The Solar Bonus Scheme has now reached the 50 megawatt level and a review has commenced.
The review will impact only on new entrants to the Scheme which means if changes are required they will not be applied retrospectively to customers who have already joined the Scheme.
Specifically these objectives as defined in the Act are:1. to encourage and support persons who want to generate renewable energy as a response to climate change; 2. to develop jobs in the renewable energy sector by assisting renewable energy generation to compete with non-renewable energy generation; 3. to increase public exposure to renewable energy technology in order to encourage the whole community to respond to climate change.
Key terms of the Act for securing the above objectives are contained in section 15A and include:
- the length of the scheme – commencing on 1 January 2010 and operating for 7 years.
- tariff rate – crediting eligible customers at a rate of 60 cents per kilowatt hour.
- tariff type – customers with a gross meter receive a ‘gross’ feed-in tariff rate for all the electricity that their eligible solar photovoltaic (PV) system or wind turbine generates.
- customer eligibility requirements – small electricity customers (those with an annual electricity consumption of up to 160 megawatt hours) are eligible to participate in the Scheme.
- system eligibility requirements – only customers with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and/or wind turbines (up to 10 kilowatts in capacity) that connect to the electricity network through an inverter (up to 10 kilowatts in capacity) are eligible to participate in the Scheme.