The South Australian Government will source around 25 per cent of its power from dispatchable renewable energy providers following a tender process to be carried out in late 2016.
It is expected the substantial purchase of electricity from dispatchable renewable energy suppliers will provide incentives for the sector and drive innovation and technological breakthroughs in battery storage and other technology.
The State Government’s current electricity purchasing arrangements will expire in late 2016 for the small sites and in 2017 for large sites, and dispatchable renewables such as bioenergy and solar PV with battery will give the government control over when electricity is delivered.
The announcement follows an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the market seeking a broad range of proposals that use technology such as battery storage and electricity generation to service up to 481 gigawatt hours of electricity per annum for State Government sites.
The suppliers who submitted proposals in response to the EOI will be approached and invited to tender.
South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said, “The State Government is one of the biggest electricity customers in the state – that means we have substantial purchasing power that we can use to effect change.
“By procuring one quarter of the State Government’s electricity requirements from renewable energy sources that use battery storage technology we can dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and at the same time incentivise technological developments in this industry.”
Mr Koutsantonis said the use of battery storage is the future of energy generation.
“We have an opportunity here to create investment and jobs in this space in South Australia before anywhere else,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“As these technologies develop we will see downward pressure on prices because our extremely cheap wind and solar power will be able to be delivered in a targeted way when it is needed most, not just when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.”
The approach to market aims to meet the Government’s electricity load in the Carbon Neutral Adelaide area and is a significant step towards making Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city.