Grid Connect Solar Power

Grid-connect solar is a system which uses solar power as one source of power and the electricity grid as another. Your power stays the same, but this setup allows you to use solar power (when the sun is shining) instead of expensive grid power.

Grid connected solar power system
Grid connect solar power systems are the most common solar power systems found in Australia

Are there different types of grid connect solar power systems?

A grid connect solar system can be setup in 2 main ways: NET or GROSS.

A GROSS system is where ALL of the solar power produced is first sent to the grid. You (the customer) are then paid a ‘feed-in-tariff’ for it. Your power supply stays the same and electricity is bought straight from the grid as before.

A NET system is a system where the solar produced on the roof is first used in your home and:

  1. Excess solar power produced is sent to the grid
  2. Shortfalls in electricity supply are made up by buying power from the grid

All of these processes happen automatically and seamlessly. You won’t notice any difference in supply when you have solar power on your roof.

If you’re thinking about getting solar quotes for a grid connect solar setup, then you’re on the right track!

Click here to get a grid connect solar quote

Is it necessary to apply for a grid-connect solar power system?

Yes, you need to apply before installing a grid-tied solar power system. This application is mostly to let the network operator aware that you’re going to install solar. It’s also in place to ensure that the grid in your area is capable of handling solar power systems.

In 90% or more of cases, this application is approved almost immediately. Occasionally, the network operator (ENERGEX in Brisbane) will respond to an application with terms or maximum allowable solar system size.

grid connect solar
Here is a typical grid connect solar system on a tile roof.

How to get paid for any excess power you produce

As mentioned above, a grid-connect solar power system works out the power mix automatically. If you are sending power to the grid, you will want to make sure you are getting a reasonable rate for anything you are not using. This is split into 2 portions:

  1. Feed-in-tariffs from the state government
  2. Feed-in-tariffs from your energy retailer

Most state-sponsored feed-in-tariffs are now zero.

Feed-in-tariffs from your energy retailer vary greatly. Here is a quick list of some of the best FITs on offer:

  • Click Energy – $0.10/kWh
  • AGL – $0.08/kWh
  • Power Direct – $0.08/kWh
  • Origin – $0.06/kWh

For a full list of solar feed-in-tariffs in Brisbane visit our rebates and feed-in-tariffs page.

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