Page 1730 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013
MS GALLAGHER: The government is proceeding with the commitments we made in the election campaign to expand the nurse-led walk-in centres to the Tuggeranong community health centre and the Belconnen community health centre.
MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, earlier this month you made an announcement about a second phase of the solar auction. Can you please tell the Assembly more about this auction and what it will achieve?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. Indeed, I can confirm that earlier this month I did make a further announcement about the second phase of the government’s solar auction process to support the deployment of large scale renewable energy generation here in the ACT. This reverse auction process is a nation-leading process; it is the only one of its kind in the country. It is considered by many in the industry to be the first time that the market has been truly tested as to the price of renewable energy generation, at least in relation to photovoltaic generation, and it has received strong support from industry, nationally and internationally.
I can confirm that the second phase of the solar auction is now underway. The government has received 15 proposals from a range of proponents to bid for a further allocation of 20 megawatts of renewable energy generation. Members would be aware that the government has agreed to an initial release of 40 megawatts of renewable energy generation, and 20 megawatts of that 40 megawatts has already been allocated to the Spanish company FRV, who are currently going through the development assessment process for their 20-megawatt proposed facility on the Monaro Highway adjacent to the locality of Royalla. Of course, that facility is the largest large scale PV solar power plant planned in the country to date. It will certainly be the largest when it commences its construction, presuming that it achieves its development approval later this year. Under the two-stream process, regular stream proponents are competing for up to 20 megawatts remaining out of the 40 megawatts allocated.
It is important to stress what this achieves for the territory. Of course, we will see a significant abatement in our greenhouse gas emissions. When the 40 megawatts are fully allocated, we expect abatement to be achieved in the order of 1.12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the 20-year feed-in tariff entitlement contract term.
This is just one part of this government’s commitment to decarbonising the ACT electricity grid, to making sure that we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions consistent with our greenhouse gas reduction targets and at the same time help make our city a leader in the adoption of renewables and in making the shift to a low carbon future.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.
MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, has any progress been made with the first stage of this solar auction process for which the tender was awarded some months ago?