The Conservation Council welcomes the 23 August 2016 announcement [see below] that the ACT is on track and will meet its target for 100% electricity from renewable energy by 2020.

A key question now is whether the Canberra Liberals will confirm their support for this renewable energy target. In May this year they supported Government amendments to legislation to give effect to this 100% renewable energy target.

We however are also calling on the ACT Government to bring forward our zero net emissions target to 2040.

The Conservation Council wants the ACT to be the first jurisdiction in Australia to have support from all major parties for our climate change targets and actions to deliver them.

With a global climate agreement in place, and 2015 the hottest year on record so far, climate action has never been more urgent.

Larry O’Loughlin, Executive Director

  Corbell media release

23 August 2016

Wind farms final piece in 100% by 2020 plan

The ACT has secured the final renewable energy needed to meet our 100% target by 2020, following two successful additional wind farm bids to power the territory.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Simon Corbell, today announced that the wind farms will share in 200MW of large feed-in tariff grants offered under the Next Generation Renewables reverse auction process.

“The winning projects are the Crookwell 2 wind farm in local NSW and the third stage of the Hornsdale Wind farm in South Australia,” Mr Corbell said.

“It is with great satisfaction that the Government can announce this final piece of our plan. These two wind farms will lift our renewable energy percentage to 100% by 2020 and secure the achievement of our emission reduction goals in that year.”

The successful projects 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 has 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.

“Both projects are providing extensive investment packages for the ACT economy, with over $180 million to fund research, innovation, jobs and education in the renewable energy sector here in Canberra,” Mr Corbell said.

“The proximity of the Crookwell Wind Farm to the ACT means many flow-on benefits for local trades.

“It has been four years since the ACT Government released Climate Change Action Plan 2. Since that time we have systematically put in place the renewable energy and energy efficiency programs required to achieve our target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2020.”

Mr Corbell said Canberra has established an international reputation for its sustainable energy policy.

“The ACT is attracting international business investment and creating exciting new collaboration opportunities for local start-ups and entrepreneurs,” Mr Corbell said.

“The economic benefits that will flow from successful reverse auction projects now total more than $500 million.

“This will ensure Canberra remains at the centre of this industry as it grows nationally and internationally. With four international wind companies establishing their headquarters here, the future jobs growth potential is enormous.”

In addition to supplying low cost renewable energy 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.

“I look forward to talking about the exciting opportunities created by our latest successful projects, and Canberra’s bright energy innovation future in more detail in the coming weeks,” Mr Corbell said.

Be part of the journey to a clean, sustainable city – access free online tools, services, guides, programs for home, work, school and community at www.actsmart.act.gov.au

Statement ends

Media contact: Ellena Bisset T (02) 6205 0434 M 0466 511 400 [email protected]