On Wednesday 19 December 2012 the Clean Energy Authority delivered the results of its review into the Renewable Energy Target legislation that will have significant impacts for those planning commercial solar power projects
Whilst they have recommended the continuation of both the LRET and the SRET they have made a very important recommendation that if adopted will have a significantly negative impact on commercial sized solar systems between 10 kw and 99kw.
Currently all systems up to 99 kw are entitled to be counted in the SRET which means they are allowed to claim an upfront discount (or rebate) by creating all of the Small Scale Technology Certificates that the system is entitled to under the scheme for the next 15 years, up front, and selling them off immediately.
The review recommends that all systems over 10 kw be removed from the SRET and placed into the LRET in which case they will not be able to create and sell their renewable energy certificates for the first 15 years up front. They would only be able to create and sell their certificates each year, as is the case with large renewable energy power stations. This would mean that the up front cost a client would face to install a system in the range of 10kw to 99kw would increase significantly.
to put this in context it would change the up front cost of a 99kw system from around $160,000 to around $220,000.
In the case of a 30 kw system, which are now becoming quite common, the cost would go from around $52,000 to around $75,000.
The up shot of all this is that those who wish to install a commercial or residential system over 10 kw need to make sure that they do it before the recommendations of this report are adopted by the government. These recommendations are likely to be adopted by the end of March and my best guess is that they would take effect from the end of June 2013