Smashing records

The popularity of solar power is smashing records: during November STC creation was 14 per cent greater than already-strong October levels, and struck the highest level of creation in five years. According to Green Energy Markets the weekly average for 2017 now stands at 420,000, up from 405,000 at the end of October. The three-month weekly average is significantly higher at 502,000, a rise from the 466,000 listed at the end of October.

GEM observes that in recent years creation has typically been higher in the second half of the year, and 2017 is no exception. Using the three-month net average GEM estimated the likely tally for the remainder of 2017, the analysis revealing the market could exceed the target by 8.9 million certificates.

STCs representing 18,038 solar PV systems and 120 MW of capacity were created in November, a rise on October figures by 15 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

STCs representing 5,864 Solar Water Heater systems were created in November; but this was actually 10 per cent lower than the number of systems in October.

In other market news, 23 power stations were accredited during November with a combined capacity of 18.2 MW. The bulk of capacity is attributed to the 10.8 MW Lakeland Solar & Storage facility near Cooktown in Far North Queensland.

SunWiz Solar Consultants has declared 2017 “a year of records for Australian solar power with 1GW already commissioned … and the year’s not even finished yet”.

Highlights of the 10 records that have been broken in 2017 include:

Fastest time to reach 1 GW of commissioned solar in a calendar year a figure that looks set to reach 1.05 GW once the final tally is in, the SunWiz calculator says.

 The Large-scale Lookout reveals more than 114 MW of systems over 100 kW have already been commissioned in 2017 (of which Kidston Solar Farm contributed 50 MW). The current tally was therefore 1.00 GW by the end of November. 

Record volume of solar commissioned in a calendar year, with figures suggesting the previous best of 1.058 GW in 2012 will be exceeded.

 Record volume of PV rooftop commercial commissioned.

 Record volume of sub-100 kW solar registered in a month … a stellar result … both October and November will be in the list documenting the top five months of registration.

 Record volume of PV registered in NSW in any month.

 Record average system size in the sub-100 kW market which in October hit 6.7 kW/system. This is an indication of both the growing size of residential systems and the increasing volume and proportion of the market that is commercial.

 Record proportion of system volume in the 75-100 kW range.

 Record volume in every commercial system size sub-range, and

 World’s biggest lithium battery, installed in record time.

SunWiz anticipates in 2017 the sub-100 kW PV market will rise up to about 1.05-1.10 GW, with Australia heading for at least 1.16 GW of commissioned systems.

On that positive note, season’s greetings to everyone and given the high levels of productivity, here’s hoping most in the industry are managing to take a well-earned break.