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 Post subject: Can I get power?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:06 pm 
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Location: Heidelberg, Melbourne Australia
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:22 am Post subject: HELP ! Can I get power?

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We are looking at buying a property in the bush, Im told that power and water pass by, there is nothing on the block. Would it be difficult and costly to get power put to the block if and when we start building?

Can anyone tell me whats involved? The block is really cheap and Im wondering if half the reason is because its not "serviced".

any advice would be mucho appreciated

cheers

Sparkz
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 Post subject: Expensive
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:07 pm 
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Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:52 pm Post subject: Re: HELP ! Can I get power?

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I don't know how it is in the west but connection can include items like six grand for a pole and six to ten for a transformer.

But you can with careful living be happy with solar power for $20000. For actual building you would need a generator (say $2000) but it's like having a long extension lead when you have finished building.


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 Post subject: Exy
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:07 pm 
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Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:26 pm Post subject:

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I would seriously consider getting an estimate from your local electricity authority before committing to the block. If you are really keen to have electricity on tap then find out exactly what that block will cost you in reality.

We had decided for our building project that we were defintely going solar. Just for comparison sake we checked out estimates for getting the electricity on. The cost was ludicrous ie. somewhere in the order of $20k per km in our situation. Prices no doubt vary dependent on location and the electricity authority. For us there was no comparison!


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 Post subject: Going solar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:07 pm 
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Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 9:49 pm Post subject: Power Connection costs

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Get a quote
I have a 20 Acre block with power lines on one side and house site on the other ,
....Quoted $25000 + to connect to the Grid...2 poles and 1 Transformer.
Needless to say we are going Solar.


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 Post subject: $40,000
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 5:07 pm Post subject:

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we have a 25 acre block in Sth Oz and to get power to it was going to cost between $35-$40k . Needless to say solar/wind/gen set is the option we are going for and and no quarterly surprisesfrom the elect co .
The gen set is mainly to run the spa ...no we cant live without it ....and to help charge the batteries if we have a time of no sun or wind tho thats rare here
Pete


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 Post subject: Agreed
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2005 8:20 am Post subject:

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Agree with the above. Have had similar numbers quoted by Country Energy for power on my 300 acre block just south of Canberra. It was $12k per pole and $12k per transformer - all up about $35K,

However, I would be interested in hearing from others about good suppliers for hybrid wind/solar systems. I have had quotes from Solar-Online for a 8.5kva system at a bit over $30 grand. Is it possible to get the same power/performance for less?

Look forward to your replies.

Regards

Rob Noakes


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 Post subject: Not serviced
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:09 pm 
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Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:10 pm Post subject: Re: HELP ! Can I get power?

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sparkz_ wrote:
The block is really cheap and Im wondering if half the reason is because its not "serviced".


Hi Sparkz,

where is the block? Don't trust the agent, check and see whether
the power is really on the boundary and whether there is a transformer. Installing the transformer can be very pricey.

Best regards,

Bruce


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 Post subject: $22k
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:09 pm 
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Posted: Thu May 05, 2005 10:19 pm Post subject: Power Connection costs

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Made another call to Country Energy, Spoke to a different person (6th person in total) now the price has dropped to between 15K and 22K, firm quote on the way.

Will wait and see...
Shane.


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 Post subject: Solar sting
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:10 pm 
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Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:21 pm Post subject: Re: Power Connection costs

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Shane wrote:
Made another call to Country Energy, Spoke to a different person (6th person in total) now the price has dropped to between 15K and 22K, firm quote on the way.

Will wait and see...
Shane.


I would go down the path of getting connected. Few people on this forum who say "go solar" have actually carefully looked into the matter. Most of them have only been using solar for a few years and are probably seriously abusing their battery bank without knowing it.
A battery bank to set yourself up will cost between $8k-$10K. You must not draw down the charge any more that 20% (leaving 80% remaining) if you want your batteries to last 8-10+ years. That means your bank has to be at least 5 times(preferably 8 or more) your average usage in winter. Otherwise in a few short years you will be up for the massive cost of a new battery bank. Get a solar mag and have a look at the adds for batteries. Carefully look at the claim of lifespan and see what level of discharge it quotes Most 8-10+ year lifespan are operating in the 10-20% range! That means if you are serious and honest with yourself you need to put $1000 away each year to replace a properly sized battery bank. The "no more quarterly suprised from the electrical companies" statement is a rose coloured view.
You will need to spend at least $10K-12K on panels most probably more.
Your inverter will probably require changing at 6years adding more cost. The panels have a 20-25 year lifespan with reducing output as they age. Invertors have components that operate at high voltages. Heat and dust are their enemies. Most RAPS setups will have a special fridge if they have taken short cuts with their panels or battery bank. These fridges cost $2-$3K. Most Fridges these days dont last 10 years.
Unfortunately none of the solar system will added to your blocks price like getting connected to the grid will. Remember a single high wattage panel is almost $800. That is alot of "cash" to be sitting on your roof especially in a remote location. One lightning strike, fire or thief and you will be up for more money.
If you have NO choice then go with solar but be prepared to spend $30K for a decent system that still will require you to have a gas cooktop/oven and you still wont be able to run an aircon. The figure above are for what would be considered a "normal" house with low energy fittings. Sure you can have a LED light and a radio system for a small cost.

Ignore the feel good feeling of being able to say I am on solar and carefully look into lifespans of the products and required capacities.
The biggest real killer in cost is the damn battery bank. The grid connected solar systems are a much better idea but that isnt really what we are talking about here.
regards
Another Shane


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 Post subject: Green is expensive
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:10 pm 
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Shane

Agree completely. We really wanted to be off grid - but as you have corectly pointed out, its just too expensive. Regrettably, being "green" in this way is way way too expensive for most but the hobbyist or those of unlimited means to contemplate.

My country Energy quote came in at $22k and that's a one off cost. They will maintain it.

You can buy a hell of a lot of power for the $2-3K you would need to put aside for Solar system replacements (batteries etc).

Country eneregy also gives you the option as a consumer of buying 'green" power they have generated so I guess this might salve ones conscience somewhat. When the price of the technology comes down, we will reconsider a grid interactive system.

Rob Noakes


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 Post subject: No choice
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:11 pm 
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Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:42 am Post subject: Re: Power Connection costs

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Guest wrote:

If you have NO choice then go with solar but be prepared to spend $30K for a decent system that still will require you to have a gas cooktop/oven and you still wont be able to run an aircon. The figure above are for what would be considered a "normal" house with low energy fittings. Sure you can have a LED light and a radio system for a small cost.

regards
Another Shane


Thanks AS for bringing us back down to earth. I wonder though what are the big killers. Just what would you have to give up to get by on an economical solar rig, assuming you have a generator for short-term use, such as power tools? Aircon shouldn't be required in a well designed house in temperate regions. We don't watch TV. What else draws heavily? Probably the fridge would be the trickiest customer. Maybe a small fridge unit with top access, like you find on boats?


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 Post subject: Do an energy budget
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:12 pm 
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Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:57 am Post subject:

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Bruce

If I could make a few comments about your question to Shane.

The best thing to do if you are contemplating solar is to do an energy budget and this will give you some idea of what each appliance you actually use in your home draws, and then you can calcuate what size system you need or what sort of trade offs you may have to make. Its dangerous in my opinion to generalise on the basis of someone else's experience. Far better to look at you own needs from first principles.

Some of the big solar suppliers have energy budget information on their websites which might assist in the calculations. But the big items are things like fridges, washing machines, freezers, hot water, and power tools. TV's require bugger all. You also have to cater for "spikes' in demand - ie when a fridge turns itself on it has a sharp spike in demand you need to cater for in your inverters and battery banks.

When I did my energy budget, without making too many sacrifices but allowing for gas cooking, wood heater, and no air-con for a family of four, I came up with needing a system capable of delivering 8.5-9.5 kwh per day. On various quotes, this would cost between $28 and $38K, in capital costs plus putting aside about $2000 per annum for maintenance and replacements. This was a very poor comparison to the $22k Country Energy want for an unlimited supply at an estimated annual electricity bill of about $600-$700 max.

If I was richer, I would go solar wind hybrid anyhow - just for the sake of ideology, Howeveras I am in a very high expenditure period in building, anything I can save is very welcome indeed.

Rob Noakes


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 Post subject: Homework
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:12 pm 
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Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:22 pm Post subject:

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On various quotes, this would cost between $28 and $38K, in capital costs plus putting aside about $2000 per annum for maintenance and replacements. This was a very poor comparison to the $22k Country Energy want for an unlimited supply at an estimated annual electricity bill of about $600-$700 max.


Rob Noakes[/quote

Thanks Rob for agreeing with reality.
I did my homework very carefully.
Spoke with lots of RAPS users and was able to enlighten some of them.

In general they are very keen people with their heart in the right place.

Most of them have only be on solar for less than 3yrs and have yet to realise the true cost when their battery bank dies much earlier than they were told.

I have paid $33.8K for my grid connection. It was painful, very painful to pay for those assets and then sign their ownership over to the electricity body to become part of "the grid". However they will now maintain the "assets" and when you consider the transformer cost me $12.5K alone I think everyone can see the benefit in not being responsible for maintaining it. Especially if there is any major storm/fire risk.

Realistic quotes for a RAPS system was in the $32-$36K range. For a system that can deliver a fraction of what I have now and with a realistic yearly "running and maintainence" cost of $3K+.

If the lines are many miles away and the quote is $50K+ then I agree that a RAPS is the only way but with the lines running down the neighbours fence a km away the RAPS system just doesnt compare.

Another Shane


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 Post subject: power
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:38 pm 
We naiively thought that because there was a power pole less than 10 metres from our fence that power was availble. Turns out the "lines were full" and we had to pay for a new line including a pole and a transformer. It came to just under $15,000! Get a quote before you hand over any money! Good Luck.


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