17/08/2016 - 14:51

Red tape cut for solar

17/08/2016 - 14:51

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Commercial property owners seeking to install solar panels under long-term purchase agreements have received a boost, with the state government announcing cuts to licensing red tape for providers.

Red tape cut for solar
Mike Nahan says the move will improve customer choice.

Commercial property owners seeking to install solar panels under long-term purchase agreements have received a boost, with the state government announcing cuts to licensing red tape for providers.

Under power purchasing agreements, customers such as shopping centres or commercial businesses could have solar systems fixed to their roofs and buy power over time from a provider.

That would be over a certain period at a set price, with no upfront cost as the provider would own the panels.

Previously, providers of such services had needed a retail licence.

They’ll now be able to apply to the Public Utilities Office for exemptions from that retail licensing requirement, which had added a large cost through application and compliance fees.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the changes would increase choice for customers who wanted to use solar technology.

"West Australians are embracing solar energy in unprecedented numbers and the state government wants to ensure everyone has access to this exciting technology," he said.

"By creating the exemption, we have broken down barriers, cut red tape and reduced the regulatory costs for solar PPA providers to offer electricity services to customers.

“This will help the emerging market to develop and increase the choices that customers have to access these innovative and renewable sources of electricity at an affordable price.

"The renewable energy buyback scheme will also be available to eligible customers who export electricity back into the grid.

"Retail licence exemptions, which can now be submitted to the Public Utilities Office, will also include important consumer protection conditions to ensure consumers are aware of their rights and obligations under the solar PPA before entering into a contract.

"The government is a huge supporter of renewable energy and this new measure will promote the uptake of even more solar PV systems by the community.”

The decision comes a few weeks after fertiliser and property magnate Vikas Rambal announced renewable consultancy Enigin would be joining his Perdaman Industries group of companies, with a rebrand to Perdaman Advanced Energy.

Rambal’s Northam Boulevard shopping centre would also have the state’s largest built environment solar panel array installed, rated at 665 kilowatts, by PAE.

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