THE ACT Government’s Solar Auction has won top honours at the Banksia Sustainability Awards, taking out the Gold Award at the event.
The Banksia Foundation, established in 1989, is a national not-for-profit organisation that promotes environmental excellence and sustainability through its Awards program and other associated events. The Banksia Sustainability Awards are regarded as the most prestigious environmental awards in Australia.
“The ACT’s Solar Auction has been remarkably successful at stimulating investment in large-scale solar energy in the ACT at the lowest possible cost,” Simon Corbell said.
“A 20 megawatt solar farm at Royalla to the south of Canberra is now connected to the national electricity market and an approved 13 megawatt facility at Mugga Lane is due to commence generation late next year.
“These projects were made possible by a pioneering reverse auction scheme that the ACT Government used to allocate feed-in tariffs to large-scale solar generators,” Mr Corbell said.
“The reverse auction used the ‘contract for difference’ mechanism which applies competitive tension to the setting of feed-in tariff amounts so that costs to local electricity consumers are minimised.”
“We entered the solar auction in the Local Government Sustainability category of the awards, and were delighted to be nominated as a finalist” Mr Corbell said. “ I was naturally delighted when the project was announced today as the winner of that category.
“But to then be announced as the overall winner of the 2014 Gold Award was beyond our expectations”