The Victorian Government has announced a market sounding for hundreds of megawatts of new, clean, affordable electricity.
On 2 September, Minister for Energy, the Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the start of a process that will test industry interest and capacity for new solar, wind and other renewable energy projects. It will also explore the potential for electricity-reliant industries and businesses to buy renewable energy.
In 2017, the Victorian Government sought 650 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy through the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) Auction. The VRET auction exceeded this ambitious target, delivering 928 MW of renewable energy-boosting supply, putting downward pressure on power prices, and supporting 1,500 jobs and opportunities for local businesses across the state, particularly in regional Victoria.
The market sounding process will test the capacity of industry to deliver at least a further 600 MW of renewable energy – enough to power every hospital and school in Victoria, Melbourne’s train network and a range of other Government infrastructure and services.
It represents the next step in Victoria’s plans to continue to drive significant investment in renewable energy zones, with more support to come to expedite and streamline grid connections.
Victoria is on track to meet its legislated 2020 renewable energy target of 25 per cent and procuring new generation will make a significant contribution to meeting the 2025 target of 40 per cent renewable energy, and the legislated target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Minister D’Ambrosio said renewable energy is supporting thousands of jobs and local businesses across Victoria – and it will help drive the State’s economic recovery.
“It’s not only good for our economy, it will deliver more reliable, affordable energy to households across Victoria,” she said.
“We know Victorians are doing it tough and affordable reliable power is more important than ever – this will help to deliver that as well as creating jobs and stimulating the economy.”
The news has been welcomed by the Clean Energy Council (CEC), particularly following recent analysis which highlights that renewable energy projects had stalled.
CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the plans should be a significant boost to the morale of all Victorians.
“The timing of [the] news couldn’t be better – Victorians want to know what’s on the horizon following a terrible six months. Local job creation, a more secure energy supply and a means to address climate change are all ahead as Victoria works towards 50 per cent renewables over the next decade.”
For more information, and to get involved in the market sounding process, please visit energy.vic.gov.au/VRET2