Australian Capital Territory

ACT Government calls for wind energy proposals

THE ACT Government last week announced the start of its reverse auction process for 200 megawatts of wind energy feed-in tariff, with interested companies invited to submit proposals for new wind farm projects.

Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell said the proposals would be judged on a combination of factors, including price, local investment and proven community engagement.

"Wind energy is expected to be the most cost-effective option to providing large-scale renewable energy, which is why the Government is releasing 200MW of feed-in tariff capacity for wind projects this year," Mr Corbell said.

The Minister said it was expected that the Wind Auction Request for Proposals will attract bids from a range of companies that have the ability to deliver wind farm facilities located anywhere in the country that falls within the National Electricity Market.

"The benefit of this is that we stand to receive a broader range of quality proposals that will result in the best value for money outcome to ACT electricity consumers," he said.

"The 200MW wind auction is expected to provide about 24% of the ACT's electricity consumption in 2020 and will deliver about 40% of the large-scale investments required to achieve our 90% renewable energy target."

According to the Minister, the cost to consumers for achieving 90 per cent renewable energy by 2020 is expected to peak at about $4 per household per week in 2020, before declining from then on. This cost will be offset in most households by energy efficiency programs saving households about $4 per week.

In the past two years, under the Solar Auction, the ACT became the first jurisdiction in Australia to award feed-in tariffs to large-scale renewable energy generating facilities.

Proposals relating to wind farms that will be located outside the Australian Capital region will need to demonstrate exceptional economic development benefits to ACT renewable energy industries and minimise costs to electricity consumers before they can be fully assessed.

The request for proposals has been facilitated by amendments to the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011, which were enacted by the government last month.

More information is available from the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate website at <http://www.environment.act.gov.au/energy/wind_power>. Proposals will need to be submitted by 10 July 2014.

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