The first successful project in the ACT government's second large-scale wind reverse-auction has achieved Australia's lowest known contract price for renewables at $77 per megawatt hour.
The Neoen Hornsdale project in South Australia, which also secured a guaranteed feed-in tariff contract in the government's first-round wind auction, has been awarded a feed-in tariff for 100 megawatts of the available 200 megawatts in the second wind auction.
Developed by French renewable energy company Neoen International SAS, in partnership with Australian company Megawatt Capital Investments, it will power enough electricity for 56,000 Canberra homes and provide 13 per cent of the ACT's projected electricity demand in 2020.
Environment Minister Simon Corbell says the deal will deliver more than $10 million in economic benefits to the ACT as well as strengthening the territory's position as an internationally recognised centre for renewable energy innovation and investment.
"It will help establish a new energy innovation precinct to be established around City West and New Acton," Mr Corbell said.
As well as committing to operate the Hornsdale facility from their Asia Pacific asset management and operations headquarters at the CIT Bruce campus, Neoen and Megawatt Capital will provide a $10.8 million investment package for Canberra, including:
- A $1 million renewable energy and battery storage training fund to build the ACT's capacity to provide world-class trades' training services to these rapidly developing industries;
- A $6.5 million research and innovation and international outreach fund to provide support to local and inbound small and medium enterprises through the development of world-leading applied research facilities, programs and services;
- A $2.7 million energy innovation precinct fund to provide practical assistance, such as grants and accommodation support for innovative local, national and international businesses seeking to establish in Canberra.
Mr Corbell said the investment would encourage start-ups and other industry participants moving to the ACT.
Neoen has also committed to spending at least $800,000 on local contractors through the construction phase of the project.
"Further announcements on the other successful projects will be made in the new year, once contracts have been finalised," Mr Corbell said.