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Large-scale systems

​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.

Renewable energy 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.

Accreditation of power stations

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 REC Registry.

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.

440 accredited renewable power stations
Over the past five years the number of power station accreditations has risen steadily, with 2014 recording the highest number of applications in any year except at the start of the scheme.

 

 

Of the 486 renewable energy power station applications listed in the REC Registry as at 31 December 2014:

  • 440 renewable energy power stations were accredited and eligible to create large-scale generation certificates from renewable energy sources (this includes 46 renewable energy power stations accredited in 2014)
  • 16 renewable energy power stations had been deaccredited (no renewable energy power stations were deaccredited in 2014)
  • three renewable energy power station applications were pending assessment
  • 23 renewable energy power station applications had been withdrawn because applications had not been properly made by applicants (no renewable energy power station applications were withdrawn in 2014), and
  • four renewable energy power station applications had not been approved.

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.

Table 3: Number of new renewable energy power stations accredited in 2013 and 2014
Renewable energy sourceAccredited in 2013Accredited in 2014
Agricultural waste, food waste, waste from processing of agricultural products22
Hydro16
Landfill gas20
Sewage gas and biomass-based components of sewage03
Solar1131
Wind104
Total1 26 46

1 Certain power stations are accredited for multiple renewable energy sources.

Table 4: Total number of accredited renewable energy power stations
Renewable energy sourceAccredited up to 2013Accredited up to 2014
Agriculture waste, food waste, waste from processing of agricultural products1416
Bagasse2727
Black liquor22
Hydro101107
Landfill gas6262
Sewage gas and biomassbased components of sewage, municipal solid waste 1922
Solar6899
Waste coal mine gas77
Wind 7882
Wood waste1616
Total1 394 440

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.

Table 5: Number of accredited renewable energy power stations by state as at 31 December 2014
Renewable energy sourceACTNSWNTQLDSATASVICWATotal
Agriculture waste, food waste, waste from processing of agriculture products0613013216
Bagasse03023000127
Black liquor010000102
Hydro131010239213107
Landfill gas2161144313962
Sewage gas and biomassbased components of sewage, municipal solid waste01105014122
Solar725141371191399
Waste coal mine gas040300007
Wind01113179202182
Wood waste0604113116
Total1 10 114 17 78 31 55 84 51 440

1 Certain power stations are accredited for multiple renewable energy sources.

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