The Solar Design and Installation Awards are Australia's premier solar awards, recognising excellence in the design and installation of Australian solar projects.

2018 award winners

Congratulations to the winners in the 2018 Solar Design and Installation Awards, which were presented at All-Energy Australia 2018 on Wednesday 3 October. Read on to find out more about the winners and the finalists in the following categories:

  • Under 30 kW - stand-alone PV power system
  • Under 30 kW - grid connect PV power system
  • Under 30 kW - grid connect PV power system with battery back-up
  • 30-240 kW - any system eligible
  • Over 240 kW - any system eligible

Under 30 kW - stand-alone PV power system – winner

Michael Reiken

Working with Excel Power, Michael designed and installed an 8 kW solar and battery system that enabled an office and workshop to run completely off grid with two days autonomy. The system was designed with a steam punk aesthetic that included a custom vintage-looking control panel and gauges, and it can be used as a training tool to teach and explain the operation of an AC-coupled solar system.

Under 30 kW - grid connect PV power system – winner

Matthew Leeson

Working with Leeson Solar, Matthew designed and installed a building-integrated solar tile system on a home display centre to demonstrate the relatively new product to potential customers. The 6.75 kW system offers an aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional solar PV and employs a custom-designed rooftop DC isolator fixed to a roof tile to maintain the clean aesthetics required by the client.

Under 30 kW - grid connect PV power system with battery back-up – winner

Luke Fraser

Working with Solar Integrity, Luke designed and installed a solar PV and battery system that shows how microgrids can be used to overcome network constraints on solar PV systems. As well as reducing the homeowners’ electricity bill by $2700 per year, the system demonstrates the possibility of installing systems larger than 3.5 kW on constrained single wire earth return lines.

30-240 kW - any system eligible – winner

Geoff Fussell and Guy Cameron

Working with Suntrix, Geoff and Guy designed and installed a 99 kW floating solar farm on an overflow dam at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant. The floating solar farm is Australia’s first modular and scalable floating solar PV system and will meet approximately 11 per cent of the site’s annual electricity needs. Due to the overwhelming success of the installation, the local council has indicated that it plans to expand the solar farm to 400 kW.

Over 240 kW - any system eligible – winner

Jarrod Shepherd and Matthew Linney

Working with Autonomous Energy, Jarrod and Matthew designed and installed a 2.2 MW solar system on two buildings at the Sydney Markets. In addition to the solar system, the design included the installation of more than 3 km of permanent handrail access and hose reels to allow for cleaning of the system. The installation’s 5581 solar modules made it the largest privately owned rooftop solar system in the Southern Hemisphere.

Judges' Honourable Mention

Nicholas Lake, Gregory Wilson and Simon Gibbs

Working with Nickel Energy, Nicholas, Gregory and Simon designed and installed a 6.5 kW solar system to convert a 68-year-old diesel train into the world’s first solar-powered train. The system uses custom-designed curved panels that charge the train’s lithium-ion batteries while retaining its heritage appeal and curved roof design. In addition, Nicholas, Gregory and Simon designed and installed a 30 kW system on a shed that can also be used to charge the train.

Award finalists

Under 30 kW - stand-alone PV power system

  • Simon Duff (Towards Tomorrow Energy) for a solar PV system that enabled an award-winning flat packed, re-deployable small building to be situated without the need to be connected to mains power.
  • Bruce McRae and Soleman Massoud (Autonomous Energy) for a stand-alone solar PV system inspired by the African thorn tree at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Melbourne.
  • Michael Reiken (Excel Power) for a steampunk-inspired solar PV system to allow a workshop and office to run completely off grid with two days autonomy.

Under 30 kW - grid connect PV power system

  • Matthew Leeson (Leeson Solar) for a 6.75 kW building-integrated PV solar tile system on the Austral Bricks display centre in Rochedale, Queensland.

Under 30 kW - grid connect PV power system with battery back-up

  • Luke Fraser (Solar Integrity) for a combined solar PV and battery system that demonstrates how residences connected to single wire earth return lines can install larger solar systems.
  • Florian Geier (SolarHub) for an 8.91 kW solar PV system and battery that was connected to Reposit Power's Capital Region Distributed Virtual Power Plant in Canberra.
  • Stephen Mason and Roberta Colombo (Evergen and Mason Electrical Industries) for three solar PV systems with batteries on a 10-storey apartment building in Brisbane.

30-240 kW - any system eligible

  • Geoff Fussell and Guy Cameron (Suntrix) for designing and installing Australia's first modular and scalable floating solar PV system in Lismore, NSW.
  • Nicholas Lake, Gregory Wilson and Simon Gibbs (Nickel Energy) for converting a 68-year-old diesel train to become the world’s first solar-powered train in Byron Bay, NSW.
  • Jamie Thorncraft, Edie Barkla-Mather and Juan Jose Ferrandis Giral (Todae Solar) for a 66 kW solar PV system on a 45-degree pyramid in the Sydney CBD.

Over 240 kW - any system eligible

  • Robert Mailler (YD Projects) for the 11 MW Dunblane Solar Farm in Barcaldine, Queensland, which set a new benchmark for the levelised cost of electricity in Australia.
  • Scott Mason, Murtaza Lukemanjee and Callum Beaton (Platinum Solar Designs) for a 500 kW ground mount solar PV system with a 2.1 MWh battery at the Willinga Park Equestrian Centre in NSW.
  • Jarrod Shepherd and Matthew Linney (Autonomous Energy) for a 2.2 MW rooftop solar system on the Sydney Markets, the largest privately owned rooftop solar installation in the Southern Hemisphere.

Benefits of winning

The benefits of winning a Solar Design and Installation Award include:

  • Earning the right to promote yourself as a 2018 Solar Design and Installation Award Winner with an exclusive logo.
  • Two tickets to attend a Clean Energy Council Installer Night.
  • A link to your website on the Clean Energy Council website.
  • Receiving coverage on the Clean Energy Council and Solar Accreditation websites and in other publications.