New South Wales launches renewables auction, targets 12GW of deployment by 2030

Priour to opening registrations, the AEMO Services had received “strong interest” and registrations from projects across NSW. Image: Nextracker.

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has opened its first tender for renewable energy and long duration energy storage.

Over the next 10 years, the tenders will be held bi-annually to replace retiring coal power as NSW targets 12GW of renewables and 2GW of long duration storage by 2030, according to Matt Kean, NSW’s Minister of Energy.

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The tenders are expected to incentivise up to AU$32 billion (US$20.75 billion) in private capital in the next 10 years as the region will retire four out of five of its coal-fired power stations in the next 11 years.

“The opening of the first tender marks a major milestone in the delivery of our renewable energy and storage plans, it’s expected to create a jobs and investment boom across NSW,” said Kean.

Previously, the state of NSW held registrations of interest (ROI) for its five Renewable Energy Zones (REZ), with big interest this year across Illawarra, Hunter-Central Coast and South West in February 2022, New England last year and Central-West Orana in June 2020.

Overall, the ROIs received more than 150GW of applications across the five regions for renewables and storage projects.

Moreover, AEMO Services – an independent subsidiary of the Australian Energy Market Operator – received “strong interest and registrations” from projects across the state to participate.

Paul Moy, chair at the AEMO Services, said: “The level of interest is a very encouraging sign that the [NSW Electricity Infrastructure] Roadmap will stimulate significant investment. The flexibility provided by a continuing tender process should be of great assistance in generating a cost-effective energy transition in NSW.”

Furthermore, in a move to fast-track the implementation of the REZ, NSW has committed to investing AU$1.2 billion (US$778 million) in new transmission lines and infrastructure over the next ten years.

Projects which are in an advanced state of construction across NSW and which are connecting to existing transmission infrastructure have been encouraged to participate in the tender.

Registrations for the first tender round will remain open until 28 October 2022.

A feature article exploring REZs in Australia and their use in attracting solar investment into the country was included within volume 28 of PV Tech Power and can be read in full here.

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