TransGrid opens 40MW demand management tender

TransGrid has opened a tender process to procure at least 40MW of demand management solutions in Sydney’s CBD.

The procurement is part of a plan to defer more than $236 million of network investment – the largest capital expenditure deferral by non-network solutions in Australian history.

The network’s Powering Sydney’s Future project is designed to reinforce the power supply to the inner city as cables supplying the area reach the end of their technical life and need to be retired.

As part of a proposal approved by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) earlier this year, TransGrid will defer investment in a new 330kV cable construction by procuring a variety of demand management solutions to reduce the risk of unserved energy to consumers in Sydney as existing infrastructure reaches the end of its serviceable life.

TransGrid energy services manager Rachele Williams said the company had been encouraged by industry and stakeholder feedback in the lead up to the tender process.

“We have seen a very strong response from non-network proponents in our early consultation, and there’s a lot of potential for deferring the commissioning of network infrastructure through the use of non-network solutions,” Ms Williams said.

“In particular, we’re interested in non-network solutions to manage electricity demand to reduce risk in inner Sydney during summer heatwaves.

“We’ve seen a range of options from renewable generation, load curtailment, demand response, and battery storage solutions.

“As far as we are aware, this is one of the largest capital expenditure deferrals by non-network solutions in Australia to-date.”

TransGrid’s tender process will run in two stages, allowing flexibility to procure more demand management should demand forecasts or cable conditions change.

The first stage is seeking 20MW for this coming summer, and 40MW for the next three summers to 2021/22.

The first stage closes July 31. The second stage is a ‘top-up’ round in addition to the first stage, and will seek an additional 20-40 MW for summers 2020/21 and 2021/22.

TransGrid anticipates this stage will commence in May 2020.