Solar Systems in ACT to increase by $400 from 1 July 2015

a meter and $400

$400 extra from July 1. Ouch.

ACTEW AGL have just announced that they are increasing the cost of installing a solar compatible, import export meter from July 1 2015.

Basically – if your application to connect is received after 30 June, instead of paying $66, you will be charged $500 for a new meter.

So if you live in ACT and have decided to go solar, it makes sense to sign up as soon as possible. You can get quick quotes from up to 3 ACT installers here.

ActewAGL General Manager Asset Management Stephen Devlin said:

“Charges for meter installation will be increasing. This change has occurred because of new National Electricity Rules that have been introduced that restructure the provision of metering in the industry.


As part of the Australian Energy Regulator’s final decision released on 30 April 2015, ActewAGL Distribution is required to move to full cost recovery for metering services from 1 July 2015.


Therefore, from 1 July 2015 ActewAGL customers will be required to pay the full up-front cost for new meters, including installation. Applications for any connection received before 30 June 2015 will be treated under the old pricing regime, where customers only pay for installation.


For solar customers, the cost of a new meter and installation would change from about $66 to $500.”

Solar meter charges will also be increasing by around $200 in NSW if you are on the Ausgrid network from July 1 thanks to the AER’s decision.

Royalla solar farm shows states, territories need to step up on renewables

solar panel in a field

A field near Canberra, yesterday.

We had a mini solar energy revolution in Australia this week: the opening of Australia’s largest solar farm at Royalla, near Canberra.

Funded by Spanish renewable energy giant Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, the 20 megawatt solar farm is monstrous by Australian standards. Comprised of 83,000 solar panels — which will be enough to power 4,500 homes — the farm is a major step forward in the ACT government’s plan to source 90 percent (yes you read right) of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. [Read more…]

ACT Feed in Tariff lives again!

Canberra sign

ACT does it again!

So you think Canberra is just a source of hot air when it comes to renewable energy initiatives? Believe far reaching projects like viable community solar power just a dream in the nation’s capital? Do you expect little, or nothing, with Greg “The Human Backflip” Hunt in charge of proceedings?

Think again readers for Canberra has just announced a truly progressive ACT Feed In Tariff policy that will allow more residents access to community solar power, even those without solar panels. [Read more…]

Australia’s capital leads country in commercial solar

Canberra sign

Stop The Press! Something positive out of Canberra!

The feverish activity in Canberra continues. Kevin Rudd (aka The Milky Bar Kid) is PM this week apparently. But we thought we’d pop down the road to the seat of the far more interesting ACT territory government for this week’s solar news. For it is here that Australian commercial solar history is being made. (See our previous rant on the development of this solar farm).

Overshadowed by the shenanigans of their Fed cousins, the ACT government recently passed legislation which will see the country’s largest commercial solar farm built at Royalla. The facility, just outside the nation’s capital, has been the subject of bitter debate but the ACT’s Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development Simon “Solar” Corbell, in standing his ground against well-organised protests, pointed out the many benefits the farm will bring to the territory. [Read more…]

Solar Farms Are A Good Investment – And That’s Official!


a banker by a solar farm

Aussie bankers are finally investing in solar farms!

It can get a bit tiring sitting here at SQHQ listening to the solar narks peddling the age old line that “solar is completely uneconomic and will destroy our precious mining economy”.

Luckily a solar milestone flashed by our radar last week which drives yet another nail into the argument put forward by those who think that open cast mining is the true path to a 21st century economy. [Read more…]

Does the ACT lead the solar revolution in Australia?

Solar Panels in Canberra

Image: Parliament of Australia website

If you think this column exists solely to bash the often non-existent solar energy policies of certain state governments and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition you’re mostly correct. We’ve often been critical of the myopic policies taken towards solar in both federal and state capitals, a “scorched earth” policy directed by many pollies towards solar energy in particular.

This lack of consistency for big solar investors as well as those wishing to install domestic solar systems is a major cause of the highly damaging “boom and bust” syndrome that has characterised the Australian solar energy sector. [Read more…]

ACT solar power facility not just hot air

solar farm built by FRV

Our Spanish hombres, FRV, are bringing a solar farm like this to Royalla in ACT.

If you thought our nation’s capital was best known for its dodgy laws, war memorials and pollies’ hot air, you’ll need to think again. This last week has seen the ACT Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, position the ACT as the country’s solar power capital.

How so? Did Mr Corbell move Canberra a little closer to the sun, Icarus-style? Well sort of, with the announcement this week that Spanish renewables firm Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) is to build a 20MW solar power facility, to be named Royalla, in the District of Tuggeranong. [Read more…]

ACT Charges out of the Solar Sheds With Large-scale FIT

Interesting announcement this week that the ACT Government has passed legislation that clears the way for the introduction of the country’s first large-scale feed-in tariff (FIT). The solar bonus schemes have received a great deal of negative coverage in the last year or so as various state governments have backed away from their versions faster than cats at bath time (or is that being a little unkind to cats?).

[Read more…]

ACT announces improved Feed In Tariff

The ACT government made a welcome announcement about their, already generous, Feed In Tariff, last week.

The main points were:

The FIT now applies to “community owned” solar systems. That means that if your roof is shaded and you want to club together with others in the same position and install a system on the local RSL (for example) there is nothing to stop you getting the FIT and sharing the rewards.

Or if you live in units, you can get a shared system on the roof of the unit block.

The Feed In Tariff will be applicable for systems up to a whopping 30kW, so it becomes quite an interesting investment proposition in today’s volatile market. ( This solar calculator will crunch the numbers if you’re interested).

They also announced FITs for large scale solar. here are the details:

  • An overall scheme cap of 240 MW of generating capacity;
  • Large scale generation category for generators larger than 200 KW (category cap of 210 MW);
  • Medium scale generation category for generators between 30KW and 200kw (category cap of 15 MW); and,
  • Existing micro generation category (household rooftop) up to 30KW (category cap of 15 MW).

Some of the funding has come from the axing of plans to fund a $30 “Solar Facility” in ACT (whatever that was meant to be – probably was gonna be a bunch of public servants running around and racking up platinum frquent flyer accounts writing reports and attending conferences on how to reduce CO2 emissions – if my experience at CSIRO was anything to go by…)

In summary – great news from the land of the public servants – now we just need Julia Gillard to make all their legislation redundant by announcing a national FIT … we can but hope.

Massive solar plant to electrify the town of Public Servants

The selection process begins next month for the proposed Solar Plant within the Australian Capital Territory. Several appropriate sites within the ACT have been identified by the Government and will be named at the beginning of the selection.

The Government has stated the new Solar Power Plant will have to produce a minimum amount of energy of 22 megawatts which is enough to provide the energy for ten thousand houses. A $30 million subsidy is being offered by the Government for the construction of the plant which should be situated in the ACT.

[Read more…]

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