Renewables deal inked to unlock 1.4 GW of projects and storage in South Australia

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South Australia is the first state or territory to sign a Renewable Energy Transformation Agreement (RETA) with the federal government to deliver 1 GW of new solar and wind projects and 400 MW of new storage capacity.

The renewables projects under the agreement will produce enough energy to power every household in Adelaide, supported by 400 MW storage capacity, which will take South Australia’s total new capacity to 600 MW.

Under the RETA, South Australia commits to delivering its Hydrogen Jobs Plan, a key plank of the State Prosperity Project and will establish its own specific grid reliability mechanism and benchmark to be used in place of the national framework, and be responsible for identifying and delivering new projects and technologies to maintain reliability to that standard.

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Tom Koutsantonis said the state recently brought forward its renewable energy target by three years committing to net 100% renewables by 2027.

“We warmly welcome this agreement to accelerate the roll out of renewables while ensuring the reliability of the energy system,” Koutsantonis said.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the government’s reliable renewables plan is the only plan supported by experts to deliver the clean, cheap, reliable and resilient energy system that Australians deserve,” Bowen said.

“With this agreement, giving the market the confidence to build new projects is good; signing an agreement to collaborate with South Australia on practical steps to get the best out of this energy transformation for workers, communities and industry, is great.”

The agreement will work toward increasing First Nations participation in planning, building and operating the new assets, and improving planning and approvals processes to ensure projects can be built by 2030.

It also roadmaps a shared responsibility to bolster transmission; skills and workforce outcomes; energy efficiency for South Australian homes and businesses; community energy resources; and renewable energy supply chains.

In 2023, state and federal energy ministers agreed to use RETAs to strengthen collaboration, identify specific responsibilities through individual and joint commitments, identify mechanisms to unlock and fast-track new energy investment and project delivery, and keep the grid reliable.

RETAs are currently being finalised with other states and territories.

The agreements are part of the federal government’s plan to have an additional 32 GW of renewable generation and storage built and operational around the country by 2030 under the Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS).

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