Next Generation Renewables

Next Generation Energy Storage Grants

The largest roll out of household batteries in the world (outside of Germany) started in the ACT in early 2016, with the Government awarding three grants of $200,000 to install subsidised battery storage in around 200 Canberra homes and businesses through its Next Generation Renewables Energy Storage Pilot.

For information on the Pilot, or for general information on battery storage, please read Actsmart’s next generation storage fact sheet.

Following from the success of the Pilot, a further grants round saw the ACT Government award $2 million in funding across eight companies through a competitive grants process, providing subsidised battery storage for around another 600 Canberra homes and businesses by 31 August 2017.

ActewAGL Retail, Energy Matters, EPC Solar, Evergen, ITP Renewables, Origin Energy, Power Saving Centre and SolarHub were the successful winners of the latest competitive grants process. The increased number of companies providing subsidised battery storage will encourage competition and innovation, and support a wider range of technologies. Further information on the successful proponents can be found here.

The latest grants round had similar requirements to the Next Generation Energy Storage Pilot, but included obligations that will benefit the local economy, such as battery providers having an office in Canberra for local sales and support.

While these companies are selected to participate in the storage grants scheme, the ACT Government isn’t endorsing the companies or their products. If you’re considering battery storage you need to evaluate the products and options on offer and use your own judgement to choose the company that is right for you.

Participating in the Next Generation Energy Storage Grants

Companies interested in installing batteries and future grant rounds should register with the Next Generation Secretariat at NextGen@act.gov.au to ensure they receive the latest information.

The ACT Government is facilitating networking between service providers who are interested in participating in the Next Generation Energy Storage Grants. To do this, service providers can have their details listed on the ACT Government website here. Any services providers who wish to have their details listed should contact the Next Generation Secretariat at NextGen@act.gov.au

Background to the Government’s Next Generation program

Through the Next Generation Renewables Program, the ACT Government has a vision for Canberra to become a globally recognised centre for renewable energy innovation and investment. The global battery storage market, for example, is predicted to be worth $400 billion by 2030 and the ACT is an ideal launching pad for national and international businesses wanting to get a head start in this exciting emerging industry.

The ACT is connected to the national energy grid which runs from Queensland, through the eastern states to Tasmania and South Australia. As the location of the renewable energy supply needed to reach the ACT’s target isn’t critical to our emission reduction effect, we source our renewable electricity from generators located across eastern and southern Australia.

While our connection to the National Electricity Market means we don’t have concerns about future supply, the ACT Government recognises that low-cost energy storage is the missing-link in the transition to a 100% renewable National Electricity Market.

The ACT is determined to play its part in developing this emerging industry while capturing the benefits for households, businesses and research and trades training institutions. Next generation renewable energy, incorporating energy storage, will address any energy intermittency issues. It will also allow for ageing greenhouse gas intensive coal and gas fired power stations to be retired.

Energy storage can be in many forms, including:

  • chemical (for example, batteries or hydrogen)
  • thermal (for example, molten salts)
  • potential energy (for example, pump and store hydro).

Energy storage can be attached to or remote from a generation source. Technologies are advancing rapidly and may eventually outperform the inefficient and carbon-intensive open-cycle gas power stations being used to meet peak electricity demand. To address climate change, over the coming decade other jurisdictions will need to follow the ACT’s leadership in decarbonising the nation’s electricity supplies. To achieve this across Australia, the intermittency of solar and wind energy needs to be addressed. Emerging, and increasingly cost-effective energy storage will help.

Next Generation Renewables Program—200 MW auction

ACT 109MW Renewable Energy Auction- Battery.jpg

The Next Generation Renewables Program is supported by the fourth reverse auction for 200 MW of renewables.

On 23 August 2016, the Minister announced two successful wind proponents as the winners of the Next Generation Renewables auction. The output from the two wind farms is the final renewable electricity needed to meet the ACT’s 100%-by-2020 renewable electricity target and 40 per cent reduction on 1990 level 2020 greenhouse gas emission target. In addition to supplying low cost renewable electricity to Canberra, the wind farms will also be financing the roll-out of 36MW of distributed battery storage in over 5,000 ACT homes and businesses under the Government’s Next Generation Storage program.

The two supported wind farms are:

Crookwell 2 Wind Farm - 91 MW - developed by Union Fenosa Wind Australia, due for completion in September 2018 and located 15km south-east of Crookwell (30km north-west of Goulburn), this project will bring $125 million in benefits to the ACT and region. The farm comprises 28 turbines and will provide enough energy to power 41,600 Canberra homes.

Hornsdale Wind Farm Stage 3 -109 MW - developed by Neoen International SAS and Megawatt Capital, located in South Australia, around 150 km north of Adelaide. This is the third stage of the wind farm, which was also successful in the first and second ACT Wind Auctions, taking the total ACT supported capacity to 309MW. This stage will bring $55 million in economic benefits to the ACT, comprises 35 turbines and will provide enough energy to power 56,600 Canberra homes.

As with all previous reverse auctions run by the Government, the Next Generation Renewables auction again set a new benchmark price for renewable energy in Australia with $73/MWh for the Hornsdale Wind Farm, fixed for 20-years. The price for Crookwell Wind Farm of $86.60/MWh is a record low for a wind farm in NSW.

Factsheet on the two winners

More information about how the ACT's renewable energy reverse auctions work.

Next Generation Solar expressions of interest

Thirty submissions were received in response to the ACT Government’s 2015 Next Generation Solar Expression of Interest. The Expression of Interest provided valuable insights into the emerging opportunities for solar and energy storage in the ACT and has informed the development of the Government’s strategy and program going forward.