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Solar Export Restrictions

Semiconductor

Hi 

 

I am a resident of Dondingalong NSW 2440 (near Kempsey) and am about to install a residential solar system. You offer attractive feed in rates with some conditions and I intend to move our account to AGL at the time of installation. I would like to get some clarity around the eligibility for the 21c FIT. 

 

1) When you say a system is 10kW in size, do you mean 10 kW inverter or 10kW of panels? Clearly the latter does not generate 10kW (more like 7.5kW).

2) Depending on the answer to Q1, if I install a system that is over the limit, what FIT am I eligible for?

3) Are there limits on the amount that a residential system can feed back to the grid both over and under 10kW?

21 REPLIES 21

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

AGL Moderator

Hi mainey01! 

Welcome to AGL Community! 

1.) The size limit applies to the panels themselves, not the export size inclusive of a limiter. 

2.) AGL's standard solar feed in tariff is 10.2 c/kWh in NSW.

3.) There isn't a limit on your system which will cap you from receiving a solar feed in tariff. 

 

Kind regards, 

 

-Nam-

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

Semiconductor

Thanks Nam

 

The AGL comparison page says I am eligible for a Solar Savers plan, which offers no discount on the base power rate but offers "Our highest solar feed-in-tariff of 21c/kWh". Does this apply to a system of any size?

 

Is the 10.2c FIT you mentioned available with any plan (including Essential Saver and Essential Plus)?

 

If I am off track, can you please tell me:

1) If I install a system with more than 10kW of panels, what is the best power plan and Feed in Tariff AGL can offer?

2) If I install a system with less than 10kW of panels, what is the best power plan and Feed in Tariff AGL can offer?

 

It is frustrating that this simple information is so hard to uncover.

 

Thanks

 

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

AGL Moderator

Hi mainey01! 

The Solar Savers energy plan which includes the 21 c/kWh feed in tariff, is only available for customers who have a solar system installed where the panel size is less than 10 kW.

 

1.) If your panel size is more than 10 kW, then you would need to select one of our other energy plans and the standard solar feed in tariff is currently 10.2 c/kWh. You currently have a choice of selecting a low variable rate energy plan or a low fixed rate energy plan, this would be the Essentials Saver and Essentials Plus respectively. 

 

2.) If your panel size is less than 10 kW, then you would have a choice in all 3 energy plans mentioned above. It'll come down to what your usage and solar export comes out to, if you're producing more solar export then you would lean more towards the Solar Savers plan. If your importing more power from the grid and not exporting much solar, then you would be better off on a low rate plan. 

 

I hope this clears up the confusion for you. 

 

Kind regards, 

 

-Nam-

 

 

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

Semiconductor

Nam

 

In my first message I asked:

3) Are there limits on the amount that a residential system can feed back to the grid both over and under 10kW?

You replied:

3.) There isn't a limit on your system which will cap you from receiving a solar feed in tariff. 

 

Your reply doesn't answer my question. I am trying to find out if AGL will only pay for a limited amount of feed back? For example If my system generates 10kW in one hour, but I only consume 3kW, will AGL pay me for full 7kW excess?

 

I am asking because if AGL only pays for a maximum of say 5kW per hour, then there is no point paying for a system that generates more than 5kW in excess of what we use.  

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

AGL Moderator

Hi mainey01!

 

There is no cap on the solar export on any system size under or over 10 kW. 

 

Kind regards, 

 

-Nam-

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

Powerhouse

@mainey01 @-Nam- 

 

I am from SA and am just as confused as 'Mainey01' on this discussion.

 

However, His / Her questions are based on a "WHAT IF" statement that makes both some assumptions and has some conjectures.

 

'Mainey01' I suggest that you look at your Suppliers web page about installing Solar.

https://www.essentialenergy.com.au/at-home/micro-embedded-generation

Especially refer to "Read the Connecting to the network information pack"

 

Now lets have a look at some of the issues in this discussion so far.

 

10Kw Restrictions - could not find a definitive answer to any limit placed by AGL other than one reference on a LINK on a Google search page that states:

Solar Savers. Take advantage of our highest solar feed-in tariff for solar systems under 10 kW.

 

This link takes you to:

https://www.agl.com.au/get-connected/electricity-gas-plans/nsw/comparison

Where there is no actual reference to any limits. (FACT)

 

Residential Solar Savers

https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/plan?id=AGL15266MRE&postcode=2440

Is the link I am taken to if I use the postcode 2440 from AGL's website.

This states 21 cents a KW exported and usage at 30.31 cents.

There does not appear to be any rider on the document indicating that there is any limit on the capacity of the solar unit supplying the power to the grid. (FACT)

 

The plan does say  "Plan prices are not fixed and 12 month contract"  so be aware that AGL reviews their prices in January and July each year. (FACT)

 

Now if I look at

Residential Essentials Saver Online

https://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/plan?id=AGL15237MRE&postcode=2440

I see that it only pays 10.2 cents but usage is 26.36 cents per Kw.

Still no fixed rate and no rider indicating any limits of feed in power. (FACT)

 

If I research AGL for Solar Rate (NSW)

https://www.agl.com.au/help/rates-contracts/info-for-solar-customers

This indicates only a 10.2 cent rate and no riders. (FACT)

 

https://wattever.com.au/agl-solar-feed-in-tariffs/ (NSW)

Does not indicate any export limits but shows 21 and 10.2 cent feed-in rates. ((FACTUAL)

 

@David_AGL, anything that you know that may add to this discussion regarding the limits, I have spent some time trying to find this limit in writing on the Web, https://www.agl.com.au and find nothing but "hear-say" in community pages and nothing anywhere else. (In fact in community pages I can see statements from moderators that there are no limits...)

 

https://www.solarchoice.net.au/blog/solar-system-size-limits-by-network

This site indicates that some suppliers (the company that owns the wires and transformers) have set limits on system sizes for "homes". (FACT)

 

Now 'Mainey01' is in Essential Energy's supply area and the above link states:

 

An application for solar connection will automatically be approved if the system is ≤3kW Rural or ≤5kW urban, and application meets all other requirements. (FACT)

 

This indicates that 'Mainey01' (or his/her supplier/installer) can apply for a larger system and subject to Essential Energy's approval can install a larger system. (FACT)

 

So 'Mainey01'I think  the correct answers to your questions are:

 

1.  You may be able to feed-in to the grid, more than 3kw, if Essential Energy approves your

      application. (FACT)

2.  AGL will pay you, at the agreed rate, irrespective of the amount you feed into the grid,

     using an APPROVED Solar System, on a AGL Plan that you accept. (FACT)

3.  AGL would be happy to accept you as a Customer. (FACT)

4.  There may or may not be a limit of 10Kw feed-in to the grid by AGL.

 

(Please remember this is a Discussion, that I am not an employee of AGL, only a member of the AGL Community)

 

I have also added to the message tags for this discussion so that anyone researching this type of subject may have a better chance of finding the result.

 

Anyone else please feel free to add to the discussion.

 

Cheers

Neil

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

Conductor

Hi 

 

I wanted to find out, if your solar panel system is over 10kw, and if you have a 3 phase, does it mean you can still have 21 cents?

 

Does the single phase or 3 phases make a difference to the feed in tariff pricing?

 

Thanks

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

Powerhouse

Adrian2020,

 

From the discussion here,  I would say, probably not.

Are you dreaming that you can have 30Kw of 3 phase solar panels. (ie a what if)

 

How much does a 30kW commercial solar PV system cost? A 30kW solar PV system comprised of quality components costs anywhere between $32,000 – $55,000.

Roof space available: A 30kW system will require at least roughly 150-200m2 of area, but possibly more depending on the wattage of the panels and whether they require tilt frames.

150m2  is 50 meters long and 30 meters wide

200m2  is 50 meters long and 40 meters wide

 

To install you will need to have your Suppliers Permission (see the discussions above).

At 21c per Kw you would need to produce 152 Mw to get your money back.

If you are in NSW you can purchase Electricity for about 24 cents a KW so unless you are a really big user you would be looking at having to produce about 106.667 GigaWatts before you broke even.

Capital City                   Approx average daily energy production*
Adelaide                       109-122kWh
Brisbane                       116-122kWh
Canberra                      108-124kWh
Darwin                           ~133kWh
Hobart                          86-99kWh
Melbourne                   94-108kWh
Perth                             120-131kWh
Sydney                          102-113kWh

*Assumes north-facing with no shading, 75% system efficiency.
Information via PVWatts & Bureau of Meteorology

 

Please give some more details.

 

Cheers

Neil

Re: Solar Export Restrictions

AGL Moderator

Hi Adrian2020! 

 

Thank you for your question.

 

Simply answer is no, the 21 cent feed in tariff is only for Residential customers with Solar Systems lower than 10kw. This is based on the panels sizing, regardless of the phases. 

 

The amount of phases you have also will not effect your rates, but the type of tariff you are on will such as time of use vs flat rate. 

 

Thank you 

Ellen