On Tuesday we brought you a story of the huge response to the tenders being held by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Ergon Energy for large scale renewable energy tenders – or just solar in the case of ARENA.
Turns out the response was even bigger than we had been told.
It says that it has received proposals from 22 renewable energy development companies, some with multiple project options. In total, about 2,000MW of projects have been submitted from proposed new solar PV, wind and biomass projects.
“Ergon is encouraged by the strong level of competitive pricing from some of the projects that are well advanced in development,” a spokesperson said. One of the key criteria was for the projects to be “shovel ready” for development.
Ergon is on track to work through the responses to create a short list and hopes to form contracts with some of these projects later this year and early next year.
Meanwhile, it has been suggested that ARENA’s tender for $100 million in grants for around 200MW of solar capacity has been swamped by as many as 200 projects, highlighting the huge amount of demand and the potential pipeline for large scale solar (more than 10MW) in Australia.
This should not be a surprise, given the plunging cost of solar PV in Australia, and the political apathy towards wind energy in the country. The recent ACT auction for just 50MW next generation solar (with storage) attracted 30 bids totalling nearly 1,000MW.