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QLD posts impressive solar PV installations figures in 2012

19th Feb 2013

Queenslanders are probably born with a love for the sun, and yet their relationship with solar energy continues to heat up.

Ergon Energy has revealed that in December 2012, there was a total of 65,361 solar power systems connected to its network.

Just how much growth does that represent since 2011? A whopping 96 per cent - or nearly double the figure recorded a year ago.

Regionally, there was big growth in solar PV installations. As of December 2012, the number of systems totalled 7,962 in Townsville, 7,003 in Toowoomba and 5,717 in Bundaberg, to name just a few regions.

There is now more than 195 MW of solar PV capacity on both residential and commercial buildings hooked up to Ergon's network.

"These systems are generating in excess of 820 MWh per day, enough to power 43,000 average homes each day, providing there is sufficient sunshine of course," said Ergon Energy general manager service delivery northern Paul Ryan in a statement issued February 15.

Last year's impressive uptake of solar systems is no doubt due in part to the competitive Solar Bonus Scheme, which until July 2012 offered a solar feed in tariff of 44 cents.

That tariff has now been reduced to eight cents, yet those who signed up to the earlier, more competitive rate, still have time to install their systems and take advantage of it.

Yesterday (February 18), the Herald Sun reported that more than 42,000 of those lucky enough to sign up to the 44 cent solar bonus had yet to take advantage by connecting up a solar PV system.

Why would they be waiting? It's anyone's guess. Perhaps they don't have the funds at the moment, or perhaps they simply don't realise that the clock is ticking.

Mr Ryan reminded customers who had lodged a signed network agreement with Ergon Energy for the 44 cent feed in tariff not to miss out.

With the possibility of a last minute rush before the cut-off date of June 30, he has simple advice: act now.

He says that failure to have a solar system installed and ready for meter connection by the deadline would void the excellent tariff rate.

However, he says that customers need not worry about having everything up and running before July - Ergon Energy will take care of their end of the bargain.

"As long as we have a Form A by midnight on 30 June the meter for the solar system can be installed later."

Posted by Mike Peacock

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