North vs south of the river. It is a friendly, perennial, Perth rivalry that can take on any form. Best beach, most cafes or even best mocha-soy-latte-frappuccino. It doesn’t matter, people will argue forever and a day without really agreeing on a winner. But when it comes to solar panels on rooftops there’s no doubt: the south has it – and by a megawatt mile.
In the past year Western Power has removed red tape and outdated standards that have stood in the way of people looking at renewable forms of energy, like photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, as an option for their energy needs.
So now if customers want to invest in solar to shave their peak load, increase their capacity or create business opportunities with emerging technology like peer to peer or blockchain energy trading we are working to use our expertise to make it happen.
Right now there are over 220,000 solar units connected to the Western Power network – about 20% of connection – that represents an installed capacity of 680MW (or one and a half times the biggest fossil-fuelled power station in Western Australia).
The southern metropolitan suburbs are the undisputed collective champions of solar. Once you cross the causeway heading through to Mandurah, Baldivis and Rockingham you are entering a land that has the potential PV generating capacity of nearly 300MW (298,018KW) or about the same as the largest Kwinana power station.
It is almost a case of daylight second when you look at the northern metro network which has a potential generation capacity of just under 230MW (229,018 KW). This is more than the soon to be retired Muja A and B coal-fired power station. Outside the metro area there is still a staggering 150MW (152,433 KW) of solar rooftop panels.
So who are the big guns in the suburban sun market?
Figures published recently gave Perth’s solar crown to the southern suburb of Baldivis. As far as solar panel uptake goes in WA, Baldivis is up there but it certainly isn’t number one…it’s not even in the top 10 Perth suburbs jumping on the benefits that come from a solar connection on the Western Power network.
Based on the pure number of physical PV systems per postcode, the hands down winner and undisputed top dog in solar uptake is Mandurah with over 9,100 PV systems registered on the network. This is nearly 40% more PV than second placed Wanneroo with around 6,600 units on roof tops. Sneaking in at third spot is Canning Vale with just under 5,900 solar systems.
Rounding out the top 10 is Joondalup/Ocean Reef with just over 3,900 PV units, which bumps Baldivis, who were given the title of Australia’s Kings and Queens of solar capacity, down to 11th with approx. 3,800 solar systems.
The top 10 (plus Baldivis, which finished a close 11th)
Western Power’s Top 10 Solar Suburbs
See where your suburb ranks
Recent figures have quoted Perth’s southern suburb of Baldivis is number one for PV uptake and Byford and Rockingham having a solar saturation of 56% and 53% respectively. This report was based on a PV-systems-to-residents ratio per suburb not PV-system-to-physical-network-connection which can be greater than the number of residents.