Well on track to fulfill its goal of becoming Australia’s solar capital, the ACT government has accepted a wide range of solar project proposals for its large-scale feed-in tariff, which will support at least 2 projects of a cumulative total of 40 megawatts of electricity. Of the 49 bids received by the ACT government, 27 will now be eligible to undergo a ‘fast track’ assessment, according to Environment Minister Simon Corbell.
“Types of installations include large connected roof-mounted facilities on factories and other large buildings, and we also expect a significant number of proposals to involve ground-mounted or field-mounted facilities,” Corbell said. “The feed-in tariff process provides for at least two facilities up to 20 megawatts, but it is possible that we will see a larger number of smaller capacity generating facilities installed as an alternative, for example between 2 and 10 megawatts each.”
The winning projects under the ACT scheme will be chosen by a ‘reverse auction‘ process. Projects compete with each other ‘blindly’ and on the basis of which can provide electricity to the grid for the lowest rate, i.e. requiring the lowest degree of government subsidisation. The ACT’s scheme is the only state/territory-based commercial-scale solar incentive scheme in Australia (although the Federal government does have the Solar Flagships program). The process is being watched nationally and globally as a potentially cost-effective means of encouraging the uptake of large-scale, grid-connected solar power.
“The government will now be examining and reviewing the details of these proposals and ensuring that those companies that meet the qualification criteria will now be able to proceed to the next stage,” said Corbell.
The 27 successful candidates were selected for the fast-tracking process on the basis of capacity and track record to follow through with their proposals. Pricing considerations and the actual ‘reverse auction’ process take place before the final decision, expected to be made around June or July 2012.
© 2012 Solar Choice Pty Ltd
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