Page 161 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015
MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. Members will be aware, of course, that the government has a comprehensive program to shift towards a renewable electricity supply for our city by 2020, with a 90 per cent renewable energy target. As part of the latest round of the use of our large-scale feed-in tariff laws to achieve this objective, the government has now announced the winners of a 200-megawatt reverse auction for wind energy generation.
I am very pleased to say that the ACT has received a large amount of renewable energy at a very cheap price for consumers, enough electricity to supply over 100,000 Canberra households and, in total, enough from these three wind farms alone to deliver 33 per cent of the ACT’s electricity needs. This is perhaps the most significant step change ever achieved by an Australian jurisdiction to shift towards a low carbon future when it comes to its electricity supply.
The three winning bidders are for wind farms in Victoria and South Australia. The reasons they have been chosen are the very competitive price that they deliver to consumers—meaning the lowest possible cost to electricity customers—and, secondly, the very significant investments that these companies are going to make directly into Canberra and the broader ACT economy.
It is also worth highlighting that one of the winning bidders is a Canberra-based start-up, Windlab. Windlab is a Canberra-based company which has been successful in securing the lowest price ever achieved for wind energy in Australia with its Coonooer Bridge wind farm in Victoria, at a price of only $81.50 a megawatt hour. This is a great success story for a Canberra-based start-up, spun up out of the CSIRO, with its global headquarters here in Canberra.
The other two winning bidders are, secondly, RES Australia, for an 80-megawatt wind farm near Ararat, at a price of $87 per megawatt hour. And the third is a French wind energy developer called Neoen, for a 100-megawatt wind farm development near Jamestown in South Australia. Combined, we are delivering large-scale renewable energy at a cheap price for Canberra consumers—five cents per kilowatt hour net price as a result of this outcome. That is cheaper than commissioning new coal or gas-fired generation in this country, and everyone who has observed the outcomes of these auctions knows that that is the case.
As with our previous 40-megawatt solar auction process, we are demonstrating how you can make the shift to a low carbon future, how you can de-carbonise your electricity supply, how you can reduce your city’s greenhouse gas emissions and how you can drive investment and innovation into the ACT economy. These are outstanding results for the ACT, outstanding outcomes for electricity customers and outstanding outcomes for making Canberra a more sustainable city.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.
DR BOURKE: Minister, what does this mean for ACT electricity consumers?