The ACT government will amend its large scale renewables feed-in tariff to support the development of up to 550MW of wind, solar and waste to energy projects – amendments that are expected to help the Capital Territory to retain the lowest electricity prices of any state or territory in Australia.
The ACT’s Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, announced the change today, confirming an expansion of the amount of renewable energy generation able to be supported by the Electricity Feed in (Large Scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act, from the existing 210MW cap to a proposed 550MW
The changes will be enough to achieve the Territory’s mandated 90 per cent renewable energy target set last year, as well as its target of a 40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, set for the year 2020.
So far, the large scale FiT has already been used to support the development of three big solar farms in the ACT, including the 20MW Royalla Solar Farm south of Tuggeranong, which is now under construction.
Corbell has also tabled an independent review into the large-scale solar auction, which found the process used by the ACT government was “an efficient way of investing in renewable energy at the lowest possible cost.”
“The innovative feed-in-tariff (FiT) mechanism means the cost to the community of achieving the 90% renewable energy target peaks in 2020 at around $4 per household per week and declines thereafter,” Corbell said.
“This pass through cost is also lower than that projected when Action Plan 2 was released in 2012, due to factors including reductions in the costs of renewable technologies.
“This cost impact is about half of 1% of average gross incomes for low, middle and high income households.”
The review concluded the process was effective, generated strong competition, resulted in positive industry feedback and provided value for money for consumers.
“The expansion of the amount of renewable energy to be generated under this law will leverage significant investment in our city and the surrounding region and will leverage our city’s world leading research capacity in areas such as photovoltaics and wind resource assessment,” Corbell said.
He said the ACT government would be making further announcements on how this increase in renewable energy capacity would be deployed in the coming weeks.