November 9, 2020 Read More →

Australia’s New South Wales unveils major renewable energy transition plan

Renew Economy:

The NSW government has unveiled a $32 billion investment plan for new electricity infrastructure in the state, that will see strong investment in new wind, solar and storage projects replace the state’s ageing coal fleet while reducing emissions and costs for NSW consumers.

Under the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap launched by energy minister Matt Kean, and deputy premier John Barilaro on Monday, the NSW government – home to the country’s biggest grid – will target $32 billion of new private investment in electricity infrastructure by 2030, including the development of renewable energy zones and energy storage projects.

NSW aims for 12 gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity – over and above “business as usual” – with an additional 2 gigawatts of storage capacity by 2030. It will be supported by an Electricity Infrastructure Investment Safeguard that will offer long term energy services agreements through a tender for generation, long duration storage and firming.

Under the long term energy services agreements, the NSW government will offer an electricity price floor to projects being developed in line with the government’s infrastructure strategy, ensuring the right investment signals are being sent to the market to build the right projects in the right places, while also working to reduce the risk and cost of finance for the projects. They effectively work as a PPA.

It is a hugely significant development, given that NSW is the biggest grid in the country, and has so far not undertaken the sort of reverse auctions and tenders common in other states. And it has a Coalition government trying to manage the anticipated exit of most of its coal fleet in the next decade or two.

The plan is expected to reduce emissions from NSW’s electricity sector by around half, compared to a business-as-usual trajectory, with an equivalent reduction of around 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually by 2030, and turn NSW into one of the lowest cost regions in the developed world.

[Michael Mazengarb]

More: NSW targets 12GW of renewables and storage under roadmap that includes auctions

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