Australia to launch ‘largest ever’ 6GW renewables tender in May

The auction will take place in late May and will incorporate around 2.2GW of dedicated capacity for projects in the state of New South Wales. Image: RWE.

The Australian government will launch a 6GW renewable energy tender next month under its expanded Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS). It will be the largest single renewables tender in the country’s history.  

The auction will take place in late May and will incorporate around 2.2GW of dedicated capacity for projects in the state of New South Wales (NSW) under its Reliable Renewables Plan. At least 300MW of capacity will also be guaranteed in the state of South Australia.

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The Albanese government announced the expanded CIS in November 2023, intending to underwrite 32GW worth of renewable energy generation and energy storage capacity. In this most recent announcement, the office of the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said that the Albanese government and the government of NSW will work together to advance a “single combined tender process for generation infrastructure under the CIS and NSW Roadmap from November this year.”

The same statement also said that there would be a 500MW capacity tender for projects in Western Australia due to open “mid-year”, dependent on consultation and final agreement. The first CIS auction for Victoria and South Australia opened in December, seeking dispatchable renewable energy generation and storage capacity to a maximum of 600MW/2,400MWh.

The technology breakdown of the available capacity in the tender was not disclosed, only that it will seek “variable renewable energy projects” – solar and wind, predominantly – “for the National Electricity Market (NEM)”.

Bowen said: “The rain doesn’t always fall, but we always have water on tap because we store it for when we need it – our energy plan does just the same thing for reliable renewables.

“Our plan is delivering the certainty and confidence the market needs to deliver the energy we need, when we need it.”

Australia’s large-scale solar market began to falter in the last year – data from the Clean Energy Council (CEC) found that just six new large-scale projects reached financial close in the first nine months of 2023. PV Tech Power analysed the situation in our Q4 2023 edition.

In addition to supporting deployments, earlier this month the government announced a plan to support domestic solar and clean energy manufacturing – the sector that the Australian Prime Minister called “the new competition” in international relations.

PV Tech’s publisher Solar Media will host the 1st Energy Storage Summit Australia, on 21-22 May 2024 in Sydney, NSW. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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