AUSTRALIA'S GOVERNMENT JUST MADE SOLAR MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR ITS CITIZENS
A more accessible solar power purchase agreement has been announced by the Western Australian Government.
”My government would be making it easier for solar PPA providers to operate in Western Australia by allowing companies to apply directly to the Public Utilities Office (PUO) for exemptions from the requirement to hold a retail licence in order to sell electricity to consumers,” Energy Minister Mike Nahan said.
A solar PPA arrangement is usually associated with commercial solar in Australia. It’s where a long term contract is established to purchase electricity generated by a solar panel system installed at a customer’s premises. The solar company retains ownership of the system, but also assumes the burden of ownership; providing repairs and maintenance. There is usually no upfront cost to the customer for the installation of a system under a solar PPA.
At the end of the contract and depending on the arrangement, the customer may be able to purchase the system outright at a reduced cost.
Dr. Nahan also said “by creating the exemption, we have broken down barriers, cut red tape and reduced the regulatory costs for solar PPA providers to offer electricity services to customers. This will help the emerging market to develop and increase the choices that customers have to access these innovative and renewable sources of electricity at an affordable price.”
“The state’s Renewable Energy Buyback Scheme (Western Australia’s solar feed in tariff) will be available to eligible customers who export electricity back into the mains grid,” he continued.
Given the rapidly falling cost of solar in Western Australia, solar PPA’s are usually of most benefit in conjunction with large systems.
Western Australia currently boasts around 206,000 small scale (<100kW) solar installations. It works out to be around one system for every 12 people in the state. “The Government is a huge supporter of renewable energy and this new measure will promote the uptake of even more solar PV systems by the community,” said Dr. Nahan. “A new $4 million stand-alone solar + battery storage pilot project on six properties in regional areas of the state,” Dr. Nahan announced.
Australia is setting the stage for mass production of solar energy, and it is because there government has taken the initiative of helping consumers afford systems. Solar energy has been proven to save consumers money as it is, now imagine how much you could save by convincing governments to start a similar project here in Canada.
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