Rooftop solar sets new national installation record in October

Rooftop solar installations have set a new record of 207MW in the month of October, beating the previous benchmark by 15 per cent and with new records set in four different states.

“The national market smashes its previous record, and rises above the plateau we’ve been experiencing for the past 12 months,” says Warwick Johnston, the director of industry statistician Sunwiz.

Johnston says the market is 39 per cent ahead of where it was last year, at more than 1.5GW, and will likely get close to the 2,000MW mark for the calendar year.

The total amount of small-scale rooftop solar (installations of less than 100KW) in Australia is now 9.78GW, installed on more than 2.2 million homes and businesses.

The latest month saw strongest growth in the 6-8kWh size range, although the 50-75kW system range also jumped sharply, albeit from a small base.

The leading state was NSW with 58MW – a record monthly total for any state – followed By Queensland (53MW) and Victoria, where the uptake is now more of less controlled by the state’s own rebate scheme – (41MW).

South Australia and Western Australia both installed 24MW, which is relatively high for states with smaller populations and smaller grids, and which already have a high penetration of rooftop solar of more than 30 per cent.

The Australian Energy Market Operator has expressed concern that rooftop solar penetration could push “operating grid” demand in S.A. and W.A. down to negligible levels, making the grid hard to control unless new measures – such as smarter inverters and some form of “orchestration” can be introduced to manage the resource.

At the same, AEMO also notes that solar has been instrumental in pushing down emissions, particularly during the day when it displaces fossil fuel generation.

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