Victoria Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff may close soon

Update 3 Sept 2012: The Victorian government has announced that systems must be installed and all paperwork submitted by 30 September 2012 in order to secure eligibility for the Transitional or Standard Feed-in Tariffs. Once secured, rates will remain in place until 31 December 2016. Read more.

Murmurs are beginning to appear that Victoria’s Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff may end sooner rather than later–possibly as early as the end of July 2012. An announcement about the results of the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s (VCEC) inquiry into both of the state’s Feed-in Tariff schemes (following the draft report that came out in May this year) is expected on Fri 27 July 2012.

Unlike many of Australia’s other state-based Solar Feed-in Tariff schemes, which set deadlines for signing up, the Transitional Solar Feed-in Tariff scheme has a capacity cap of 70 megawatts (MW). This makes estimating the exact end date of the scheme difficult. In fact, Victoria’s previous solar incentive scheme–the Premium Feed-in Tariff–ended abruptly, with the government allowing those who had already paid a deposit on a solar PV system 30 days to install, but barring new applicants. If precedent is anything to go by, the Victorian government will announce the end of the Transitional Feed-in Tariff in such a way that there will be chance for a rush on the market (as was the case with the Queensland Solar Bonus Scheme rate reduction, which allowed 2 weeks for applications to submitted).

The conditions for eligibility that came with the announcement of the closure of Victoria’s Premium Feed-in Tariff for solar were. The same conditions are likely to apply for the end of the Transitional Feed-in Tariff.

Those considering having a solar PV system installed will want to move quickly if they hope to secure the current incentive, which will continue until 2016. The Victoria Transitional Feed-in Tariff offers 25c per every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar electricity exported to the grid–the most generous rate currently available in Australia (next to South Australia’s Transitional Feed-in Tariff). The rate that follows the Transitional Feed-in Tariff is expected to be between 6 and 8c/kWh, significantly altering the return on investment (ROI) and payback period of PV systems, barring further dramatic price drops such as have been seen over the past 4 years or so.

© 2011 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

James Martin II