ACT to lead the way with solar electricity?16th Apr 2012
Solar power has become something of a battleground across Australia's states and territories - and it seems that the war is far from over.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has long been set on welcoming the first large-scale solar electricity plant in the country and is finally taking steps to make sure this happens.
In the interest of fairness, a reverse auction has been held to decide which company will be responsible for supplying the solar panels.
For those of you who are not familiar with reverse auctions, they work by allowing rivals to undercut each other with the lowest bids, giving the governing body - in this case the ACT government - the chance to choose the best offer.
So far, 49 bids have been submitted for the project, with 27 of them making it through to the second round of the battle.
In the true spirit of an auction, there are plenty of different products for the ACT government to consider, so the finer details of the installation are still very much up in the air.
Environment minister Simon Corbell said: "Types of installations include large connected roof-mounted facilities on factories and other large buildings, and we also expect a significant number of proposals to involve ground-mounted or field-mounted facilities."
Whichever product the government chooses, it will be supported by a feed-in tariff - a process that involves consumers being paid for green energy supplied back to the grid.
Seems like a win-win situation, right? We all benefit from cleaner and maybe even cheaper energy, while the environment receives a boost at the same time.
At a time when electricity prices are on the rise, this could be welcome news to residents of Canberra and beyond.
Who knows, it might even shock other parts of Australia into action - we can't let little ACT steal all the limelight!
Posted by Bob Dawson