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Review for Solar Bonus Scheme

The Solar Bonus Scheme has reached its first milestone – a capacity of 50 megawatts – triggering a review of its performance, Minister for Energy Paul Lynch said today.

As part of the legislation, a review of the Scheme must be undertaken as soon as possible to identify how it has performed against its original objectives.

Mr Lynch said the Solar Bonus Scheme was established in January to encourage renewable energy, build green jobs and promote renewable energy technology.

He said there had been a rapid uptake of the NSW Scheme with about 30,000 households now being paid to feed renewable energy into the electricity grid.

“This is the right time to evaluate the Scheme against its objectives and identify how it can continue meeting the community’s needs,” Mr Lynch said.

Public submissions will be received before 30 September, with the review to be tabled in Parliament towards the end of the next session of Parliament.

Mr Lynch said the review by NSW Industry and Investment would look at a range of issues relevant to the Scheme’s objectives.

Under the legislation, a further review must be undertaken by the Auditor-General early next year.

Mr Lynch said the important terms of the Scheme, such as its length and the tariff rate, were locked into legislation.

“If any changes are to be proposed, the legislation would need to be amended and we are on the record stating that any changes would not be applied retrospectively,” Mr Lynch said.

“That means no customers who have already entered the Scheme will be affected by the review,” he said.

Submissions can be emailed to solarbonus.review@industry.nsw.gov.au or posted to Solar Bonus Review, Industry and Investment NSW, Level 17, 227 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 by close of business 30 September, 2010.

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