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Solar Irradiance methodology

27 October 2021


What is the Solar Irradiance methodology?

The Solar Irradiance (SI) methodology is an automated system used to calculate large-scale generation certificate (LGC) entitlement for eligible power stations of over 100 kilowatts and under one megawatt that participate in the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target scheme.

The methodology uses innovative, data driven technology and drastically reduces the administrative burden and LGC processing time for eligible solar power station participants. It is a prime example of Australia’s support for the use of clean energy technologies while driving down of costs and enhancing the nation’s energy security.

How does the Solar Irradiance methodology work?

Under the methodology, the Clean Energy Regulator (the agency) uses automation to calculate the eligible electricity for participating solar power stations and credit nominated persons’ REC Registry account each month with LGCs.

The REC Registry accounts of participating solar power stations are populated with electricity generation and auxiliary consumption. This, eligible electricity is worked out using the agency’s generic irradiance model entered with each solar power station’s:

  • hardware specifications
  • location
  • solar panel azimuth and tilt, and
  • site specific, real time, solar irradiance and air temperature data sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Solar power stations are credited with one LGC for each megawatt hour of eligible electricity. Once credited with LGCs, nominated persons are required to pay the LGC registration fee to access their LGC entitlement through the REC Registry.

What are the benefits of the methodology?

The methodology provides several benefits to both solar power stations and the agency:

  • The data driven approach frees nominated persons from having to manually enter generation data into the REC Registry and submit LGC claims for assessment. The reduced administrative burden will save users over 30 minutes per solar power station every month.
  • Improved accuracy and efficiency will reduce the turnaround time for processing participating solar power stations LGC claims.
  • High integrity in the methodology will reduce the need for the agency follow up for additional information.

Pilot phase

The pilot phase began in January 2021 and will end on 31 December 2021. The pilot phase will help the agency evaluate the methodology against a broad range of real-world solar power stations. Solar power stations participating in the pilot are required to keep meter data throughout the pilot phase. This data will be used to confirm that the Solar Irradiance model is accurately calculating generation data.

Once the pilot phase is complete, the methodology will be available to all eligible accredited solar power stations with capacities over 100 kilowatts and under one megawatt.

Pilot phase eligibility

The pilot phase is only being offered for accredited power stations that have been pre-qualified by the agency. Eligible solar power stations have been selected and have until November 2021 to join.

For more information about eligibility requirements, visit Solar Irradiance methodology – information for solar power stations.

More information

For more information, please contact us.

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