Grid reliability a key priority for Minns government
NSW Environment Minster Penny Sharpe has welcomed the opening of the first competitive tender for electricity firming infrastructure under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act aimed at improving the reliability of the state’s energy system.
Ms Sharpe said that building resilience and reliability into the state’s electricity network would be a priority for the incoming government.
“After a decade of privatisation and the early closures of coal fired power stations there are significant challenges ahead to keep the lights on in NSW as we transition to a cleaner energy system.”
“Today’s tender is an important step to ensure that NSW households and businesses benefit from cleaner and more affordable electricity that is stable and reliable in times of peak demand and when the sun doesn’t shine, or the wind doesn’t blow.”
The tender released today by AEMO Services, which acts as the state’s Consumer Trustee under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, has an indicative capacity of at least 380 megawatts (MW) of additional firming infrastructure in the Sydney – Newcastle – Wollongong sub-region to be available before the end of 2025.
Firming infrastructure acts to smooth electricity supply in response to fluctuations in generation or demand.
Firming can be provided by short to medium duration storage with capacity to supply power at short notice for example batteries or pumped hydro, or through specialised facilities such as gas generators or demand respond technology which incentivises customer to shift consumption to times of lower demand.
“The projects selected by this tender process will underpin the stability of the network as NSW transitions away from ageing coal fired generators.”
This tender for firming infrastructure is in response to the early closure of Eraring Power station.
“In addition to this tender, the incoming Labor government will move quickly to establish a state-owned Energy Security Corporation to accelerate investment in renewable energy assets that will deliver cleaner, dispatchable and reliable energy.”