Rooftop solar households in regional Queensland are set to receive more than 15 per cent less for the solar PV generated electricity they send back to the grid, after the state’s pricing regulator proposed a cut to the feed-in tariff.
The Queensland Competition Authority said in a statement released late Friday that it had set the 2019-20 solar tariff for customers on the Ergon network at 7.8 cents per kWh, around 1.5 cents per kWh lower than last year’s tariff of 9.4 cents per kWh.
QCA said the proposal to reduce the feed-in tariff for small-scale solar customers in regional Queensland was based largely on the falling price of wholesale energy – a price reduction delivered, ironically, by renewable generation like rooftop solar.
Queensland has seen strong uptake in rooftop solar installation, and leads all states and territories with over 600,000 rooftop solar systems installed, according to data from the Clean Energy Regulator, as households look for ways to manage their energy costs.
“This reduction is driven mainly by the projected decrease in price volatility in Queensland and other NEM regions due to the expected entry of approximately 5,200 megawatts (MW) of solar and wind generation, of which 1,350 MW is expected to be in Queensland,” the QCA said.
The QCA engaged consultant ACIL Allen to project future wholesale electricity prices, who singled out the Queensland Government’s own investment vehicle CleanCo and its more aggressive operation of the Wivenhoe pumped hydro storage plant as driving down future prices.
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