ACT recognised for forward thinking behind reverse auctions

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The ACT Government’s innovative reverse auctions for renewable energy investment last night won the Innovative Solutions category of the Institute for Public Administration’s 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury announced today.

The Public Sector Innovation Awards recognise and celebrate innovative solutions across the Australian and ACT public service.

“This award is fantastic recognition of the ACT Government’s efforts to find new ways to tackle the global problem posed by climate change as well as our nation leading commitment to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2020 and net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The ACT Government was the first jurisdiction in Australia to use the reverse auction mechanism to support the construction of new renewable energy projects.”

Through the ACT’s reverse auction process, companies were invited to submit proposals for the construction of new renewable energy projects, such as from wind or solar farms, with an aim for completing the project at the possible lowest cost.

This competitive auction process ensured the ACT Government was able to select the renewable energy projects with the lowest cost to consumers and greatest benefit to the ACT economy.

“Four auctions were held between 2012 and 2016, ultimately securing 40 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity and 600MW of wind capacity at record low prices.

Importantly, the feed-in tariff awarded to these projects is fixed for the next 20-years, meaning Canberra households will be shielded from future spikes in wholesale electricity prices.

“The ACT’s renewable energy reverse auction program showed for the first time that local or state governments could work with industry to drive investment in renewable energy, while limiting costs to consumers.

“Each of the four auctions broke new records for low cost renewables and also attracted a broad range of local and overseas renewable energy development companies, include first time participants in the Australian market.

Equally impressive is the fact this innovation was led by a team of fewer than five people – showing that small teams can make a huge difference, in this case transforming Australia’s renewable energy policy landscape.”

The four categories of the 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards received a strong field of 68 nominations. The 12 finalists presented their innovation to a panel of judges on 28 June.  


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