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Regional Development Australia

New solar pumping checklist to help irrigators get the best value from solar

28 March 2018

New South Wales Farmers Association (NSWFA), in conjunction with Riverina and Murray Regional Development Australia, has released a detailed checklist for anyone considering installing a grid-connected or diesel hybrid solar pumping system.

Solar-PV-powered pumping systems use solar energy when the sun is shining, and can be coupled with grid-connected or diesel generated power at other times to ensure reliable, cost effective power for the duration of the pumping season.

Significant energy savings can be made if this solution is adopted. But before investing in a solar-PV powered pumping system, it's smart to do your homework.

The new checklist, devised by NSWFA and various experts in the field, helps ensure you've ticked all the important boxes before opening your wallet.

The checklists build on the resources for irrigation and stock and domestic solutions previously developed by NSWFA in collaboration with the NSW government as part of the Solar Powered Pumping Initiative. The initiative involved research into a range of renewable technologies and the practical factors involved in selecting and installing solutions. A technical guide to installing solar for irrigation, quick reference solarpumping system brochures and a range of case studies are available. The NSWFA team are now seeking to advance a second stage of the project as a national program in collaboration with National Irrigators Council.

NSWFA advises that irrigators and installers use the new checklist as a reference “to ensure you've done the basic groundwork, checked warranties, asked the right questions, and can compare quotes from solar pumping businesses on a like for like basis”.

To download the checklists please visit the RDA Riverina NSW website.

For more information on solar pumping in agriculture, visit the Solar Powered Pumping Initiative on AgInnovators at aginnovators.org.au/project/solar-powered-pumping-initiative.