Solar PV

Queensland has one of the highest rates of solar photovoltaic (PV) system installations in the world. This only looks set to increase as people embrace renewable energy alternatives for their homes and businesses.

We're conducting research and development trials in this space, engaging with growing interest in renewable and sustainable energy for the future.

Read on to learn more about solar power and whether it might be right for you.

Is solar power right for you?

If you have an existing solar PV system which is on the 44c Solar Bonus Scheme feed-in tariff (closed to new customers), you'll most likely benefit financially by exporting solar power back to the electricity grid.

However, for everyone else using as much solar power as they can in their own home, and only exporting what they can't use, gives the best value from their system. This is because the cost of energy from your rooftop solar system is typically less than the amount you pay to buy energy from the grid through your retailer. Using electricity from your solar system on site is often called "solar soaking".

Solar PV Trials

New technologies in battery energy storage systems are creating ways to store excess electricity for use at different times of the day or during a blackout. This is a dynamic research field with plenty of innovation on the horizon. Learn more about our Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) research.

Solar PV research checklist

If you are thinking of installing a solar PV system in your home or business, you probably have lots of questions. How do you know what's right for you?

Do your research

  • Consider the size of your roof, roof shade, electricity use, your budget and any government schemes that may be available.
  • Check your electricity bill to understand what kilowatt hours (kWh) you use on average per day.

Contact your electricity retailer

  • Ask how solar will affect your electricity rates and what solar feed-in tariff they offer.
  • Consider the advantages, disadvantages, and the impact on your electricity bills.

Find a solar PV system retailer

The Clean Energy Council (CEC) website has advice on finding an approved solar retailer. These will also use accredited solar installers.

Apply for connection

  • Your solar retailer or installer will provide you with a contract.
  • They'll usually submit the application to your electricity distributor to have your system connected to the grid.
  • Your electricity distributor will complete a technical assessment and may make you a connection offer.

Install your solar PV system

  • Installation can be arranged on acceptance of the connection offer from your electricity distributor.
  • Your system must be installed by a CEC accredited installer.

Connect your system to the electricity grid

  • Your solar retailer, installer or electrical contractor will work with your electricity distributor to finalise your solar PV system connection to the grid.
  • Learn more about how we support the solar PV connection process.
  • Your electricity retailer will ensure your power bill shows the relevant tariff charges.

Check and maintain your system

  • Your solar installer should provide you with a maintenance schedule.
  • Keep panels free of dust and debris and have the wiring checked periodically by a licensed electrical contractor.

Ensure safety during bad weather

  • Follow the shutdown procedures if your roof or system has been damaged or you're concerned about the integrity of your system.
  • Don't attempt to reconnect your solar PV system or access your roof after severe storms or if your roof is damaged. Contact a CEC accredited installer to recommission the system for you. Or, contact a licensed electrical contractor to check your system and ensure it's safe.

Check out our Solar PV and battery storage safety brochure (PDF 3.4 mb) for more safety information.

DER Register

The Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Register is a national initiative driven by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and comes into effect in 2020.

It’s a centralised register that will record data on small generating systems (e.g. solar PV, other renewable energy and fossil-fueled) and battery storage systems up to 30 MW, that are either exempt from registering as a generator with AEMO or not required to be registered.

We're required under the National Electricity Rules to provide DER information to the AEMO in accordance with the DER Register Information Guidelines. Read more on our DER Register webpage.