The State of Solar in the Territory

Sunshine and Rainbows

Residents and businesses in the Northern Territory are in a unique position to take advantage of solar energy generation. Our latitudinal position translates to relatively high solar exposure throughout the year, which in turn offers good solar energy generation potential.

A Sunny Outlook

On average, the NT gets at least 8–9 hours of sunshine a day:

  • More variability is seen in Northern NT, with Jan to Feb providing fewer sunny hours (6+), which peak during August (10+)
  • Central NT get a steady 9–10 hours a day year round, making it a veritable powerhouse of solar generation.

There are several benefits to taking advantage of this high solar exposure:

  • Rooftop solar (PV) systems can substantially offset ongoing electricity costs for residents, businesses and organisations;
    • Solar electricity that you generate and use saves you from purchasing that power from the grid
    • Excess electricity that you generate can either be sold back to the grid, or stored for later use
  • Solar energy is a “green” source of electricity, meaning following installation, solar generation produces no carbon emissions
  • Financial incentives may be available to your household or organisation to subsidise costs of installing a rooftop PV system and/or battery storage.

Feed-in-Tariffs: Cloudy, with a Chance of Meatballs

If you have solar and are approved to be connected to the grid, any excess electricity you generate can be automatically fed back to the grid system. The rate that you are credited for this power is known as a feed-in-tariff.

Jacana Energy and the NT Government recently announced a new (considerably less generous) feed-in-tariff scheme for residential and commercial customers as of April 2020. These new rates apply to:

  • All new rooftop solar installations
  • Any modifications to existing systems
  • Any customers who move into a property with a rooftop PV system (irrespective of whether the previous occupant received the existing feed-in-tariff rates).

Residential Customers (GST incl.)

Old Feed-in-Tariff Rate

$0.2605 / kWh

New Feed-in-Tariff Rate

$0.0913 / kWh

This translates to a ~65% cut to the residential feed-in-tariff rate.

Commercial customers (GST incl.)

Old Feed-in-Tariff Rate

$0.3032 / kWh

New Feed-in-Tariff Rate

$0.0913 / kWh

This translates to a ~70% cut to the commercial feed-in-tariff rate.

Visit Jacana for the full brief on feed-in-tariffs.

Saving for the Future

With considerably poorer feed-in-tariffs now on offer in the NT, residential and commercial customers interested in solar PV systems may wish to consider battery storage as part of their energy management and action plan.

Battery storage technology is evolving rapidly, with more effective, efficient and affordable options available now than ever before.

Currently, the Northern Territory Government is offering a $6,000 grant for the purchase and installation of batteries and inverters, as part of the Home and Business Battery Scheme.