Equipment & Hardware

Who will give me advice about how to use my energy better in my home or business?

Starling Energy Group is the owner of the Plico Energy brand and will assist you with education about how to use your energy more effectively. You will also be able to monitor your own energy use on the Portal App, empowering you to take control of your energy use.

What happens if I sell my house or business?

We would encourage the payment of the system will be included in the total selling price, so the new owners can take over the remainder of the contract agreement. Otherwise the system can be bought out at the point of selling your home.

If you’re looking at setting up Plico Energy at your new home or business premises, please contact us to discuss your options.

Do I remain connected to the electrical grid?

Yes, as this enables us to provide the services to the grid as a Virtual Power Plant.

Do I need to clean the solar panels?

Usually a heavy rain will clean your panels, however if we identify your system is having issues we might suggest a quick clean.

With everybody having the same system, it’s easy for us to pinpoint if any households or businesses are under performing and act quickly to rectify.

Shadows can affect your panel efficiency, but we can help you manage this. Tree shading can be managed by regular pruning of trees around the house.

How can I see how much energy I’m producing?

The Plico System is linked up to a portal app, which you can access from your desktop computer or smart device.

The app provides information on your energy use in your home via easy-to-read graphs and data. This enables you to educate yourself on what is happening in your home and adjust your behavior or appliances in real-time to save money and energy.

Is the system rated for extreme conditions?

The solar panels we use have a cyclone rating, work well in hot conditions and the smart-hybrid inverter is weather rated for outside use. These systems are used in northern WA in regions that are subject to severe weather patterns.

Can the inverter be installed on the outside of my house?

Definitely. The system is weather rated for outside use, however we do recommend that you install it in a garage or under a protected eave to limit any damage to ensure longevity.

Can I get all black panels?

You can get all black panels, they are slightly more expensive than the ones we use but because they look so good, we are hoping to get a good deal on bulk buying the black panels.

If I already have solar can I still sign up to Plico Energy?

Potentially, depending on the age of your panels. Have a chat to our team about your options. We don’t sell stand-alone batteries but can happily chat with you about your circumstances.

Western Power has told me that I can’t have more solar on my roof. What can I do?

Western Power have some limitations on solar export if the roof area is constrained in any way. However the smart-hybrid inverter and battery solution can overcome a lot of these problems.

It will be Starling Energy Group’s job to discuss this with Western Power and assist with approvals for your home.

Who developed the Plico System?

Starling Energy Group has worked had to identify and research products and suppliers who we believe will be able to deliver the best outcomes for our customers.  The products we select are required to have 10-year warranty.  Where possible, we have selected Australian based businesses or equipment driven by Australian IP.

The business concept and model of a community-owned, battery-driven virtual power plant has been developed in conjunction with energy experts, legal teams and our sustainable investment partner, SUSI Partners.

The smart hybrid Inverter we have selected is owned, designed and developed in Australia out of the University of Queensland by Redback Technologies’ engineers, while their staff in China oversee the production line.

This is the same production model that worldwide tech phenomena Apple undertakes, where Redback Technology manages its own supply chain on the components of the inverter, as well as their own quality assurance and quality control.

Our panels are Tier 1 panels from Suntech.  All components of our system are sourced through our supply partner, Sonepar – a business to business distributor of electrical products, solutions and related services who have been around for 50 years.

What happens to the solar energy I produce?

Plico Energy is about empowering you to produce and use your own energy.

The goal is to consume as much of your own renewable energy as possible, ending your reliance on coal-powered energy. And there are so many benefits of switching to greener energy:

  • Less pressure on the grid, making it more reliable and blackouts less likely
  • Better reliability during peak energy times (5am-9am, 5pm-10pm)
  • Any excess energy can be sold back to Synergy as part of the Renewable Energy Buyback System (REBS) – that’s more money in your pocket!

If you are a household, you are permitted to export excess energy back into the grid, of which Synergy will pay you 7c per kwh. Unfortunately, businesses are unable to participate in the REBS scheme.

Can I purchase a battery/inverter up front, but still be part of the Virtual Power Plant?

  • Unfortunately, no. We offer a service contract that provides installation and ongoing management and servicing of your system.  As the business grows, we anticipate adding additional components that will add value to your system and be of benefit to our members.

    As a Plico member you receive:

    • On-going education sessions
    • Replacement parts (Inverters, control system and batteries)
    • Access to an Operations Service Centre
    • Contributions towards Community Fund projects

What are the benefits of a Virtual Power Plant versus doing it by yourself?

There’s power in numbers! We know one person has little chance to change the future of energy, but a large movement has a far better chance.

Being a large community energy movement allows us to negotiate with utility authorities and Government regulators as one body.

Psychologically and literally, we have more power together. The more Plico people, the more renewable our grid becomes.

What is a Virtual Power Plant? 

A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is a network of solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery systems working together to generate and store energy. This allows participating households and businesses to achieve 90% renewable energy consumption and end reliance on the traditional grid.

The systems are connected by advanced aggregation and control software that was developed by Australian engineers.

With 1,000-plus households and businesses involved in the movement, the VPP can provide 6.5MW of solar at peak, 7.6GWH of energy per year and displace 7KT of carbon emissions (CO2-e) every year.

However, the real value of a VPP is about supporting regional infrastructure reliability, voltage issues and reducing energy peaks.

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