Australia’s Capital Territory will go through yet more feed-in tariff policy changes as the ACT Greens and Canberra Liberals push through a Bill to allow new connections of small-scale home solar power systems to receive the same rate as the medium generator category. This move comes just one month after Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell closed the scheme to new microgeneration connections.
All small and medium-scale projects will now receive the 34.27c per kilowatt hour rate for all electricity generated.
"The very sudden halt of the small-scale solar feed-in tariff left an industry in the lurch just as it was beginning to flourish," said Green spokesperson and sponsor of the Bill, Shane Rattenbury.
"It’s unfortunate that this Bill was required, but the reality is that without it the ACT solar industry would be facing real trouble and would start to let staff go over the next two months."
"The Greens Bill passing represents a win for a local industry, a better price for rate payers and a win for the environment," Rattenbury said.
While this appears to be a positive move for the residential sector, the changes will complicate things for the medium-scale category, which has a cap of 15MW in place. It is thought that new home solar power connections signing up for the amended tariff will count towards that cap, meaning that those considering commercial solar installations may need to accelerate their plans or risk losing out.
"This is a real tragedy for larger-scale renewable energy generation in Canberra," concluded Minister Corbell.