New opportunity for community to invest in solar open to the public
The ACT government has called for proposals for a new community solar scheme that could generate enough electricity per year to power 250 Canberra homes, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, said today at the Community Energy Congress.
"This will be a great opportunity for community members who want to invest in large-scale solar to get involved in an on-ground project," Mr Corbell said.
"Successful proposals will have access to a feed-in-tariff, giving community groups a secure income stream and allowing them to partner with experienced solar developers to access project finance and expertise.".
A direct grant of up to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour for 20 years will be available – slightly higher than the nation leading price achieved under the 2012 and 2013 ACT Large-scale Solar Auctions. The capacity release will be capped at one megawatt, equivalent to around 500 rooftop solar installations.
"We are expecting a lot of interest from residents and small consortiums across the ACT who want to invest in renewable energy but need an extra incentive, such as a feed-in-tariff," Mr Corbell said.
Proposals under the scheme will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis and will remain open for one year from today, unless the cap is reached before then.
As part of the selection process, solar developers must apply best practice community engagement processes.
A survey undertaken in 2013 found that 93% of Canberra residents surveyed supported the government's plans to demonstrate and promote new energy technologies such as renewable energy.
The cost to consumers to achieve 90% renewable energy by 2020 is expected to peak at about $4 per household per week in 2020 before declining from then on. This cost will be offset in most households by energy efficiency programs saving households about $4 per week.
The request for proposals has been facilitated by amendments to the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011, which were enacted by the ACT Government in March this year. An instrument allowing for the capacity release is expected to be presented to the Legislative Assembly in August; following a disallowance period, the scheme will then become effective.
Information on the request for proposals can be found at http://www.act.gov.au/solar
- Statement ends -
Section: Simon Corbell, MLA | Media Releases