DOCTOR Larry Fingleton is so convinced solar farming is the way of the future he has invested $70,000 in a solar system for his Georges Plains property.
The 10kW ground-mounted solar farm features 60 panels and will produce enough electricity to power three or four average houses.
Generating 45kW hours per day, it is the largest system the government will allow.
Dr Fingleton said from this month the government will pay 60 cents per kW hour for surplus clean energy fed back into the power grid. His 10kW system will yield
approximately $27 per day or $9855 per year.
“That’s a nice bonus,” Dr Fingleton said.
“At this rate it will have paid for itself in seven years.
“The remainder will be the return on my investment.”
Dr Fingleton used a broker, Solar Choice, to provide information and negotiate with installers to get him the best deal.
He said their service is free to the solar farmer, paid not by the customer, but by the successful installer.
Managing Director Angus Gemmell said this year alone the company has brokered for 4000 customers Australia-wide.
Since the NSW government’s Solar Bonus Scheme was announced, the number of new
customers in NSW has grown to make up 60 per cent of their clientele.
Australsun won the contract and started installing the massive system on December 22. They finished the job on Christmas eve.
The company also supplies the panels and investigates the best place to install them.
Australsun’s owner John Young said the
company, based in Perth, has been kept very, very busy.
“We are getting a lot of work in Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia
and New South Wales,” he said.
“This is very big for a private job. Normally you would see this kind of set up on a school.”
Dr Fingleton said he is also considering
setting a system up on his bore as a further investment.
“It’s quite possible the value of this project
will increase as the cost of electricity goes
up,” he said.
“We wanted to do the environmental thing – but it’s also a sound investment.
“It’s the government incentives that make it worthwhile.”
Between $12,000 and $15,000 worth of
incentives are available per unit in addition
to the premium rate offered for electricity returned to the grid.