Less than two weeks after Australia’s Capital Territory small-scale feed-in tariff was revived, the state has closed the scheme – again – to new participants. Having reached full capacity by midnight on the July 13, the program shutters were pulled down for what looks to be the final time.
Just nine days after the announcement to re-open the premium feed-in tariff to small-scale generators was made – when over three-quarters of the 30MW cap was already reached – the anticipated rush to install took the numbers up to full capacity.
“The Government warned against re-opening the Scheme and cautioned that it would further overheat a volatile market and would provide no certainty of a continuing market to industry. The fact that the combined cap was reached within two days proves the point beyond any doubt,” said acting minister for the environment and sustainable development, Katy Gallagher.
“The Greens and the Liberals have simply created false hopes in the community and have manifestly failed to deliver the certainty to industry they claimed to be seeking,” continued Gallagher.
When the microgeneration category, which includes all systems up to 30kW, was originally closed, a 1:1 net feed-in tariff arrangement was put in place whereby ActewAGL Retail purchased the energy at the customer’s energy tariff rate. It is unclear whether this arrangement will still stand.
The Government originally closed the microgeneration category of the premium feed-in tariff scheme on May 31 when it exceeded its statutory cap. The scheme was later re-opened with the opportunity to share the medium-scale category cap. Both sized systems are now expected to close for good.