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The Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) aims to provide more reliable, renewable energy for households and businesses across the state.

Consultation on the design features of the CIS, to suit the unique Western Australia energy grid, is now open and runs until April 29 2024.

The first Western Australia tender will target 500MW of reliable renewables by storing power that is available to dispatch when needed – enough to power 450,000 homes – subject to consultation and final agreement.

This 500MW round kicks off the national CIS in Western Australia and will be open to applications mid-year.

The CIS is set to deliver 32GW of new renewable capacity across Australia by 2030, transforming Australia’s energy system to a reliable 82 per cent renewable grid supported by gas, storage and transmission.

The Reliable Renewable plans with states and territories (Renewable Energy Transformation Agreements) are designed to unlock and fast-track investments in individual states, while ensuring a reliable grid.

It is expected that 2.3GW of variable renewables and 1.1GW of dispatchable renewables will be unlocked in the state once the Federal Government and Western Australia reach final agreement on the Renewable Energy Transformation Agreement, including reliability benchmarks and addressing barriers to new capacity. 

The rain doesn’t always fall, but water is stored for when it is needed – and the same strategy applies to the Reliable Renewables plan for clean, cheap, renewable energy.

The Western Australia investment is designed to help boost more affordable, reliable energy as ageing and increasingly unreliable coal-fired power stations close in coming years.

The Federal Government said its energy plan has taken advice from experts like CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to deliver the cleanest, cheapest, and most reliable energy system to meet Australia’s energy needs in coming decades.

The consultation on the Western Australia CIS design paper can be found here, providing information on CIS implementation including target sizes of investment rounds, tender process, proposed underwriting arrangements and merit criteria, including around local industry and employment benefits and First Nations engagement.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said, “We’re getting on with the job of boosting affordable, reliable, renewable power for Western Australians, where and when they need it. That’s exactly what this imminent investment round is all about.

“Families and businesses across Western Australia deserve a plan backed by the experts.”

Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Phil+Watson 

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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