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April 7, 2021

Wind farms underpin Canberra’s renewable energy plan

The nation’s capital is dedicated to its 90 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, sourcing the majority from wind farms with contributions from solar and bioenergy.

An auction will be held later this year to find the best generator to deliver 200 megawatts of wind power to the Australian Capital Territory for the next 20 years.

wind turbine

This energy will provide around 24 per cent of the ACT’s electricity consumption – which is equivalent to approximately 80,000 Canberra households.

It is one of the most tangible steps the government has taken to meet its 90 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, established in 2013.

The renewable energy target is itself a key strategy in the ACT’s battle against climate change. It plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 per cent of 1990 levels by 2020, on its way to achieving zero net emissions, by 2060.

Ultimately Canberra will source close to 381 MW of energy from wind farms.

The cost of the wind farm energy auction is expected to be around $1.30 per household per week, out of a total cost for the renewable energy target of $4.00, Simon Corbell, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development said.


The ACT has no generators so the auction will have to source its wind energy from New South Wales operators, but will favour operators who provide local economic benefits Corbell said.

“Opening up the wind auction to a geographically broader base means more competition, more innovation and potentially lower prices,” he said. “But the conditions on broader participation mean this cannot be at the expense of local jobs.”

Earlier in March 2014 the ACT launched a new bioenergy initiative with incentives for the establishment of a 23 MW thermal waste processing facility.

“A regional materials recovery and bioenergy facility could convert ACT and regional organic waste into renewable electricity, with enough energy to power over 15 000 Canberra households, once the facility is operational,” Corbell said.

The ACT government also wants to develop a 50 MW ‘solar technology innovation precinct’.

The ACT will target ‘next generation’ solar technology, including energy storage systems, on its way to making the region a leading user of renewable energy, the minister said.

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