Victoria has enough large-scale renewables in the pipeline to supply the state’s households for a year, new data shows.
Analysis by Environment Victoria also shows the amount of potential power generated could even exceed the amount consumed by Victorian homes.
According to the advocacy group, the state’s utility-scale wind and solar farms could soon power around 2.5 million homes. This includes farms already built and now under construction.
Victoria’s renewables make 11,394 GWh of energy annually
The analysis is based on Australian Energy Market Commission’s (AEMC) estimates. According to AEMC, the average Victorian household used 3,865 kilowatt hours of electricity in 2017.
In total, the state’s 2.5 million homes would then consume 9,663 gigawatt hours of electricity. This is significantly less than the 11,394 gigawatt-hours of energy generated by Victoria’s solar and wind farms.
Victoria a national frontrunner in renewables
This makes Victoria the “national frontrunner” in renewable energy says Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham. Victoria’s solar energy boom is set to continue under the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET).
Victoria’s Labor Government has legislated a target of 40 per cent renewable energy by 2025. However, Wakeham also wants to power industry and business with wind farms and solar panel installations once all households are connected to clean energy.
Around 1,585 MW of large-scale renewable projects are already running in the state with 2,518 MW under construction or financed.
Victoria currently generates enough renewable energy to power more than one million homes, Wakeham says. The 18 utility-scale wind and solar energy projects now under construction or in finance will help cover the entire 2.5 million households.
How large-scale renewables are shaping Victoria’s future
The analysis is revealed as state premiers prepare to debate the controversial National Energy Guarantee (NEG) at the meeting of Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in August.
Victoria’s single large-scale solar farm and 20 large-scale wind farms are generating 1,585 MW capacity. This is nearly one-third more than the 1,200 MW capacity of the now-defunct Hazelwood coal-fired power station.
Another 2,518 MW renewable capacity will enter the market over the next few years. This will then bring the state’s total renewable capacity to 4,103 MW.
This is just under the joint 4,730 MW capacity of the state’s remaining three brown coal generators in the Latrobe Valley.