The ACT government has launched its second wind auction, calling on the industry to bring forward their best projects for the development of a further 200MW of wind energy capacity across the National Electricity Market.
After a highly successful first round of auctions – which elicited prices as low as $81.50 per megawatt hour, the lowest wind energy prices ever obtained in Australia – the second round was opened on Monday, for proposals of up to 100MW capacity, and will close on 30 September.
Like the first wind auction, proposals received in the second wind auction will be assessed against risks to timely completion, their level of community support and their plan to grow ACT jobs.
“There is an abundance of excellent wind power projects looking for long-term contracts, and amid continuing uncertainty under the national scheme, this is the optimal time for the ACT Government to call for proposals,” said ACT environment minister Simon Corbell.
“When this extra 200MW of capacity comes online in about 2018 it will take the ACT up to 80 per cent of its predicted 2020 electricity needs,” he said.
Corbell said the second wind auction process would not change the expected price for households of achieving the Territory’s stated target of 90 per cent renewables by 2020, which is expected to peak at $4.67 per week in 2020.
According to the government, these costs will be largely offset by savings generated through its energy efficiency programs.
The winners of the first round of 200MW capacity were the Hornsdale wind project in South Australia, and the Ararat and Coonooer Bridge wind projects in Victoria. The Ararat wind farm has been given financial go-ahead after a strong equity consortium put together by GE, and construction has begun on Coonooer Bridge.
Financing for the 100MW Hornsdale project is expected to be announced as early as this week.