The Tasmanian government said its 200% renewable electricity generation by 2040 target is well within reach after a Register of Interest (ROI) process confirmed 25,000 GWh of renewable energy projects are awaiting approval and aiming to start operation by 2030.
Tasmania has already achieved 100% renewable energy generation thanks to the state’s wind and hydro-electricity projects, but has legislated targets of 150% by 2030 and 200% by 2040, with plans to export excess renewables to the Australian mainland.
Tasmania Premier and Minister for Energy and Renewables Guy Barnett said the proposed pipeline of renewable energy projects identified in the ROI process would deliver more than enough new generation capacity to get it there.
“This would be more than enough new generation to support achievement of our Tasmanian Renewable Energy Target,” he said. “Our 100% renewable energy status has driven interest in Tasmania from investors, keen to contribute to helping the environment. Tasmania can be the nation’s cleanest, smartest and most innovative state.”
The ROI, staged as part of the Renewable Energy Coordination Framework released by the government last year, sought to sound out the market for new renewable energy generation and storage projects of 10 MW or more, as well as for existing and new businesses seeking renewable electrical loads of 1 MW or more.
Barnett said the information from the ROI will be used to inform the build out of Tasmania’s first renewable energy zone (REZ) and “support the matching of new generation and load growth to achieve our renewable energy future”.
The information provided by industry will guide decisions about the optimal location and size of the state’s first REZ with details to be announced later this year.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has, as part of its Integrated System Plan, identified four regions for renewable energy zones including the North West REZ which encompasses the landing point for the proposed 1,500 MW Marinus Link which is set be the second energy interconnector between Tasmania and the Australian mainland.
The state government said the proposed North West REZ is also the location of Hydro Tasmania’s preferred Lake Cethana pumped hydro site and several existing and announced wind farms and a proposed solar farm project.
Other potential locations for renewable energy zones include in the state’s northeast, central highlands and an offshore zone off the northwest coast.
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