One thing was obvious to anyone listening to ACT Deputy Chief Minister Simon Corbell at the recent Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney – he is genuine about playing a leadership role in the push towards a cleaner, smarter energy system.
The ACT has set a target of securing 90 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020. This is far in advance of any other state or territory except Tasmania, which sources the majority of its power from a network of hydro stations.
Previous ACT ‘reverse auctions’, where wind and solar projects have bid to supply the cheapest power in return for long-term contracts, have proven highly successful. Minister Corbell used his speech at the summit last week to announce a second wind auction would be held later in 2015, which is expected to be a similar size to the first round auction of 200 megawatts of capacity.
While the successful projects can be located outside Canberra, they need to be able to demonstrate benefits to the greater Canberra region, and involvement with local communities will also be a factor. More details are expected in the coming weeks, but you can register for updates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once all the projects from the wind and solar auctions are operating, they are expected to take Canberra close to its final goal of 90 per cent renewable energy. More information about the auction can be found on the ACT Government website.