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Port Pirie Council letter to the Community

Thank you for your interest in our Community Solar Project. We are pleased to announce that, following an exhaustive tender process, we have awarded the contract to Cool or Cosy who will be using their Community Power Network to facilitate the provision of affordable solar in the region.

The tender process focussed on a number of key areas; quality of product, quality and longevity of the company themselves, the company’s ability to provide first-class service and warranty back-up and their ability to provide a competitive pricing structure to benefit the wider Port Pirie Regional Council community.

In addition to our own detailed analysis of the submissions, we engaged an independent expert to assist in the selection process. The end result was that we rejected a number of tenders, including some on the quality of their product, and selected Cool or Cosy who demonstrated that they met or exceeded all of our criteria. One of the key points of the Cool or Cosy group offering was their ownership of Tindo Solar, the only Australian-made panel which is manufactured right here in South Australia at Mawson Lakes.

Combined with Cool or Cosy’s in-house finance, we are extremely pleased with the outcome of being able to offer entry-level systems from only $19.20 per week.

Over the coming days and weeks, Cool or Cosy will be finalising their plans and will be starting a series of public seminars throughout the region from 17th – 20th September. At these seminars, Cool or Cosy will present the pricing options along with the benefits you can expect from the systems. You will have the opportunity to ask questions on solar and/or battery systems and decide which is best suited to your personal situation.

Before we hand the reins to Cool or Cosy to develop an energy reduction relationship with you, we would like to share some of the information we uncovered during the research phase of our solar journey.

We found a great deal of information warning of the dangers of just buying on price – after all, we can all buy a cheaper system, product, appliance etc. We discovered that some dangers in buying a cheap solar system included the strong possibility of low-end materials and having to trust warranties that have no back-up and are not worth the paper they are written on, and that’s not even taking into account the poor performance and returns on your system.

Perhaps the most telling information came from an article featuring then Environment Minster, Greg Hunt, who in 2015 expressed concerns over the prevalence of cheap, shoddy rooftop solar systems that are falling apart inside five years. This has led to the term “landfill solar” being used in the industry to describe dodgy solar systems of uncertain origin. In a nutshell, although they may look the same, not all solar systems are the same.

We fully agree with his sentiments and we are confident that our thorough tender process has eliminated that risk for our community. We wish Cool or Cosy all the best as they meet with our citizens, ratepayers and local businesses.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for further information or contact us on dates & locations of the upcoming seminars!!

James Holyman
Director Corporate & Community
Port Pirie Regional Council 




INFORMATION SESSIONS - 17th - 20th September

Community members wishing to attend will need to register through Eventbrite (links below) as numbers in each session are limited to 100. 

Community members interested in taking up the offer will be able to sign up at the end of each session.


Times and locations for sessions are as follows:

Monday 17 September (Port Pirie - Port Football & Community Club)

  • Session 1          1pm - 1:45pm               
  • Session 2          4pm - 4:45pm               
  • Session 3          7pm - 7:45pm               

 Tuesday 18 September (Port Pirie - Port Football & Community Club)

  • Session 1          10am - 10.45am
  • Session 2          1pm - 1:45pm               
  • Session 3          4pm - 4:45pm               
  • Session 4          7pm - 7:45pm

Bookings for the above sessions can be made through Eventbrite;



Wednesday 19 September (Crystal Brook Institute)

  • Session 1          1pm - 1:45pm               
  • Session 2          4pm - 4:45pm
  • Session 3          7pm - 7:45pm                    

 Bookings for the above sessions can be made through Eventbrite;



Thursday 20 September (Koolunga Institute)

  • Session 1          1pm-1:45pm                 
  • Session 2          4pm-4:45pm                 

 Bookings for the above sessions can be made through Eventbrite;



Thursday 20 September (Redhill Institute)

  • Session 1          7pm-7:45pm                 

 Bookings for the above session can be made through Eventbrite;



If you are unable to attend any of the sessions and are interested in signing up please contact Peter Pederson on 8234 5101.



Why you shouldn't buy a cheap solar system(957 kb)


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.

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.


Contact Us
Council Address
115 Ellen Street
PO Box 45
Port Pirie SA 5540
Opening Hours
Monday - Friday
9.00am - 5.00pm