The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target creates a financial incentive to establish and expand renewable energy power stations such as wind and solar farms or hydroelectric power stations.
A power station that provides electricity from eligible renewable energy sources may be accredited under the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target. Eligible sources include solar energy, wind, hydro, geothermal-aquifers, wood waste, agricultural waste, bagasse (sugar cane waste), black liquor (a by-product of the paper-making process) or landfill gas. The list of eligible renewable energy sources is in section 17 of the
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.
Accredited power stations can create large-scale generation certificates for the electricity they generate above their renewable power baselines. Baselines are determined by the Clean Energy Regulator under the Regulations.
Details about baselines are in Power station baselines.
The power stations can sell their large-scale generation certificates in addition to selling their electricity. The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target places a legal requirement on liable entities (usually electricity retailers) to purchase a set number of large-scale certificates each year.
The Clean Energy Regulator assesses applications for accreditation of power stations, including checking that applications are complete and that the applicant is a 'registered person' in the
Once an application is assessed as properly made under section 13 of the
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and the application fee is paid, details of the renewable energy power station are listed on the public Register of Applications for Accredited Power Stations, which can be accessed through the REC Registry.
From the time the application is assessed as being properly made, the Clean Energy Regulator has six weeks to determine matters under section 14 of the Act and either approve or refuse the application under section 15 of the Act.
If the application is approved, the accreditation start date is the date the application was assessed as being properly made under the Act, or the date the power station started generating electricity for the first time, whichever is later. The 'nominated person' (the applicant) is then notified of the accreditation of the power station and the power station is listed on the public Register of Accredited Power Stations. The nominated person can create large-scale generation certificates from the date of accreditation.
Of the 486 renewable energy power station applications listed in the REC Registry as at 31 December 2014:
Power stations must confirm their compliance with Commonwealth, state, territory and local government planning and approval requirements, as stated in section 20 of the
Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and regulation 18 of the associated Regulations. Sections 30D or 30E of the Act set out the grounds for suspension of accreditation of a power station. No accredited power stations were suspended during 2014.
Tables 3, 4 and 5 provide a breakdown of the types and locations of accredited renewable energy power stations.
1 Certain power stations are accredited for multiple renewable energy sources.
In Table 5, power stations accredited for multiple renewable energy sources are reported according to the source for which they create the majority of their large-scale generation certificates.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.