Australia to launch 6GW renewables tender in May

  • : Electricity
  • 24/04/22

Australia's federal government plans to launch the country's largest ever tender for renewable energy in May, with more than a third of the capacity to be allocated to New South Wales (NSW) state.

The first major tender under the federal government's expanded Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) will offer support for 6GW of renewable generation capacity, with at least 2.2GW of the total set specifically to NSW, the federal and state governments said in a joint statement on 22 April. A market briefing outlining the tender process will be released in early May.

A minimum of 300MW will also be exclusively allocated to projects in South Australia (SA), even though that is still subject to a final agreement between the federal and state governments. The remaining capacity will be allocated across the National Electricity Market, which apart from NSW and SA also includes Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

Tenders will run every six months until 2026-27 under the expanded CIS, with up to 15 years of support for a total of 32GW. This will consist of 23GW of renewable capacity like solar, wind and hydro and 9GW of dispatchable capacity such as pumped hydro and grid-scale batteries with at least two hours of dispatch.

The inclusion of generation projects in NSW in the first CIS tender will replace the state's scheduled long-term energy service agreements (LTESA) tender under its NSW Roadmap. NSW will proceed though with the LTESA tender for long-duration storage infrastructure in the second quarter of 2024, as well as processes to award access rights for its Central West Orana and South West Renewable Energy Zones.

The federal government also said it plans to launch a separate tender in Western Australia in mid-2024 targeting 500MW of dispatchable capacity.

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