AN innovative solar power design which allows a Nymboida family to be self-sufficient for electricity has won a national award for the Kangaroo Creek-based Northern Rivers Renewable Energy (NRRE).
NRRE founder Trent Rogers was in Melbourne on Friday to collect the Clean Energy Council award for a Standalone Power System Over 10 Kilowatts but he was quick to point out that it was an award for his team – especially his number one installer, Darren Freelander.
“Without his input we would not have won it,” Mr Rogers said. “He and I do all the designs.”
It was the second award in a matter of days for NRRE which also won a platinum award from photo-voltaic supplier RFI for the most capacity installed in the year last Wednesday.
Mr Rogers, who established the company as a one-man operation seven years ago, now employs three permanent installers, three administrative/sales staff on a regular basis and up to 12 people during busy periods.
“We’re approaching three million watts of capacity in the Clarence Valley,” he said.
“We decided when we started to see the industry become infiltrated by large companies from the city that we would stick to quality – we knew we weren’t going to be able to compete on price but we just always use the best equipment and now that is paying dividends.
Asked if the reduced feed-in tariff scheme spelt the end of the solar industry, Mr Rogers said the price of electricity was only heading in one direction – up.
“We are advising clients to forget about the government incentives and aim to get themselves to a point where they are energy neutral, in other words they produce as much energy as they use so that it doesn’t matter where the electricity price is at.”