Victorian solar energy feed in tariff now capped at 3.2kW

Good news for those who’ve installed, or are thinking of installing, solar energy in Victoria.

On 11 March 2009 the Victorian Government announced that it’s 60c net feed in tariff would be capped at 3.2kW size systems, rather than the previously disclosed 2kW cap.

The scheme will have a duration of 15yrs, and is available to existing and new solar power installations.

While 3.2kW is toward the higher end of the range for residential installations in Australia, thereby allowing most Victorians who’ve installed solar energy the chance to get maximum benefit out of the 60c per kW/hr feed in reward scheme, it is still well short of the maximum size allowed for South Australia’s and Queensland’s net feed in tariff of 10kW.

The Victorian announcement, while a welcome boost for residential installations, still doesn’t go far enough to allow the development of “mini solar power farms”, such as are now possible in SA and Qld. In those states, especially with the advent of 3 phase power, it is possible for a land owner to set up a 30kW solar energy system, and feed in to the grid and earn a healthy 44c per kW/hr (approx 3 times the market rate of electricity).

The Victorian Government also announced a grant of $100 million to develop a new large scale solar energy power station by 2015, on the proviso of matching funds coming from the Federal Government.

We’re still keenly awaiting the NSW government’s announcement of what type of feed in tariff it will embrace later in 2009.

Angus Gemmell