Australian Capital Territory

ACT Government begins EOI process for next generation solar infrastructure

AN expression of interest process for up to 50-megawatt (MW) capacity of next generation solar infrastructure was launched last week by Minister for the Environment Simon Corbell.

According to the Minister, the next generation solar initiative seeks to contribute to the wide-spread commercial development of solar-related technologies that address issues of reliability and intermittency while supporting the development of the renewable energy industries in the ACT.

"Our investment in next generation renewable energy technology is an important part of our target of 90% renewable energy by 2020 but it is also critical in continuing the growth of renewable energy jobs and investment in the ACT," Mr Corbell said.

Royalla Solar Farm
Above: Royalla Solar Farm, located south of Canberra, is one of the largest solar projects in Australia / by Grahamec.

"The ACT Government is targeting next generation solar, including energy storage and new renewable energy technologies, in its plans to reduce emissions, grow the renewable energy industry in the territory, and position Canberra as an internationally recognised centre for renewable energy innovation and investment.

"Cost-effective storage of renewable energy will be a game-changer for the energy industry, and would allow us to keep, for example, energy generated by solar during the day for use at peak times during the evening," Mr Corbell said.

The EOI process will provide an opportunity for interested parties to submit proposals to the government for assessment and consideration. These proposals must be for a 'next generation' solar system located in or around the ACT, or potentially more broadly in the National Electricity Market.

Information gathered through this EOI process will also be used by government to inform any future schemes that may include direct grants or reverse auction processes.

"There are many options for storage of renewable energy, including battery and thermal storage, and pump and store hydro, and includes fixed storage devices at homes or businesses across the territory," Mr Corbell said.

"This is an exciting time for renewable energy globally and I hope to see many bright ideas come forward as part of this EOI process, highlighting Canberra as a knowledge hub for renewable energy investment."

The Expressions of Interested process closes on 17 June 2015.

Photo: Royalla Solar Farm, ACT / Grahamec / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0.

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