Queensland solar power feed-in tariff: eligibility changes

Update 25 June 2012: The Queensland Solar Bonus Feed-in Tariff scheme will be reduced from 44c/kWh to 8c/kWh. Applications to connect to the grid must be submitted by midnight 9 July 2012.

Changes to eligibility criteria for the 44c/kWh Queensland solar power feed-in tariff (Solar Bonus) came into effect from 7 June 2011. There are two changes to eligibility criteria:

  1. The size of eligible solar PV systems will be limited to 5 kilowatt capacity
  2. A limit of one Scheme application per premises will apply

5kW is relatively large for most residential solar power systems, so if you are a Queenslander thinking about signing up for solar panels for your home in order to take advantage of government solar and renewable energy incentives, it is unlikely that you need to be concerned about the size limitation.

Queensland’s future commercial-scale solar power projects, however, are likely to be affected, and in order to take advantage of the scheme under the old criteria, project developers to complete and submit applications to Energex/Ergon before midnight 6 June 2011. (Gratuitous self-promotion: Solar Choice Commercial manages tenders for large-scale projects. Please see the bottom of the article for more information.) Commercial projects over 5kW may still be eligible for power purchase agreements with electricity providers, although not on the 44c/kWh feed-in tariff offered to small-scale generators.

Although the precise details are not yet clear, the second change to eligibility criteria to the scheme is likely to be similar to that of the federal Government’s Solar Credit (Renewable Energy Certificate or REC scheme): in order to install more than one system and still take advantage of the feed-in tariff scheme, the buildings on which they are mounted must have separate addresses.

It is important to note that there will be:

-no changes to the agreements for existing scheme participants,

-no change to the current feed-in tariff price of 44c/kWh, and

-no change to the scheme closing date of 1 July 2028.

The Queensland Solar Bonus Scheme rewards grid-connected residential solar power system owners for each kiloWatt-hour (kWh) of electricity that they feed back into the power grid on a net basis. That is, small-scale residential solar power generators will get paid for whatever surplus electricity they do not consume themselves, with the balance calculated throughout the day, not averaged over billing periods.

The changes to the Queensland scheme, especially the fact that the scheme has not been canceled or drastically reduced, come as something of a relief to residential solar power customers and residential solar system installers alike, especially in the wake of the more dramatic changes to the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme and the federal government’s Solar Credits scheme.

Solar Choice Commercial manages the tender process for a wide range of large-scale solar power projects throughout Australia, including for mining companies, restaurant groups, shopping centres, and rural solar farms. For professional management and consultancy on your solar energy project, contact our Commercial Tenders Management team on 1300 78 72 73 for more information.

© 2011 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Where can I get more information?

For more information on the Solar Bonus Scheme, including eligibility criteria, please refer to www.cleanenergy.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23. A fact sheet on the implementation of the changes is forthcoming.

Previous related Solar Choice blog entries: Kogan Creek Solar Boost Project : NSW Solar Bonus scheme suspended : Federal REC multiplier to reduce from 5x to 3x as of 1 July 2011

James Martin II

Contributor at Solar Choice
James was Solar Choice's primary writer & researcher between 2010 and 2018.

He is now the communications manager for energy technology startup SwitchDin, but remains an occasional contributor to the Solar Choice blog.

James lives in Newcastle in a house with a weird solar system.
James Martin II

Comments

  1. I am with Origin Energy. My bill for May-August has still net arrived, it’s 6 weeks overdue . I calculate I will have a $200 credit for that quarter. I’ve phoned them twice but can’t get a reason for the delay. Anyone else having the same problem with Origin?

    1. Hi Brian,

      We’d recommend you ask on the Whirlpool forum, you will be more likely to get the feedback you’re looking for.

      Good luck getting the answer to your question.

  2. I have been recieving the 44c rate for a year and a half now with my 2kWh inverter and 2.8k PV array. The QLD govt website says we can have up to 5kWh capacity inverter. So, am I able to upgrade my inverter and PV array to 5kWh and still retain the 44c rate?

    1. Hi Sonny,

      Unfortunately, the Queensland government currently seems to be quite loath to allow people to change any details of their system once they’re receiving the 44c/kWh rate. It would seem also that upgrading your inverter would most likely result in your forfeiting the 44c/kWh rate at this point in time.

      Read more on the Queensland Government Solar Bonus Scheme FAQ: What happens if I apply for a 5 kilowatt system and install a smaller inverter, and then upgrade the inverter to 5 kilowatt at a later date? Will I receive the 44 cent rate for all of my exported energy?

      Best of luck!

  3. If I change electricity retailers (eg Integral to AGL) do I still retain my entitlement to the 44c/kwh rate ?

  4. I have a solar power supply thar was connected on the 30th May. The Energex approval is dated 16th April. However due to ongoing delays the metering to accomodate the new solar power feed in tarriff has not been installed and I do not have a date for its Installation but it seems unlikely before the 12 July. Will I still be eligible for the 44c KWH rate.
    Ian Rooss

    1. Hi Ian.

      The 9 July deadline is only a deadline for grid connection paperwork to be submitted–you do not have to have your system or meter installed by that time in order to get the 44c rate under the Queensland Solar Bonus Feed-in Tariff. So if your grid connection paperwork has been submitted by the deadline, and you get your system installed within the 12 months following that, you should be set to receive the 44c/kWh rate until the Solar Bonus Scheme ends.

      Read more about what to do to secure the 44c/kW rate.

Comments are closed.