A new 5KW array has recently been installed, replacing the 2001 system which made NT history. PICTURE: Ian Bacchus
The installation in 2001 became the first single phase solar photovoltaic rooftop array in the NT.
Mr Bacchus recalled his initial investment for the 1.5KW system was around $18,500 with an additional $8,000 in Federal Government subsidies.
The recent installation of a replacement 5KW system cost him $8,500, demonstrating the incredible drop in the price of technology over two decades.
Despite the comparatively costly initial investment, Mr Bacchus has no regrets. He said the first system had definitely paid for itself, although a small mishap somewhat curtailed its potential.
“I accidentally hosed my inverter in the early days and killed a few panels, so it was never putting out what it should have,” he said.
“It would have paid for itself three or four times (had all the panels been working) but I know I’ve recouped more than it cost me.”
“It led to millions of dollars of infrastructure and funding coming to Alice Springs, so it’s amazing what a little butterfly’s wing beat does. Absolutely magic,” said Mr Bacchus.
Looking to the future, Mr Bacchus said he would invest in household batteries “only when they become cost-effective” and he would welcome any moves to prove the viability of wind power as an alternative renewable resource locally.
Asked what he liked about solar, Mr Bacchus said the array helped to shade the house, and it created electricity which converted to money.
“I’m into tech, but I’m also into making money,” Mr Bacchus said.