Businesses in Canberra and across the ACT wanting to install commercial solar power systems may soon find it even easier to do so.
New proposed legislation jointly introduced by the ACT’s Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman and the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Shane Rattenbury seeks to streamline smaller commercial solar power installations by only requiring one approval process.
“The ACT is a jurisdiction that supports and facilitates investment in renewable energy. Today’s changes will reduce red tape for climate-friendly initiatives,” said Minister Rattenbury.
The amendments will remove smaller commercial systems from the Utilities (Technical Regulation) Act.
“This removes an important barrier for small operators, such as small businesses and schools, to install and operate solar. Under the amendment, small or medium generation will now be defined as generating between 200kW and 30MW of electricity,” Minister Rattenbury said.
The Minister stressed safety would not be compromised and appropriate checks will still be carried out before these systems can be connected to the mains grid.
In other recent related news out of the ACT, Minister Rattenbury has said the Territory will continue in its renewable energy and climate change mitigation efforts, despite what it says are increasing attacks from the Federal Government and State Liberal Parties.
Minister Rattenbury urged all Canberra residents to understand that wind energy and solar power are “absolutely compatible” with energy security.
“By investing in renewable energy, not only are we doing the right thing for the environment and Australia’s energy future, but we’re being rewarded with economic, business and innovation opportunities,” he said.
The Minister has extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to take a tour of Canberra’s “solar highway“, where more than 174,340 solar panels are installed adjacent to 50 kilometres of road.
The ACT has set targets of 100% renewable energy by 2020 and zero net carbon emissions across the Territory by 2050. The ACT also has a pioneering, home battery initiative that will result in 36 MW of energy storage installed in thousands of Canberra homes and businesses over a four year period.