Australian Capital Territory

ACT Government launches second large-scale wind farm auction

A SECOND ACT wind auction, which could power up to 106,000 Canberra homes with clean, sustainable energy, was last week opened Environment Minister Simon Corbell.

Mr Corbell said the release of a further 200MW of capacity for wind projects across the National Electricity Market would provide the industry with an opportunity to bring forward their best projects to contribute to the ACT's 90 per cent renewable energy target.

Macarthur Wind Farm, Victoria
Above: Macarthur Wind Farm, Victoria / by David Clarke.

"The first ACT wind auction set a new record for low-cost renewable energy in Australia, and I anticipate another highly competitive process in the second project," the Minister said.

"There is an abundance of excellent wind power projects looking for long-term contracts, and amid continuing uncertainty under the national scheme, this is the optimal time for the ACT Government to call for proposals.

"When this extra 200MW of capacity comes online in about 2018 it will take the ACT up to 80 per cent of its predicted 2020 electricity needs."

As with the first wind auction, proposals received in the second wind auction will be assessed against risks to timely completion, their level of community support and their plan to grow ACT jobs. The ACT Government said it is determined to see major local economic benefits flowing from the successful proposals, regardless of where they are located.

"The ACT Government's progressive renewable energy policies have created a positive environment for growth in the renewable energy sector in the territory," Mr Corbell said.

"Renewable energy jobs are growing in the ACT with new national and international operations hubs being established and major research, education and training partnerships being formed. This new auction will further grow our ability to provide knowledge-based services to the multi-trillion dollar global renewable energy industry."

The second wind auction process will not change the expected price for households of achieving 90 per cent renewables, which will peak at $4.67 per week in 2020. These costs are expected to be largely or completely offset for many Canberra consumers by savings generated through the government's energy efficiency programs as the government continues assisting businesses and households to become more energy efficient.

The Request for Proposals closes on 30 September 2015.

Photo: Macarthur Wind Farm, Victoria / David Clarke / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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