As Australia heads into what could be a new low in investor confidence for future renewables development, a booming Victorian market has delivered a bumper year for solar and wind power, with 12 new licences issued to generate renewable electricity.
The Victorian Energy Market report for 2018-19, released on Friday by the Essential Services Commission, said the state had issued a record 23 new energy licences over the year, including for up to 1770MW of new renewable power generation.
“In 2018–19, we issued 23 energy licences to businesses operating in Victoria, which included: 12 new licences to generate electricity, including five solar farms, six wind farms and one landfill gas generator,” the report said.
As you can see in the image above, and in more detail in the table below, the newly licenced generators include the massive Murra Warra wind farm, which for a short time ranked as the biggest wind project in the state.
As well as being one of the biggest, the Macquarie Group project is also considered to be one of the cheapest sources of power in Australia, delivering electricity under long-term contracts to Telstra, and a consortium of customers that includes ANZ, Coca Cola Amatil and the University of Melbourne, as well as Monash University.
Also among the new generators is Neoen’s Blulgana wind and battery Green Power Hub, Macquarie Capital’s 220MW Lal Lal wind farm – which is contracted to help supply Australian packaging giant Orora with 80 per cent renewable energy, and Goldwind Australia’s 320MW (combined) Moorabool wind farms.
As well as new generation licences, the ESC notes that four new electricity retail licences were also issued over the year, to Energy Locals, Elysian Energy, SIMEC Zen Energy Retail and Power Club.
Another four wholesale electricity licences were also issued, including two to EnergyAustralia for the output of the Gannawarra 25MW/50MWh Tesla battery and 50MW solar farm, and of the 30MW/30MWh Ballarat big battery.
Another wholesale licence was granted to Telstra Energy, and then another to Moorabool Wind Farm Interface. As reported on One Step Off The Grid in July, Goldwind has secured a deal to supply power to Advanced Circular Polymers for the plastics recycling plant it is building in Somerton in Melbourne’s outer north, with the backing of the state government.