Port Augusta Solar Thermal to boost competition and create jobs

14 August

SolarReserve has been awarded the contract to supply all of the Government’s power needs, with the project set to boost market competition and put downward pressure on power prices.

A key part of the State Government’s Energy Plan, the 150MW solar thermal power plant at Port Augusta, called Aurora, will be the biggest of its kind in the world and create 650 local jobs during construction and 50 ongoing positions.

Construction of the $650 million facility will begin in 2018 and is estimated to be completed in 2020.

The offer from SolarReserve was the lowest-cost option of the shortlisted bids with the Government paying no more than $78/MWh.

Aurora will produce synchronous renewable energy that can be dispatched into the grid when needed - even when the sun isn’t shining. This will have the added benefits of improving grid security and stability, and allowing for greater levels of renewables to be integrated into the system.

Background

In September 2016 the State Government launched a tender process to procure 75 per cent of its long-term power supply in order to attract a new competitor into the electricity market, increasing competition and putting downward pressure on power prices.

The launch of the tender followed the announcement in July that the State Government would procure 25 per cent of its electricity load from dispatchable renewable energy providers in order to drive innovation in storage and other technologies.

As a large, dispatchable renewable energy generator, SolarReserve provides a single solution that delivers on the goals of both those initiatives.

Under normal operating conditions the plant will have a net capacity of about 135MW, with the ability to increase that output in favourable conditions, such as in the evening.

The Government has entered into a Generation Project Agreement (GPA) with Solar Reserve for the Aurora Solar Energy Project to supply the State’s current load for a period of 20 years.

The GPA contract has been structured to ensure the State gets the benefit of lower spot prices that are expected to arise from the large quantity of renewables entering the South Australian market.

The operation of the contract will improve competition by adding more capacity to the system from a new market participant. In particular SolarReserve will have a strong incentive to ensure its capacity is running at peak times, which will put downward pressure on peak prices for all consumers.

Peak Government load is as high as 125MW but lower for most of the day and far lower outside of business hours. Throughout the day, whatever Aurora is producing in addition to the State Government’s demand can be sold into the market which will help other consumers.

The Government will pay an expected levelised price of $75/MWh, and no more than $78/MWh.

SolarReserve

SolarReserve’s concentrated solar power technology uses thousands of mirrors (heliostats) to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a central receiver on top of a tower. The process heats molten salt, pumped to the top of the tower and flowing through the receiver, to 565 degrees Celsius.

The molten salt provides a stored heat source which is used to generate steam to drive a single turbine that generates electricity. The facility can generate power at full load for up to eight hours after sunset.

Source: South Australia Government

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Aurora Solar Energy Project

 

Windlab’s share offer for 25mil company shares at $2.00 per share, to raise gross proceeds of $50mil, closed on 17 August. The purpose of the offer was to provide funding and financial support to the Kennedy Energy Park Phase I project which is being developed in joint venture with Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation. Funds from the Offer will facilitate Windlab maintaining its 50% interest in the project through construction and operation.

Source: Windlab

 

First Solar awarded 241MW module supply contract for Edify Energy solar projects in Australia

11 August

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) today announced it has been awarded a 241 megawatt (MW)DC module supply contract by RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR) as engineering, procurement and construction contractor for Edify Energy’s Daydream (180.7MWDc) and Hayman (60.2MWDC) solar projects in Queensland, Australia. This contract takes First Solar’s delivery pipeline to over 500MW in the next 12 months, cementing it as the leading module supplier for large-scale solar in Australia.

Located across two sites north of Collinsville, the projects will utilize an optimized technology solution that includes single axis tracking technology from Array Technologies, Inc., and more than 2,026,565 First Solar advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules, to produce approximately 531,000 megawatt-hours of sustainable energy each year.

The First Solar Series 4 modules chosen for the projects are ideally suited to the hot and humid environmental conditions of the Whitsunday Region, due to a superior temperature coefficient, and better shading and spectral response.

“First Solar’s unique energy yield advantage enables our solar projects in North Queensland to produce more energy per MW installed than other available PV technology,” said John Cole, Edify Energy’s Chief Executive. “This is of significant importance for asset owners and operators looking to maximize energy production. The First Solar team has been very supportive and a key enabler of these projects.”

On completion, the projects will provide significant environmental benefits, producing enough sustainable energy to displace 429,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year combined. This will serve the needs of approximately 73,000 average Queensland homes, the equivalent of taking approximately 115,000 cars off the road.

Construction on the projects is scheduled to commence in Q3 2017, with module delivery in Q4 2017 and Q1 2018.

Source: First Solar

 

Mount Emerald Wind Farm reaches major construction milestone

14 August

Construction at the $360 million Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Mareeba reached an important milestone last week when the first of 53 turbine foundations was put in place.

The 800-tonne foundation which is buried to ground level provides an immovable anchor for each turbine and consists of a 50-tonne reinforced steel cage filled with around 350m3 of concrete, or up to 70 truckloads.

Ratch Australia Corporation Executive General Manager Business Development, Mr Anthony Yeates, said the first foundation was always a special milestone in wind farm construction.

“Up until this point, the focal point for construction has been civil works, establishing the site office and constructing access roads following meticulous flora, fauna and unexploded ordinance surveys,” Mr Yeates said.

“Getting the first foundation poured is the first big ticket items on our scope of works that has to do directly with the wind turbines so for us it’s a special moment that salutes years of hard work by many people in our team,” he said.

Mr Yeates said the concrete used for each foundation will be manufactured onsite to reduce truck movements on public roads. Up to four weeks is allowed for the concrete to cure to maximum strength before the foundation is backfilled with rock and soil to match the natural surface level. At this point, the foundation is ready for the bottom section of the tower to be bolted to it.

Wind turbine components will be delivered over an eight-month period starting in October. The delivery route will see trucks head south from Cairns along the Palmerston and Kennedy Highways before Hansen and Springmount Roads are used to get to site.

All parts will be delivered with the approval from the Department of Transport and Main Roads for oversize loads. A detailed route assessment plan including any proposed modifications to intersections is required for this approval. 

Each turbine will have a capacity exceeding 3 megawatts (MW) making a total capacity of around 180MW to be connected to the electricity grid. Once fully operational in September 2018, Mount Emerald will be the biggest wind farm in Queensland.

“It’s exciting to see the project really begin to take shape. Now that we have the foundations underway, we hope to have the first tower sections going up within the next two months, followed eventually by the installation of the nacelles and then the turbine blades,” Mr Yeates said.

Source: Ratch Australia

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Mt Emerald Wind Farm

 

Tesla battery project to create local jobs in South Australia

15 August

South Australian-based company Consolidated Power Projects (CPP) have been engaged to help construct South Australia’s grid-scale battery.

At its peak about 50 of CPP’s local South Australian workers will be employed on the project, including a number of staff who live in the Mid North region.

CPP will carry out the engineering and construction work required to connect the Tesla battery to both the Hornsdale wind farm and South Australia’s power grid.

The work includes updating the substation and installing the batteries and inverters being supplied by Tesla. It also includes integrating the battery’s storage control and metering systems with Neoen and Electranet’s existing systems.

Background

The construction of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery is a key component of the State Government’s plan to take charge of South Australia’s energy future.

The battery will operate at all times providing stability services to the South Australian grid, which both Tesla and Neoen have said will lower power prices for South Australians.

Neoen, who own the Hornsdale wind farm near Jamestown, will also sell the battery's surplus capacity to the market, adding competition and putting downward pressure on power prices. The battery is on track to be operational by 1 December.

CPP is a leading electrical engineering company head-quartered in Adelaide. They have completed 19 major grid connection projects and employ about 100 South Australians.

Click here to go to online datasheet: Hornsdale Wind Farm

 

AGL and PARF achieve financial close on Coopers Gap Wind Farm

17 August

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today announced it has reached financial close on the sale to the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) of the 453 MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm project at Cooranga North, approximately 250 kilometres north west of Brisbane. The project will be the largest wind farm in Australia on completion.

AGL anticipates the total development investment associated with the Coopers Gap project will be approximately $850 million, funded through a combination of PARF partners’ equity and a lending group comprising Westpac Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Societe Generale, DBS Bank, Mizuho bank and ABN Amro.

The $22 million sale of the project into PARF includes AGL writing a power purchase agreement at a bundled (i.e. including both electricity and associated renewable energy certificates) offtake price of less than $60/MWh (real) for an initial five years. There is a put/call option to extend for the following five years at the same or lower price. AGL expects to recognise nil profit on sale from the transaction.

AGL has named a joint venture consisting of GE and Catcon as the successful tenderer for the engineering procurement contract. AGL and GE/Catcon will develop the wind farm with full operation targeted by the middle of the 2019 calendar year.

PARF is aiming to develop approximately 1,000 MW of large-scale renewable energy projects to be operated and managed by AGL. It is a partnership between AGL (20 percent) and QIC (80 percent, on behalf of clients the Future Fund and the QIC Global Infrastructure Fund). PARF’s scope represents 20 percent of the estimated 5,000 MW of new renewable generation capacity required by 2020 to meet the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target.

AGL Managing Director & CEO, Andy Vesey, said: “More than 800 MW of projects have now been vended into PARF since its inception in July 2016, following the earlier transactions involving the Silverton Wind Farm project and Nyngan and Broken Hill solar plants in New South Wales. The strong support we have received from our equity partners and lenders for these projects is testament to the readiness of the private sector to invest in Australia‘s energy transformation. Certainty on energy policy, including the implementation of the recommendations of the Finkel Review, will enable more projects of this kind to go ahead and help place downward pressure on energy prices by increasing supply.”

AGL Chief Financial Officer, Brett Redman, said: “PARF has played a key role in a rapid uptick in generation project development in Australia. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the investment model, the falling price and increasing efficiency of renewables technology and the key role renewables have to play in providing clean and affordable energy for Australia.”

Ross Israel, Head of Global Infrastructure at QIC, said: “Coopers Gap Wind Farm represents a significant investment for PARF and for renewable energy in regional Queensland. The project is the largest committed renewables project in Queensland. It is a testament to the strength of our long-term partnership with AGL and our ability to work constructively through times of significant policy uncertainty in the energy market.”

The Coopers Gap Wind Farm will produce approximately 1,510,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, which can power more than 260,000 average Australian homes. The renewable energy produced from the wind farm’s 123 turbines will reduce CO2 emissions by 1,180,000 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking 340,000 cars off the road.

Source: AGL Energy

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Coopers Gap Wind Farm

 

GE and AGL develop Australia’s largest wind farm in Coopers Gap, Queensland

17 August

  • The 453MW wind farm development will power the equivalent of more than 260,000 homes
  • GE to supply and install 123 wind turbines
  • This is GE’s first wind farm development in Queensland
  • GE’s installed wind capacity will reach almost 1.4 GW in Australia by 2019

GE (NYSE:GE) today announced an agreement with the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) to supply and install 123 wind turbines for the Coopers Gap wind farm project at Cooranga North, 250 kilometres north-west of Brisbane. PARF is a partnership between AGL Energy Limited (AGL) (20 percent) and Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) (80 percent, on behalf of clients the Future Fund and the QIC Global Infrastructure Fund).

Upon completion in 2019, the 453 MW wind farm will produce approximately 1,510,000 MWh of renewable energy annually – enough to power the equivalent of more than 260,000 average Australian homes and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,180,000 tonnes each year.

Coopers Gap Wind Farm is a landmark project for GE. It will be the largest wind farm in the country on completion, and GE’s first wind project in Queensland. It is the second major renewables project that GE and AGL have announced this year, following the Silverton Wind Farm in western New South Wales.

Geoff Culbert, President & CEO, GE Australia, New Zealand & Papua New Guinea, said: “We are proud to be working with AGL to support Australia’s transition to a cleaner, modern energy system.

“AGL’s commitment to a lower emissions future is clear. The company announced earlier this year it would ramp up investment in renewable energy and decarbonise its generation by 2050. This wind farm represents a significant step towards that goal and we are proud to be a part of that,” he said.

GE will deliver 91 of its 3.6 MW turbines with 137m rotors, and 32 of its 3.8 MW turbines with 130m rotors. GE will also undertake a 25-year full service agreement to maintain the windfarm over its lifetime.

AGL Managing Director & CEO, Andy Vesey, said: “More than 800 MW of projects have now been vended into PARF in its first 12 months of operation, following the earlier transactions involving the Silverton wind farm project and Nyngan and Broken Hill solar plants in New South Wales. The strong support we have received from our equity partners and lenders for these projects is testament to the readiness of the private sector to invest in Australia’s energy transformation.

“Certainty on energy policy, including the implementation of the recommendations of the Finkel Review, will enable more projects of this kind to go ahead and help place downward pressure on energy prices by increasing supply,” he said.

The project is expected to create up to 200 jobs during the peak of construction, and an additional 20 ongoing operational jobs. The construction firm CATCON will be responsible for the wind farm’s construction.

Pete McCabe, President & CEO of GE Renewable Energy’s Onshore Wind business, said: “Australia is a great market for wind. After the US, it is GE’s second largest region globally for renewable energy. While we see lots of opportunities in Australia, we need to continue to have policy certainty to drive investment.”

The Coopers Gap development is GE’s fifth wind farm project to begin construction in Australia in 2017. On completion in 2019, GE will be responsible for a fleet of wind turbines with a capacity of almost 1.4 GW.

Source: GE Power

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Coopers Gap Wind Farm

 

Genex signs Binding Heads of Agreement with Powerlink Queensland

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to advise that it has entered into a Binding Heads of Agreement (Agreement) with Powerlink Queensland (Powerlink) to progress a range of key activities which are critical to the connection of Genex’s Stage 2 Kidston Hydro-Solar Project (Project) to the Queensland transmission network.

The Agreement requires Powerlink to commence a detailed program of works, including a targeted

environmental study on the Mount Fox-Kidston Corridor, transmission line design works and development of the easement acquisition process. These activities follow the recent declaration of the Kidston Project (including the transmission path) as a “Critical Infrastructure” project by the Queensland State Government.

The Agreement also sets down a detailed timetable requiring Genex to submit to Powerlink a formal Application to Connect in Q4 2017, to be followed by negotiation of a Generator Connection and Access Agreement in accordance with Chapter 5 of the National Electricity Rules.

This Agreement builds on the Queensland Government’s recently announced Powering North Queensland Plan, which includes a $150 million reinvestment of Powerlink dividends to develop strategic transmission infrastructure in North and North-west Queensland to support a clean energy hub.

Genex continues to work on a number of key funding initiatives aimed at delivering the Project in the most capital conservative manner possible.

Commenting on the Agreement, Genex’s Managing Director Michael Addison stated:

“We are pleased to have now finalised our approach to this vital element of our Stage 2 project structure. This early works program to progress the design and easement acquisition process of the transmission path is key to connecting our project to the national electricity grid.

We maintain an excellent relationship with Powerlink and are delighted to be working with them towards meeting our power transmission requirements.”

Source: Genex

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Kidston Hydro Project

View PDF