Simon Corbell is celebrating getting the nod from the Legislative Assembly to ramp up solar power generation in Canberra.
Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, has today welcomed in-principal support from the ACT Legislative Assembly, for legislation which will allow large-scale solar facilities to be rolled out across the ACT.
“The Government’s legislation proposes to allow large-scale solar facilities to access the feed-in tariff, which is an Australian first, that will encourage more companies to consider the ACT as a base for their renewable energy installations,” Mr Corbell said.
“The ACT Labor Government is working hard to make Canberra Australia’s solar capital and this legislation is the next step to ensure that this becomes a reality.”
The new solar energy auction bill will support the development of up to 210 MW of large-scale renewable energy generation. The first release of 40 MW capacity will reduce emissions by around 850,000 tonnes over its 20 year life.
Mr Corbell said that this legislation, if passed later this week, could see at least two major commercial solar facilities constructed in the ACT which would be capable of powering approximately 7000 homes.
“These potential solar facilities could provide as much as 14% of the minimum electricity demand of the ACT which would assist in reducing carbon emissions and take the ACT closer to carbon neutrality by 2060.”
The large-scale auction process will require companies to provide a detailed proposal to the ACT Government on how they propose to provide large amounts of renewable energy to the community at the lowest cost to Canberrans.
UPDATE: In reply the Liberals’ Zed Seselja is not impressed:
“As we have come to expect from ACT Labor, this large-scale solar scheme is an expensive way to achieve nothing at all,” Mr Seselja said today.
“ACT Labor hasn’t explained the cost of this latest scheme, and all we have to work with is the government’s stated estimate of $225 per household per year for its small, medium and large scale solar feed-in tariff. Based on previous form from ACT Labor this estimate could blow out.
“How can the Assembly agree to a 210mW scheme which hasn’t been costed, and would be run by a government which so appallingly managed the 30mW scheme?
“Under this previous scheme, the allocated funding was used so quickly that it was retrospectively cut in the dead of night, the effects of which are still being felt across the solar industry.
“Under this proposed scheme, interstate businesses will be able to set up large-scale solar farms in New South Wales and hundreds of kilometres away from Canberra and receive the ACT funding. This scheme, together with the 40 per cent target will create the absurd situation where Canberrans will fund renewable energy generation in New South Wales and in doing so, enable New South Wales to emit more.
Further Update: Simon Corbell is punching on:
The Canberra Liberals have highlighted their hypocrisy on renewable energy policy and have been caught out in their opposition to Labor’s large scale generation proposal today, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell said.
Mr Corbell said it has been revealed, the Canberra Liberals proposed the development of a solar power station as the “cornerstone” of their 2008 election Climate Change policy.
In a policy document dated 10 October 2008, just days before the 2008 Election, Zed Seselja committed the Liberal Party to:
” The immediate commencement of a project to develop of (sic) Solar Power Plant at the heart of a Renewable Energy Park.” (p.1, Cleaning up our ACT – Leadership on Climate Change policy document)
Mr Seselja now says that the Canberra Liberals will not support Large Scale Solar legislation because:
“… this large scale solar scheme is an expensive way to achieve nothing at all…” (Media Release ‘Latest Solar Scheme an expensive way to do nothing’6 December 2011)