The Australian Capital Region is one of Australia's fastest growing wind investment regions. More than 800 megawatts of wind power is already in operation or planned for construction, with more than 1700 megawatts at earlier stages of development.
Under the ACT's 90% renewable energy target, additional wind power investments will meet around 45% percent of Canberra's electricity needs by 2020. This is more than enough to power all Canberra residences.
This will be achieved by using the Territory's reverse-auction Feed-in Tariff (FiT) process as demonstrated through the ACT's first Solar Auction, with an initial 200MW wind auction to be held in 2014.
On 12 March 2014 the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell MLA, announced a 200MW Wind Auction to be conducted by a competitive process.
At the time of the announcement, the Minister also released the ACT Renewable Energy Local Investment Framework, which will enhance opportunities for job creation resulting from the ACT's investments in large-scale renewable energy.
All developers participating in the wind auction will be required to demonstrate best practice community engagement processes for their projects and contribute to local job creation.
Proposals for the Wind Auction closed on 3 September 2014.
Study into wind resources in the Australian Capital Region
In 2013, ESDD commissioned the consultant AECOM to assess the prospects for investing in wind energy generation in the Australian Capital Region and the potential to support new investments through a large-scale FiT reverse auction process (see the Solar Auction webpage for more information).
AECOM concluded that a reverse auction FiT mechanism for wind energy would result in a cost effective way to achieve the Territory's renewable energy targets. They found that a reverse auction FiT held by mid-2014 would likely yield competitive FiT prices. This is due to the competitive wind energy market that currently exists.
Further, they concluded that the development of wind energy could bring significant benefits to the Australian Capital Region. The most significant benefits are environmental, due to the large offset of greenhouse gases emissions, and economic, due to the large investment and job creation in the area.
Download: Pathways to Wind Power Development in the Australian Capital Region (2.4MB)