Initial support terms for two new generation projects agreed

Media release

23 December 2019

The Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to ensure Australian households, businesses and industries get a fair deal on energy with the agreement of key initial support terms to underwrite the first two projects from the shortlist of the Underwriting New Generation Investments program (UNGI):

  • APA Group’s proposed 220MW gas generator in Dandenong, Victoria will provide much needed fast-start, reliable generation to balance the significant increase in intermittent renewables in that state; and
  • Quinbrook’s proposed 132MW gas generator, in Gatton, Queensland will provide new capacity to help meet peak periods in both Queensland and New South Wales, increase competition and compliment the Commonwealth and NSW Government’s QNI interconnector upgrade.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor said the projects are well advanced, have demonstrated financial viability and would secure the grid and put downward pressure on prices.

“We are taking action to bring power prices down and keep the lights on,” Minister Taylor said.

“We’re delivering immediate relief through our new price safety net and banning sneaky late payment fees but we’ve also got our eye to the future with projects like these.

“We are working to deliver an energy system that isn’t a roadblock to businesses growing and employing more people and that isn’t stinging family hip-pockets.”

“The Government will now enter detailed underwriting and contractual negotiations with the project proponents ahead of their financial investment decisions,” Minister Taylor said. 

The selection of the two projects was based on expert advice and careful consideration of the potential impacts. Consideration included the stage of development, the financial viability and the benefit to energy market customers of the projects.

Final agreement is expected to be reached in 2020, with construction to commence shortly after the projects secure private sector finance.

Electricity supply is precarious in some states, with blackouts in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia over the last three summers. Victoria has a real risk this summer of being exposed to more blackouts and very high prices because of their projected reliability gap.

Through UNGI, the Retailer Reliability Obligation and the $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, the Commonwealth is providing targeted support to unlock new investment in the reliable generation needed to increase competition, keep the lights on and bring prices down.

These are important initiatives in the Government’s A Fair Deal on Energy policy and will contribute to meeting our $70 per MWh price target and maintaining and increasing reliable supply of electricity.

View the energy policy blueprint here: https://www.energy.gov.au/energy-policy-blueprint-fair-deal-energy

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction