The ACT government is set to announce the next stage of its introduction of large clean energy projects with a reverse auction for 200 megawatts of wind-generated electricity.
Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell will announce the auction on Thursday as the government works towards a goal of 90 per cent of the ACT's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020.
Using a minimum of two 100-megawatt wind farm projects, the successful bidders will be required to provide wind energy feed-in power with the right price, local investment and engagement with the community.
The government will sign 20-year deals with successful bidders, who will get a guaranteed price for the energy they supply.
A similar solar auction conducted by the government caused three solar projects to be planned in 2012, including one to be built near Tuggeranong this year and two others planned for Mugga Lane and Uriarra.
The reverse bidding method has been adopted by authorities in South America, Europe and South Africa.
Wind energy is expected to power 80,000 Canberra households within six years. The cost to consumers of reaching the 90 per cent target by 2020 is estimated by the government to be about $4 per week.
Mr Corbell said that cost would decline over time and would be offset by the same amount through energy efficiency projects.
A special website will allow businesses to make proposals before a deadline of July 10.
The 90 per cent target was included in the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement under which the two parties formed government together after the 2012 election.
Legislation providing for the scheme's operation was enacted last month.
In addition to wind farms around Canberra's boundaries – including in the NSW towns of Collector, Crookwell and Bungendore – Mr Corbell said he expected the formal request for proposals would trigger bids from companies around Australia who can deliver wind farm power to the national electricity market.
Some wind farm projects in the region capable of generating between 500 and 1000MW have already been approved by the NSW government but are awaiting private investment.
"The benefit of this is that we stand to receive a broader range of quality proposals that will result in the best value for money outcome for ACT electricity consumers," Mr Corbell said.
"The 200MW wind auction is expected to provide about 24 per cent of the ACT's electricity consumption in 2020 and deliver about 40 per cent of the large-scale investments required to achieve our 90 per cent renewable energy target."
The proposal is not without controversy, including criticism last month from NSW Liberal parliamentarians who oppose wind farms in their communities.
The federal government maintains ambitious renewable energy targets drive up the cost of domestic power supply to consumers.
Mr Corbell said for projects outside the capital region to be considered, they would need to provide economic benefits to the ACT renewables sector and minimise cost to consumers.