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ACT to reveal results of next generation solar tender soon

The ACT government expects to make an announcement on the next step of its major tender on next generation solar technologies within the next few weeks.

Environment and energy minister Simon Corbell told RenewEconomy at the Paris climate talks that the results of the call for expressions of interest would be made before Christmas.

The solar initiative is one of two tenders currently being considered by the ACT government, with the results of the 200MW wind tender expected to be announced in the New Year.

Both process attracted around 1GW of interest from various suppliers, underlining the huge interest in Australia for the auctions process, also known as a reverse tender.

Corbell has successfully tendered 200MW of wind energy – attracting record low prices – plus another 40MW of solar PV, and says he in confident that the next round will also show competitive prices.

“We have seen very competitive bidding and excellent projects put forward.,”Corbell said, which will mean investment, jobs and a large contribution towards emissions abatement.

The ACT auction process was highlighted by Federal environment minister Greg Hunt earlier this week as a shining example of what can be achieved 0- both in deployment and competitive pricing – through such reverse auctions.

Corbell said he was gratified with the recognition, particularly given that the federal program had been stalled by policy uncertainty.

“I was really pleased to see those comments and it was great to have that recognition at federal level because reverse auction feed in tariffs work, they got projects on the ground, they get them financed, and they get them built. It is great to have that endorsement from Greg Hunt.”

Meanwhile, Corbell also said the ACT is working closely with the local utility ACTEW AGL – and other start up firms – for the development of an electric vehicle program.

The ACT, by 2020, expects to supply more than 90 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy, and will extend that to 100 per cent by 2025.

Corbell said the big challenge was then to reduce emissions from the transport sector, which would then account for 56 per cent of emissions from the capital territory.

“Transport will be the big area for us once we achieve 90 per cent renewables. Private vehicles are a big contributor in a city like Canberra,” he said.

Corbell is in Paris –  as are numerous other state ministers and premiers – at the urging of the UN, which is highlighting the efforts of regional and state governments, many of which have higher targets than the national bodies.

Corbell said he would be sharing the ACT’s experience and success of the reverse auction model, and seeing how other cities are undertaking their own abatement targets, and particularly at electric vehicle policy initiatives.

Source: RenewEconomy

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