Page 2588 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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I was out at the CIT in Bruce this morning talking to the people involved in that project, and they are incredibly excited about the opportunity this will bring for them to see more students come to CIT for this nation-leading skills training centre. These are the types of opportunities as well as the environmental benefits that we secure through our 90 per cent renewable energy target. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, can you please tell us more about the “next gen” solar expression of interest for up to 50 megawatts of solar capacity announced in May this year?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her question. The next generation solar process, as I said in my earlier answer, is one part of our broader 90 per cent renewable energy agenda. The government sought expressions of interest earlier this year from proponents who wished to put forward proposals for a 50 megawatt solar generation capability with storage. Storage, of course, is incredibly important as we shift towards higher levels of reliance on renewables—the capacity to be able to dispatch electricity generated from renewable means when required and also to provide greater grid reliability.

This proposal did attract very significant levels of interest. We saw 30 submissions come forward in the expression of interest phase, which amounts in total to around 1,000 megawatts of solar with storage capability. This is a very encouraging outcome. The initial reviews of the proposals are promising, in terms of price, in terms of innovation and in terms of local investment. Again, in the same way that was the case with renewables for wind energy auctions, we want to see not just good, affordable, well-developed proposals but we want to see how the proponents will come and invest in our city and build the renewable energy opportunities and the renewable energy jobs that will come from those projects.

The government is demonstrating what is possible in making this shift to a low carbon future, and how we can seize the opportunities based around our innovation, knowledge-based economy. The government will be making further decisions about how to proceed with next generation solar with storage when the evaluation of those EOIs is complete. (Time expired.)

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Fitzharris.

MS FITZHARRIS: Minister, how will the ACT economy benefit from continued investment in renewable energy?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Fitzharris for her question. As I have outlined earlier, we are seeing our renewable project developers not just building quality projects but investing in jobs, investing in research and investing in the ACT economy. But there are a few statistics that are worth reiterating.

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