Darlington Point Solar Farm to receive 100MW battery

The NSW based Darlington Point Solar Farm will receive a 100MW built adjacent to the facility as part of a $3.2b push from the NSW government to bolster energy storage alongside soaring solar panel install rates.

Darlington Point Solar Farm Battery

The Darlington Point Solar Farm commenced operations earlier this year so to have energy storage sitting alongside it will be a massive boon for everyone involved. According to Wikipedia the total output will be 333MW DC or 275MW AC, with Delta Energy having a PPA for 150MW.

Shell Energy and Edify Energy will work together over the next 10 years to build the 100MW battery – with Shell taking a half share of the Darlington Point battery, according to Greg Joiner, CEO of Shell.

“This long-term services agreement is a model for how large energy users can access dispatchable power like battery storage, which complements renewables, while contributing to a cleaner and more resilient power system,” Mr Joiner said.

Edify’s CEO John Cole was also understandably bullish about the situation:

“Energy storage is fast becoming a valued capacity solution for the National Electricity Market, given its fast and precise response,” Mr Cole said. “The uncertainties in this growing technology class are reducing and with it the barriers to acceptance from market and network participants.”

Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean put out a press release discussing the battery and NSW’s solar future plans:

“The NSW government is the second-biggest energy customer in the state, and we are using our purchasing power to leverage new dispatchable capacity to help power our schools, hospitals, traffic lights and tunnels,” Mr Kean said.

“This battery will help to keep the lights on and keep costs down during peak energy periods, and support more renewable energy to come online.”

With commercial solar power going from strength to strength in 2021 it’s heartening to see large-scale energy storage solutions growing at a somewhat commensurate rate. Should help us cut down on the ‘what do you do when the sun’s not shining’ naysayers!

Click here to learn more about the Darlington Point Solar Farm from Edify’s website!

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Frameless Solar Panels released by Maxeon

Maxeon Solar Technologies has released its new Maxeon Air technology platform which includes frameless solar panels for rooftop use.

About the Maxeon frameless solar panels

The Maxeon Air frameless solar panel systems are 50% lighter than conventional panels – they’re also completely free of aluminum framing, glass, racking, ballast or anchors. Think peel and stick – this is going to have a massive difference for premises who have uneven roofs or roofs previously unsuitable for conventional solar panel installation. It’ll at least be a whole lot easier than installing panels on strangely curved and shaped roofs (any installer will know what I’m talking about!). According to the Maxeon Air website, the frameless solar panels have been created over five years of research, development and testing.

With more than 3.5 billion cells installed on 7 continents, it’s pretty fair to say Maxeon solar cells have been rigorously tested in labs and proven in the field. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of warranty is involved in these solar panels, and how they work in terms of installation – which has promised to be much simpler than it is right now.

Maxeon refer to the panels as having an innovative peel-and-stick adhesive that requires no rooftop membrane penetrations, noting that this will minimise business disruption for customers, so it could be a fantastic panel to use if you’re looking for commercial solar panel installation.

A sales pitch from their website reveals how far ahead of the curve Maxeon are in terms of solar panel technology – their yield in partial shade and high temperatures is “unrivaled”, and they provide the highest efficiency and reliability in silicon solar (Caveats: Maxeon Air 330 W (Ground Coverage Ratio GCR of 0.9) compared to Conventional Single Tilt system (GCR of 0.65) with Conventional Panel (380W mono PERC, 19% efficient, approx. 2 m²). System loads on roof calculated with a GCR of 0.9.).

Maxeon have advised that the panels will be ready for sale in Q1 of next year. Can’t wait to look at some installs and see if the stats they’ve given stack up. I doubt they’ll come cheap, but that’s alright if the value proposition is there. Watch this space!


Maxeon Air Frameless Solar Panel
Maxeon Air Frameless Solar Panel (source: Maxeon)

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Switch for Solar pilot program commences in Adelaide

Switch for Solar, a $4.25m scheme announced in February which will provide low-income homeowners in suburban Adelaide free solar systems, has begun rolling out today. Let’s take a look!

Switch for Solar guidelines and application

An official statement on the South Australian government website has spelled out further information about the scheme and how the community will profit from it. Based on 4,000kWh/year of usage, families who have the 4.4 kilowatt solar PV system installed (no word on brand yet) will save $210-$665, compared to the energy concession and Cost of Living Concession they currently receive (you have to give these up if you’re selected for the program).

Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said those eligible would be contacted directly, starting today (May 18). 

“We want to be able to help this cohort of people access cheaper electricity,” van Holst Pellekaan said.

“For many people, the cost of installing solar on their homes is out of their reach, so what we are offering is people who receive low-income and energy concession opportunities from the government to swap those.”

The pilot program will encompass 19 Adelaide suburbs:  Hope Valley, Banksia Park, Tea Tree Gully, Vista, Modbury, Modbury Heights, Modbury North, Felixstow, Campbelltown, Newton, Paradise, Athelstone, Dernancourt, Holden Hill, Highbury, Redwood Park and Ridgehaven and Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island in regional SA.

According to the press release, the Switch for Solar program will be partnered with local solar companies Zen Energy and Sharpe Energy Hub.

Free solar system scheme a ‘win-win’

Switch for Solar Logo
Switch for Solar – free solar systems in Adelaide.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink urged eligible South Australian concession holders to consider the new deal.

“Our new Switch to Solar pilot is a win-win for everyone,” said Minister Lensink.

“Not only is the Government injecting money into the economy and supporting vital jobs through the purchase of 1000 new solar PV systems, our concession holders will get big bill savings off their energy bills.

“There is no doubt this is huge bill relief for the households that take part in this program.”

Interested in learning more? Click here to download the Switch for Solar factsheet in PDF form. The SFS program will be available for up to 1,000 concession households or up to May 2022, whichever comes first.

Apply for a Switch for Solar Assessment here or by calling the program hotline on (08) 8226 3100. To apply you’ll need your Centrelink Customer Reference Number (CRN) or Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) File Number. You’ll need to own your own home in one of the 19 suburbs, and also not already have solar power installed. If you’re one of the lucky 1,000 to get a free solar system, you’ll get a call from Zen Energy/Sharpe Energy Hub and you can go from there!

Have you got a call and are one of the lucky ones? Let us know about your experience in the the comments – it’s a fantastic initiative and we’d love to see how you get on with it!

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BYD Battery-Box HV

The Battery-Box HV is the first real high voltage battery that comes with a flexible and modular design with no cables inside. One Battery-Box HV contains 5 to 9 battery modules B-Plus H 1.28 in series connection and it reaches up to 11.52 kWh usable capacity.

The HV is a modular system, so the parallel connection of up to 5 (the maximum supported) identical Battery-Box HV allows a theoretical maximum capacity of 57.6 kWh. Have a look at the graph below to see how rapidly the company is moving. Fantastic signs for domestic and commercial solar systems alike.

BYD Battery Production Capacity Timeline (source: BYD.com)

The BYD Battery-Box HV

These high voltage, modular battery boxes are able to carry from 5-9 battery modules inside them, depending on which model you pick. BYD offer a 10 year warranty – we’ve reached out to them for more details (as I understand it they expect 60% capacity after 10 years) so watch this space. The enclosures are IP55 rated and all boast an impressive round trip efficiency of >95%.

BYD Battery Box User Manual

Please click to download the BYD Battery-Box HV User Manual – Battery-Box H 5.1/6.4/7.7/9.0/10.2/11.5(AU)


BYD Battery Box Range Australia 2021 (source: BYD.com)


Buy BYD Battery-Box HV in Australia

The prices and landscape for these batteries have been quite up and down over the last few years so we recommend getting in touch with us to make sure you’re getting a good price on your solar investment. Please click here or email us on [email protected] and we’d be happy to help discuss BYD deals and installation in Australia.

BYD Inverters

Learn more about the BYD Battery-Box HV and how it can work with the Fronius Symo Hybrid inverter:


About BYD

BYD Company Ltd. is a leading high-tech multinational company based in Shenzhen, China. Since its establishment in 1995, BYD has developed solid expertise in rechargeable batteries, successfully expanding its renewable energy solutions globally with operations in over 50 countries and regions.

After 23 years’ development, BYD has created a Zero Emissions Energy Ecosystem – affordable solar power generation, reliable energy storage, cutting-edge electrified transportation and a state of the art monorail has made it an industry leader in the energy and transportation sector.

Full disclosure: I don’t currently own any positions with them but BYD is listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Also, I’d like to ride that monorail. Anyone fancy a trip to Shenzhen?

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Rooftop solar sends average South Australia daytime power prices below zero

The combination of heavy proliferation of rooftop solar in South Australia and lower than average summer temperatures have combined to leave daytime solar prices to dive below zero at certain times in Q1 2021, according to a report from the AEMO.

South Australian rooftop solar drives daytime power prices below zero

RenewEconomy are reporting that South Australia set a new benchmark in the Australian electricity market, with its share of rooftop solar sending the average daytime wholesale price of electricity to below zero in the first quarter of 2021.

According to the Australia Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the average price of wholesale power in South Australia between 10am-3.30pm was -$12/MWh in Q1 – the first time this has ever happened to  Australia’s main electricity grid.

According to estimates from AEMO, up to 33% of South Australian and Queensland wind and solar capacity have installed automated bidding software, with a slightly smaller amount (~20%) in Victoria. The facilities most hit were the Tailem Bend solar farm and the Lincoln Gap wind farm, both in South Australia, and the Murra Warra wind farm in Victoria.

Record Q1 installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity during the first three months of 2021 has led to a 3% decrease in average operational demand from the National Electricity Market (NEM), the lowest amount of operational demand in Q1 since 2002.

The AEMO have released the Quarterly Energy Dynamics Q1 2021 and it also notes that the weather may have had some input in these figures:

East coast average Q1 maximum temperatures were the lowest since 2012, with particularly mild weather in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. The resulting reduction in cooling load, coupled with record Q1 installation of distributed photovoltaic (PV) capacity, led to National Electricity Market (NEM) average operational demand reducing by 3% on Q1 2020 levels, declining to its lowest Q1 since 2002.

The report from AEMO is well worth reading if you’re interested – it’s available in PDF form by clicking here.


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