On Friday, the Victorian Government launched a process to procure renewable energy certificates from new projects in the state, which it says will stimulate around $200 million of new investment in Victoria.
Minister for Energy and Resources Lily D’Ambrosio said the projects; which would occur as part of the Labor Government’s Renewable Energy Roadmap initiative, would create around 1,000 jobs.
“We are determined to use our purchasing power as a large electricity consumer to boost investment in renewables and create new jobs for Victorians,” said the Minister.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) include Small-scale Technology Certificates (STCs) and Large-scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). One REC is equivalent to one megawatt hour of electricity generation.
As well as large scale solar and wind farms, RECs are associated with solar panels for residential and commercial installations and form the basis of the Solar Credits scheme. The value of the RECs, which fluctuates with market conditions, are usually offered as a point of sale discount when purchasing solar power systems.
Currently, electricity retailers include the REC price in the amount they charge the Victorian Government for electricity. Those RECs may have been sourced from projects and installations situated anywhere in Australia. By buying RECS directly, the Andrews Labor Government will ensure large wind and solar projects are constructed within the state.
Companies interested in joining the process have until December 11 to register and the Request for Tender will open in early 2016.
Minister D’Ambrosio made the announcement during a sod turning ceremony for a new 75 turbine wind farm at Ararat. The Ararat Wind Farm, situated 9km – 17km northeast of the town, will generate enough electricity to supply up to 123,000 average Victorian households.
The project represents a $450 million investment within the region. The wind farm has been in the works for quite a while; with the site being identified in 2007, plans submitted to the Minister for Planning in January 2010 and further planning applications for the grid route and substation being approved in 2012.
The Ararat wind farm is expected to be operation in 2017.
As at late August, 1,229MW of wind power capacity was operational in Victoria. A further 2,336 megawatts had been approved and planning permit applications had been lodged for 340MW.