the system is not upgraded or you do not move.
Darwin Solar Feed-In Tariffs
So what feed-in tariffs are available in Darwin? Unlike the Eastern States and Territories, the Northern Territory’s energy market is not particularly competitive, meaning most households will be with government-owned Jacana Energy receiving the standard feed-in tariff . What Darwin solar owners may not know is that Jacana isn’t their only option. The table below compares Jacana Energy’s feed-in tariff with new entrant Rimfire Energy.
|Retailer||Minimum feed-in tariff (kWh)||Maximum feed-in tariff (kWh)|
What is the best solar feed-in tariff in Darwin?
The best feed-in tariff in Darwin is 26.05c/kWh, offered by Jacana Energy to those with the system installed by April 5, 2020. The second-best rate offered to new solar customers comes from independent challenger brand Rimfire Energy, offering 11c/kWh.
Solar installers in Darwin
The following list offers some examples of solar installers available in the greater Darwin area. It is sorted alphabetically.
- Arafura Solar
- NT Solar Country
- Darwin Solar
- Eco Sparks Solar and Electrical Contractors Pty Ltd
- Eco Tech Solar
- Gem Energy
- Northern Renewable Energy Group
- Solar on a roof
- Contracting in orbit
- SEM group
- Your green planet
Do I need permission to install solar power in Darwin?
Due to the prevalence of cyclones in and around Darwin, the NT government requires a few conditions to be met before solar power can be installed. They are:
- Solar systems certified for strong wind conditions.
- Grid Connection Agreement and Power Purchase Agreement forms.
- A building permit for frames and photovoltaic solar panels.
Is solar power worth it in Darwin, Northern Territories?
When it comes to installing solar power, one question rules them all: is it worth it? As you may have guessed, the answer will be different for everyone. Although the initial solar investment in Darwin is relatively expensive, there is always relief in the form of federal incentives, battery rebates, and payback estimates.
However, it’s worth considering that payback periods vary greatly depending on your household’s energy use and how much you export to the grid, and installation costs may be higher or lower than what suggest the estimates. Before undertaking any work, it is important that you obtain several quotes and review all your options to ensure you get the best deal and system for your needs.
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