“Fair and Reasonable Price” needed for Solar Feed in Tariff

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IPART feed-in tariff recommendations for NSW
Mon, 5 December 2011
Solar Magazine

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal has released a draft report proposing a new feed-in tariff rate for New South Wales consumers.

Until the New South Wales Solar Bonus Scheme closed to all new participants, feed-in tariffs were paid to customers who installed solar photovoltaic (PV) units. Following the close, the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) was asked by the NSW government to recommend a subsidy-free value for a feed-in tariff for customers who are part of the Solar Bonus Scheme.

In the report, IPART recommends that a benchmark range for 2011/12 would be 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) for electricity exported to the grid from customers with solar PV units.

Jim Cox, Chief Executive Officer of IPART said “This benchmark range represents the fair and reasonable value of electricity expected to be exported to the grid by PV customers during 2011/12.”

The Clean Energy Council said the recommendations in the IPART report would discourage people from purchasing solar panels and put thousands of jobs at risk in NSW.

Clean Energy Council Director of Strategy Kane Thornton said the NSW government should move to ensure that fairness for solar households is not optional and mandate a minimum price for the solar electricity they produce.

IPART is calling for submissions until 23 January 2012, with a final report due later in 2012.