Following advice from the ACT Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission, Minister for Energy, Simon Corbell, announced early in April cuts to the ACT’s solar feed in tariff, reports Energy Matters.
For systems up to 10kW capacity, the premium price for the Electricity feed-in tariff Scheme will reduce from 50.05c/kW (approx. €0.36) to 45.7c/kWh (approx. €0.34) for systems installed from July 1 – that price will remain in place for two years. All contracts are valid for 20 years from the date of contract. The revised rate is still one of the most generous FiTs in Australia as it is based on gross electricity production as opposed to net.
This decrease was less than expected, and for owners of solar farms larger than 10kW, there more good news. “I have also decided to allow generators with a capacity of more than 10kW, and up to 30kW, to receive the full Premium price. Previously these generators were only eligible for 80% of the Premium,” said Corbell.
Corbell decided to fix the premium price for the period of two years for new installations to maintain investor confidence. He also said the revised premium price reflected a reduction in the cost of installing grid connect solar power systems and the Federal Government setting the value of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECS) at AUS$40 for small systems under the SRES, to be implemented on January 1, 2011 – however, some solar providers are already offering the AUS$40 REC rate. RECs form the basis of the national Solar Credits rebate scheme.
The revised Premium price will apply to ACT FiT Scheme contracts entered into from 1 July 2010 but not those entered into before this date, which will still attract the existing premium of 50.05c/kWh.
Corbell said as a result of FiT scheme, the number of solar installations on ACT roofs increased almost 200% in the first 12 months. The ACT Government is also currently considering an expansion of the Electricity feed-in tariff Scheme to installations beyond the current capacity limit of 30kW.