The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a draft determination proposing to authorise the creation of a 14-member joint purchasing group, which will set up a renewable-energy generation system.

The ACCC’s proposal would authorise Australia Post Corporation, Bank Australia (MECU Limited), Citywide Service Solutions, Fed Square, Melbourne City Council, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust, Moreland City Council, NEXTDC Limited, National Australia Bank Limited, Port Phillip City Council, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of Melbourne, Yarra City Council and Zoological Parks and Gardens Board to establish the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

The ACCC proposes to grant authorisation for fifteen years.

The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project would aggregate their demand for electricity into an electricity load that is large enough to support the development of a new renewable-energy generation system.

This system would be connected to the National Electricity Market.

ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said, “Joining together to secure a reliable source of renewable energy will generate efficiencies compared to each member of the purchasing group sourcing electricity separately.

“In particular, through pooling their demand the group is more likely to achieve the scale necessary to incentivise new investment in renewable energy.

“The joint purchasing arrangement is also likely to generate transaction cost savings.”

In April 2016 the ACCC granted interim authorisation for the group to commence the tender process on the basis that the group would not enter into a supply agreement with the successful tender unless or until the ACCC makes a final decision granting authorisation.

The ACCC will seek submissions on its draft determination before making a final decision.

Jessica Dickers

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