This article was orginally published at abc.net.au/news on 16.6.14
By Carl Smith
The ACT Government is calling for proposals for a new community solar project that could generate enough energy for 250 homes every year.
Environment Minister Simon Corbell said the scheme would provide participants with a fixed feed-in tariff of 20 cents per kilowatt-hour for 20 years.
Mr Corbell said the project would give the community a new way to contribute to renewable energy generation.
“We are expecting a lot of interest from residents and small consortiums across the ACT who want to invest in renewable energy but need an extra incentive, such as a feed-in tariff,” he said.
The feed-in tariff price is slightly higher than the 18.6 cents per kilowatt-hour offered under the ACT’s Large-scale Solar Auctions project in 2012 and 2013.
Proposals will be considered on a first come, first served basis and will be open for one year from today, or until a cap equivalent to around 500 rooftop solar installations is reached.
Mr Corbell said the project would provide up to one mega-watt of solar power generation for community-owned schemes, which individuals would then potentially be able to buy into.
“This is a project that’s designed to support those people who, perhaps because they rent or because of the suitability or otherwise of their property, can’t install solar on their roof,” he said.
“They can potentially buy into a community-owned generator.”
Mr Corbel said the location of the infrastructure would be up to the groups applying to be a part of the scheme.
“They may be ground-mounted solar, in a field on a farmer’s property, or they may be roof-mounted solar projects on top of large buildings,” he said.
The ACT Government has committed itself toachieving a 90 per cent renewable energy target by 2020.
Mr Corbell called for proposals during the Community Energy Congress held in Canberra today.
Earlier in the year the ACT Government amended the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011 to facilitate the request for proposals to the scheme.
Further legislation is expected to be tabled and passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly in August, making the scheme effective from that time.