Australian Capital Territory

15 proposals received for ACT Government's second wind energy auction

FIFTEEN proposals have been received for the ACT Government's second wind energy auction, reflecting strong industry interest, Environment Minister Simon Corbell announced last week.

"The reverse auction for 200MW of capacity to support wind energy generation closed on Wednesday with more than 1,100MW of capacity put forward by bidders," Mr Corbell said.

Brown Hill Wind Farm in Hallett, South Australia
Above: Brown Hill Wind Farm in Hallett, South Australia / by David Clarke.

The 200MW of wind power from the auction is expected to provide about 25 per cent of the ACT's electricity consumption in 2020 and is another major step towards reaching the ACT Government's legislated 90 per cent renewable energy target.

"Our early review of bid pricing indicates we are still in a very strong buyers' market," Mr Corbell said.

"This second wind auction will cut over half of the emissions associated with electricity usage in each and every Canberra household. By 2018, 80% of the ACT's electricity supply will be sourced through renewable energy.

"The strong competition for the feed-in tariff was created as a result of the ACT's unique reverse auction process, combined with very limited long-term contracting opportunities available under the Commonwealth's Renewable Energy Target (RET).

"The strong bids in the second wind auction have been made possible by the ACT Government's decision to hold a second auction this year while market conditions for wind energy procurement remain favourable."

The second wind auction process used the same reverse auction model used in 2014 for the first large scale wind auction as well as for the large-scale solar auction held in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 the ACT Government won the national Banksia Award for the innovative reverse auction process.

"These processes have driven major reductions in costs of finance, technology and engineering and construction for the industry, keeping it learning and innovating through a period of deep federal policy uncertainty," Mr Corbell said.

Once operational from 2018, this additional wind capacity will reduce the ACT's greenhouse gas emissions by about 11 million tonnes during the first 20 years of operation.

Photo: Brown Hill Wind Farm in Hallett, South Australia / David Clarke / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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