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Victoria renewables auction attracts 3,500MW of bids, as state warns on NEG

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Victoria’s first – and Australia’s largest – large-scale renewable energy auction has attracted roughly six times the capacity put to tender in the 650MW scheme, the state energy minister has said.

In a speech at an event hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in Melbourne, Lily D’Ambrosio said the response to the reverse auction had been “overwhelming,” closing with more than 15 proposals totalling over 3,500MW of new wind and solar capacity.

“These are firm proposals, with approvals in place, ready to go. And they’re proof that when you provide the market with policy certainty – the market is ready and willing to respond,” she said.

“There is a hugely competitive field of wind and solar projects which the government is currently evaluating – and successful bids will be announced later this year.

“It will attract up to $1.3 billion of investment, create 1,250 construction jobs over two years, and 90 ongoing jobs – mainly in regional Victoria.”

But D’Ambrosio opened her speech with comments on the federal government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee, which she effectively said her Labor government would not be supporting, in its current form.

“Our government has made it clear from the beginning – we want a national energy policy that is affordable, reliable and increasingly renewable, with a clear pathway to significantly reducing carbon emissions,” she said.

“This is something we are yet to see from the federal government.

“We want a detailed policy backed by consultation – something we are yet to see from the Commonwealth.

“We won’t be signing up to anything that undermines or puts a break on Victoria’s nation-leading renewable energy agenda and climate change policies. There are too many investment dollars and jobs at stake.

“Otherwise the only guarantee is that we won’t support it.”

The comments deliver yet another blow to the Turnbull government’s beleaguered policy proposal, which federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg just yesterday described as the only option on the table, and the “last chance for bipartisanship” on national energy reform.

But D’Ambrosio stopped short of completely ruling out Victoria’s support of the NEG, pending the development of more detail around some of its core – and most controversial – proposals.

“Once we see more detail around the design and key elements of the National Energy Guarantee, we will be better placed to determine the way forward,” she said.

“In the meantime we’re getting on with our investments in new energy technologies to deliver a system that is affordable, sustainable and renewable.”  

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  • Joe

    Lily, stay the course don’t be bullied by Joshie and Two Tonguer Turnbull.

    • stucrmnx120fshwf

      Chief scientist Alan Finkel, is for green hydrogen, not the brown coal $1,000 a litre nonsense.

  • Jon

    It is a shame the way forward is being driven at a State level, it is great to see forward momentum though.
    Hopefully the announcement will be a little quicker than the Vic battery announcement.

  • RobertO

    Hi All, I am hoping that the states will drive the NEG into the bin. This may only be a small amount of RE (650 MW but received 3500 MW proposals) but if the community of Vic get behind their state Gov what could they acheive, and how quickly could they do it (between 5 to 7 years or 5 to 10 years to see coal gone from Vic power generation).

  • Hettie

    Well, good. Thanks Dan and Lily.
    Now, Anastacia, time for you to step up to the plate too. The ACT is firmly in the renewables camp.
    Shame about SA and NSW.
    Still, NSW has a lot of wine and solar in the pipeline…..

    • rob

      They will certainly need the wine! lol Great to see you back by the way

  • Les Johnston

    Thanks for the article on Victoria’s action on renewable energy. The current NEG is poorly constructed and fails to detail clearly defined outcomes. It deserves to be rejected.

  • JoeR_AUS

    This is only half the story ie 3,500MW of new wind and solar capacity

    Whats the contingency at night time and when it’s windless?

    SA, proved it can be done but relying on the NEM to back you up is just too expensive.

    Also this is a slippery slope as with more sun and wind, the more costly it will be to turn on power plants….

    • Hettie

      The more sun and wind, the less the need for coalers.
      And show me when, since the big bang, it was dark and dead calm over the whole of Australia?
      Lots of wind farms, solar farms, solar rooftops and small to moderate sized PHES, widely distributed, smooth the intermittency.
      Battery rapid response kicks in if there is a problem until the nearest PHES can get going to fill the gap.
      Chill out, man. It’s all good.

      • JoeR_AUS

        Haha there no Solar anywhere in Australia right now and only 2.6gw of wind, so we need 10 times the wind farms we have now and what about the night there is none – as it does happen…..

        • Hettie

          Very funny. Not.

  • Greg Hudson

    “We won’t be signing up to anything that undermines or puts a break on Victoria’s nation-leading renewable energy agenda and climate change policies.”
    Nation leading? Unless the Vic/SA border has been moved to Eucla (WA), methinks Lily is living in a State of Confusion… IMO