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Solar Power in NZ (grid tied)

I had first investigated solar power when we were thinking about buying a property off grid, Living off Grid, but that never happened,the seed however had been planted in my brain. First thing to mention is that you do not get the generous buyback tariffs available in Europe, in fact there is no subsidy from the government, this of course makes the investment a dubious one.

I/we agree we wish to generate some of our electricity by solar, this was September 2011 just after moving into the present house. To finance the installation I sold some shares that were languishing and slowly going down in value. To install 3KW, the all in price was just under NZ$16000, including planning permission from the local council, the company employed was (there are other reputable companies). The price I paid was 25% lower than I had been quoted 6 months earlier, unfortunately for me the price has since come down further due to the NZ dollars rise.

Another company to look at:

Power generated in 2012 and 2013

What is interesting to note are the different profiles for the two years. 2013 had a clearly a better summer, but the winter generation was a lot lower, even though 2013 winter was very mild.

Our live ish solar power graphs

Yearly Totals for 2012 and 2013

Do keep the PV bank clean, we had a build up of pine pollen during the spring. After cleaning the peak output went up by about 100 watts. Every little helps

Power companies

There is only one company, Meridian, that gives a reasonable price for excess electricity exported to the grid, this currently 1:1, but this is to change. At present there is no contract between we the generators and Meridian, but Meridian are going to offer 3 year and five year contracts with the first 5 KWH per day exported at a higher rate and then offer a lower figure for KWH's above that. I believe I will come out about the same, but this will penalise those that generate more than they use. More to follow on that. It would be comforting to have a longer term contract!

Meridian withdrew the offer of a longer contract. They give 25 cents per KWH exported for the first 5 KWH exported per day (equates to 5 times the days in the month) then 10 cents there after. My cost of electricity to purchase is about 29 cents, but with the 15% discount for prompt payment it works out at about 25 cents. In the summer months I have been just hitting the 10 cent band, but if I am away on holiday, it mounts up. I try my utmost to use the power when generating, such as delay the dish washer and washing machine for mid morning etc., do not run them together

I should have closed the garage door

Conclusions so far

Yes its great to have a small solar power station, enhances the feel good factor, but what about the cost. 4000 KWHs, saves about NZ$1000 per annum, so not a great payback, this of course will improve as prices rise. The other thing to consider is that our investment is still there, looking good on our garage roof, it probably adds to the value of the house, certainly makes it more saleable, with half the electricity bill paid for by solar!

During the hot summer months, your max. power generated may seem low (our installed panels often only supply peak 2700 watts on 3000 installed). This is due to heat haze and the panels getting hot, which reduces their efficiency.

See also:Running and Heating a Swimming Pool in NZ

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living_in_new_zealand/country_calendar/country_calendar_b.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/02 15:35 by art
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