More Solar Farms For The ACT

Two new solar projects for the ACT combined with the 20 MW Royalla Solar Farm will generate enough power to supply 10,000 homes.

The two new projects are Zhenfa Solar’s 13-megawatt Mugga Lane Solar Park near the Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre, and Elementus’ 7-megawatt OneSun Capital Solar Farm in Coree.

Large-scale projects are chosen via the ACT’s auction process; which is operated under a tender-like process where companies compete for the right to a feed-in tariff and proposals are evaluated in terms of their overall value-for-money.

“The ACT Solar Auction is delivering large scale renewable energy at an affordable price,” said the Territory’s Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell.

“The maximum cost to households is expected to be 45 cents per week when all three farms are operating in 2016. This is forecast to drop to 27 cents per household per week by 2021.”

The three projects will avoid 1.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over 20 years.

The first large-scale solar facility to be approved, FRV Royalla Solar Farm, will be constructed 23 kilometres south of Canberra city and will incorporate approximately 83,000 solar panels.

“The delivery of this nation leading project is a big step for the ACT towards our greenhouse gas reduction targets of 40% by 2020, and becoming a carbon neutral city by 2060,” Mr Corbell said.

On a smaller scale, residential rooftop solar has also been popular in Canberra and the ACT.  As of 30 June 2013; there were 13,224 solar panel systems installed in the Territory. Based on last census figures (2011) showing 145,229 households in the ACT, around 9% of households in the Territory have rooftop arrays.

According to solar provider Energy Matters, a 5.5kW system installed in Canberra can deliver financial benefits of $1404 – $3203 a year (estimated).