Energy Accounts and Billing

Help with your AGL Energy account or AGL online tools.

Help with your AGL Energy account or AGL online tools.

Solar Export Restrictions

Semiconductor

Hi 

 

I am a resident of Dondingalong NSW 2440 (near Kempsey) and am about to install a residential solar system. You offer attractive feed in rates with some conditions and I intend to move our account to AGL at the time of installation. I would like to get some clarity around the eligibility for the 21c FIT. 

 

1) When you say a system is 10kW in size, do you mean 10 kW inverter or 10kW of panels? Clearly the latter does not generate 10kW (more like 7.5kW).

2) Depending on the answer to Q1, if I install a system that is over the limit, what FIT am I eligible for?

3) Are there limits on the amount that a residential system can feed back to the grid both over and under 10kW?

29 REPLIES 29

Powerhouse

Finnegan,

 

I no longer support the AGL Community pages for statements like yours that are not factual.

 

In SA you can export what is written on your SEG approval.

 

New single phase installations are now limited to 5kW output but you can generate more and limit your export to 5kw Max.

 

My SEG approval also has the the maximum capacity of my solar panels (6.6kW) stated on it and as such I cannot add any more to this system without re-applying for a new SEG approval from SA Power Networks.

 

Three phase users can export 30kw and have a maximum of 40kW of panels in the installation.

However:-

As from  29 May 2019 (NEW  SA INSTALLATIONS) can only export a maximum of 5kW per phase. So if your inverter or inverters are larger than this, you’ll need to export limit.

 

The above info is only applicable in SA.

 

You should note (in SA,VIC, ACT, QLD and TAS) that under new AEMO rules that in some circumstances your electricity supplier may isolate your Solar System to protect the Grid.

 

My understanding is that this does not mean that your power will be switched off, but your supplier will allow the voltage on the line to exceed 258 Volts which will cause your inverter to shut down.

 

Now for people that are unaware, the 5kW or 10kW that is being discussed here, is instantaneous output into the grid at any one time.

 

So it is possible, that under the right circumstances, you will be able export 40kW or more a day into the grid.

Conductor

hi  Neil   i agree with all   that u wrote  - 5 kw limit in SA  -   U can get 40 kw or more on a good day   --  i'm not sure what   I  wrote that isn't factual   -    cheers  Finnegan

Semiconductor

Hi NeilC - have read your thread with interest as AGL have informed me yesterday (and after being with them on the Solar Savers plan (20c FiT) for nearly 2 yrs), that I am not eligible any more as my 'system appears' to be bigger than 10kW.

 

I'm not sure how I can possibly be outputting more than 10kW given that's the size of the inverter (have 13.2 kW of panels)?  What's even more concerning is they're suddenly taking action after 22 months even though I gave them all this info at the time of installing the meters/signing up with them...which makes me suspicious they're using total capacity to reign in FiT payments.

 

Just wondering if you have any suggestions/ ideas of how to stop them dropping me to 6c or other avenues I have available to challenge this decision.  Apparently it is up to me to prove the system is no more than 10kW even though this was established when my installer sent the paper work through when I signed up and subsequently agreed was compliant with their plan conditions.

 

Grateful for any advice

Gillian (South East Queensland)

Conductor

hi   Gillie   - it seems like if you have got more than 10 kw  of panels they can lower your   FIT

Powerhouse

@Gillie 

I am confused as you are.

 

There are lots of answers from various moderators on this site.

Now @David_AGL  may be able to supply more information as to the AGL official response.


When your solar panels were installed your SUPPLIER (the company that owns the poles, transformers and wiring) issued you your SEG (Small Embedded Generator) licence that gave permission to you put a maximum power back into the grid.


If you had a 5Kw licence (or 10) that was the maximum you could put into the grid irrespective of the max capability of the panels you have installed. (Excess power is dumped as heat by your inverter). My inverter is rated 5kW on my SEG approval and my total generation capacity is listed 6.60kW on that approval.

 

Now given that these days you WILL HAVE A SMART METER. Your supplier can see what is occurring on their network and should respond to your RETAILER (AGL) that YOU are over producing if you were.


Given the above you should be able to produce your SEG or ask your supplier (and/or installer) to produce a copy of your SEG and present that to AGL.

Your INVERTER is stated on that SEG licence and unless that has changed drastically in it's specs (greater than specified) you should be OK.

 

My stance would be that for X number of years AGL has been paying you a FIT on the amount of power you export to the grid and should continue to pay you the maximum amount of FIT for your supply.

 

My contract with AGL ends on the 12th April and I already know that I will not get 20c FIT as the max amount for SA customers is now 16c, but I will get a reduction in my supply charge and imported power charges.

 

If you have seen any of my other posts, you may know that I maintain a spreadsheet of my daily usage and export (obtained from the usage CSV file available from your MyAccount page).

 

From this I can predict what my bill will be at the end of the current billing period. At this time (12th March as I have no usage data for Saturday) I am 54 days into my 90 day billing cycle, my average daily usage is 5.630kW and daily average for solar export is 26.147kw.

 

My bill prediction for midnight on the 17th April is a credit of $190.93 (if I use the new rates with only 16c per kW) the same bill would be a credit of $105.76. Or to put it in a different format (cost per day) I will have a daily credit of $1.1751 rather than the $2.1214 that I am returning now. (Which equates to a 45% reduction on my current rates).

 

You do have the option at any time to move to a new Retailer, so I suggest you look at other Retailers to see if you can obtain a better deal.

 

In NSW, Origin is offering 16c, 14c for Victorian/ Queensland Customers and 15c for SA customers for exported solar.

 

Now Origin does has some limitations:

 

Eligibility Requirements
* your solar PV system must be net metered
* your solar PV system must not exceed 10KW of inverter capacity or be limited to 10KW of export
* you must not be receiving a feed-in tariff under any government scheme.

 

Hope this all helps.

Cheers
Neil

 

PS:

Maybe you could raise the issue of panel amount verses inverter capability with the Electricity Ombudsmen

AGL Community Manager

Hi @Gillie , the Solar Savers plan limit is determined by panel size, so unfortunately even if your system is restricted to 10kw in other ways, the total panel capacity needs to be eligible for the plan.

If a post answers your question, please click MARK AS SOLVED!

This helps others in the community find the answers they're looking for.

Semiconductor

Hi Neill - your reply is REALLY helpful - thanks so much.

 

...and yes, nothing has changed/been increased since my system was installed.  My issue is that AGL should do the right thing and honour the terms of the contract as everything was disclosed to them at the time.

 

I also have a 3 phase inverter, but that is irrelevant in this case, right?...and this may be a daft question but...it's not possible to produce more than the inverter limit is it?

 

...and just so I'm clear..,if Energex confirms I'm producing as per the SEG 10kW limit, then AGL has no comeback even though they are arguing panel capacity (which clearly over-estimates export output)?

 

I'll definitely chase up the SEG with my installer and/or Energex.

 

Sorry for all of the questions...there's a lot of trickiness going on!

 

Thanks again

Gill

Powerhouse

@Gillie 

 

It may have helped if you stated 3 phase earlier.

 

However, I have come back and re-read this whole thread and have done some research on the web.

 

Now, AGL has confirmed that to get the max FIT, "Your total panel capacity MUST NOT EXCEED 10kW"other retailers specify that output must be LIMITED to 10kw, in SA, the supplier (SA Power Networks) has specified that you may not output more than 5kw per phase.

 

With AGL, this does not mean that you cannot get paid for your solar, but you will get a a lower FIT (about 12.4 cents I think).

 

As I have stated, you should look at other retailers.

 

However, when looking at retailers, you will need to look at the fine print. For instance when looking at SA prices I found one retailer that paid 20c per kW, but in the fine print it was for the first 8kw only then dropped to 4c for any remaining. (That is per day)

 

Changing retailers these days is quite simple and if you are not bound by CONTRACT may take less than two weeks (you have compulsory cooling off periods).

 

If you wish to stay with AGL, one option would be for you remove the excess panels from your system.

 

The disadvantage of doing this is that on overcast days you would produce considerably less (about 30%) power.

 

On some of the posts on the AGL pages you may have read misinformation that you have larger system panel capacity to allow for inverter conversion in-efficiency.

 

MPPT technology is quite efficient these days and first thing in the morning my inverter is about 92% efficient and with full sunlight it rises up to about 97%.

 

Hope this all helps.

 

Must mention though, that I really no longer support the NEIGHBOURHOOD due to that fact it is a thankless task and can find better things to do than spend an hour or two writing up information never to get any thanks.

 

Pleased to note that I am still the top solution author for the last 12 months and 3rd overall for all time.

 

Cheers

Neil

Semiconductor

Hi NeilC - thanks again for your assistance on this matter - you've certainly given me plenty of useful info to progress with, I'm very grateful for your willingness to help. 🙂

 

Best regards

Gill

Powerhouse

@Gillie 

 

No problems, just remember I don't go on this site any more because people don't say thanks.

The way you say thanks is to click the 👍 like button and if the person has answered your question click the SOLVED button.

 

I will still maintain that your best option is to move to another provider as AGL definitely states panel size no greater than 10kW. In your own admission you have 13kW.

 

This may have been OK when you signed up but this has changed in the last two years. At the end of the contract you have to take what they offer.

 

Cheers and have a Happy Easter.

 

Think of me when you get your Easter Eggs as that is my retirement day.

I am also changing NSW, ACT, VIC , TAS and SA back to non DST as well, 15mins before my birthday.

 

Neil