The SEANZ Board recently approved the establishment of the “Grid-Assisted Solar PV Working Group” led by Michael Lawley and Greg Hoskins.

The term 'grid-assisted' is used to describe a solar pv system which is installed primarily as an off-grid system with battery storage, but with the option of back-up from the grid via a mains battery charger. 

The working group has been established in response to increasing demand from consumers for solar pv installations which offer greater independence. 

The falling price of pv modules and battery storage is making the economics of 'grid-assisted' systems more attractive as consumers see the payback rates for a newly installed grid-tied system being skewed by negative forces out of their control. 

SEANZ Chairman Brendan Winitana said "Feedback from solar installers around the country is that consumers are disgruntled getting low export rates from retailers, who then sell the exported power at their retail rate. When combined with the risk of potential increases in distribution pricing from EDB's, other options for consumers are required. In Hawkes Bay, where Unison have implemented a separate tariff for those consumers with solar pv, demand for alternative solutions, of which there are a number, are being sought out, and we expect to see demand for these alternate solutions increase around the country."

SEANZ will officially launch the Grid-Assisted Working Group with details around the technology and the aims and objectices of the group at The Power Shift conference on the 18th November. 

You can find a SEANZ Solar Installer here