Page 3311 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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being sourced from renewable energy by the year 2020. The solar auction has provided for a total of 40 megawatts of solar generation capacity in the ACT and was the first capacity release under the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act passed in 2011. That law provides for a total of 210 megawatts of renewable energy generation capacity in the Australian capital region.

The full 40 megawatts has now been awarded and comprises the FRV Royalla solar farm 20 megawatt proposal, the Zhenfa Canberra proposal for a 13 megawatt solar farm proposed to be located on the corner of the Monaro Highway and Mugga Lane, and the OneSun Capital proposal for a seven megawatt solar farm to be located immediately adjacent to the Uriarra Village, awarded under the regular stream in August 2013. The seven megawatts awarded to OneSun under the solar auction form part of a proposed total 10 megawatt project by the proponent.

Forty megawatts of solar power generation is expected to generate enough electricity to meet the demands of 10,000 ACT households. Over the 20-year feed-in tariff entitlement term, it is expected that these projects, if they proceed, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The cost to householders is very low. It is expected to peak at 45c per household per week in 2016 and reduce to just 27c per week by 2021. The government anticipates that the current review of the solar auction mechanism will confirm our view that the auction does deliver exceptional value for money for the ACT community.

The three solar farm projects proposed under the auction are projected to deliver economic benefits worth more than $100 million to the ACT economy and create over 160 jobs in the construction stage. There are two separate processes occurring in relation to the establishment of these facilities. Firstly, the solar auction process and, secondly, the development application and assessment process. The successful outcome for a proponent that is taking part in the solar auction process is dependent on an approved development proposal.

The solar auction itself is administered by my directorate, whereby the development application process is administered by the planning delivery division of the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate under the Planning and Development Act. In the exercise of these powers these public servants act statutorily independently.

In relation to the solar auction, my announcement on 19 August this year as to the outcome of the regular stream was in relation to the awarding of grants of entitlement only and is akin to the sorts of announcements governments often make regarding future development proposals. Such announcements inherently have provisos attached to them, including the need to successfully complete a development application process.

I acknowledge that there has been considerable community interest in the proposed development of a solar farm adjacent to the Uriarra Village. However, it is worth highlighting that the formal framework for considering community input is through the public notification process incorporated in the development assessment process under the Planning and Development Act. The announcement in no way diminishes

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