Queensland lifts cap for regional solar FiT

More than 4,000 businesses and households with capacity of up to 30KW are eligible to sell their excess energy production to the grid at a regulated tariff rate.

Households and small businesses with solar capacity of up to 30KW are now eligible for receiving Queensland’s regional feed-in tariff, according to the latest changes introduced by the state government. 

The solar system size limit has been lifted from 5KW to 30KW of total rated inverter capacity, making more than 4,000 regional entities eligible for the FiT scheme. 

“Expanding the eligibility for the regional FiT to small solar generators with a total rated inverter capacity of up to 30KW will enable more regional Queenslanders to receive fair payment for excess energy exported from their solar systems to the electricity grid,” said Curtis Pitt, acting minister for energy, biofuels and water supply. 

The state government expects the number of households and businesses to take up the offer and install large solar systems to grow. “Many businesses who have been considering solar will now be able to take advantage of the regional FiT for excess power they export when their businesses are closed,” said Pitt.

In May, the Queensland Competition Authority announced new regulated retail prices for 2017-18, saying the increased rates are driven by substantial increases in wholesale energy costs and reflect projected continued tightening of the demand-supply conditions in Queensland and across the national market. 

Pitt commented that the regional FiT was set at an economically efficient, cost-neutral rate based on market energy costs. 

Queensland wants to have 1 million residential rooftops, or 3GW of solar, by 2020 as part of its renewable target. There are currently 20 renewable energy projects either under construction or finalising commercial arrangements, accounting for almost 1.8GW of capacity, or A$3.4 billion ($2.7 billion; €2.27 billion) in investments.