27/01/2021 - 15:48

Solar defies 2020 gloom

27/01/2021 - 15:48

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Solar power installations in Western Australia hit a record level last year, according to consultancy Sunwiz, with Perth systems cheaper than those in other states.

Solar defies 2020 gloom
Rooftop solar panels have been supported by major government incentives. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

Solar power installations in Western Australia hit a record level last year, according to consultancy Sunwiz, with Perth systems cheaper than those in other states.

Sunwiz said about 500 megawatts of solar capacity was registered in WA in 2020, including both small and utility-scale systems.

Data from the Clean Energy Regulator shows 44,600 small scale solar generations installed in WA during the year, the second highest on record.

The regulator estimated that took WA’s total to more than 366,000 systems.

Sunwiz estimated that new capacity installed in 2020 tallied to around 335MW.

Managing director Warwick Johnston said growth in WA had been at the second highest rate of all states.

Mr Johnston said solar power systems were cheaper in WA than other states, while the state’s sunny weather also supported uptake.

“There's a high solar uptake already in WA, and so people are comfortable with the technology,” he said.

“The systems pay for themselves really quickly and therefore provide a high-return investment.”

A record level of utility scale solar entered the market during the year, according to Sunwiz’s data.

That would be led by Risen Energy’s 132MW Merredin Solar, which completed commissioning in the middle of last year.

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