Solar bonus scheme for NSW announced details of a new solar bonus scheme to operate across the State have been announced by the NSW Government today.
Minister for Climate Change, Carmel Tebbutt and Minister for Energy, Ian Macdonald said the scheme – flagged late last year – would support people in NSW who produce
renewable energy through roof-top solar panels and feed it back into the grid. “This is a significant boost for renewable energy in NSW and has the potential to generate an additional 500 green jobs.

Our scheme is designed to be the most generous to operate anywhere in Australia, apart from the ACT,” Ms Tebbutt said. “We expect the scheme to reward customers with around $900 annually – meaning an average solar panel system could be paid back within 12 years.“We have delivered a balanced outcome that will support the uptake of solar panels, without unduly burdening all electricity consumers. “Our scheme is a net scheme that will operate for 20 years, equal to the longest in the country. “It will pay eligible systems 60 cents per kilowatt hour for the renewable energy they feed back into the grid – this is around four times greater than the average price of electricity.

“The scheme will include systems up to 10 kilowatts in size, which will capture households, small businesses, some community organisations and some schools.
“While the scheme will initially apply to roof-top solar panels, we will consider the inclusion of micro wind turbines and community solar farms. “The NSW Government has a comprehensive renewable energy plan that includes the solar bonus scheme, significant funding for new renewable energy projects and wind renewable energy precincts.”

Minister for Energy Ian Macdonald said it was vital the NSW Government got the balance right when developing its solar bonus scheme. “Solar bonus schemes such as this are paid for by all electricity customers. It is important to shield vulnerable individuals and families who are not in a position to install solar panels from a significant increase in their electricity bills,” Mr Macdonald said. “A net system was chosen because it encourages people to better manage their power
use and use energy more efficiently – this is because you get paid for energy you produce but don’t use. “It will also provide a greater degree of harmonisation with schemes in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia.

“This is a shot in the arm for the solar energy industry and comes on the back of the recent announcement of solar manufacturing Silex Systems Ltd to develop the BP Solar
manufacturing facility at Homebush.”Silex will invest an estimated $30 million in the Homebush plant over coming years, which will create 165 Green Jobs, ensuring its future use as a high technology solar manufacturing base.

This investment demonstrates the Government’s commitment to developing renewable energy alternatives, where green skills and green jobs can thrive.
Key details of the NSW Solar Bonus Scheme:
• will operate for 20 years;
• pay 60 c/KWh that is fed back into the grid;
• be payable to energy customers with solar panel systems up to 10 kW in size;
• commence on 1 January 2010; and
• will be reviewed in 2012 to make sure the scheme is operating effectively.