Government commit $1 billion to grid reliability

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Power reliability will get a $1 billion boost as part of the Government’s plan to ensure Australian households, businesses and industries get a fair deal on energy.

The Federal Government will establish a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund to support Government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure, including eligible projects shortlisted under the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

The new $1 billion fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), drawing on the energy and financial markets expertise that has seen the CEFC invest more than $7 billion in clean energy since its establishment in 2012. The Fund represents the first new capital provided to the CEFC since it began.

Eligible investments will include:

  • Energy storage projects including pumped hydro and batteries
  • Transmission and distribution infrastructure
  • Grid stabilising technologies

Further announcements on individual projects, including shortlisted UNGI projects, will be made as the Commonwealth reaches agreements with individual project proponents.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the fund would ensure sufficient reliable generation capacity is available to meet periods of high demand.

“The Grid Reliability Fund builds on our strong action to stabilise the grid and get the energy generation balance right, to deliver affordable, 24/7 reliable power,” Mr Taylor said.

“It is no secret that the National Electricity Market is under pressure – this fund is designed to tackle that and is part of a suite of initiatives that the Government is delivering to ensure when people flick the switch, the lights come on and stay on.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Government would update the CEFC enabling legislation to ensure the Grid Reliability Fund could support suitable projects.

“The Grid Reliability Fund will provide the Clean Energy Finance Corporation with additional capacity to support affordability, reliability and security of supply, which ultimately puts downward pressure on energy prices,” Minister Cormann said.

The Fund will prioritise investments in jurisdictions where state and territory governments are working with the Commonwealth towards an agreed reliability goal and to ensure sufficient reliable generation capacity is available to meet periods of high demand.

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