Victoria’s State Electricity Commision (SEC) has officially returned, with Premier Jacinta Allan launching the SEC’s Strategic Plan 2023-2035, which is set to lead the state’s renewable energy transition.
The plan sets out three clear priorities for the next ten years:
Investing to accelerate the energy transition
Supporting the switch to all-electric households
Building a renewable energy workforce
The SEC will invest an initial $1 billion towards building 4.5GW of new power through renewable energy and storage projects – enough to power around 1.5 million homes.
This investment will focus on increasing storage and onshore generation, and building industry confidence to attract further investment down the line.
The SEC will support 2.6GW of renewable generation and storage assets by 2028.
The SEC is set to take over the State Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target projects by 2025 – which amount to 1.2GW of renewable energy generation in addition to the 4.5GW.
This will help power every public hospital, school, police station and government building with renewables, helping to achieve the target for all Victorian Government operations and facilities to be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025.
The SEC is expected to supply to commercial and industrial customers, helping them manage their power bills while the state transitions to a net zero emissions economy.
Electrifying an older home can be a complicated process, with many moving parts. The SEC will establish a trusted ‘one-stop shop’ for Victorians, with pilot household solutions starting from 2024 – taking the guesswork out of the process and stepping people through the switch away from expensive fossil gas.
Residents of an existing detached home (without solar) will spend around $4400 a year on energy bills, compared with around $3000 per year after complete electrification.
That means a saving of around $1400 a year by going electric. Savings can increase to more than $2700 a year with solar installed – or a 60 per cent reduction in energy bills.
Victoria’s next Big Build is the renewable energy transition – and the SEC is looking to deliver the skills and training needed to secure Victoria’s pipeline of future energy workers.
The SEC is expected to help create 59,000 jobs – including 6,000 traineeships and apprentices – to help deliver the infrastructure and services needed to get the state to 95 per cent renewable energy by 2035.
It will support workforce development and attraction through three avenues: as an employer, through attraction and training, and as an advocate for sector-wide workforce development.
It plans to establish the SEC Centre of Training Excellence, and engage with schools, TAFEs and industry to support the attraction, training and retention of a skilled renewable energy workforce.
The SEC received more than 100 Registrations of Interest (ROI) from energy market participants for its Pioneer Investment, to be announced before the end of 2023.
The total combined market capacity of ROIs was 24GW of generation and 30GW of storage capacity.
The SEC’s Strategic Plan was developed on recommendation from the SEC Expert Advisory Panel, which brought together some of Australia’s most prominent energy sector and business leaders.
Each panel member brought specific expertise to guide the design of the new SEC and position it to accelerate Victoria’s energy transition.
Premier Allan said that, with the SEC back, the State Government will be looking to invest in government-owned renewable energy, help households switch to all-electric and build the renewables workforce Victoria needs.
“We’re putting power back in the hands of Victorians, giving them the tools they need to lower household energy bills and make the most of the cheap renewable energy that will supply the grid,” Premier Allan said.
Victorian Minister for the State Electricity Commission, Lily D’Ambrosio, said that by 2035, Victoria will need 25GW of renewable energy in the grid and that the SEC will be critical in securing the investment and workforce needed for the job.
“Victoria has some of the most ambitious emissions reductions targets in the world, and the SEC and its role accelerating the transition to renewables will be the key driver to achieving this,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, said, “Our initial $1 billion investment for the SEC will help boost private investment to fast-track and deliver projects that would not have been delivered at the same speed, or at all, without the SEC’s involvement.”
Interim CEO of the State Electricity Commission, Chris Miller, said, “More than 100 years after it was first established, we’ve brought back the SEC to free Victoria from its reliance on fossil fuels and unlock the opportunities of our renewable energy transition.”
For more information about the SEC and to view the strategy, visit: secvictoria.com.au