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Be part of the Solar Revolution

Rob Collins – NQ Solar

Solar power has emerged as one of the most rapidly growing renewable sources of electricity. While a majority of the world’s current electricity supply is generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, these traditional energy sources face a number of challenges including rising prices and growing environmental concerns over the climate change risks associated with using fossil fuels. As a result of these and other challenges facing traditional energy sources, governments, businesses and consumers are increasingly supporting the development of alternative energy sources and new technologies for electricity generation.

NQ Solar is 100% locally owned and operated based in Cairns, servicing North Queensland. Supplying quality products specifically designed to withstand the harsh climate of Tropical North Queensland, they have completed over 6000 domestic jobs and 150 significant commercial projects. This year also marks their 12-year anniversary. NQ Solar Director Rob Collins takes time out to explain why moving into solar energy is a smart move for your business.

Why should a business go solar?

From a business point of view, it is all about savings and energy security. Savings in that the business will pay less for its power and energy security in that the business is locking in the price of energy. It is reducing their risk and exposure to future exorbitant energy prices. Most systems can now incorporate batteries, either at installation or with planning can be added at a future date. Adding solar to your business also significantly increases its value and adds an asset to your balance sheet.

Let’s talk Government incentives to go solar

The Federal Government provides incentives for solar systems both small and large under the Renewable Energy Target (RET). These incentives are sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘rebates’; in reality they are not rebates, as they are not claimed back after an initial expenditure.

The RET provides incentives to small-scale (under 100kW) systems and large-scale solar projects (over 100kW) differently. Households, small business and community groups generally fall under the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), while large commercial and solar plants are covered by the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET).

The SRES was developed to assist households, small business and community groups with the cost of installing a solar system. The scheme works by issuing Small Scale Technology Certificates (STC’s) to homes and businesses that install solar systems. The number of STCs created for a system is calculated based on the location in Australia, the size and the “deeming period”, the estimate of the years the system will create renewable energy (though most systems will produce energy for up to 30 years). It is the deeming period that is gradually being phased out over the next twelve years reducing the incentive for solar systems under 100kW.

Each STC created holds a value (it can be described as a renewable energy currency). The value of the STC is dependant on the market, they are traded in a manner very similar to the share market. The value of one STC fluctuates with supply and demand and has been as low as $16 and as high as $40. For example, the value of STC’s today is hovering around $35, a 30kW system today in North Queensland generates 497 STC’s. Therefore, the value of STC’s for this system would be $17,395 (497 STC’s x $35). This is the “discount” the installer applies directly to the price of the system, in return for taking ownership of the STC’s. Each installer may offer a different value for the STC’s depending on the trader they use and their stock of STC’s.

The Queensland State Government also provides incentives in the form of a feed-in tariff and some of the smaller systems may be eligible for this incentive.

Why should we choose NQ Solar?

NQ Solar is a local solar accredited electrical contracting company and have been operating in North Queensland for 12 years. They employ their own tradespeople, energy consultants and manage all warranty and service work, in-house. NQ Solar are also registered and accredited STC traders. If you choose NQ Solar, you will only be dealing with the one company from the initial free onsite consultation through to installation, STC processing and any ongoing warranty and service work.

NQ Solar are also partnered with two of the leading brands in the industry, Sunpower for Solar Panels and SMA for Solar and Battery Inverters, so you can have peace of mind when it comes to reliability and performance of your system. NQ Solar also install using their own exclusive, heavy duty mounting system designed to withstand the harsh conditions of North Queensland. Many of their Cardwell customers can vouch for an NQ Solar installation which withstood the ferocity of Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
The benefit of solar energy for most businesses is justified purely on financial terms, whilst for others, it may be a combination of financial, environmental, marketing and green credentials that determine the investment decision.

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