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Utility Scale Solar | A Better Solution
24 April 2014 | Request a free, high quality evaluation of your large-scale solar power project

Utility Scale Solar, Large-Scale Commercial Solar

Using experienced photovoltaic engineers, we are available to comprehensively assess your intended utility scale solar power project. This is a free service which provides forecasts of both solar energy yield and return on investment for your large-scale solar project using best practise techniques and sophisticated technology, and is based specifically on your intended site, and all included components (power ratings, efficienies etc.). This service enables any commercial or government entity considering utility scale solar power, or a council solar power station to cover daily operating energy, to have security and confidence in their decision making, with a professional third party evaluation. Please use our contact form to avail of this high quality, free service.

Schools and Sustainability: Solar Power

With the final round of scheduled government Solar Schools funding complete, it is time for schools to consider privately funded sustainability measures. I've dealt with several large schools who have organised fund-raising to cover the cost of implementing zero-emmision solar power for their school sustainability drive. This is an admirable endeavour for schools to undertake which can be a source of great inspiration for the school community, while furthering sustainability education through advanced data storage & visualisation systems, and of course, reducing carbon emmissions. Rapido Sydney Solar is delighted to assist schools in completing feasability studies and to provide estimates of carbon offset, and costing of installation and commissioning for commercial solar power.

National Solar Schools Program (NSSP) applications phase complete

The final scheduled round of National Solar Schools Program (NSSP) window for applications has closed. There was an extension which was announced on the originally published final day for applications, which meant an additional 2 weeks during which school executives could lodge an application for funding to install an approved solar power system. I personally assisted 195 schools in this phase, up from 120 during the penultimate round 4. These numbers are likrly significantly higher than any other sales manager involved in the program, with the 2011 figure a significant component of overall team activity which accounted for 99% of all projects succesfullly awarded to preferred contractors, and the 2012 figure likely to improve on that percentage.

National Solar Schools Program (NSSP) Introduction

The National Solar Schools Program (NSSP) commenced in July 2008, and is a part of the Australian 'Building and Education Revolution' (BER Scheme). The BER is intended to facilitate the upgrade of infrastructure and environment at eligible Australian education campuses (and it is reasonable to consider, to subsequently enhance the quality of education that is provided by these facilities. Consequently, the BER could be seen as contributing to overall improvement of quality of life and to enhancing the prospects of the countries youth, and therefore, ultimately enhancing the countries future generally. The National Solar Schools Program plays a big part in achieving these goals.

The BER is a commendable scheme, and the funding amount has varied since it began from $42 billion, to various other large figures, and finally, as is our understanding at time of publishing this webpage, to a funded amount of $32 billion. In any case, it is grand in scale, and through the NSSP it is encouraging the general uptake of renewable power through the implementation of sustainability measures, including solar power, at schools across the country

From the perspective of solar power and renewable energy technology, this widespread implementation of sustainability measures has a beneficial effect on the perception of renewable power throughout the community at large. The general public are exposed to renewable technology within their towns and cities, seeing solar power on more and more prominent roofs as more and more schools and public buildings install solar power.

National Solar Schools Program Funding - Round 5

The 5th round of the National Solar Schools Program (NSSP), commenced on 13 February 2012. Over the course of the coming months, eligible schools will have the opportunity to request, review, and accept a quote for solar power, energy efficient lighting, or a number of other sustainability measures to implement on campus. The schools will lodge an application for funding based on the accepted quote, or quotes, which will be reviewed DET procurement, and a decision made as to whether or not the funding will be made available for that school's sustainability project based on relevant selection criteria.

NSSP Application Eligible projects

NSSP Preferred Suppliers

At the time of publishing, we know of two preferred suppliers to DET in respect of the NSSP.
These are:

A significant consideration in respect of selecting a quote from a preferred supplier is that the NSSP and DET are satisfied with the products and processes of these companies, which have already been approved. The 'preferred suppliers' have already worked successfully with both the Government, and with schools over previous rounds. This possibly represents a significant advantage over schools which do not select a 'preferred supplier' in the NSSP selection process.

Preferred suppliers are experienced in fulfilling the many conditional requirements of the NSSP, in terms of compliance with regulations and correct installation according to acceptable timeframes, provision of required components and functionality, and fully supplying correct paperwork, qualification and certification numbers and references. Preferred suppliers have satisfied the department that their installers are suitably qualified and experienced, the equipment they supply represents good value, and is of high quality.

Crucially, DET preferred suppliers have satisfied the department that they can manage their processes including stock inventory management, schedules, and that they are financially secure and capable to deliver the quoted system in the event of successful funding allocation for the school.

Solgen Energy has been significantly more successful than any other participant in the NSSP in successfully installing school projects. This takes into consideration both succesfull applications for funding by eligible schools, and completing subsequent installations on time, & without issue.

NSSP Application Eligible projects

Increasingly, non-preferred suppliers have made efforts to sell to schools during the NSSP process. It is a potentially lucrative scenario to sell solar power to many schools. Conversely however, it is also a financially precarious endeavour for many non-preferred suppliers seeking to become involved with the NSSP. There are several ways in which 'other suppliers' can attempt to compete with government preferred suppliers, namely, these are:

Solar power modules & inverters (and cables, circuit-breakers etc.) often all look the same to the untrained eye, however, they are not all the same. As with most things, there are is a big variance of quality available in Australia, despite regulation in the Solar PV industry.

In recent years there has been seemingly ever-increasing choice available in solar equipment manufacturers, however, compliance and quality control is often ad-hoc and ultimately, this means that while it is possible to buy reliable equipment that will safely outlast warranty and perform consistently for many years, it's equally possible to buy inferior equipment that looks similar, but will function poorly and unreliably, or perhaps not at all. One way for 'other suppliers' to compete in this area is to supply inferior equipment in higher quantity, due to lower cost.

Involvement in the NSSP can also place financial burden on companies which are not properly prepared for the extended timeframe which can occur, causing liquidity or solvency problems.

In addition to satisfying compliance, quality control and solvency requirements, non-preferred suppliers must also satisfy the many application requirements set forth in the NSSP, and failure to comply with compulsory procedures can result in disqualification from the process.

Registering for the National Solar Schools Program

If the school has previously registered for the NSSP, then there is a username and password associated with the school which was supplied to the staff member who registered. It is important that the school locate this username and password and attempt to log-in to the NSSP Portal:

If you are unable to log-in to the NSSP portal, you can request new log-in information, or register the school for the by calling the National Solar Schools Hotline on 1800 703 831 (which operates from 8.30 in the morning, until 7.30pm, Monday to Friday), or emailing your enquiry to:

Registering the school should take just a few minutes, and it is compulsory to complete all sections. You will the school's DEEWR number, ABN, and trading name. Email request for further information.

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