Tenders for the Capacity Investment Scheme ($67B)

Introduction to CIS

The Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is managing the rollout of the national Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS). They will offer a series of competitive tenders for renewable capacity and clean dispatchable capacity projects between 2024 and 2027. The total value of projects is $67 billion.

The CIS will deliver an additional 32 GW of capacity by 2030 to:

  • fill generation and reliability gaps as electricity demand grows and ageing coal power stations exit
  • support the delivery of the Australian Government’s 82% renewable electricity by 2030 target

The CIS aims to encourage new investment in renewable capacity (e.g. wind and solar generation) and in clean dispatchable capacity (e.g. battery and hydro storage).

Capacity Investment Scheme Agreements

Successful projects will be awarded Capacity Investment Scheme Agreements (CISAs), CISAs are long-term Australian Government underwriting agreements with an agreed revenue ‘floor’ and ‘ceiling.’ This provides long-term revenue certainty to mitigate financial risks for investors and aims to encourage more investment.

A pilot CIS tender for dispatchable capacity in South Australia-Victoria is presently underway. Stage A, the technical bid closed at the end of February 2024 and short-listed tenderers will then be asked to submit Stage B, financial and other requirements:

  • Stage A: assessment of projects that are most beneficial to the energy system
  • Stage B: assessment of financial and reliability benefits

The CIS contributed to a joint Commonwealth/NSW tender in partnership with the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

NSW firming tender (LTESAs)

On 22 November 2023, AEMO Services Limited (ASL) in NSW announced the award of six Long-term Energy Service Agreements (LTESAs). The CIS has funded two storage capacity battery projects representing 480 MW (almost 1,800 MWh) of reliable, dispatchable capacity.

CIS SA-VIC Tender

The SA-VIC tender technical bids closed on 23 February 2024. The tender seeks to secure an indicative volume of 600 MW of four-hour equivalent dispatchable capacity.

Expanded CIS program

On 23 November 2023, the government announced the expansion of the CIS target from 6 GW of clean dispatchable capacity to a total of 32 GW of both clean dispatchable and renewable capacity. It is to be delivered nationally by 2030. This will support the government’s target of 82% renewable electricity by 2030.

The expanded total of 32 GW capacity will comprise:

  • 23 GW of renewable capacity representing $52 billion in investment
  • 9 GW of clean dispatchable capacity (3 GW in addition to the 6 GW previously announced) representing $15 billion in investment

Proposed schedule for NEM CIS tenders

Future CIS tenders are planned to commence from Q2 2024 with regular, competitive tenders held, until 2027. CIS tenders in National Energy Market (NEM) jurisdictions are expected to commence approximately every 6 months. The planned Q2 2024 CIS tender will include:

  • In Q2 2024, invitation for NEM-wide bids from projects seeking a Generation CISA, with an indicative target of 6 GW renewable capacity
  • In Q4 2024, invitation for NEM-wide bids for 4 GW of renewable capacity and 3 GW of dispatchable capacity

A proposed schedule with indicative dates can be found in the Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) Design Paper.

The government’s current preferred position is six-monthly tenders for both renewable capacity and clean dispatchable capacity. This aims to:

  • Enable proponents to tender at a time that best aligns with their project development and financing schedule
  • Avoid excessive bunching of projects and related stress on supply chains, market processes, and enabling industries
  • Enable easier participation of hybrid dispatchable and variable projects

These tenders are due to start with the fourth tender in Q4 2024.

Overlapping tendering schedule

The government is expecting the time between tender opening and project announcements will take be 6-8 months. The schedule may result in a new tender opening before proponents receive confirmation of the previous tender.

The government has decided that a larger number of auctions is needed. This will evenly spread projects over the life of the CIS and help proponents manage supply chain and labour force.

The risk of additional costs arising from this overlap in bidding periods will be mitigated by limiting the detail required for a Stage A bid. Proponents would have received confirmation of the success of their previous bid before needing to develop their Stage B bid (which includes the financial bid).

Assistance with your tendering

Madrigal is highly experienced in the energy sector and in renewables tenders. If you need assistance with tendering into the CIS scheme contact us.