STCs for Solar
What are STCs?
The world is continuing its global push towards sustainable, clean energy. STCs and RECs have been created due to the increased acknowledgement that our carbon emissions and footprint need to be reduced. These are generally traded in the market by large corporations who are required, by law, to reduce their intense carbon activities. These certificates can range in value and will vary in the market just as any share price or commodity.
The size of a solar system, whether a small scale residential or large-scale commercial project, will attract certificates accordingly. For example, if a smaller 5kW system was installed on a residential property it would generate 103 STCs at a rate of $35.50 (as of November 29th, 2013). This would mean you would multiply this rate by the quantity (103) and this would apply to the overall discount of the sale price ($3656.50). This same equation can be applied to systems up to 99KW.
What is an STC?
Small-scale technology certificates are a tradeable commodity that attach to compliant renewable energy installations. These installations include solar panels, solar hot water systems and heating pumps.
Since the introduction of the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), you can claim a set number of STCs upon installing an eligible system.
The number you can claim is based on the amount of electricity generated in megawatt hours (MWh) by your renewable energy system across its lifetime (up to 15 years). It is also calculated by the MWh displaced by your solar water heater or heat pump over its lifetime (up to 10 years). One STC is equal to one MWh of electricity created or displaced.
The number of STCs you can claim on your eligible system is dependent on several factors. Geographic location, what system you are installing, whether the system is eligible for Solar Credits, as well as the size and capacity of the system installed all influence the amount of generated certificates. Examples of the difference can be shown with a 1.5kW solar system in Melbourne is eligible for 21 STCs at a minimum, whereas a solar water heater in Tasmania could be eligible for 20 STCs at a minimum. Solar Credits increase the number of STCs that can be generated on all eligible small-scale solar (PV), wind and hydro systems.