Northern Rivers – Solar power & battery storage bulk-buy

Farming the Sun is pleased to be offering its first ever community bulk-buy of solar power systems in the Northern Rivers. The purpose of the community solar power bulk-buy is to significantly increase the understanding, affordability and take-up of solar energy throughout the region.

This new program builds upon its our success in coordinating six solar bulk-buys in the New England North West region of NSW, and Australia’s first ever community-funded, Council-operated solar farms in Lismore.

The Northern Rivers Solar Power Bulk-Buy is making available ~ in collaboration with local solar specialist Nickel Energy ~ two ranges of high quality, Tier 1 solar power systems. Both packages have been substantially discounted (18-20% below regular retail) as a benefit of the bulk-buying.

Register your interest in the
Northern Rivers Solar Bulk-Buy

East Lismore Shopping Centre 10kW 

We are also offering a choice of premium inverters and battery systems for those either wanting batteries now, or preparing to be battery-ready for a future upgrade. Battery options include LG, Tesla, Sonnen and Enphase batteries.

Nickel are also able to provide you with the Reposit system (see below for details) which can significantly improve how efficiently you use your solar or batteries and significantly reduce the payback on solar battery systems.

This bulk-buy offer is available to residents, businesses and farms throughout the Northern Rivers region including the entire Byron, Lismore Ballina and Tweed Shires.

Farming the Sun has negotiated this collaboration with Nickel Energy given their substantial demonstrated track record. Nickel are a well respected, locally-owned-and-operated business (see testimonials), and importantly, have the capacity to work at the scale of a community bulk-buy program.

Nickel Energy started in 2008 with a simple vision ~ to power local communities with clean, renewable energy to power local communities with clean and renewable energy. With more 9MW of solar installations to date, and many more ahead, Nickel is a trusted, reliable and experienced local solar provider with a very low service call out rate of 0.33% (that’s 3.3 call outs for every 1,000 systems installed ~ which have mostly been for failed inverters).

As a community and sustainability enterprise, it is important for us to only use high quality and long-lasting technologies.

Three brands of solar panels are available for this bulk-buy (Opal, Trina and LG). All are Tier 1 products (top 2% in regards to quality); come with 25 year performance warranties; and can be paired with a variety of inverters ~ all of which can be coupled with batteries.

The range of panel-inverter combinations are each a quality systems and cater to different budgets. The principal differences between the systems are the place of manufacture, output per square metre and technological innovations such as split cells which offer higher performance.

Nickel Energy have negotiated substantial bulk-buy discounts of 18%-20% better than regular retail prices for these high quality solar power systems.

“The goal is to install 3 MW of solar power for 1% of residences across the greater Northern Rivers region of NSW, including Ballina, Tweed, Byron and Lismore council areas.”

Chris Harris, Project Coordinator & Starfish Associate


Click HERE to register your interest.

Find out more by downloading product information sheets below.

There are three choices of inverter for different situations. All three inverters are high quality and battery ready. For battery-enabled solar systems the preference is for SolaX Hybrid inverters. Fronius are offering 10 year warranties until the end of 2017. SolaX offer a 5 year warranty with an optional five year extension.

Solar panel


PV-ezRack SolarRoof will be used for mounting and has a 10 year warranty ~ DATASHEET

Nickel Energy provides an installation warranty of seven years.


Nickel can also install Reposit with your battery storage system. Reposit has the capacity to hugely improve how efficiently you use your solar or batteries and significantly reduce the payback on solar battery systems.

Reposit is a clever package of hardware and software that monitors your energy usage, your solar system and the tariffs being charged by electricity network to retailers (these constantly vary). Once installed there are no ongoing costs. It’s Australian designed and assembled as well.

Reposit can:

  • Provide highly accurate monitoring of electricity usage and the grid ( like a smart meter that works for you and not the electricity companies).
  • Check the tariffs available and finds you the cheapest energy available at off-peak times and stores it in your battery, for later use.
  • Allow you to export stored/surplus energy to earn Reposit GridCredits* at $1/kWh at selected times through selected retailers (see the list of retailers here).
  • Help reduce the financial payback on solar battery systems

Find out which batteries and inverters are compatible with Reposit here, and more about how it works here.

The prices for Reposit are provided below.

Nambucca Heads Golf Course

Download Price List HERE

Trina 295W and LG 330W premium panels available on request.

Retail and Bulk buy prices include GST and the STC discount.

Prices subject to foreign exchange rate for the AUD to USD being above 78 cents at the time of order.

Small Scale Technology certificates (STC) being at or above $28 at time of installation.

Metering to be charged separately. Single phase net meter, $400. 3 phase net meter, $690.

7-year installation warranty.


  • LG Resu 6.4kWh Gen 1 Lithium ion battery with installation (not including inverter) $4999
  • LG Resu 6.5kWh Gen 2 Lithium ion battery with installation (not including inverter) $6979
  • LG Resu 9.8kWh Gen 2 Lithium ion battery with installation (not including inverter) $8599
  • Sonnen Lithium Iron Phosphate $POA
  • TESLA Lithion ion battery $POA (subject to availability)
  • Enphase Lithium Iron Phosphate $POA


  • Single phase $899
  • Three phase $1150

2. Inspection, Assessment & Quotation

3. 10% deposit

If you choose to proceed, a 10% deposit is required (paid to Nickel Energy) to secure your place in the bulk-buy.

4. Block of 20 orders achieved

Each ‘block’ of the bulk-buy is 20 orders. When this is achieved you will be invoiced a 40% instalment for the equipment (and is payable prior to installation).

5. Installation!

We anticipate that all 20 installations will be completed within 4 to 6 weeks of the bulk-purchase.

6. Final Invoice

Your final invoice payment (i.e. less your deposit and instalment), and solar rebate (STCs) form, are to be completed and paid on the day of installation.

Background Context

The Norther Rivers solar power bulk-buy is commencing to coincide with several significant developments:

  • Building on an estimated average 20% residential penetration of solar power throughout the region
  • Significant successes for local, community and commercial renewable energy in the region, as well as energy efficiency gains and the successful community rejection of gas mining
  • Electricity prices have been significantly increased (upwards of 10%) for the first time in several years which is likely to create more take-up of both solar power generation and energy efficiency measures
  • Conclusion of the NSW Government Solar Bonus Scheme (feed-in-tariff) on 31 December 2016, which is already providing an impetus for the consideration of solar power and the upgrading and expansion of existing solar power systems
  • Small scale technology (renewable energy) certificates began being phased out from 1 January 2017. The rebate will now reduce by 1/15th of its current amount on the first day of each new year until 2030 and will end on 31 December 2030. At the start of 2017, the certificate value that most Australians received for a 5kW solar power system fell by around $2-300.
  • Preparedness for small-scale battery storage technology
  • Growing community concerns about the environmental impacts of coal and gas mining (being the predominant fuel sources for electricity in NSW) on water, farming, biodiversity, climate and air quality
  • Construction of large-scale wind and solar projects in nearby regions, which are some of the largest capital infrastructure projects in their history.

Register your interest
in the Northern Rivers
Solar Bulk-Buy.

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