Western Australian households considering installing solar power will be racing to buy systems after today’s announcement by the Western Australian government that its solar feed in tariff rate will be greatly reduced for new applications submitted after June 30. A firm cap has also been put in place for the program.
Currently, Western Australia’s feed in tariff pays 40c/kWh for surplus electricity generated by a solar power system exported to the mains grid, but a new rate of 20 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) will apply to all applications received from 1 July 2011. Existing feed-in tariff customers and those who submit applications prior to July 1 will remain on the 40c rate.
As with the original scheme, system owners will receive payments for 10 years; however, the Western Australian government has also announced in order to provide a clear indication to industry and consumers of the scheme’s end date that the program will close when the total capacity of installed systems under the feed-in tariff program reaches 150 megawatts (MW).
With almost 70MW of solar panels having been installed already and less than 6 weeks until the feed in tariff reduction deadline, a rush is expected by households still considering buying a home solar power package being spurred into action to acquire a system in order to submit their applications to join the scheme prior to the reduction.
National solar power solutions provider Energy Matters is running a series of solar power system specials for residents of Western Australia in an effort to help as many households as possible make the switch to solar power under the more generous feed in tariff rate before it is reduced.