Major expansion of Australia’s energy grid capacity announced
An additional 32 GW of renewable energy and clean dispatchable capacity – equivalent to around half the current National Electricity Market capacity – will be added to the grid by 2030.
The Federal Government decision to escalate the originally proposed 6 gigawatts of additional power under the Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) to a staggering 32 gigawatts positions Australia on a trajectory towards a fully renewable energy grid, eclipsing the capacity of the ailing Eraring coal-fired power station by more than ten times.
This strategic investment to augment renewable sources is poised to elevate the reliability and cleanliness of the electricity system while concurrently driving down power expenses and fortifying employment opportunities within the power sector.
Today’s announcement follows the success of the first CIS pilot auction in New South Wales. The Commonwealth partnered with NSW in announcing yesterday the successful bids of six major energy projects in the state, totalling 1,075 megawatts (MW) of reliable capacity.
The projects from this tender alone are equal to 8% of the total 2022/23 NSW summer peak demand into the network at short notice.
These projects represent $1.8 billion in energy infrastructure and will create 400 jobs in NSW.
The successful projects will not only help deliver reliability and affordability themselves, but will help drive more investment in cleaner, cheaper energy across the grid.
The six successful projects are:
- Akaysha Energy’s Orana Renewable Energy Zone battery, located in Wellington in central-west NSW, with 415 MW capacity and 1,660 MWh 4-hour storage capacity
- AGL Energy’s Liddell battery, located in Muswellbrook, with 500 MW capacity and 1,000 MWh 2-hour storage capacity
- Iberdrola Australia’s Smithfield Sydney battery, located in Smithfield in Western Sydney, with 65 MW capacity and 130 MWh 2-hour storage capacity
- And three separate virtual power plants through Enel X Australia’s demand response project totalling 95 MW capacity with minimum dispatch duration of 2 hours.