Our customers continue to move towards renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems, which is better for you and the environment.
Most of the process around installing and managing your solar PV system is usually handled by your selected solar installer, along with your electricity retailer. In most cases, your solar installer should be able to lodge the applications and fees we require on your behalf.
You can learn more about how solar systems work with our power network, and what we require as the network operator below.
In a typical PV system, photovoltaic modules, more commonly-known as solar panels, are installed on your roof. The energy generated by these panels passes through an inverter, creating electricity to match that coming in from our power network.
This electricity then feeds into your electricity installation and is consumed within your premises with any excess generated electricity exported to the power network via your power meter. This meter records the amount of power exported, we provide this information to your electricity retailer to be included in your bill.
As solar systems supply power into the network that Power and Water operates, our role is to manage the impact of these on the network to keep it running safely and reliably for you.
For us to do this, we set technical standards for what can be installed through our class requirements, and require you to confirm your system’s compliance with these requirements through a Network Connection Agreement.
We regularly update our solar policy to ensure our power network maintains acceptable power supply and reliability standards whilst also allowing full and equitable customer participation.
Power and Water may also need to replace your power meter at your property to manage your solar power export and power import, as this forms part of our network.
Your chosen solar installer usually arranges and to submit all required application, documentation and information to Power and Water for you, or in conjunction with you.
You or your solar installer can lodge applications and pay the PV fee at any of our Customer Service Centres or at our One Stop Shop in Darwin.
Remote communities often run off isolated power stations and domestic PV solar systems can have a significant impact on their stability. For this reason they are treated separately.
If you’re a remote customer, please visit our solar PV installation in remote communities page.
Solar PV class requirements
Your solar installer will assist you in determining a PV system best suited to your energy needs and circumstances. For more information about our PV class requirements, please visit:
Frequently asked questions
What to consider before you buy a solar PV system
Going solar is one way to manage energy bills. Reducing energy consumption is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to save power and reduce emissions.
The cost of a solar PV system varies depending on size, type of panels, installation type and equipment. Your solar installer will provide information and advice about what best suits your needs. We also charge a solar PV fee to cover our costs.
The capacity and cost of your solar PV system will depend on the size. Your solar installer will provide advice as to what best suits your needs. As a starting point, look at your electricity bill and compare your energy consumption (kilowatt hours used per day) with what different sized solar systems can generate.
Where you live impacts the performance of your solar PV system. The more sunshine hours, the more energy your system can generate. For example, solar systems in Alice Springs often produce more than systems in Darwin because of reduced cloud cover.
Shading adversely affects the output of your solar PV system. Other things to consider are the pitch and angle of the roof, and the roofing material. For example, a tiled roof may cost more to install compared to a corrugated iron roof.
Our fees depend on the class you’re applying for. All applications need to pay the solar PV fee to cover the cost of your special metering requirements and processing of your application and documents. Your fees may vary depending on your metering arrangement.
An Engineering Assessment fee also applies to:
- Class 3 - $560 including GST
- Class 4 - on a quoted basis
To review additional fees and charges, please view our Pricing and tariff page.
The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme provides homeowners and small business owners an incentive to install an eligible small-scale renewable energy system.
Installation and upgrade of your solar PV system
No. An accredited solar installer must install your solar PV systems with approval from Power and Water before any works begin. The solar panels and inverter(s) must also be Clean Energy Council approved.
The Building Advisory Committee requires certification of the structural adequacy of the solar PV system. Solar PV systems are randomly audited by the Clean Energy Regulator and Worksafe Northern Territory to make sure they’re installed correctly and are safe to use
Your solar installer will advise you on the how long it takes to install your solar PV system. We may also need to replace or upgrade your power meter, subject to the timely provision of documentation, this may take up to six to eight weeks. It may take up to a further two weeks in remote communities.
Yes. Your solar installer supplies us with the wiring diagram. Requirements of the wiring diagram are set out in the Technical Requirements for Grid Connection of Photovoltaic Systems via Inverters. This document also sets out other technical requirements the installer must comply with.
The PV inverter network connection agreement (regulated) highlights the terms and conditions for the safe connection of your system to the local electricity network. This agreement must be in place for your solar power system to be and remain connected to the electricity network.
The Power Purchase Agreement is an agreement between you and your electricity retailer for the purchase of electricity generated by your solar PV system to enable correct metering and billing standards to apply.
Yes. If you sell your property, the existing Network Connection Agreement becomes void. The new owners must contact us and set up a new PV Inverter Network Connection Agreement. If it is a rental property, the Network Connection Agreement remains valid if signed by the owner of the property.
New owners and occupiers should contact their electricity retailer for information on Power Purchase Agreements.
PV System Upgrades need to go through the Power and Water application process as if it were a new system. For more information contact our Customer Connections Office through the Customer Service Centre on 1800 245 092.
When you install a solar PV system on your roof, modifications are made according to your roof’s structure. These modifications must follow the standards listed in the Northern Territory Building Act. Your installer must ensure the continued safety of your building. See the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics website for more information.
Electronic interval meters record your usage in kilowatt hours (kWh) for every 15 minute period (interval). Each 15 minute interval is recorded and saved in the memory of the meter. We then connect to the meter, download the data and provide it to your retailer to issue your bill.
These meters are used for solar PV metering and time-of-use metering, as they can be programmed to suite customer's tariff requirements.
Find out more about how to read the interval meter.
Your solar PV system and grid connection
Our solar PV policy size limits are set to allow more people to take advantage of the benefits of renewable energy and solar PV in their home or business, whilst avoiding adverse effects on neighbouring properties’ electricity supplies. As the popularity of solar PV systems continues, more and more systems are connected to the our network.The network has, until recently, been a ’one-way’ transfer of energy. As more PV systems are connected, this could, among other things, lead to voltage rise at the local level exceeding required Australian Standards.
The solar PV policy ensures our power network maintains acceptable power supply and reliability standards whilst also allowing full and equitable customer participation.
We may disconnect your system at any time for safety reasons. Details are in the Technical Requirements for Grid Connection of Photovoltaic Systems via Inverters.
Your solar PV system has an inbuilt protection function known anti-islanding; this function protects you, your property and your local area when a power outage occurs due to an electrical fault. The solar PV system is able to restart when mains power is restored.
Some people may experience their inverter switching off due to high voltages when their PV system has high output. This may especially be the case in rural areas or where PV systems are too big for existing electricity lines and cables.
New inverters which meet the AS4777.2-2015 standard may have “Volt-Watt response mode”. This mode allows the PV system to moderate its output when the voltage starts increasing.
Your installer can figure this mode in your compatible inverter, so it maintains maximum output whilst not exceeding acceptable voltage limits.
Solar PV systems for business
Your current tariff defines whether you’re a commercial or residential customer. Please contact your electricity retailer before installation to confirm which tariff you are on.
Class 3 and 4 PV systems are only available to customers on a commercial tariff. Please confirm with your electricity retailer prior to submitting your application. We’ll assess your eligibility based on the information provided by your electricity retailer.
Please contact your electricity retailer to discuss changing your tariff.