Victoria has again thumbed its nose at federal energy policy dithering, announcing it will enshrine its Victorian Renewable Energy Target into law and hold reverse auctions for 650 megawatts of renewable projects.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the VRET legislation would set targets of 25 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.
Mr Andrews also announced the state’s first competitive renewable energy reverse auction for up to 650MW of renewable energy capacity – enough to power 389,000 households, or all homes in Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley combined.
It is expected to result in $1.3 billion in investment and create 1250 jobs during construction and 90 ongoing jobs during the operational phase.
The successful tenderers for two major solar farms that will supply the Melbourne tram network were also announced.
Syncline’s Bannerton Solar Park near Robinvale will expand to 100MW, and French company Neoen’s Numurkah Solar Farm near Shepparton is expected to add 38MW on completion. It is estimated the two projects will result in additional investment inflows of $198 million and create 325 jobs during construction.
Mr Andrews said the VRET was expected to cut average household power bills by about $30 a year, save medium-sized businesses $2500 a year and large companies about $140,000.
It will also reduce Victoria’s energy sector greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent by 2034-35.
“The renewable energy sector will now have the confidence to invest in renewable energy projects and the jobs that are crucial to Victoria’s future,” minister for energy, environment and climate change Lily D’Ambrosio said.
“Government investment will be capped to ensure the best value for money for Victorian taxpayers.”
Source: The Fifth Estate