Energy storage project bids now sought for Victoria and South Australia


The South Australia and Victorian Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) opened for registrations in October 2023. Bids are now being sought for up to 600 MW of 4-hour equivalent (or 2,400 MWh) of dispatchable capacity.

Bids can come from South Australian or Victorian utility-scale long-duration storage projects, including batteries, hydrogen and pumped hydro. Projects must be at least 30 MW and capable of storing energy for at least two hours.

The first Capacity Investment Scheme tender was launched in New South Wales earlier this year. The CIS involves the government underwriting new investments in renewable generation and storage through ‘contract for differences’ that are won through a competitive tender. The contracts on offer include pre-agreed floors and ceilings for revenue earned by any one project. If the revenue is lower than agreed, the federal government pays the shortfalls, guaranteeing projects a baseline income. The government will take a share of profits if revenues exceed the agreed price ceiling.

The initial aim of the CIS, signed off by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments in December 2022, was to drive investment in “dispatchable” clean power projects. In October 2023, the federal government announced a major revamp of the scheme to accelerate the development of renewable power generation and storage capacity.

The current tender is to allocate 800 MWh to South Australia, 800 MWh to Victoria and another 800 MWh to either state. The tender will progress in two stages, with project bids closing on 23 February 2024 and financial value bids in April 2024, which is to be confirmed.

The goal is to deliver dispatchable renewable energy to South Australian and Victorian grids before the end of 2027. AEMO and its subsidiary, AEMO Services, will administer the competitive tender on behalf of the federal government and make recommendations. Registration and application for the CIS SA-Vic tender can be made through the ASL website.

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