Sun shines on Canning Vale

Professor Chem Nayar (Managing Director -Regen Power).
Professor Chem Nayar (Managing Director -Regen Power).

Figures showed 4717 Canning Vale households installed solar panels for the production of power, making the suburb the 10th largest adopter of solar power in the country.

Local solar panel provider Regen Power chairman Chem Nayar said solar power had become popular as electricity prices soared.

‘This is really true in a mortgage belt suburb like Canning Vale where the income levels for households are lower than the state average,’ Mr Nayar said.

Mr Nayar said 3kW and 5kW systems were the most common.

‘In many areas, the electricity grid can easily accommodate significantly large amounts of PV (photovoltaics) without any investment in additional infrastructure,’ Mr Nayar said.

‘Rooftop solar can be a win-win for power companies, consumers and policy makers.’

However, Solar Citizens national director Lindsay Soutar said big power companies were making it hard because they were making solar-powered homes pay higher fees to connect to the grid.

‘Many solar users don’t get paid the full value of the power they put back into the network,’ Ms Soutar said.

‘And now the big power companies are trying to stop other people getting better power deals by reducing the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

‘If they cut the RET, they will cut out the people who don’t yet have solar but who still want to take back control over their power and how much they pay.’

Energy Minister Mike Nahan said there was no doubt Canning Vale residents had embraced the opportunity to install solar panels because of the State Government’s Feed in Tariff (FID) scheme.

Mr Nahan said more than 35 per cent of all solar panels installed in Canning Vale were connected to the FIT, with the scheme providing a subsidy for the use of renewable energy.

He said when considering energy related issues, it was imperative to consider the WA regulated market in isolation.

‘In the deregulated National Energy Market, power companies may charge specific fees for the installation of solar panels,’ he said.

‘However, in WA there is no specific network connection fee applied for the installation of residential solar panels.”