Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is launching a new incentive scheme to promote large-scale solar in the state. It is Australia’s first scheme targeted at utility systems and aims to help install projects totalling up to 210MW.
Under the ACT legislative assembly’s proposal, a reverse auction process will be introduced, inviting companies to demonstrate how they can provide the greatest amount of power for the lowest cost.
The first stage of the bill will see 40MW of solar capacity auctioned off. This auction is due to get underway before the end of the year and after a summer filled with subsidy cuts, closures and adjustments, the news is a boost to the country’s flagging PV industry.
“Australia’s big solar industry has received a giant boost with the introduction of laws into the ACT Parliament to establish strong new incentives for large-scale solar in Canberra,” said John Grimes, the chief executive of the Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES). “The ACT’s reverse auction is an innovative way of driving investment in big solar. It will require solar companies to demonstrate how they can deliver zero pollution, large-scale solar at least cost to ACT taxpayers.
“With construction underway on a number of big solar power plants across the country, the sun is rising on Australia’s clean energy future. The ACT will be driving Australia’s clean energy future through 210MW of clean, solar power.”
Prominent among the utility-scale installations mentioned by Grimes are the 44MW Kogan Creek and 10MW Geraldton systems. When completed, these will be among the largest systems not only in Australia but also the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile planning is underway on two even larger projects: the 150MW Moree Solar Farm and 250MW Solar Dawn solar thermal system.