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.
The 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.