Latest News, Sustainability

Australia’s largest renewable energy tender announced

The Federal Government has announced Australia’s largest renewable energy tender, aiming to produce 6 GW of new variable renewable energy projects for the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The NEM projects will take place through the national Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) tender, with the first auction scheduled for late May, as part of the Reliable Renewables Plan.

Minister for climate change and energy Chris Bowen said, “We are getting on with the job of delivering practical solutions to keep the lights on for households and businesses using the cheapest, cleanest form of power – reliable renewable energy.

The announcement also included the Federal and NSW State Government signing a new deal.  The deal is to deliver more reliable renewables for NSW households and businesses, with at least 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy specifically for NSW.

NSW minister for climate change and energy Penny Sharpe said, “This is a significant win for NSW electricity consumers, with the Commonwealth supporting our biggest round of generation projects yet to deliver low-cost, reliable energy to homes and businesses.

An allocation of 300MW for variable renewable energy will also be exclusively dedicated to projects delivered in South Australia.

The NSW agreement builds on the success of the first CIS/NSW Roadmap pilot tender conducted in 2023, which is delivering six battery and virtual power plant projects with more than 1GW of capacity in NSW and creating 400 jobs.

“NSW is leading the nation when it comes to delivering the energy transition. We’re already about half-way to meeting our generation target, and a quarter of the way to meeting our storage target,” said Sharpe.

The announcement stated the Federal and State Governments are continuing to work closely together to advance a single combined tender process for generation infrastructure under the CIS and NSW Roadmap from November this year.

The inclusion of NSW projects in this first CIS tender will replace the scheduled Q2 2024 generation Long-Term Energy Service Agreements (LTESA) tender under the NSW Roadmap. Generation projects that are eligible for LTESA tenders will be eligible to participate in the CIS tender.

NSW will proceed with its scheduled Q2 2024 LTESA tender for long-duration storage infrastructure as well as processes to award access rights for NSW’s Central West Orana and South-West Renewable Energy Zones.

The first round of tenders for Western Australian projects, targeting 500MW of dispatchable power through storage for renewables, will open mid-year, subject to consultation and final agreement.

A market briefing on the May tender will be released in early May outlining the tender process. Tender rounds will run in the NEM approximately every six months until 2027.

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