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Solar Project Expression of Interest

*UPDATE 06/11/2017*
The expression of interest period for this offer has closed as of Friday, 3rd of November 2017. Council will be in contact with those who registered interest as information becomes available.


In recognition of the increased cost of living residents are experiencing, Council is seeking to use our collective buying power to offer households solar power systems to reduce their power costs, while lowering the carbon footprint of our region. 

What is the Offer?

The core offer is:

  • a 5kW solar system with an option to have a battery installed
  • if households already have a solar system, they can choose to purchase a battery only
  • the system will be offered as a four (4) year payment plan, with the intention of getting the weekly payment below $19 per week.

What is Council's Role?

Council's role will be twofold:

  • Run an Expression of Interest with residents
  • If appropriate interest, run a tender process to seek the best value for money option for residents

The contract for installation and payment would be established between the household and the successful tenderer.

Please complete the details below if you are interested in pursuing this solar project offer by close of business, 3 November 2017:

The form is not yet active.


Why is Council undertaking this project?

  • To demonstrate that even though Council does not have responsibility for the cost of living rises that residents on fixed income face, we are listening and developing an approach that lessens the impact on our households

  • The solar systems will contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of Port Pirie and support a move towards a carbon neutral city

  • To assist in building community resilience for times when grid power is low (brown out) or not available (black out)

  • It provides the opportunity for those with existing solar systems to purchase a battery to better manage household power costs

  • In support of our growth plan, Aspire 2027 which has an objective to ‘Look into opportunities for Port Pirie to be a renewable energy city with greater adoption of solar, batteries and energy efficiency resulting in a reduction to cost of living’.

Is solar good for South Australia?

The opportunity to leverage solar is significant in South Australia as according to Solar Choice’s results, Adelaide is one of the top three cities for investing in solar and batteries. This is because South Australia has very high electricity rates, plentiful sunshine and competitive solar pricing.

What solar system is on offer?

Based on our research and advice, a 5kW solar system is recommended as this is the minimum system size to be ‘battery ready’. This size system requires about 32m2 of roof space for the solar panels. A 5kW system will generate approximately 20kWh per day. The average home in Australia uses about 16kWh per day. However, this does not mean that homes with solar systems have no power bills as the majority of houses use electricity at night when the sun is not shining. Also, a 5kW system with annual energy production of 7,100kwh would reduce carbon emissions by 4.9 metric tons per year.

Why a battery as well?

The benefit of having a battery is to further reduce the reliance on grid power and provide some redundancy when there are power brown and black outs. This can be achieved in two ways:

  1. by storing excess daytime solar energy for night use
  2. is through tariff arbitrage, where cheap off peak energy from the grid is used to top up the battery for use in the morning rather than using peak load energy before the solar system fully kicks in.

What are the estimated savings?

Using a typical household of two people as an example, most of the savings come from self-consumed solar energy rather than solar buyback based on the current $0.08 feed in tariff. So based on the example that takes into consideration imports, exports and self-consumption over 24 hours:

  • Total consumption would be 13kWh
  • Self-consumed solar energy would be 10.33kWh – at this house’s grid rate of $0.31 this equates to a saving of $3.20 per day
  • Exports to the grid would be 31.4kWh and this would result in a solar buyback of $2.51 per day
  • Therefore total savings from the solar system for the 24 hour period would be $5.71 and this figure extrapolated into a full year is about $1,900 (this includes an allowance for lower generation in the winter)
  • If the cost for the solar system per fortnight was around $40 then the annual cost to the household would be $1,040. Therefore, the annual savings for a typical household would be around $800.
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115 Ellen Street
PO Box 45
Port Pirie SA 5540
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