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:
- The size of eligible solar PV systems will be limited to 5 kilowatt capacity
- 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
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