New solar restrictions for single phase homes

By |2020-02-18T23:37:33+00:00February 18th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments
New solar restrictions for single phase homes.
I’ve mentioned this a few times over the last few months that there were changes coming and we have had tons of customers jump at the opportunity to get in the biggest system they could under the current connection rules for solar in tasmania.
The rules as they are now are a maximum of 10kW of solar panels on a domestic building with a single phase connection. 90% of homes are single phase. So if you are not not sure what that means just be aware this does most likely affect you as its all about to change.
We are getting to the pointy end of the process now with meetings called this week amongst major industry stakeholders which DMS Energy is part of to work out what direction this change will take and how to transition to it. So its happening.
There is a drive by TasNetworks to comply to the new AS4777.2 standard to restrict domestic systems to 5kW and that can be either generation or export limitation. Out of those options export limitation is the better of the two. Though it also says in the same standard it’s entirely up to the network whether they feel they need to comply. Simply they don’t have to if they didn’t want to.
There was initially a push to limit the amount of panels of a roof to 5kW which would have been disastrous for battery storage and future electric vehicle uptake. Hopefully we have had that option taken off the table but we will have to wait and see. This was always the most easiest and cheapest option for TasNetworks and easiest and cheapest has a certain appeal with some bureaucrats.
Hopefully we have the 5kW export limit option which is the lesser of two evils. This just means you can have a larger system but it can never export any more than 5kW back to the grid. This is workable. Fingers crossed this is what we end up with.
Both options would be unnecessary if we had smarter networks. Networks designed around dealing with multiple sources of incoming energy. At the moment its lie trying to put a square peg in a round hole as we try adapt modern localised combined small generators into a network that hasn’t changed in design much since Nikola Tesla invented the alternating current system.
It seems weird we have to bend the new to suit the old without considering what we could be doing to adapt our old antiquated network to the new norm of multiple energy inputs. Personally I blame lack of government policy and direction in this area both federally and at the state level.
Interesting math just on our solar systems. Last January they produced around 1GWh of energy which equates to in carbon avoided, even with Tasmania’s low carbon footprint of 190 tons of CO2, equivalent of 108,571 trees planted. Another way of looking at it we saved enough water being ran through our dams that was equivalent of the water usage of Latrobe for January.
And thats just DMS Energy’s customers contribution. Imagine the rest of Tasmania’s effort combined.
So despite the obvious financial savings of solar the overall impact of renewable energy does matter and it wouldn’t hurt to see more of an investment out of government to embrace this technology. No handouts or bonus’s just the necessary back end infrastructure to support the growing amount of customers who want to make a difference.
The first meeting is this week so I will have more to report over the next few weeks. If customers want to make the most out of the current connection rules for solar where we can install 10kW largely unrestricted to single phase domestic dwellings don’t delay as I suspect we only have weeks now before the final decision is made.
While none of us know what that final decision will be it will less not more.