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Under the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme for the Australian Government, eligible small-scale renewable energy systems are entitled to a number of small-scale technology certificates (STC). Once created and validated, these certificates act as a form of currency and can be sold to recoup a portion of the cost of purchasing and installing the system, or transferred to other individuals and businesses at a negotiated price.

The number of certificates that can be created per system is based on its geographical location, installation date, and the amount of electricity in megawatt hours (MWh) that is generated by the small-scale solar panel, wind or hydro system over one or five years, or a single maximum deeming period.

As a guide, one certificate is equal to one megawatt hour of eligible renewable electricity either generated or displaced by the system.

This example focuses only on the rules for calculating STC’s for solar.

Rules for Calculating STC’s (Small-scale Technology Certificates)

Rule # Description
1 When the SGU – Solar (deemed) is selected from the Small Generation Unit lists on the web form, show the following fields to capture additional data:

  • Calculation Period (values: One Year, Five Years, 10 years)
  • Postcode of Installation Address
2 Based on the Postcode of the installation, determine the Zone and the Rating. A sample of these can be seen in the table below – the full table is available on the Clean Energy Regulator website.
3 Depending on the year of installation the maximum number of years certificates can be calculated for is determined – this is the Deeming Period. The table below shows the Deeming Periods:
4 Calculate the STCs (Small-scale Technology Certificates) using the following formula:

  • Rated Power Output (kW) * Rating * (lower of Deeming Period and Calculation Period)
5 Save the Number of STCs, the Postcode Zone and System Type and present the results to the end user.
6 Save a log of the calculation for audit purposes.

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