Maryvale solar and storage project lands support in NSW tender round

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The Maryvale Solar Farm, which is to include a 172 MW solar farm and a 172 MW / 372 MWh battery energy storage system, has been awarded a long-term energy service agreement (LTESA) through the fourth tender of the New South Wales (NSW) Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap as the state prepares for the exit of coal-fired power generation from the electricity grid.

The tender round was targeting 3,000 MWh of annual generation volume, equivalent to about 1,150 MW depending on technology mix, but AEMO Services, which is administering the tender process in its capacity as the NSW Consumer Trustee in Australia, said LTESAs were awarded to only two generation projects covering just 33% of the indicative tender size.

The first is the Maryvale solar farm and battery energy storage project being developed by Gentari Renewables Australia, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s state-owned oil company Petronas, near Wellington, about 50 kilometres southeast of Dubbo. The project is expected to be operational before 2028.

The other successful project is Spanish developer Iberdrola’s 140 MW Flyers Creek wind project near Orange which has already completed construction and is on track to be operational this year.

AEMO Services said “a number” of competitive bids for solar, wind and hybrid projects were submitted for the generation LTESAs – a mechanism for the government to underwrite projects and provide financial security – but only two secured agreements following a “rigorous” two-stage tender assessment process.

“Other projects were assessed in the tender but were not awarded a LTESA as they did not demonstrate sufficient merit for NSW electricity customers,” it said.

The tender was the fourth to be conducted under the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap that aims to bring at least 12 GW of renewable energy generation capacity and 2 GW of long-duration storage online by 2030 to replace aging coal-fired power stations.

AEMO Services Executive General Manager Nevenka Codevelle acknowledged the result of the latest tender round demonstrates more needs to be done to secure renewable projects to transform the state’s coal-reliant energy system but said there is a strong sense of momentum within the market.

“These two projects are worthy additions to a healthy pipeline of projects already supported across NSW, but it is clear that we’ll need to secure further investment at or near record levels to 2030 and beyond if we are to meet our targets and deliver a reliable supply of cleaner, more affordable electricity for NSW consumers,” she said.

Codevelle said the tender scheme, a 10-year program that will see auctions held approximately every six months, has proven successful in helping support renewables investment in NSW.

“This tender brings the total number of wind and solar projects supported with long-term energy service agreements to seven in less than two years,” she said.

“The appetite from the private sector is there, and these tenders will help us align that ambition with the needs of the energy system.”

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