Solar power on the rise in Tamworth

Powering ahead: Namoi Sustainable Energy director Lachlan Skinner has noticed a real boost in renewable energy interest in households around Tamworth, particularly after the black-outs throughout Summer. Photo: Gareth Gardner
Powering ahead: Namoi Sustainable Energy director Lachlan Skinner has noticed a real boost in renewable energy interest in households around Tamworth, particularly after the black-outs throughout Summer. Photo: Gareth Gardner

Renewable and clean energy is on the rise in the Tamworth region following a scorching summer that was marred by a string of black-outs around the area, state and country.

Figures released this week show that NSW is set to increase its lead in renewable solar power projects, with 12 more in the pipeline to join the three sites that are already online, including the biggest solar farm in the southern hemisphere at Nyngan, west of Dubbo.

Locally, it seems that more households are also turning to the sun to sure up their utility and prepare for a cleaner greener future.

Local dealer Lachlan Skinner from Namoi Sustainable Energy said that one brand has really put a boost into the market over the past 18 months, and not surprisingly it is the same brand that has been making national headlines over the past few months.

Tesla founder Elon Musk recently put a spark in both the South Australian and federal government offices when he claimed, in a Twitter exchange, that his company could solve the South Australian power crisis in one hundred days or he would do it for free.

Shortly after the South Australian government unveiled plans for a new $550 million gas powered battery farm, before Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a $2 billion upgrade to the Snowy Hydro Scheme.

“The power of the tweet,” Mr Skinner said.

“It is amazing that it takes a tweet from America to start a conversation and get action happening in Australia.” 

Locally Mr Skinner has seen a boom in households and businesses turning to solar power after NSE put Tesla Walls, solar storage systems, on the local market in December 2015.

“There are other battery systems on the market but before Tesla we installed two battery systems in three years and now we have done 14 in one year and have at least three more booked in,” Mr Skinner said.

“There has been a lot more interest, and even more so after the blackouts over Summer. We are finding that every solar power quote we go to are asking about batteries and storage and it is the younger people that are getting on board now.

“People want energy independence.” 

While the technology is gaining huge popularity at the moment, Mr Skinner believes that we have a long way to go before the population can rely on renewable energy both in our homes and on a national supply scale.

“It is great, and it is the future but it needs to be done right and storage is the key,” Mr Skinner said. “At the moment it would still likely cost upwards of $50,000 to have a household completely off the grid although technology is getting better and anything is possible.”