30 Jun 2022

APA Group welcomes the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) which underscores the monumental undertaking in front of us to effectively re-build the National Electricity Market, APA Group CEO and Managing Director Rob Wheals said today.

“To secure our energy future and meet the growing demand for electrification, the ISP makes clear that we effectively need to rebuild the NEM – nearly doubling the amount of electricity it delivers now, building out a nine-fold increase in grid-scale renewables, trebling firming capacity, including gas-fired generation, and installing over 10,000 kilometres of new transmission lines,” Mr Wheals said.

“This is a monumental task that will require careful planning and execution, and a system-wide view to balance security, affordability and lower emissions, without which we will lose the mandate for the transition. We welcome AEMO’s plan and the new Federal Energy Minister’s commitment to working with all levels of government, industry, business and to deliver an orderly transition for the nation.

“As a leading Australian energy infrastructure business, APA is determined to play our part, ensuring our existing national gas infrastructure, and the investments we are making in electricity transmission, renewables and clean fuels, like hydrogen, all contribute to a reliable, affordable and lower emissions future.”

Mr Wheals said APA, together with its consortium partners CIMIC Group companies Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors and UGL, was recently shortlisted to progress to the request for proposal phase for the NSW Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone project. The Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone will be NSW’s first renewable energy zone.

“Consistent with APA’s strategy and commitment to delivering world-class energy solutions for the Australian community, we see enormous opportunities in front of us to participate in the delivery of electricity transmission infrastructure right across Australia, leveraging our existing capability and national footprint,” he said.

“The accelerating pace of the energy transition presents significant opportunity for our business and our nation, but we have to ensure that we achieve a responsible and manageable transition.

“We need to ensure that we achieve a balance between continuing to invest in and take advantage of the benefits of existing infrastructure to keep the lights on, while transitioning to the new.

“As we have seen from this current electricity crisis, we must balance the need to deliver 320 terawatt hours (TWh) per year by the 2050s with the orderly withdrawal of coal, which is where the majority of our electricity right now comes from.

“A national energy plan with an in-built capacity mechanism that includes gas will be critical to getting the balance right as we navigate towards a lower emissions future.
“We will only be successful if we take the community with us, as part of a national endeavour. If we don’t achieve the right balance, we risk losing our mandate for the energy transition.”