CEC announces solar design and installation award winners


Gladstone-based Solpac Energy Solutions has been declared winner of the under 100 kW domestic category at the Clean Energy Council (CEC) 2023 Solar Design and Installation Awards ceremony at the All-Energy Australia event in Melbourne.

Solpac was engaged to deliver a system that got as close as possible to eliminating the $1,500 quarterly power bill for the three-level house while using only the available roof space and staying within the PV 2x oversize ruling for hybrid solar inverters.

Solpac’s Philip Christian designed a solution that comprises a 17.6 kW rooftop solar system coupled with two stacks of BYD HV batteries, each connected to a 5 kW Fronius Gen24 inverter. To provide security for blackouts, a backup board was installed to allow the customer to power a selected number of circuits.

Honours in the under 100 kW commercial division were shared by Matthew Linney and Joel Cronan from the Australian arm of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, and Mark Fanning from Melbourne-based energy retailer Flow Power.

The Iberdrola Australia winning entry comprises a combined solar and EV charging solution installed in a council carpark in the northern New South Wales town of Lismore.

The structure, which doubles as a habitat for endangered butterflies, utilises 99.68 kW of bifacial solar panels providing shade to almost 40 public carparks, including two EV charging spaces. Charging is provided through a 75 kW tritium DC fast charger.

Flow Power’s entry comprises a 96.8 kWp solar system installed at the Lake Mountain Alpine resort in Victoria’s high country, to help manage the extreme seasonal load, and reduce operating costs of the resort’s microgrid. The system comprises 167 solar panels installed on a 40-degree sloped roof.

The design of Greenwood’s floating solar array has increased the efficiency of the panels.

Image: Greenwood Solutions

Melbourne-based installer Greenwood Solutions took out the over 100 kW commercial division with a 350 kW+ floating solar array that the CEC said demonstrated “unparalleled excellence in design, installation, and meeting the unique needs of their clients.”

The Greenwood team of Sam Saada, Eddie Greco, Michael O’Mahony, Alex Musgrove, Joel Gilchrist, Veli Markovic and Pat Carne conceived, engineered, and successfully deployed a floating solar system, including a custom-designed inverter station, that is now helping power a Victorian wastewater treatment plant.

CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton said this year’s winners had demonstrated innovation and ingenuity, and the inherent flexibility of rooftop solar to meet the energy needs of Australian households and businesses.

​“The unique and innovative solutions showcased by our finalists prove that rooftop solar is the leading light of Australia’s clean energy future, and can be adapted to meet any needs from customers to slash their power bills, their carbon emissions, or both at same time,” he said.

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