Wind auctions aiding large-scale projects

A review of the ACT Government’s nation-leading reverse wind auction has highlighted the success of the program in reducing Canberra’s dependence on coal-generated electricity and the project’s ability to provide energy at a highly competitive price, Minister for the Environment Simon Corbell said.

“The review found the first wind auction conducted by the ACT Government was successful in providing incentives for the uptake of large-scale wind energy at highly competitive prices, resulting in less cost being passed through to ACT consumers,” Mr Corbell said.

“The review also highlighted the best-practice community engagement processes for these projects, which is valued highly in the assessment of each project presented to the government.”

The ability of the reverse auction to provide for innovation and investment in Canberra was also highlighted as a success of the project, which will abate more than 11.7 million tonnes during the life of the project.

The ACT Government is currently assessing proposals from its second wind auction.

“The first wind auction also helped diversify the ACT’s employment base by providing more opportunities for our young people through the establishment of a new Renewable Energy Skills Centre of Excellence at the CIT, two new global wind operations centres here in Canberra, a new ANU course in wind development and new locally based jobs that will focus on the management of the three new wind farms,” he said.

The first wind auction opened for proposals on 17 April 2014. Eighteen proposals were received from 15 proponents. The total capacity of all the proposals was 1305MW, six-times the capacity for which feed-in tariff entitlements could be granted.The Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011 requires a review of each capacity release be undertaken within six months of its last grant of feed-in tariff entitlement.