STCs and LGCs

Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) are an electronic form of currency created by the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (also known as the RET scheme). One STC is equivalent to one megawatt hour of electricity generated by your solar PV power system. The price of STCs changes according to market conditions. As an owner of a solar PV power system, you can register, sell, trade or surrender STCs for systems up to 100kW.

Prices effective from 9th February 2021 (9am EDT)

The federal Australian solar rebates provide incentives for solar PV systems for all sized systems, under the Renewable Energy Target (RET). There are two segments of the RET, the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-Scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES).

How are STCs calculated? #

STCs are calculated based on the expected output of a solar PV system until 2030. In 2030, STCs will no longer be provided so get them while you can. One STC is equal to 1 MWh (megawatt-hour). To calculate how many STCs you are eligible for, you have to know how many MWh is produced by your solar system until 2030. Note that calculation changes on the 1st of January each year. To check the current STC price and calculate the number of STCs currently available for your project you can use this online stc calculator.

Natural Technology Systems takes responsibility for your STCs, We apply the incentive as a discount directly to the price of your system.

Example #

The most popular residential system size is a 6.6 kW solar PV system. They are commonly paired with a 5kW inverter, this is is the most amount of panels you can have in a single phase system. You are only allowed to have a 5kW inverter in a single-phase household. A 6.6 kW system is the maximum amount of panels you can install while still claiming STCs.

A 6.6 kW solar PV system in South Australia would generate 11.66 MWh a year. This would be around 11.66 STCs per year. From a system installed in 2021, there would be 10 years left until 2030. You would claim 116 STC’s from a 6.6 kW solar PV system installed in 2021. The current price of STCs are 36$, you would get a discount worth $4,176 off the up-front cost of your system.

When calculating STCs, factors such as shading and efficiency losses are ignored when calculating the STC solar rebate.

The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) #

In addition to STCs, large scale systems are also able to apply for LGC’s. This is only applicable for systems above 100 kW in capacity. LGCs can only be generated by commercial and utility-scale solar power systems that have undergone an accreditation process to produce them. LGCs are produced on an ongoing basis after a system is accredited, installed and producing power. LGCs provide ongoing additional revenue. Same with STCs, an LGC serves as a form of currency and prices fluctuate according to supply and demand.

It is noted that LGCs have dropped in price in recent years, as many Solar Farm projects have been commissioned. Commercial and utility-scale projects are designed with the total cost in mind rather than relying on LGCs. Read here for the future prospects of LGCs.

FAQ #

What is the deeming period? #

The deeming period is the amount of time you are eligible for STCs. Until 2030, every year you are able to claim STCs equal to how many MWh of power you produce each year. The shorter the deeming period, the fewer STCs you are eligible for and less discount you can get.

Can I redeem the STCs myself? #

You are able to claim STCs for yourself. You would need to pay the full upfront-cost of a system if you wish to do so. You would have to register your STCs on the government market exchange and wait in queue. Natural Technology Systems are an registered STC selling agent, can take care of all the paperwork for you.

Who are eligible for STCs #

Anyone with a solar PV system is eligible for STCs. This includes home owners, small businesses, schools etc.

Are Off-grid systems eligible for STCs? #

Yes Off-grid solar systems are also eligible for STCs.

Does it apply for Hybrid Systems with battery storage? #

Hybrid systems are eligible for STCs for only the solar component. Having battery storage will not generate any additional STCs. Check our article here on Battery government subsidiaries.

Can I claim STCs by installing a solar system myself? #

No. The Office of the Clean Energy Regulator has made it a requirement that only CEC accredited installers can sign off on STCs.

Do STCs apply for mobile homes? #

STC’s are applicable for mobile homes such as caravans, boats and RVs. This is provided it is your primary place of residence and has an address, such as a caravan park of marina.