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South Australian domestic customers to get 44c/kWh of electricity generated, and fed back into grid, by small solar photovoltaic systems

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

The “feed-in scheme” for residential electricity customers would provide a strong incentive to manage demand, South Australian Minister for Energy P.F. Conlon said in the House of Assembly on 12 September 2007. 44c/kWh fixed incentive: Conlon said: “The intent of the Bill is to introduce amendments to the Electricity Act 1996 to create a ‘feed-in scheme’ for residential electricity customers who operate a small-scale grid-connected photovoltaic electricity system. The Bill will allow domestic customers to receive 44 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated, and fed back into the grid, by their small solar photovoltaic systems. This is a fixed guaranteed incentive, which reflects double the price of electricity standing contract tariffs projected to apply over the time of the feed-in scheme, including an allowance for normal increases in retail prices.”

Strong incentive to manage demand: “The premium will be paid on the ‘net exported’ energy from the PV systems — that is, the energy returned to the electricity grid after supplying the household’s own consumption needs at any point in time,” explained Conlon. “This will have the effect of valuing every reduction of one kilowatt-hour of energy consumption by a household during the day at a minimum of 44 cents — a strong incentive to manage demand.”

System requirements: “For the purposes of this Bill,” Conlon said, “the qualifying small solar photovoltaic generator is defined as a grid-connected photovoltaic system with capacity up to 10 kilovolt-amperes for a single-phase connection and up to 30 kilovolt-amperes for a three-phase connection. Therefore, there are three essential requirements to a solar photovoltaic system under this Bill:

• it should be operated by a domestic customer;

• its capacity should be up to 10 kilovolt-amperes for a single-phase connection and up to 30 kilovolt-amperes for a three-phase connection; and

• it should be grid-connected and should comply with standard requirements.”

Retailers must pass incentive on: “The Bill puts an obligation on distribution service network providers to credit eligible customers against the distribution charges otherwise payable for the supply of electricity,” Conlon said. “The Bill makes it a condition of electricity retail licenses to pass the full amount of the incentive on to customers and reflect these reduced charges in the customer’s invoice. It is also hoped that at least some retailers will choose to add to this minimum value of 44 cents. Should the customer be in credit, this credit will be carried over to the next billing period. The customer will be entitled to be issued a payment if the customer is still in credit by the expiration of 12 months.”

Small suppliers exempted: “The Bill also makes a provision for reporting requirements to the distribution service network providers,” said Conlon. “It is envisaged that the distributor will provide the Government with information required to evaluate the operation of the scheme. Currently, ETSA Utilities serves the vast majority of electricity customers and is a monopoly operating under a regulated regime. The Bill exempts electricity distributors that supply electricity to less than 10,000 domestic customers from participating in the scheme in consideration of the fact that distribution network providers in remote areas often service smaller customer groups where the costs of the feed-in scheme may exceed its value.”

Reference: P.F. Conlon, Minister for Energy, House of Assembly, South Australia, 12 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 16/9/2007

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