Even though there are no direct incentive schemes for installations out right now, solar PV has an increasingly important place in the renewable energy space when placed in the context of global energy prices and the road to Net Zero. There are two main strategies which must be considered to get the most out of these systems:
Size the system against a daytime electricity load on site, with the aim to effectively minimise any export from the system. These systems typically are on the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) for any export that they do have.
Rather than implementing a strict tariff for exporting renewable electricity, the SEG instead allows electricity suppliers to set their own export tariffs, with the caveat that it must be greater than 0 p/kWh. This scheme is only available to certain technologies, up to a maximum generating capacity of 5MW, or 50kW for micro-CHP.
The SEG typically provides export rates between 2–6 p/kWh, compared to a typical electricity import rate of around 16 p/kWh, meaning that offsetting electricity import as much as possible increases the feasibility of these systems. When import can be effectively offset, paybacks for these systems range from 8-10 years, otherwise paybacks can increase to 15+ years.
Size the system so that there is a large amount of electricity export and negotiate selling that export electricity on the day-ahead or imbalance markets. Other schemes, such as the Capacity Market (CM), can also be negotiated to provide additional value. These systems are typically quite large (multi megawatt), so can benefit from economies of scale. However, they require an equally large electricity connection, which can be prohibitively expensive.
The average day-ahead and imbalance daytime prices for the last 6 months have been 8.4 p/kWh and 8.3 p/kWh respectively, trending upwards since the beginning of 2021.
The payback of these systems varies significantly depending on the export contract that can be negotiated; however, they are usually modelled to have a payback within 10 years.
If you are interested, get in touch on 024 7669 8887 and we can arrange a check into the feasibility of installing solar PV generation on your site.