WEDNESDAY 20 APRIL, 2011 |
Tasmania's New Solar Incentive For Business
The Tasmanian government announced a $30-million Renewable Energy Loan Scheme
last week to help businesses make better use of renewable energy sources,
including solar power systems.
Minister for Alternative Energy, Nick McKim, said the initiative will provide Tasmania the opportunity to build on its long-established renewable energy
foundations; based mainly in hydro-electric power.
"Many Tasmanian businesses have adopted sustainable operating practices, as a point of difference from their interstate competitors.
Development of renewable energy projects offers the perfect complement, to make Tasmanian businesses stand
Assistance under the scheme includes a low-interest loan for up to 70% of the value of
a renewable energy project and grants for up to 10% of the projectís value;
which will be capped at $100,000 per applicant.
Applicants will need to contribute up to 20% of the projectís value themselves, depending on the value of security
offered and applications will be assessed on a competitive basis.
The Renewable Energy Loan Scheme Guidelines are available on the Departmentís website
Australian solar power solutions provider Energy Matters
Sylvester say the initiative is a great boost for renewable energy in
"While Tasmania has a good chunk of renewables in its energy mix, the state
still imports a great deal of coal-fired based electricity from the mainland at
times. This initiative will help increase energy independence, Tasmania's
ability to export power and bolster the renewable energy industry in the state
generally. Our team of medium scale commercial solar
experts in Tasmania are
looking forward to discussing potential projects under the scheme with local
According to Hydro
, 9000 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity are
produced annually from the State's hydropower resources. However, IRIS Tasmania
says reliance on hydro generation has been reduced by the conversion of Bell Bay Power Station to natural gas, the installation of three gas turbine generators and
Basslink, the world's second longest undersea electricity cable.
The link can transmit 500 megawatts (MW) of energy on a continuous basis in either direction.
The line adds supply security on both sides of Bass Strait; protecting Tasmania against the risk of
drought-related energy shortages. The Basslink interconnector runs from Loy Yang
coal-fired power generation facilities in Gippsland, Victoria, across Bass
Strait to Bell Bay in Northern Tasmania.
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