NSW tenders for renewable energy projects to power Sydney Metro rail

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The New South Wales government has announced a tender for 137GWh of renewable energy for its Sydney Metro Northwest rail project, in yet another example of how state governments are leading the push into large scale renewables in Australia.

As the private sector involvement in large scale renewables remains at a virtual standstill because of lingering uncertainty in federal government policy, projects are flocking to tenders being conducted by state governments and other agencies who can offer the sort of contracts that major utilities are refusing to write.

rail northwestThe NSW Transport department is calling for expressions of interest to provide 137GWh per year of renewable energy from a NSW-based project to power the Sydney Metro Northwest Project, the first stage of what is the large public infrastructure project in Australia.

That is equivalent to between 40MW and 60MW of renewable energy, depending on whether it is wind or solar.

The department will hold a briefing on the tender on February 3. It says the tender will play a key role in helping the NSW Government deliver on its commitment to increase renewable energy generation, jobs and investment under the Renewable Energy Action Plan.

The NSW is the latest in a series of tenders being held to kick-start the large scale renewable energy industry, which has been stalled in Australia since the election of the Coalition government in 2013, and to help state-owned utilities meet their RET obligations.

The biggest tenders are being held by the smallest entity, the ACT government, with the results of 200MW of wind to be announced soon, following a previous tender of 200MW of wind and 50MW of large scale solar.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is conducting a tender to allocate $100 million in grants that it hopes will result in more than 200MW of large scale solar capacity. It is already considering a second round of funding.

Ergon is currently tendering for 150MW of large scale renewable energy, and the Queensland government is looking to tender 60MW of large scale solar.

The WA government owned Synergy is calling for 500,000GWh of large scale renewable energy certificates (although it does not much care where they are sourced), the South Australian government is looking to tender for 481GWh of “low carbon energy” – equivalent to around 140-180MW of wind or solar power – to meet all the government’s electricity needs.

The Victorian government, meanwhile, is also holding a tender for LGCs to ensure between 100MW and 170MW of large scale renewables in its own state.  

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  • Giles, “equivalent to between 40MW and 60MW of renewable energy, depending on whether it is wind or solar.” It could also be 21MWe from 24/7 biomass or even energy from waste, which would also reduce landfill. Now NSW government are moving the the right direction lets keep all the options open.

  • Rob G

    About time! NSW have been dragging the chain in true LNP fashion…. And now we have some catching up to do.

    • Craig Simpson

      NSW hasn’t been dragging the chain. Have you seen all the houses in Sydney with solar power. There is a reason why NSW has shuttered a dozen coal power stations over the last couple of years and that is we are producing so much renewable energy and using less energy with new technologies such as led lighting. During the station revamps in the Sydney cbd I believe new LED lighting is being used and the new swrl stations have huge solar panel arrays.

      • Rob G

        Residential solar aside, for which I am an owner of (in NSW), they have done little. There are pockets of good news stories (City of Sydney renewable plans, Lismore etc), but a quick look at the NEM on any given day tells a lot about what is really being done renewables wise. We all know of South Australia’s (Labor) great achievements, and QLD’s (now Labor) massive 3GW solar farm (and world beating residential solar) and VIC waking from it’s slumber after ditching their Liberal state government (but still too slow), ACT are going great guns (Labor) and now WA are getting onboard. Compared with the other states I’d say yes, NSW is lagging.

        I have a client who owns a farm in Goulburn (NSW), they had signed the contract to have wind turbines installed on their remote and vast property, it was all good to go until mid level political interference got involved. And that was the end of it.

        The story is clear, apart from TAS which is mainly hydro power, wherever you have a LIBERAL state government you have a weaker effort on renewables – Same is true at a National level…

        • Craig Simpson

          I think you will find that it was the feds interfering there. Which state gives huge rebates on feeding solar energy into the grid. The new train stations on the swrl have huge solar arrays and so will the above ground stations on the nw metro and sydney metro. Many of Sydney trains stations are also being retrofitted with solar. Schools and Hospitals are being fitted with Solar and in the last few years with the excess of solar power it has allowed many coal power stations to be shut down early. NSW households with Solar are also starting to buy energy storage and every energy contractor is offering some sort of deal. Sydney and it surrounds is a hell of a lot larger populationwise then Tasmania, SA, WA, QLD and the ACT so a fair comparison is not comparable.

          • Rob G

            I wouldn’t call 6 cents feed in anything other than robbery. And for many the feed in is 0 cents…(myself included).

            QLD and SA have significantly more per capita rooftop solar. QLD has almost double the roof top solar that NSW has and a much smaller population.

            Solar projects on trains and hospitals are good, but in many of these cases these initiatives have come from local councils, not state government. My point remains, wherever you have state or federal Liberal controlled government you see an underperformance verse other states and political opposites. ACT maybe small, but there near 100% renewable targets would never be in place had a state liberal government been in power same can be said of SA and QLD. When the Liberals got into VIC – they killed all wind farms and pretty much did nothing to invest in renewables. If NSW had a Labor, we’d be further along than we are now, and I cite those Labor states as proof of my position. Furthermore, federal Labor shares the same drive to push renewables – it was their target that ABbott/Turnbull whittled down. Birds of a feather and all that.

  • Geoff

    NSW government is completely hypocritical. Sending out tenders for renewable projects while approving coal mines in the hunter valley food bowl. you can’t have it both ways. Can’t belive we have another 3 years of this conservative crap!

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