The ACT solar feed-in tariff scheme payment rates will remain unchanged said the Territory’s Minister for Energy, Simon Corbell, in Canberra last Friday.
In February, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission recommended that the premium rate for 2010-11 be set at 37 cents per kilowatt hour for new connections, a substantial drop from the current 45.7c per kilowatt hour.
Mr Corbell also announced that the new medium scale solar power payment percentage would remain set at 75% of the micro-generator category rate, a price of 34.27 c per kilowatt hour. In February, the program was expanded to include larger solar farms and to provide better access to the scheme for co-operatives, renters and community groups.
“In making these decisions I am mindful of the undertaking I made last year that as far as practicable, the Micro Premium announced then would remain for a 2 year period. I did this to establish certainty for investors and for industry players. This decision to leave the premium rate unchanged honours that commitment”.
The Minister also said the final outcome of the Federal Government’s decision to establish a carbon price, in addition to looming changes to Federal Government solar rebate schemes, meant there was uncertainty and it was prudent for him not to act prematurely on the ACT’s solar feed in tariff.
Based on a gross model that pays for all electricity generated by a home solar power system, rather than a net model as adopted by most other states that pays the premium only on surplus generation; the ACT’s program is the most generous in the nation.
To date, more than 4100 installations of rooftop solar panels have occurred in Canberra and throughout the ACT under the scheme, which equates to approximately a 7MW solar farm.
“The ACT Government is committed to creating Canberra as Australia’s Solar Capital, and the decision today to maintain the premium rate for micro-generation confirms that position,” said Minister Corbell.