Next Generation Renewables
Next Generation Energy Storage (Next Gen) Program
One of the largest rollouts of batteries in the world started in the ACT in early 2016. The $25 million Next Gen program was established to:
- stimulate the rollout of distributed solar energy storage in the ACT;
- assist the development of ACT-based energy storage industry, research and training; and
- extend ACT’s national leadership position in renewables.
The Next Gen program offer rebates on battery installations for residential and business premises. The current program providers are ECG Electrical, Solahart, Solar4Life, Solargain, Solarhub, and Sunstak .
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.
For more information on the Next Gen program please visit Actsmart.
Next Gen Funding Round Open
The Next Gen Secretariat is calling for proposals from interested installers (battery providers) of eligible energy storage systems to participate in Round Five, Submission Period 2 of the program. Submission Period 2 will be open for applications from 5 March 2021 to 29 March 2021 inclusive. This will be the final submission period for Round Five.
To express an interest in this round and for a copy of the relevant documentation, please email NextGen@act.gov.au.
Energy Storage Devices and Inverters
Mid-term review of the Next Gen Program
In March 2019, the ACT Government appointed consultants, Point Advisory, to undertake a mid-term review of the Next Gen program. The scope of the review included:
- Reviewing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Next Generation Energy Storage program to date;
- Examination of similar programs in other jurisdictions and any opportunities for incorporating relevant aspects of these into the Next Gen program, as appropriate; and
- Recommendations for changes to the program for future funding rounds.
Findings from the mid-term review of the Next Gen program
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
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.
Review of Next Generation Renewables Auction and the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011
The Next Generation Renewables Auction and the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011 were reviewed by Jacobs Group (Australia) Pty Limited, as required under section 22 of the Electricity Feed-in (Large-scale Renewable Energy Generation) Act 2011. The review was tabled in the Legislative Assembly on 16 August 2017.
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.
The ACT Government is facilitating networking between service providers who are interested in participating in the Next Generation Energy Storage program. Any services providers who wish to have their details listed should contact the Next Generation Secretariat at NextGen@act.gov.au.