The ACT will conduct a renewable electricity ‘reverse auction’ to secure 250 megawatts of new supply, and construct a large-scale battery in the Territory that will support the grid and provide back-up power during blackouts.
Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said the total battery storage required would be 20 megawatts and 40 megawatt hours and could power 25,000 houses for two hours.
“It will also support the ACT electricity grid, helping to manage fluctuations in grid voltage and frequency, remove the need to upgrade network infrastructure, store excess electricity from renewable electricity sources, and provide power to help avoid blackouts during periods of high demand and when large fossil fuel generators fail in heatwave conditions,” he said.
Mr Rattenbury said the new renewable energy generation, which could come from anywhere in Australia, would ensure the ACT maintained at least 100 per cent renewable electricity into the mid-2020s.
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The auction would be launched on 15 November and he hoped contracts would be signed in the first half of next year, with a two-year timeline for the project.
The move follows the passing of legislation earlier this year to guarantee the ACT will maintain 100 per cent renewable electricity into the future.
“We’ll soon reach 100 per cent renewable electricity in the ACT, which is a great achievement. But our city will keep growing, and we’ll be transitioning buildings and vehicles to be all electric. This is expected to increase electricity consumption, so we’re contracting more renewable electricity generation to ensure we stay at 100 per cent,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“In the ACT we’re committed to climate change action, and we’re planning ahead to ensure we only use renewable electricity. The renewables auction will also allow the ACT to further develop our renewable energy industry, expand our economy and job growth, and provide significant boosts in local investments.”
Mr Rattenbury will soon announce the next major phase of climate action in the ACT.
“The Strategy will outline how we move to renewable energy solutions and what will drive the decarbonisation of the region up to 2025 and beyond,” he said.
The ACT’s reverse auction scheme to reach 100 per cent renewable electricity has already leveraged more than $2 billion of investment into 10 large-scale renewable energy projects around Australia, and more than $500 million in the ACT.