In Australia, Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) serve as a key driver in promoting the expansion of large-scale solar projects with a capacity exceeding 100 kilowatts (kW). In this article, we will focus on the application of LGCs specifically for solar installations over 100 kW, exploring how they incentivise and support the growth of solar energy in commercial and embedded network in Australia.
Supporting Large-scale Solar Projects
LGCs provide crucial support for large-scale solar projects, including large commercial buildings, high density embedded networks and solar farms, with a capacity exceeding 100 kW. These projects aim to harness solar energy on a substantial scale, contributing significantly to the clean energy transition. LGCs incentivise and reward the development of these large-scale solar installations.
Creation and Value of Solar LGCs
Solar LGCs are generated based on the amount of solar energy produced by eligible large-scale solar installations over 100 kW. For each megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar energy generated, one LGC is created. The value of Solar LGCs fluctuates based on market dynamics, supply and demand, and government policies supporting renewable energy generation.
Commercial Solar Installations
LGCs play a pivotal role in facilitating the adoption of solar energy in commercial settings, particularly for installations over 100 kW. Businesses and organisations with substantial energy requirements can install large-scale solar systems to generate clean electricity. The generation of Solar LGCs provides financial incentives for these entities, making solar power an attractive and viable option for reducing operational costs and environmental impact.
Embedded Network Applications
Embedded networks, typically found in multi-tenanted buildings or communities, can also benefit from large-scale solar installations over 100 kW. These installations enable the generation of Solar LGCs through centralised or interlinked solar systems (ie Townhouses), allowing the distribution of solar-generated electricity within the network and providing a means for the network operator to monetise the LGCs.
Compliance and Trading
Entities with obligations under the Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation, including electricity retailers and some large energy users, have annual surrender obligations for a specified number of LGCs. Solar LGCs can be traded on the National Electricity Market, enabling entities to meet their obligations, and supporting the financial viability of large-scale solar projects over 100 kW.
Environmental and Economic Benefits
Solar LGCs contribute to environmental sustainability by recognizing the displacement of fossil fuel-based electricity generation with clean solar energy from installations over 100 kW. They signify the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and align with Australia’s commitment to combat climate change. Furthermore, the development and operation of these large-scale solar projects supported by Solar LGCs drive economic growth, create employment opportunities, and foster regional development.
Meeting Renewable Energy Targets
The issuance and trading of Solar LGCs play a crucial role in achieving national and state-based renewable energy targets. Solar LGCs provide a mechanism to monitor and demonstrate progress toward these targets, supporting the transition to a clean and renewable energy future.
Solar LGCs are instrumental in driving the growth of large-scale solar projects over 100 kW in capacity. By incentivising solar energy generation, Solar LGCs support the adoption of solar power by businesses, organizations, and embedded network operators. These certificates contribute to environmental sustainability, help meet renewable energy targets, and stimulate economic development. As solar energy continues to expand, Solar LGCs play a vital role in shaping a brighter and cleaner energy landscape for Australia.