Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 - Newsmaker
Victorian company City To Surf Solar has teamed up with solar giant Canadian Solar to open a new interactive solar showroom serving the region to the west of Melbourne, where residential and commercial consumers can try out a range of inverters and data management systems.

City To Surf Solar founder Christian Pritchett says the aim is to help customers enjoy an interactive experience and make educated decisions on their choice of solar power system.

The Geelong-based company joins a rapidly growing national network of accredited distributors supported by Canadian Solar’s Sydney based technical team.

The partnership will be doubly welcomed following the recent release of the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission (VCEC) draft report on feed-in tariffs. If adopted, the new tariffs could reduce support for exported energy from solar systems. There is added speculation that the Queensland Government’s announcement this week of a reduction in its feed-in tariff (from $0.44c to $0.08c) may provide a benchmark for Victoria to reduce its feed-in tariff to similar levels.

Australian Energy Market Commission figures show the average annual energy bill in Victorian households is $1440 but is set to soar over the next two decades.

Mr Pritchett says that despite the potentially disappointing outcome from the VCEC, consumers can still benefit from selling power back to the grid if they make wise choices in solar.

“Solar power can help struggling families by reducing their energy costs, but they need a system that will be guaranteed to work for years to come,” the solar industry specialist says.

“Canadian Solar’s linear warranty is second to none across the industry – it gives people who invest in solar today a true guarantee over 25 years.

“This is a company with an amazing legacy of service and dependability – in the past 10 years, Canadian Solar has deployed enough solar modules to run a small city.”

Mr Pritchett has seen the impact of low quality, low performance solar panels on consumers and specifically set out to find a better product made by a company who would “be around in the future”. He visited the Canadian Solar factory under his own steam in 2011 to check out the claims.

“Canadian Solar ticked all the boxes. From a technical perspective, their products are highly efficient; they have innovative product designs and a positive power tolerance. That means more power for the customer.

“They have their own test lab and a great warranty which is locally supported through the Sydney office. But price is important too and Canadian Solar has done a great job of building enormous factories to get the price down without compromising performance.”

Canadian Solar recently released its ELPS range, which uses an innovative processing technique to deliver more energy.

Mr Pritchett hailed ELPS as a key reason for selecting the company.

“City to Surf’s mission is to deliver great performance and ELPS is just the ticket,” Mr Pritchett says.

“This means our customers get our great service as the local connection, supported by Canadian Solar staff. With Canadian Solar now one of the leading solar providers in the country, and one of the top five manufacturers in the world, we can continue to provide employment for more Victorians in the future.”

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Victorian company City To Surf Solar has teamed up with solar giant Canadian Solar



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