Queensland removes feed-in tariff cap on regional solar systems

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Solar PV systems of up to 30kW in size will now have access to 11c/kWh feed-in tariffs in regional Queensland.

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The Queensland Labor government has removed a 5kW cap on solar systems able to access feed-in tariffs in regional areas, announcing that systems up to 30kW will now be able to access the 11c/kWh tariff.

qldrooftopsolarThe government expects that more than 4,000 regional households and small businesses will now be in line to receive the Queensland regional feed-in tariff,  a number that does not include those who are expected to install larger solar systems to take advantage of the removal of the cap.

“Expanding the eligibility for the regional FiT to small photovoltaic generators with a total rated inverter capacity up to 30 kW will enable more regional Queenslanders to receive fair payment for excess energy exported from their solar PV system to the electricity grid,” Treasurer and Acting Minster for Energy Curtis Pitt said.

“Importantly, because the regional FiT is set by the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) at an economically efficient, cost-neutral rate based on market energy costs, there is no additional expense to non-solar customers.”

Pitt said the new arrangements meant many businesses which had been considering solar would now be able to take advantage of the regional FiT to get a payment for excess power they exported to the grid when their businesses were closed.

Shani Tager, a campaigner for Solar Citizens, described the move as a “game changer: for small businesses and households in regional Queensland who are struggling with the costs of electricity.

“Installing rooftop solar is the only guaranteed way for everyday Queenslanders to take control of rising power bills. This is exactly the sort of policy that’s needed to increase the uptake of rooftop solar and meet the Government’s commitment of 1 million solar roofs (3 gigawatts) by 2020.

“Solar puts downward pressure on power bills because it helps take the stress off the network at peak times, such as when everyone switches on their air conditioners on hot days.

“This announcement will mean more solar on rooftops all over regional Queensland, helping all electricity consumers in the Sunshine State with their power prices.”

Warwick Johnston, from SunWiz, said most other states are 5kW limits, with the exception of Victoria at 100kW.
“This move is likely to encourage larger system sizes (where the network is strong enough to permit connection),
and also assist businesses – which is awesome as they’ aren’t in a good position to negotiate a FiT,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pitt said there are now 20 renewable energy projects in Queensland either commencing construction or finalising commercial arrangements, collectively with almost 1800 megawatts capacity, supporting more than 2,800 direct construction jobs in regional Queensland and providing a $3.4 billion investment boost.

On Thursday, premier Anastasia Palaszczuk said there was a total pipeline of renewable energy projects of 6,552 megawatts of projects.

“We are proud to say that ….  we have been able to establish a new industry in Queensland – for large-scale renewables,” she told a conference in Townsville.

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6 Comments
  1. Joe 2 years ago

    Well done Premier Annastacia. Now there is still that little matter of The Adani mega Coalmine to be dealt with.

  2. john 2 years ago

    How is regional Queensland defined is that zone 2 and zone 3?

  3. solarguy 2 years ago

    Makes the 5kw network rule look like bullshit………..the network wasn’t supposed to handle anymore and was throttled down from a single connection. I wonder if 30kw is only allowed on 3 phase?

  4. George Darroch 2 years ago

    30 seems like a reasonable number. I expect this will increase substantially the number of larger household systems.

    The transformation continues.

  5. Chris Drongers 2 years ago

    Big opportunity here! 30 kW solar systems are small, and cheap, and potentially be sited next to many small distribution network transformers and other nodes. Because of their small size, the planning restrictions on their construction on nearby commercial roofs should be minimal.
    The relatively low cost and quick benefits to local industrial and commercial users could be a happy marriage between energy user and cashed up supplier (personal super funds, accountant investment groups, wealthy individuals)
    The grease in this is peer-to-peer electricity trading platforms such as GreenSync and PowerLedger.
    I came this ” ” close to buying some Power Ledger Powr tokens. Only my ignorance of BitCoin trading got in the way!
    But if a reputable company started selling units (say equivalent to 1kW of installed panels) in a combined installation of large numbers of 30kW arrays, I would invest.

    • Ian 2 years ago

      Not a bad idea at all. Any rural town should have sufficient existing roof space to place 30 KW, you’d probably want to restrict your investment to one town , so may have to partner with a few businesses in the town. Cost is about $30 000. Yield is about $5000/ year

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