Generating interest, and plenty of power
Kerry Rochfort's home in Kallangur.
A Kallangur man who installed 42 solar panels on the roof of his house now receives $1500 a quarter through selling his surplus energy to the state government.
But while the system was legally installed, the number of panels would be illegal now.
Kerry Rochfort, a small business owner and an electrician by trade, had the panels installed on the roof of his Anzac Avenue house last August.
Kerry Rochfort. Photo: Tim Miller
His solar power system generates between nine and 12.5 kilowatts of power daily and earns him up to $1500 a quarter in excess energy.
Mr Rochfort bought the slightly flood-damaged solar panels by auction from the University of Queensland. They were to be used in a multi-million dollar test project and were being stored in a shipping container that was damaged in the January 2011 floods.
A University of Queensland spokesperson said their insurance company sold the solar panels in May 2011 after paying out the university for the flood damage.
The house has the approval of the Building Services Authority and the state government's Electricity Safety Office, he said - as well as being known among locals for its unusual appearance.
"We have had the [BSA] come out and inspect them, so that's above board.
"And we've had the Electrical Safety Office come out and inspect them and again as I said, it did generate quite a bit of interest.
"They both put me through the coals, both of them. But they both said this is one of the better installs we have seen."
The Electrical Safety Office confirmed they inspected Mr Rochfort's installation on September 29, 2011, and found no issues to correct.
Mr Rochfort is now reaping the financial rewards of his bargain $12,000 investment, which he estimates would be worth $60,000 if purchased new.
"I am getting between $1200 and $1500 back a quarter from the actual grid," he said.
"And that is after paying for power of around $200 to $250 a quarter.
"We should have it paid off in the next two years."
Before June 1, 2011, a domestic house was able to have a maximum 30 kilowatts system installed, meaning Mr Rochfort was permitted to install up to 120 solar panels.
Changes to state legislation mean homeowners may no longer install a system of more than five kilowatts on a rooftop.
Mr Rochfort, who runs a ''cocktail slushees'' business from his home, has no intention of installing the full 120 solar panels on his house, but said he was considering adding a ''few'' more panels in the future.
"At the end of the day, everyone has their own opinion on it, but I just think half of it is just jealousy from most people,'' he said.
"I just came across an opportunity and for the next 25-30 years, the sun is never going to go away.
"The only bad thing is if I move out of here, I lose it."