New renewable electricity auction

The ACT Government has announced a new renewable electricity auction, to be held over 2019 and into 2020. To register for more information about the auction and receive notification when the auction opens by email, email energypolicy@act.gov.au

Full auction documentation, including a request for proposal document and draft deed of feed-in tariff (FiT) entitlement, will be available by emailing energypolicy@act.gov.au.

Why are we holding a new auction?

  • The ACT is leading the way to create lasting climate change solutions and help build a smarter, more liveable, emissions free city. We’re helping to tackle climate change to protect our planet for future generations.
  • Between 2012 to 2016 we held four auctions to provide large-scale renewable electricity to enable us to achieve the ACT's target of 100% renewable electricity by 2020. The ACT was the first state or territory to introduce the innovative reverse auction process, which is now used by other Australian states keen to invest in renewable electricity.
  • Now the goal is to maintain that target through a new auction to safeguard the delivery of 100% renewable electricity for our growing city "on and from" 2020.

Who can put in a bid?

  • The auction will be open to any suitable renewable electricity source.
  • The auction will provide the successful bidders with a 10-year contract and require them to provide the large-scale generation certificates created to the ACT Government.
  • Successful bidders will also need to contribute to and engage with the ACT's local renewable energy industry and be assessed on their local community engagement plan.

Auction parameters

  • The auction is open to any renewable energy generation type, including solar, wind, hydro, wave, geothermal and others.
  • The ACT Government will accept a combination of generation anticipated to deliver as much electricity over the course of a year as 200MW of wind generation (wind equivalent capacity, or WEC).
    • 250MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity is considered equivalent to 200MW WEC.
    • The capacity accepted will depend on which technology type(s) are accepted.
  • The auction will open for bids on 15 November 2019, and will close to new bids at 4:00pm, 7 February 2020.
  • After 7 February 2020, there will be a short period during which participants will be able to rebid a lower feed-in tariff price in order to increase the likelihood that their bid is accepted. This rebidding stage will end at a time determined by the ACT Government, once no further significant rebidding is anticipated.
  • The ACT Government will publish pricing guidelines required to enable participants to make an informed decision if they wish to rebid, while maintaining commercial confidentiality of bids as much as possible.

Battery component

  • Proponents collectively will be required to deliver 20MW, 40MWh (megawatt hours) of battery storage, located in front of the meter in the ACT.
  • Each successful bidder will be required to deliver 0.1MW, 0.2MWh of battery for each MW of WEC they deliver.
  • Proponents may meet this obligation through collaborations or partnerships with third parties if desired.
  • There is no feed-in tariff for the battery output. The ACT will have neither operational control, nor financial responsibility for the battery, but may consider requiring certain capabilities or technical specifications. Further information will be available in the full request for proposal documentation.
  • This obligation may be met with a single battery, or with multiple batteries.
  • Participants are encouraged to work with ACT entities. These entities may have a need for battery storage in a particular location.
  • Participants may include data sharing, collaboration with local industry and educational institutions from the battery project as part of their industry engagement commitment.

Eligible generators

  • The minimum size of generation that will be accepted is 20MW of wind-equivalent capacity (25MW of solar PV). The proponents who win this amount of capacity would be obliged to deliver 2MW, 4MWh of grid connected battery storage.
  • The maximum size of feed-in tariff supported generation that will be provided to a participant is 100MW of wind-equivalent capacity. A proponent who wins this amount of capacity would be obliged to deliver 10MW, 20MWh of grid connected battery storage.
  • The maximum size applies to the feed-in tariff support available, not the total project size. Larger projects may participate but will only receive a FiT for a portion of their output.
  • The auction will be open to new generation only. Specifically, the proponent must not previously have commenced the installation of wind turbines or solar panels/collectors or other eligible renewable energy sources that are part of its proposal, including excavation for the purposes of constructing turbine or panel/collector footings or rock anchor placement.

Eligible generation

  • The feed-in tariff arrangement will not be in effect when the price of electricity is below negative twenty dollars (-$20). Bidders are encouraged to consider appropriate arrangements to limit their exposure to significant negative prices.

Community support and engagement

Industry support and engagement

  • Like previous auctions, participants will be requested to assist in the development of the ACT's renewable electricity industry. However, the format of this support has changed from previous auctions. The details for the new format are:
    • Eligibility criteria – industry support – all successful bidders will be required to contribute industry support contributions, made to the ACT Government's Renewable Energy Innovation Fund. The amount will be detailed in the auctions Request for Proposal document.
    • Evaluation criteria – industry engagement – in determining the successful bidders from the auction, the ACT Government will consider the degree of integration with the ACT renewable energy ecosystem. This criterion will not be assessed based on the amount of money spent or invested, but could be met through:
      • Opening or expanding ACT offices
      • The use of ACT supply chains and
      • Proposals to collaborate with ACT industry and tertiary institutions, data sharing and other opportunities.