Australia added 40.3 MW of small-scale PV in August

A total of 8,017 new small-scale PV systems were built in the month of August, versus just 6,139 in July. Queensland led all other Australian states in new small-scale PV capacity additions, with 2,421 systems installed. The state also ranked first in the nation in August in terms of new commercial PV systems— ranging in size from 10 kW to 100 kW — with 153 new projects completed.

“More households and small businesses in regional Australia are choosing to make the switch to renewable energy,” the regulator said, noting the “geographically diverse spread of installations” in August, especially in rural areas and the suburbs of major cities throughout Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

Residents of the city of Bundaberg, Queensland, installed more small PV projects in August than any other municipality in Australia, with 17,169 new systems. Bundaberg was followed by the Melbourne suburb of Werribee, Victoria, where 16,929 new systems were completed. The adjacent suburb of Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, ranked third nationally, with 16,925 new systems completed in August.

The state of Queensland had four cities in the top 10, with no cities included from South Australia, Tasmania or the Northern Territory. Only one city from New South Wales — the country’s most populous state — made it into the top 10. The city of Lismore, New South Wales, placed tenth in August with 11,351 new systems installed.

A total of 432 commercial-sized PV systems were completed throughout the country in August. Just 136 of the new small-sized solar arrays that were installed nationwide throughout the month included battery storage applications.

All of the projects tracked by the regulator were installed under the nation’s Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme. The program was launched in 2001 to provide incentives to homeowners and businesses to install small-scale PV arrays, via a market for renewable energy certificates. All of the regulator’s data is accurate up to the beginning of September.

Australia’s total installed PV capacity — including both small and large-scale solar projects — reached about 5.2 GW at the end of 2016, according to statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).