The deal--worth $1 million over three years--covers design, development, deployment, operation and maintenance of a Web site that will enable IPART to keep track of NSW Government Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme certificates traded amongst electricity suppliers, generators and retailers from September.
Jim Cox, a full-time member of energy sector regulatory and pricing group IPART, said that from 1 January NSW electricity retailers and certain other energy sector players had been required to work towards abating greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation, supply and use.
Certificates issued to industry players who achieve set emissions targets could be traded to other energy sector parties, as needed. “It is in a way an emissions trading thing but it is restricted to electricity sellers and users in the NSW electricity industry,” Cox said.
“Governments around the world are starting to turn their minds to what we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and emissions trading seems to be one of the more attractive ways to go,” he said.
The NSW government's scheme was so far one of the most stringent in the world in terms of permitted greenhouse gas emissions per capita, Cox said. He added that it also providing ways for the energy sector to counteract the expected negative effects on the local industry of emissions restraint.
Hundreds of electricity sector organisations could eventually be signed on to the online registry, according to Cox. “And it is certainly innovative in that it is compulsory, so we will be learning about it as it goes on,” he said.
Cox said the deal was initially put out to tender in March, with IPART receiving around 12-15 responses.
LogicaCMG's proposal stood out among “a number” of very good bids for its breadth and attention to features such as security at a “good” price. Also, LogicaCMG had convinced IPART it would be able to deliver the solution by September, he said.
Malcolm Risby, managing director of business solutions at LogicaCMG in Australia, said the IPART deal was an opportunity for the integrator to consolidate and expand both its energy industry involvement and government business deals in Australia.
Some 60 percent of LogicaCMG's business in Australia is within the energy sector, although the company has not worked with IPART before.
“IPART will be very significant strategically,” Risby said. “We also feel that greenhouse gas emissions and so forth will eventually play an important part of the energy management strategy not just in Australia but around the world.”
IPART's approach to managing greenhouse gas emissions was at the forefront of activity in that market in Australia and internationally, he said, with a lot of other countries and states soon to follow. This would provide opportunity for LogicaCMG to gain expertise in an emerging area with genuine growth potential, he said.
Although large energy companies were not necessarily the largest spenders on IT in the corporate sector, they had a prominent role in Australia and were an important vertical to target. “The [energy industry] is certainly a substantial user of IT,” Risby said. “And there will be more potential for them to integrate IT with their business processes and so on as there is much change in the energy market.”
NSW's Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme issues certificates to energy sector players capturing carbon from the atmosphere, for example by growing forests, generating electricity in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions per Megawatt-hour (MWh), or carrying out activities that cut electricity consumption or on-site emissions not directly related to electricity consumption.
Those certificates can then be traded to parties that need to emit more greenhouse gases than targets permit. Mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions have been set for all electricity retail suppliers, electricity generators supplying to retailers such as EnergyAustralia, and electricity customers which take their supply directly from the national electricity market.