Joint media release: Big boost to reliable renewables in NSW

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy

The Hon Penny Sharpe MLC, NSW Minister for Climate Change, Minister for Energy, Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage

The Albanese Government today announces the largest single ever tender for renewable energy in Australia, with the first auction as part of our Reliable Renewables Plan set for late May. This national Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) tender will target 6 GW of new variable renewable energy projects for the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The Albanese and Minns Governments have also signed a new deal to deliver more reliable renewables for NSW households and businesses, with at least 2.2 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy specifically for NSW, enough to power over 1 million households.

An allocation of 300MW for variable renewable energy will also be exclusively dedicated to projects delivered in South Australia.

The NSW agreement builds on the success of the first CIS/NSW Roadmap pilot tender conducted in 2023, which is delivering six battery and virtual power plant projects with more than 1GW of capacity in NSW and creating 400 jobs.

The Albanese and Minns Governments are continuing to work closely together to advance a single combined tender process for generation infrastructure under the CIS and NSW Roadmap from November this year.

The inclusion of NSW projects in this first CIS tender will replace the scheduled Q2 2024 generation Long-Term Energy Service Agreements (LTESA) tender under the NSW Roadmap. Generation projects that are eligible for LTESA tenders will be eligible to participate in the CIS tender.

NSW will proceed with its scheduled Q2 2024 LTESA tender for long-duration storage infrastructure as well as processes to award access rights for NSW’s Central West Orana and South-West Renewable Energy Zones.

Both governments will continue to work together to finalise a Renewable Energy Transformation Agreement.

The Albanese Government’s guarantee of a minimum 300MW in SA is subject to final agreement between the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments. It will encourage investment in strategic electricity reserves, and deliver new renewables projects that ensure improved reliability, to support an orderly transition.

Our Reliable Renewables plan is delivering 32 GW of new energy infrastructure in total across Australia between now and 2030, transforming Australia’s energy system to a reliable 82 per cent renewable grid, supported by gas, storage and transmission.

The first round of tenders for Western Australian projects, targeting 500MW of dispatchable power through storage for renewables, will open mid-year, subject to consultation and final agreement. It would be enough to power 450,000 homes.

A market briefing on the May tender will be released in early May outlining the tender process. Tender rounds will run in the NEM approximately every six months until 2027.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen:

“We are getting on with the job of delivering practical solutions to keep the lights on for households and businesses using the cheapest, cleanest form of power – reliable renewable energy.

“The rain doesn’t always fall, but we always have water on tap because we store it for when we need it – our energy plan does just the same thing for reliable renewables.

“Our plan is delivering the certainty and confidence the market needs to deliver the energy we need, when we need it.

"This is in stark contrast to the Coalition’s risky reactor plan which won’t do a thing to plug the electricity gap as 90 per cent of the existing coal fleet retires over the next ten years.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Minister for Climate Change and Energy Penny Sharpe:

“NSW is leading the nation when it comes to delivering the energy transition. We’re already about half-way to meeting our generation target, and a quarter of the way to meeting our storage target.

“This is a significant win for NSW electricity consumers, with the Commonwealth supporting our biggest round of generation projects yet to deliver low-cost, reliable energy to homes and businesses.

“I look forward to working with the Australian Government over the next few months to finalise the ongoing implementation of the CIS in NSW.”