Solar farm forums shine a light on new planning guidelines

7 March

New planning and community engagement guidelines are in development to guide Queensland’s solar farm boom.

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said with 17 large-scale solar farms under construction across the state and another 40-plus potentials, specific planning guidelines were needed.

“We are becoming the solar energy state,” Dr Lynham said.

“In just the past 16 months, five new solar projects have started operating at Barcaldine, Kidston, Lakeland, Normanton and Sunshine Coast.

“Another 17 are under construction, offering more than 1200 megawatts of renewable energy and more than 2500 construction jobs.

“Large scale solar brings jobs and economic benefits for communities, but they can also bring their own set of planning challenges.

“The right planning guidelines need to be in place to ensure communities, developers, councils and investors are all on the same page about what is best for Queensland.”

The new guidelines will inform and guide stakeholders, including local government, through the project development process, and ensure that projects meet their social licence to operate.

Government officers have been working with local government, the Queensland Farmers Federation and other stakeholders to develop the new guidelines.

Community forums will kick off from mid-April to provide information about the guidelines in the solar hot spots of Townsville, Dalby, Emerald, Mackay and Bundaberg.

State government planning and energy policy experts will be on hand to answer questions about the proposed guidelines, as well as solar farms and renewable energy in general.

Consultation opens at 9am, Wednesday 14 March 2018 via

The guidelines will be finalised in the second half of 2018.

Source: Queensland Government



10MW solar farm development site

12 March

  • Carnegie Clean Energy has been successful in an application to negotiate 10MW solar and 10MWh battery site in Western Australia.
  • The Kemerton Solar Farm site is in the Ancillary Industry Area of the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area, which is located approximately 17km north east of Bunbury in Western Australia’s South West region.
  • Adds to Carnegie’s solar development pipeline, most recently its lease negotiation for a 100MW solar and 20MWh battery site at the Mungari Solar Farm site south-west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX; CCE) is pleased to advise that the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI), in collaboration with LandCorp, has awarded it in-principle approval to negotiate a 25ha lease within the Ancillary Industry Area of the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area (KSIA), to build, own and operate a solar farm.

The proposed solar farm will be up to 10MW and include up to 10MWh of battery storage.

The KSIA is located approximately 17km north east of Bunbury in Western Australia’s South West region.

Carnegie’s Managing Director Dr Michael Ottaviano commented, “Carnegie has a strong track record of developing greenfield sites into shovel ready renewable projects rapidly and responsibly, most recently with its Northam Solar Farm.”

“Carnegie is pleased to be able to support LandCorp’s commitment to sustainability through the integration of renewable energy into regional development at the Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area.”

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


Wind power ready to support the grid

13 March

Wind energy in Australia has just hit a historic milestone, demonstrating for the first time that it can provide system services that stabilise the grid.

A trial at Neoen Australia’s Hornsdale Wind Farm, supported by ARENA, AEMO and turbine manufacturer, Siemens-Gamesa, successfully demonstrated that wind can enhance grid safety, security and reliability in a way that has until now been the preserve of coal, gas and hydro plants. In fact, the trial showed that wind farms were able to respond to grid frequency needs with greater precision than conventional generators. While wind farms in other parts of the world, including in Germany, UK, Ireland and Texas, have been required to provide frequency control for many years, this is the first demonstration of this capability in Australia.

The upshot of the trial is that wind farms and batteries are now able to ensure grid stability in a way that increases competition and keeps prices down.

Franck Woitiez, Managing Director at Neoen Australia, described how the Hornsdale Wind Farm, together with the Hornsdale Power Reserve (aka Tesla’s Big Battery) were able to do participate in the Frequency Control and Ancillary Services (FCAS) market in South Australia in January.

“The FCAS delivered from Hornsdale has already proved its impact on the market. On the 14th of January, when FCAS Regulation prices were forecast to reach $9,000 per MWh – compared to the typical $20 per MWh – Neoen bid additional capacity into the market from both Hornsdale 2 and the Hornsdale Power Reserve. This brought the price down to below $300 for the duration of the interconnector maintenance,” said Franck Woitiez, Managing Director at Neoen Australia.

“During this time, the South Australian market saw an approximate saving of $3.1 million due to this increased competition. It’s a great initiative for the nation, for companies and for Australian pockets,” Woitiez continued.

A second trial has just been announced at Woolnorth Wind Farm in Tasmania, again supported by ARENA, to further explore the commercial issues around how wind farms can participate in the FCAS market.

Source: Australian Wind Alliance



DomaCom, via the DomaCom Fund, and Utilitas, a bioHub developer, is launching Australia’s first crowdfunding campaign to secure a site in Casino, northern NSW and develop a bioHub to service the energy needs of its nearby industries and communities.

Every year Australia produces enough sewage, agricultural and processing residuals to power more than one million homes. Growing demand for food, increasing energy costs and energy supply risks are the main drivers of the emerging bioHub industry.

Biohubs can safely and reliably capture and utilise energy and nutrients from organic waste that would typically be disposed of to the environment at a cost.

Casino is a regional town in the Northern Rivers area of NSW that is known as the regional centre of a very large cattle industry. In fact, Casino positions itself as one of the “Beef Capitals” of Australia. Consequently, the sheer size of biomass from agricultural and food processing industries in this region makes it an ideal place to develop a bioHub.

This project is aiming to raise a total of AU$4.3 million to secure the site and develop the bioHub. The bioHub will be leased to the operating business run by Utilitas, and an ongoing income stream, via leasing fee, will be paid to the investors in the DomaCom Casino bioHub sub-fund.

Investors in this sub-fund are holding an interest in the land and the plant, and are not investing in the operating business.

A regional bioHub aggregates organic waste and wastewater to produce energy, water, and other bioproducts. It provides infrastructure as a service to local industry and Councils.

A bioHub by Utilitas enables a local council or a private business ‘anchor tenant’ to:

  • Lock-in waste disposal and energy pricing
  • Secure long-term energy supply arrangements
  • Improve environmental compliance
  • Extend existing infrastructure life
  • Invest in production expansion

More information available from:

Source: DomaCom


Entura develops Pumped Hydro Atlas of Australia

13 March

Specialist power and water consulting firm Entura has been engaged by Hydro Tasmania to develop a practical atlas of pumped hydro energy storage opportunities to support development of dispatchable renewable energy generation.

The atlas has already been applied to inform and enable Hydro Tasmania to shortlist potential pumped hydro sites for the ‘Battery of the Nation’ program in Tasmania. Completed in October 2017, the Pumped Hydro Atlas of Australia identified more than 5000 unique potential sites across Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) to enable greater penetration of renewables in the country.

“The Pumped Hydro Atlas of Australia produced by Entura is a real-world, relevant resource informing future project development,” said Dale Bryce, Entura’s Director of Customer Strategy and Market Development. “To determine the best possible sites, our analysis took into account not only topographical suitability, but also considered all the practical factors involved in creating a viable and successful project.”

Following an exhaustive process, twenty promising sites were shortlisted for different states with a desktop review of geology, high-level engineering arrangements, and approvals requirements. For each site a map was prepared including locality, land use, planning zones, and key characteristics of the potential project.

Mr Bryce explained that pumped hydro energy storage has the potential to generate rapid response, flexible power for delivery into the NEM. “It’s a highly efficient form of large-scale energy storage that could help mitigate challenges that may come with the introduction of more renewables into the market.”

“Overlaying the outputs of this atlas with any new wind and solar development across the NEM could identify viable dispatchable renewable energy generation hubs with the potential to replace retiring thermal generation assets.”

Entura has completed the Technical Feasibility Study for Genex Power’s Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project in Queensland and is currently supporting pumped hydro project proponents in South Australia, as well as continuing to support the ‘Battery of the Nation’ program. The firm has also been involved in a number of wind, solar and hybrid renewables projects in Australia and internationally, supporting development, grid integration and connection studies.

Entura has worked with clients in more than 30 countries over the past few decades – including India, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and Uganda – assisting with developing, operating and maintaining hydropower assets of all sizes.

Source: Entura


Flicking the switch on Australia’s largest private sector rooftop solar system

13 March

Sydney Markets today officially ‘flicked the switch’ on Australia’s largest private sector rooftop solar system on a single site.

The expansive system is made up of 8,594 solar panels, with a capacity of over 3 megawatts.

$8.9 million as well as 12 months of planning and construction was invested by Sydney Markets to make this solar system possible.

Sydney Markets CEO, Brad Latham, said this is the latest addition to Sydney Markets’ renowned sustainability programs.

“We are very proud of our environmental achievements - over the past 17 years Sydney Markets has been a leader in waste recycling achieving upwards of 70% recycling of all waste onsite, which not only benefits the environment but also saves our company over $1 million each year,” Brad said.

“This solar system will enable us to generate sustainable energy, as well as drastically reduce our carbon footprint. In order to extract the same amount of CO2 from the atmosphere 676 hectares of trees would need to be planted each year.”

The solar system will provide approximately 11% of Sydney Markets’ annual site power consumption. It is equivalent to powering 730 households each year.

Chairman of Sydney Markets, John Pearson, said although today’s launch marks a significant milestone, there is the capacity to go even further.

“Sydney Markets has additional roof capacity to more than triple the generation of this solar system. We may continue to build upon and expand this system to meet our future energy needs,” John said.

“We are committed to reducing waste, decreasing our carbon footprint and prioritising environmental conservation and sustainability.”

The solar system was today officially launched by Senator, The Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Federal Minister for International Development and the Pacific and The Hon Anthony Roberts MP, NSW Minister for Planning, Minister for Housing and Special Minister of State.

Source: Sydney Markets


$6m Commonwealth Bank debt financing

14 March

  • $2.1m for post-construction debt refinancing of the Garden Island Microgrid
  • $4m revolving debt facility to support R&D activities

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that it has secured $2.1 million project financing from Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) for its Garden Island Microgrid Project, in addition to a $4 million revolving R&D facility.

The Garden Island Microgrid Project involves the construction and operation of a 2MW solar PV array, a 2MW/0.5MWh battery energy storage system and a control system. Construction of the project is complete apart from the final cabling and grid connection expected in coming months, to be followed by the delivery of power to the Australian Department of Defence under a long term power supply agreement.

The R&D facility, also provided by CBA, assists Carnegie with working capital primarily for the delivery of Carnegie’s Wave Energy commercialisation activities.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


Albany Wave Energy Project supplier briefing

The Albany Wave Energy Project (AWEP) is a demonstration Project designed to provide confidence that the CETO technology is technically and commercially viable. The successful completion of AWEP will enable Carnegie to finance a future expansion project at Albany and/or other commercial sites worldwide.

The project will design, build, operate and continuously monitor a single CETO 6M Unit and associated infrastructure which include foundations, export cable, onshore substation and grid connection. The Project will demonstrate the CETO technology is capable of providing safe, reliable and predictable power.

The Project will also deliver value to the industry and the State through a number of mechanisms including collaboration with the Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC), sharing of the site characteristics, which in part form the common user data (CUD) and the transfer of the common user infrastructure (CUI) to the State following the operational period of the Project.

As part of Carnegie's commitment to the use of Suppliers and Contractors local to our sites and operations wherever practicable, the company will hold a Supplier Information Session on Monday the 26th of March.

Local businesses with an interest in the project are invited to attend for a briefing, and a Q&A session with members of the Project Team.

Mon. 26 March 2018

9:30 am – 11:30 am AWST

UWA Function Room

Stirling Terrace

Albany, WA 6330

More information available at



Sebastopol Solar Farm

Developer: ib vogt GmbH

Capacity: Up to 160 MW (DC)

Local Government Area: Junee/Temora

Estimated cost: $160mil

Description: Located approximately 17km south of the township of Temora in NSW. The solar farm site and transmission line route are on about 400 hectares of rural land currently used for agriculture. The proposal infrastructure includes solar arrays, trackers, modules, inverters, an on-site substation, battery storage and an overhead transmission line to connect to an existing 66 kV transmission line located to the west of the site.


Jenny Walsh

Tel: 0406 908 995

Email: [email protected]


Quorn Park Solar Project

Developer: Renewable Energy Developments

Capacity: 160 MW

Local Government Area: Parkes

Description: The proposed solar farm development site is located approximately 8.5km north-west of Parkes and covers 470 ha owned by a single landowner. The project includes development of associated infrastructure, including a grid connection and battery storage facilities.


Colin Liebmann


Tel: (02) 9416 1001

Email: [email protected]



Tailem Bend Solar Farm 2

Equis Energy submitted an application for consent to develop the Tailem Bend Solar Farm Stage 2 in South Australia. The application is “for consent to construct a solar farm (maximum capacity 100MW) comprising solar panels (maximum height 4.5m), provision for battery storage (maximum capacity 100MW), and ancillary infrastructure”. The application has been put on public notice by South Australia’s State Commission Assessment Panel until 9 April.

Moama Solar Farm

The development application for the Moama Solar Farm in the Murray River Council area in NSW will be assessed by the Western Joint Regional Planning Panel. The application is for a 28 MW AC solar photovoltaic electricity project with a capital investment value of approximately $30mil.

Springdale Solar Farm

A development application by Renew Estate Pty Ltd for the Springdale Solar Farm in Sutton, NSW will be assessed by the federal Department of the Environment & Energy. The project site is located approximately 3.5km north of the border with the ACT, and approximately 7 km north-west of the Sutton village in the Yass Valley Local Government Area. The solar farm includes solar generation equipment and associated infrastructure with a capacity of up to 120 MW of direct current and 100 MW of export capacity (alternating current).


Senvion Australia set to commence construction on 226 MW project

14 March

Senvion, a leading global manufacturer of wind turbines, has received Notice to Proceed for the first stage of the 429 MW Murra Warra wind farm near Horsham in Western Victoria. All conditions precedent have been fulfilled and the contract is now firm and in force. This announcement follows the signing of a Delivery Partnership Agreement for the project in June last year.

The first stage of the wind farm will have 61 of Senvion's 3.7M144 turbines with a total generating capacity of 226 megawatts. A consortium of large energy users led by Telstra has entered into long-term power purchase agreements which will cover the energy generated from the first stage of the wind farm. Senvion will deliver the wind farm with Downer, one of Australia's leading civil and electrical contractors. Early works for the Murra Warra Wind Farm have already begun and the project is expected to be fully operational by mid-2019. The construction of Murra Warra Stage 1 will create around 150 jobs as well as significant opportunities for businesses in the local area.

Raymond Gilfedder, CEO and Managing Director of Senvion Australia said: "We are excited to be delivering our first project for RES and Macquarie Capital in Australia. The Murra Warra wind farm will be our eleventh wind farm in Victoria, cementing Senvion's position as a trusted turbine supplier and wind farm operator in the State."

Matt Rebbeck, Chief Executive Officer of RES Australia said: "The Murra Warra wind farm is a fantastic project with a high level of community support. Senvion is a great delivery partner for us, because they are very committed to working with local businesses and people, and have an excellent history of effective community engagement in Victoria."

Stage 2 of the project will comprise an additional 55 turbines. When fully constructed, the Murra Warra Wind Farm will be one of the highest performing wind farms in the southern hemisphere. Including the first stage of the Murra Warra wind farm, Senvion now has over 900 megawatts of wind capacity installed or under construction across 14 wind farms in Australia.

Source: Senvion


Stand-alone power brings opportunities for WA companies

15 March

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt released the following media statement today to announce our second stand-alone power system trial:

  • Up to 60 stand-alone power systems to be installed in demonstration project
  • Regional locations have been selected throughout the Western Power network
  • Opportunities for WA companies to supply equipment, systems and maintenance during the trial period
  • Stand-alone power systems will be installed and operational in 2019

Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has given Western Power the green light to conduct a large demonstration for its stand-alone power systems (SPS) project within part of the South West Interconnected Network.

The project will involve up to 60 locations in regional areas and represents the largest installation of SPS units in the State. The project builds on the successful trial of the technology on six properties in the Great Southern completed in 2017.

With all of the identified customers engaged, Western Power is now about to commence its open tender procurement process for the demonstration project. This provides exciting opportunities for Western Australian companies to supply and install equipment and systems, with national and global interest expected.

The locations were identified based on the age and condition of assets, network topography and customer load usage profiles, plus the fact they are now due for significant maintenance works. The project will help identify optimal configuration of battery, renewable energy and diesel generation technology.

In parallel to Western Power’s SPS project, the Minister has also asked the Public Utilities Office to identify regulatory changes that will allow greater use of SPS as a low cost solution to poles and wires in delivering more reliable services in regional areas.

Information on the SPS demonstration project and the procurement opportunities for interested WA companies are available on this website.

“Delivering efficient, safe and reliable power to the rural and remote parts of Western Australia is challenging,” said Energy Minister Ben Wyatt.

“Long stretches of power lines are at the mercy of wind, rain, vegetation, lightning and bushfires. As a Government-owned utility, Western Power is actively seeking ways to improve reliability for all customers.

“The adoption of new and advanced technologies also opens the door for new skills across the energy sector and the potential for new jobs”.

Source: Western Power


World's most powerful battery to be built at Port Augusta

16 March

SIMEC ZEN Energy will construct the most powerful battery in the world at Port Augusta.

The 120MW/140MWh battery storage facility will be built with the assistance of a $10 million loan from the State Labor Government's Renewable Technology Fund.

Construction will begin later this year, with the project to create up to 100 jobs during construction and up to five ongoing positions.

The battery will support the new 200MW solar farm being built at the Whyalla Steelworks and will improve grid stability in South Australia.

The announcement of the SIMEC ZEN big battery follows Labor's commitment to increase South Australia's Renewable Energy Target to 75 per cent and introduce a new Renewable Storage Target of 25 per cent by 2025.


The State Labor Government's $150 million Renewable Technology Fund has leveraged more than $1.2 billion in private investment and created almost 1000 jobs in South Australia.

ZEN Energy was established in Adelaide in 2004 and has since grown to become a leading renewable energy technology company with solar PV and energy storage as its core business.

SIMEC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the UK-based GFG Alliance, recently acquired a majority stake in ZEN. SIMEC ZEN Energy, the new joint venture, will work to improve energy security and reduce the cost of power for GFG Alliance and other energy intensive businesses in Australia.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill

Today's announcement is another example of how South Australia, under Labor, is leading the world in renewable energy.

As well as being the most powerful battery in the world, SIMEC ZEN Energy's storage facility will help underpin the long-term viability of the Whyalla steelworks, as well as provide additional benefits to the South Australian grid.

More renewable energy means cheaper power for South Australians. That's why a re-elected Labor Government will increase South Australia's Renewable Energy Target to 75 per cent and introduce a new Renewable Storage Target of 25 per cent.

These targets will accelerate the transition from fossil fuels to renewables and lower bills for South Australians.

Quotes attributable to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis

Energy storage is the key to delivering cheaper power around-the-clock and we are now seeing a wave of private sector investment in energy storage flooding into South Australia.

These companies are choosing to invest here because of the world-class renewable resources we have and because our energy plan is sending a clear signal to the market that renewable energy investment is welcome in South Australia.

Source: SA Labor Party



The NSW Independent Planning Commission advised that the State significant development application for the Jupiter Wind Farm Project was formally withdrawn by the applicant EPYC Pty Ltd by letter dated 15 March 2018. The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) referred the Jupiter Wind Farm project to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) for determination on 23 February 2018. The Commission is still assessing the proposed Bango Wind Farm.

Terrain Solar’s proposed Corowa Solar Farm development application has been referred to the NSW Western Joint Regional Planning Panel. The application within Federation Council is for construction and operation of a 97 MW (AC) PV solar farm and associated infrastructure, including grid connection and site access.

Summerhill solar farm to be built with CEFC finance

28 February

Newcastle City Council has secured a $6.5 million loan from Australia's Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) to help build the region's biggest solar farm.

The five-megawatt installation west of the city at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre will significantly reduce Council's annual $4 million electricity bill, after it doubled in the past two years.

The solar facility -- construction on which is expected to begin in June -- will save the city around $9 million over its 30-year life after construction and operational costs are factored in.

The installation's 14,500 panels will be built by international property and infrastructure group Lendlease, with most of the finance lent through the CEFC’s Local Government Finance Program, which offers councils flexible and competitive fixed rate, long-term finance.

"I'd like to thank the Clean Energy Finance Corporation for its incredible support of the City of Newcastle's sustainability charter," Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"The solar farm will produce enough energy to run the equivalent of 1,300 households, which promises significant environmental returns for ratepayers and millions of dollars in savings on electricity costs.

"We are building sustainability into everything we do after reiterating our commitment last year to generate 30 per cent of our electricity needs from low-carbon sources and cut overall electricity usage by 30 per cent by 2020.

"Increasing our renewable energy capability and finding more energy-efficient solutions is an integral part of our long-term vision to become a smart, liveable and sustainable city."

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “We are delighted to work with Newcastle City Council on this landmark project, and to see its exciting transition to a sustainable city of the future.

“Councils across Australia administer a vast network of streetlights, community centres, libraries, sport and recreation facilities and other public access buildings. Newcastle is leading the way in financing a solar farm through the CEFC to help it manage the energy costs of these facilities.

“We encourage other councils to also invest in clean energy, which can free up council finance for other community-enhancing projects while locking in longstanding environmental and economic benefits for their communities.”

Council received development approval for the $8 million project from the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) last month, and preliminary works are now underway at Summerhill.

Lendlease is teaming up with renewable energy specialists Energy Made Clean (EMC) to design and build the facility.

It will cover an area of around five football fields between Summerhill's entry road and construction-waste area, on a capped landfill site that was once part of the Wallsend Borehole Colliery.

The winning tender to build the farm was selected following an expression of interest process that attracted 18 submissions from around the world.

Electricity generated will flow into the nearby Ausgrid substation to offset electricity used at Council facilities across the local government area.

The solar farm builds on one of Australia's most advanced renewable energy setups at a waste facility -- with a 2.2megawatt landfill gas generator and a small wind turbine already located at Summerhill -- and paves the way for future battery storage and electric garbage trucks.

Newcastle City Council recently joined the Cities Power Partnership, a Climate Council program in which cities and towns pledge key actions to reduce their climate impact.

Summerhill's solar farm and eight other solar installations - on the rooftops of Newcastle City Council buildings including an art gallery, museum, works depot and libraries - are part of actions endorsed.

Others actions include promoting more sustainable ways to travel, by providing cycling infrastructure and electric-vehicle chargers, and installing energy-efficient LED lighting.

The Newcastle project reflects the CEFC’s goal to invest $1 billion over 10 years to accelerate clean energy and energy efficient technology solutions in cities and the built environment, through its Sustainable Cities Investment Program.

Source: Newcastle City Council


Construction of 112 MW solar farm to boost Sunraysia economy

5 March

The Mildura region’s reputation as a solar powerhouse is set to strengthen further, with work to begin on the 112 MW Karadoc solar farm this month.

Global renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. has awarded Beon Energy Solutions (Beon) the contract to design, construct and commission the large-scale solar farm, which will use solar tracking to increase energy production.

Today, Beon held a public forum to provide information to job seekers, with construction expected to create up to 300 jobs for the region during the construction phase.

The regional investment, and subsequent benefits to small and medium businesses, will provide a significant boost to the economy of Victoria’s north-west.

The Karadoc solar farm, to be located 20km south of Mildura, will comprise more than 340,000 solar panels. Completion is due late 2018.

Beon’s General Manager, Glen Thomson, said being awarded the contract to build the solar farm highlighted BayWa r.e’s confidence in Beon’s capability to deliver the project. The two companies having developed a strong relationship working on previous projects together including the 20 MW Hughenden solar farm in north-west Queensland.

“Beon is proud to partner – and expand on our relationship – with BayWa r.e on the construction of the Karadoc solar farm,” Mr Thomson said.

“BayWa r.e.’s commitment to the Karadoc solar farm demonstrates that utility-scale solar farms have a big future in the Mildura region, which will lead to significant short-term and ongoing regional development opportunities while helping to achieve Australia’s renewable energy target.”

The region is known as Victoria’s premier solar location, with Bureau of Meteorology statistics that indicate the area has Victoria’s highest solar exposure and highest average sunshine hours.

“The Mildura City Council, and neighbouring communities, are about to see the full benefit of this investment in a region that has long been touted as a high quality solar electricity generation project area,” Mr Thomson said.

“Their persistence and commitment to attracting large-scale renewable projects to the region is paying off.”

Daniel Gäfke, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Solar Pte Ltd. said: “Karadoc is one of the largest solar farms developed by BayWa r.e., and highlights our ability to design and deliver major projects anywhere in the world. Our relationship with Beon goes from strength-to-strength and follows the successful partnership on the 20 MW Hughenden solar farm in north-west Queensland.”

Source: Beon


Leeton Solar Farm community information session - Thursday 15th March

5 March


Photon Energy has been building large utility connected green-field solar power plants since 2007. Photon Energy is currently seeking to construct a 30 MWp solar farm in Leeton which will deliver renewable electricity for the region. The solar farm will be located approximately 1.6 km from Leeton’s town centre and will cover area of 37 hectares.

The energy generated would be supplied to the energy grid and is expected to provide enough electricity to supply over 10,000 homes.

Photon Energy is committed to working with the Leeton local community and encourages local business to become involved with the project. In conjunction with Leeton Shire Council, Photon Energy will host an information session for interested suppliers and contractors of the project.

This invitation is an opportunity to hear more about the Leeton Solar Farm Project and ask any questions you may have in regards to the project and EOI process.

Session details are as follows:

Thursday 15 March 2018

4.00pm - 5.30pm

Leeton Shire Council Chambers,

23-25 Chelmsford Place, Leeton

To find out more about the project or for more details on the information session please contact Robert Ibrahim of Photon Energy on 0423 688 337 or email [email protected]

Source: Leeton Shire Council


Stockland powers up in New South Wales with significant solar retail roll out

5 March

Stockland is continuing to roll out the country’s largest property solar project, with its investment set to total $10 million across its NSW shopping centres in Western Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra.

Once complete, more than 17,000 solar panels will be installed on the rooftops of five Stockland shopping centres statewide, spanning Merrylands and Wetherill Park in Western Sydney to Maitland, Shellharbour and Nowra in the regions.

Combined, these installations will generate enough energy to power more than 1,305 homes each day for a year.1

NSW Minister for Resources & Energy, The Hon. Don Harwin MLC, joined Stockland Group Executive & CEO Commercial Property, John Schroder, at Stockland Wetherill Park today to inspect the largest rooftop solar project in Western Sydney.

John Schroder, Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property, said: “Our Wetherill Park solar system has already generated 1.379 million kilowatt hours of energy since it was installed last summer.

“That’s around a quarter of the centre’s annual base building power and enough to power 223 homes every day.”

“Investing in technology like solar is not just good for the environment, it also makes good business sense. Several studies across the globe have demonstrated that green retail town centres are cheaper to operate and can result in increased customer spending.”2

Stockland is the most significant investor in rooftop solar in the country, with a $23.5 million national investment – Australia’s largest ever property solar project, announced last year.3

Once complete, the project is expected to produce 17.2 GWh of energy every year, the equivalent to driving an electric car around the world 2,381 times.

Paul Peters, Verdia CEO, said: “As Stockland’s delivery partner, our value is in accelerating and de-risking the program to generate savings as soon as possible. In just 12 months, we will install more than 10MW of solar PV across Stockland centres in three states.”

John Schroder continues, “We’re extremely proud to be setting a new standard in solar for retail and for NSW, helping create sustainable energy for our retailers, our customers and the communities we operate in.

"We believe in solar as a major part of the mix for Australia’s future energy needs and that our investment is an important step within the large scale commercial property arena.”

Stockland owns and manages the most Green Star (Design & As Built) rated shopping centres in Australia, and already has more solar panels installed across its assets than any diversified property company listed in Australia.

  1. Includes existing and future panel installations, which combined are expected to generate 7.725 million kwh of energy each year.
  3. Stockland’s solar installations at Stockland Green Hills and Stockland Merrylands form part of this national investment roll out

Source: Stockland


A record year for small-scale solar

6 March

Australia has cemented itself as a world leader in the use of rooftop solar with yet another record for installed capacity.

Figures released today by the Clean Energy Regulator show that there was more than 1057 megawatts of capacity installed last year, beating the previous record of 1035 megawatts set in 2012.

This brings the total installed small-scale capacity in Australia to more than 6000 megawatts.

Australia has the highest penetration of rooftop solar in the world. One in five Australian homes has rooftop solar and an increasing number of small businesses are making the most of the financial and environmental benefits of solar.

The Clean Energy Regulator predicts 2018 will see at least another 1000 megawatts of capacity added to Australian rooftops.

The Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme provides financial incentives for households and businesses to install renewable energy systems to reduce their reliance on the electricity grid and reduce their emissions.

Earlier this year, the Clean Energy Regulator announced the Renewable Energy Target will be met thanks to more than $12 billion of investment in large-scale projects.

Whether it be small or large-scale projects, there continues to be record breaking level of investment in renewable energy under the Turnbull Government.

Investment in renewables is part of the Turnbull Government’s technology neutral approach to delivering a more affordable and reliable energy system.

Source: Federal Government


Construction starts on BayWa r.e.’s, and one of Australia’s, largest solar farms to date

7 March

BayWa r.e., a global renewable energy developer, service provider and wholesaler, has started construction on the 112 MW Karadoc solar farm on the outskirts of Mildura, in North Western Victoria.

The 664-acre solar farm is being built by Melbourne based Beon Energy Solutions (Beon) and will comprise more than 340,000 solar panels and incorporate solar tracking to increase energy production. Construction is expected to take 10 months with energy generation due to begin at the end of 2018. Once completed, it will be one of the largest solar farms in Northern Victoria, producing enough electricity to power 110,000 homes.

Daniel Gäfke, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Solar Pte Ltd. said: “Karadoc is one of the largest solar farms developed by BayWa r.e., and highlights our ability to design and deliver major projects anywhere in the world. Our relationship with Beon goes from strength-to-strength and follows the successful partnership on the 20 MW Hughenden solar farm in north-west Queensland. With a Power Purchase Agreement signed with an off-taker who will utilise over a third of Karadoc’s output, we are excited to be playing a prominent role in Australia’s renewable energy transition.”

Enabling works started at the end of last year and BayWa r.e. has already self-financed and constructed the 4km grid connection. Once the solar farm is complete, BayWa r.e will continue to provide ongoing operations and maintenance to ensure the plant continues to operate at peak efficiency.

Beon’s General Manager, Glen Thomson, added: “Together with BayWa r.e, Beon has been working closely with Mildura Rural City Council on plans for Karadoc, and we are delighted the project is being so well received by the local community. During construction, Karadoc will have a peak workforce of around 300 people.

The regional investment, and associated benefits to small and medium businesses this represents, will provide a significant boost to Vicotoria’s north west economy.”

Since entering the Australian market, BayWa r.e. is now active in solar and wind project development and the solar installer wholesaler market. BayWa r.e. currently has three wind projects underway and a further three solar projects, which includes the 106 MW Yatpool solar farm in Northern Victoria, sister project to Karadoc.

Source: BayWa r.e.


University of Adelaide lighting up Roseworthy campus with renewables

7 March

The University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy campus is closer to generating, supplying and storing nearly half its energy needs thanks to $780,000 from the State Government’s $150 million Renewable Technology Fund.

The funding will support the installation of a $1.56 million 0.5MW/2MWh battery storage system and increase the benefits of a $4.2 million 1.2MW solar project that will supply more than 40 per cent of Roseworthy’s annual energy needs.

The project is part of the University’s Campus Sustainability Plan, towards which it is investing $14.4 million over the next three years.

The University of Adelaide is ranked in the top 1 per cent of universities worldwide and a member of the Group of Eight, making it one of Australia’s leading research universities.

The project will create up to 23 jobs during construction of the solar and battery storage and one ongoing position, while the University will perform three research projects each year connected to the energy storage system for the next three years.

It will also assist the University to include topics such as remote-energy management, energy storage and load flex in various tertiary education courses.

The $150 million Renewable Technology Fund was established in March 2017 to support further integration of renewable technologies, fast-track South Australia’s energy transformation and improve electricity market competition.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to improve energy sustainability at our Roseworthy campus. This is part of a suite of emissions reduction projects under the University’s Campus Sustainability Plan,” says University of Adelaide Chief Operating Officer Bruce Lines.

“The installation of a state-of-the-art battery storage system in addition to our solar energy project at Roseworthy campus will greatly reduce our reliance on grid electricity, and builds on an existing commitment towards the Carbon Neutral Adelaide program.

“The saving on the grid will be like switching off the power at more than 370 Adelaide homes for an entire year – so it’s a major saving. It will also help us to test the performance and reliability of battery storage technology in hot, dry conditions, which will benefit industry and the community,” says Mr Lines.

“The University of Adelaide is one of the world’s leading research institutions, and the State Government is pleased to help it contribute to South Australia’s world-leading reputation in renewable energy and storage technology,” says Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis.

“This is a great example of a project that will lower electricity costs by pairing solar panels with batteries on a large scale.

“Renewable energy projects like this one at the University of Adelaide also reduce demand on the grid during peak times, which puts downward pressure on power prices for all South Australians,” says Minister Koutsantonis.

Source: University of Adelaide


New Project

Hanging Rock-Nundle Renewable Energy Hub

Developer: Wind Energy Partners

Capacity: 98 turbines

Location: Nundle, NSW

Expected cost: $600mil

Description: Proposed development for up to 98 wind turbines along 20km of ridgeline from Handing Rock to Crawney, south east of Nundle.


World's largest solar and wind powered hydrogen plant to be developed in SA

7 March

Neoen has been awarded an initial $1 million grant from the State Government's Renewable Technology Fund to finalise its plans for a SOMW electrolyser facility at its proposed wind and solar farm at Crystal Brook.

A further $4 million grant and $20 million loan has been awarded to support construction of the project, which is subject to development approvals.

The Hydrogen Superhub, set to be the largest co-located wind, solar and hydrogen production facility in the world, represents an investment by Neoen of up to $600 million into South Australia and will create about 260 jobs during planning and construction and about 40 ongoing positions.

The facility is projected to produce up to 20,000kg of hydrogen per day with renewable hydrogen product offtake arrangements to be finalised during the planning phase. The scale of the proposed Hydrogen Superhub opens the opportunity for South Australia to export renewable energy in the form of hydrogen products to emerging markets in Asia.

This project follows the release of the Hydrogen Roadmap for South Australia in September last year, designed to accelerate investment in hydrogen infrastructure and technologies in South Australia.


The Hydrogen Superhub will have the potential to combine up to 1S0MW Solar and up to 1S0MW of wind power generation with large scale SOMW electrolyser installation and up to 400MWh battery storage.

Neoen has financed over 400MW of solar, wind and battery storage projects in South Australia and has built a strong local presence and experience in the development, financing, construction and operation of renewable energy technology projects.

The $1S0 million Renewable Technology Fund was established in March 2017 to support further integration of renewable technologies, fast-track South Australia's energy transformation and improve electricity market competition.

Three other hydrogen projects are receiving funding from the Fund are: a hydrogen production, storage and fuel cell system at UniSA's Mawson Lakes campus, a 1.2SMW hydrogen production facility at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct and a 1SMW hydrogen and ammonia production facility to be constructed near Port Lincoln.

The Renewable Technology Fund also supported the construction of the Tesla big battery at Jamestown, a project delivered by Neoen.

The State Government's Hydrogen Roadmap outlines how the state's world-leading renewable wind and solar assets can attract international investment in hydrogen production and accelerate our transition to a zero carbon economy.

Quotes attributable to Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis

Energy storage is the key to delivering very cheap renewable energy around the clock, which is why the State Government is supporting the development of a broad range of world-leading projects, including in hydrogen production and storage.

Our Hydrogen Roadmap has laid the groundwork for South Australia to become a world leader in the emerging hydrogen production industry, and to benefit from the economic opportunities likely to flow from it.

More renewable energy mean cheaper power and I'm pleased the State Government can partner with Neoen to once again develop a world-leading renewable energy and storage project following the construction of the Tesla battery at Jamestown.

This Superhub will enable NEOEN to produce renewable hydrogen for overseas export markets and create about 300 construction and ongoing jobs for South Australians.

Quotes attributable to Managing Director of Neoen Australia Franck Woitiez

The Hydrogen Superhub project aims to produce hydrogen at internationally cost competitive rates, allowing for international export of renewable hydrogen gas products.

This project aims to take South Australian made renewable electricity in the form of hydrogen based compounds to important national and international markets in Asia and beyond. It has the potential to reach beyond our electricity grids, and supply South Australia's locally produced clean energy to other states and to our nearby trading partners.

This exciting project would not have happened without the South Australian Governments Hydrogen Road Map. As a result, the state is attracting substantial investment around this cutting-edge technology.

Source: SA Labor Party



GE announces innovative energy storage platform called the Reservoir

7 March

  • The Reservoir seamlessly integrates across the Grid to enable customers to increase Renewables integration, improve financial performance, enhance grid operations, reduce energy costs and enable more distributed, local generation
  • GE’s Reservoir condenses 4MWh and 10 years of energy storage experience into a 20’ box - delivers an estimated 15% improved lifecycle on the batteries, 5% higher efficiency and reduced installation time and costs
  • The first launch of the reservoir platform is a 1.2 MW, 4MWh unit; a fundamental building block to a modular, scalable platform with GE’s unique digital tools

With a commitment to deliver cleaner, more reliable power where and when it’s needed most, GE (NYSE: GE) today launched the GE Reservoir - a comprehensive energy storage platform that delivers a suite of customized storage solutions to help customers address new challenges and seek new opportunities in a rapidly transforming power grid that is becoming more highly diversified and distributed.

The Reservoir, which already has a 20 MW, 80 MWh pre-launch commitment, expands GE’s 10-year footprint in the energy storage space and builds upon recent successes and milestones. Last year, GE introduced the world’s first hybrid-electric gas turbine to multiple accolades across the industry. GE was the first-to-market with advanced applications for hybrid electric-gas turbines, wind hybrids and “Black Start” capabilities. And just last month, GE announced a new project with the Arenko Group to build one of the world’s largest energy storage systems in the UK.

“The energy landscape is undergoing an unprecedented paradigm shift, as the growth of renewables, decentralization of power and digitization create both new challenges and opportunities in how power is generated, transmitted and distributed,” said Russell Stokes, President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Power. “GE’s Reservoir delivers the new type of energy system that customers are looking for to help manage electricity’s next chapter.”  

Eric Gebhardt, Vice President and Strategic Technology Officer of GE Power, said, “GE’s Reservoir platform enables cost-effective distribution, storage, and utilization of cleaner, more reliable power where and when it is needed most. It can fit into most any setting, from centralized grid systems to the most remote villages and communities. The Reservoir also allows energy providers new degrees of flexibility for more intelligently managing and getting the most out of all their power assets.”

GE’s Reservoir Platform… Cleaner, more reliable power where and when it’s needed most.

GE’s Reservoir platform, developed with innovative technology from GE’s Global Research Center, is a flexible, compact energy storage solution for AC or DC coupled systems. The Reservoir solution combines GE’s advanced technologies and expertise in plant controls, power electronics, battery management systems and electrical balance of plant – all backed by GE’s performance guarantees.

The ability to tap deep and broad technical expertise from the GRC has integrated unique power and digital technologies that make the Reservoir a truly unique and differentiated solution.

“At the GRC, we were able to originate a new idea and then pull from technologies across the Center to rapidly prototype, test and then productize this breakout storage platform,” said Keith Longtin, Senior Executive and Product Breakout Leader at GE Global Research. “The Reservoir pulls in digital twins, Edge controls and extensive systems expertise through Global Research that you only will find in this platform.”

GE Reservoir Storage Unit

The 1.2 MW, 4 MWh Reservoir Storage Unit, is the fundamental building block of GE’s Reservoir platform. It is a modular solution that integrates GE’s Battery Blade design (module stack design) with key technologies from across the company’s portfolio to achieve an industry-leading energy density, footprint and lifetime performance. GE’s proprietary Blade Protection Unit (BPU) actively balances the safety, life, and production of each battery Blade, extending battery life by up to 15 % and reducing fault currents by up to 5X.

The modular system has multiple installation and cabling options including pad or pier and is designed to minimize operation and maintenance (O&M) expenses over the life of the project with an all-weather design and high-efficiency cooling system. It is factory built and test to reduce project installation time and costs.

A Living, Learning System

GE’s Reservoir platform leverages Predix and Edge controls technologies to provide data-driven insights that help energy operators enhance their systems. These digital technologies leverage GE’s unique and unparalleled technical and industry domain knowledge across the entire energy ecosystem from generation to consumption.

Put together, GE’s Reservoir delivers the most comprehensive energy storage platform to help meet the energy industry’s rapidly changing needs. The ability to offer highly customized solutions through the platform offers customers unprecedented levels of flexibility, resilience and operational efficiency in hybrid generation, grid operation and energy management. GE’s Reservoir also enables other diverse applications that include: Managing higher levels of renewable power, grid stabilization, peak demand management and controlling energy flow. By enabling better asset utilization and overall system management, customers can realize new revenue opportunities and cost savings as well.

Source: GE Renewables


Trialling grid stability services provided by wind farms

8 March

The Coalition Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing almost $500,000 to a north east Tasmanian wind farm to test the feasibility of wind farms providing services that help stabilise the electricity grid.

If successful, the $1 million trial could see more Australian wind farms providing the services which would not only further stabilise the grid, but also lower electricity prices through commercialisation.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) continuously balances energy supply and demand by procuring ‘frequency control ancillary services’ (FCAS) from participating generators and demand response providers.

When frequency is too low, it is increased by FCAS to either increase generation or decrease demand. When frequency is too high, it is reduced by FCAS which lowers generation or increases demand.

In other words, the frequency (and stability) of the grid is maintained by providing a fast injection or reduction of energy.

“As Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel in his review of the National Electricity Market highlighted, tighter frequency control is important for increased security,” Minister Frydenberg said.

Woolnorth Wind Farm Holdings own and operate the 168MW Musselroe wind farm which produces approximately five per cent of Tasmania’s electrical energy needs annually.

“Unlike coal and gas power stations, wind farms do not currently provide FCAS. This Tasmanian trial, however, could see that change,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“If both technically and commercially feasible, wind farms across Australia will have the opportunity to contribute to the stability of the grid and develop a new revenue stream that helps lower electricity prices.”

The Coalition Government's investment in this trial is part of our plan to deliver an affordable and reliable energy system as we transition to a lower emissions future.

Woolnorth will also examine the potential of adding storage for surplus energy to the wind farm.

Source: Federal Government


Paving the way for concentrated solar thermal in Australia

8 March

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today released a report outlining how concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology could be a commercially viable form of dispatchable renewable energy within a decade.

Last year, ARENA called for industry participants worldwide to respond to a Request for Information (RFI) exploring the potential for solar thermal to be rolled out in Australia. A total of 31 responses were received from both Australian and international companies.

These responses will now inform ARENA in preparing a strategy to support CST in Australia, including considering future funding opportunities for CST.

ARENA is also funding a roadmap for CST to examine requirements for accelerating commercial deployment in Australia. The roadmap is underway and will be completed in mid 2018, with the results also used to inform ARENA’s CST strategy.

CST systems use mirrors to concentrate and convert sunlight to heat at high temperatures. The heat is then stored and used to produce steam, which is then run through a turbine to generate electricity. Most CST plants are large scale and incorporate between 3-15 hours of thermal energy storage.

Large scale CST technology is yet to be introduced in Australia, but there are approximately 100 utility scale CST plants operating worldwide, mostly in the United States and Spain totalling around 5GW. The total CST capacity is expected to double to 10 GW over the next five years, driven by new plants in China, South America and Africa.

The report released today, which was prepared by ITP Thermal, found strong confidence in the future of CST, with a number of global industry leaders interested in being involved in the deployment of CST in Australia.

All responses highlighted that CST could help to address Australia’s energy storage and dispatchability needs by providing reliable, responsive and flexible electricity generation at any time of day or night. Respondents noted that CST plants operate in a way similar to that for existing thermal power stations, allowing them to be easily incorporated within the electricity network. Respondents also noted the cost of CST is expected to fall in the coming years.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the RFI was an important stepping stone towards bringing commercial scale CST to Australia.

“While still not cost-competitive with other forms of new-build power generation, the ability to store energy and be able to dispatch renewable energy at any time will be of increasing value, and this information shows there is strong support for CST,” he said.

“We are now considering funding opportunities to assist in creating a pathway for CST to become commercially viable in Australia in the coming years,” Mr Frischknecht said.

In the meantime, Mr Frischknecht said ARENA welcomes applications for a well developed CST project under ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program which provides funding for renewable energy projects year-round.

“While we are busy working out our roadmap for the industry, our door is always open to high quality, innovative renewable energy demonstration projects that can help bridge the gap to commerciality for new technologies.

“If any company has a prospective project with well-developed financing, an offtake agreement and technical details mapped out, they don’t need to wait and we would encourage them to apply,” he said.

ARENA is also currently working with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), in consultation with the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency (IPFA), to provide the Commonwealth Government with advice on Solar Reserve’s 150MW Aurora CST project proposed for Port Augusta, including its suitability for a federal loan of $110 million.

Source: ARENA


Project Update

Majura Solar Farm

The SolarShare team has been busy bringing our flagship Majura Solar Farm closer to reality over summer.

Technical Study Complete

A critical technical study by ActewAGL has been completed. The study has confirmed that our Majura Solar Farm can be connected to the ActewAGL electricity network and operate at capacity under normal conditions.

We were very happy to see that the cost of our grid connection will be within the estimates that ActewAGL originally provided. This is good news for our bottom line!

This outcome is the result of months of work by the ActewAGL connections team, so we’re grateful to them for their diligence. It’s also required a lot of patient work and commitment from SolarShare’s board and volunteers. Thanks for getting us over the line.

The Community Solar Scheme feed-in-tariff

The technical study was the last major box we needed to tick in in the ACT government’s Community Solar Scheme. We now have a few small items to wrap up in the discussion with ACT Government but we expect to have something to announce in April or May this year.

Our main fundraising round will open later in 2018. We will keep you informed at every step of this process.

Source: SolarShare


SolarReserve partners with OZ Minerals to commission new high voltage electricity infrastructure for South Australia

8 March

SolarReserve and OZ Minerals have entered into a long term agreement to commission a new high voltage electricity transmission line in South Australia. The high voltage power line will meet the companies’ current operational requirements and accommodate their growth strategy for the region. Collaborating on a single transmission line to support current assets and future growth also helps protect and respect the environment and Aboriginal heritage by minimising impacts on the landscape.

Unlocking the Far North for Future Mining and Renewable Energy Projects

The new line will support SolarReserve’s Aurora Solar Energy Project as well as OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine and Carrapateena project, all of which will create thousands of jobs for the State.

“We are excited to partner with OZ Minerals in this key initiative that brings together two private companies to develop a major piece of infrastructure for South Australia, resulting in a well-thought out project that will meet today’s needs and enable tomorrow’s opportunities,” said SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith.

SolarReserve hopes to build six solar thermal projects in South Australia over the next ten years, with the goal of building a new industry that boosts the State’s economy and provides South Australia with affordable, and reliable clean power.

The New Transmission Line

In total the line will be 270 km long with OZ Minerals and SolarReserve equally sharing operational costs for the first 35 km of the line. ElectraNet has been engaged to provide preliminary services for the design and tender of the new transmission line solution. This preliminary work is underway with the line expected to be operational by mid-2020.

OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer Andrew Cole said, “As well as supporting SolarReserve’s Aurora Solar Energy Project, this new transmission line will enhance security of power supply, enable the execution of OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine plan, reduce line losses for Carrapateena operations and provide future optionality for province expansion at Carrapateena. It has the capacity for additional projects to draw power or input generation, unlocking the Far North for future mining and renewable energy projects. We look forward to working with SolarReserve to explore additional renewable options for our other projects, such as West Musgrave.”

Source: SolarReserve


OZ Minerals’ Power Strategy – Securing current assets, enabling future growth

9 March

OZ Minerals today released its power strategy to achieve reliable, secure and affordable power for its current and future assets.

The first phase, Power Transmission, sees OZ Minerals’ current South Australian assets remain connected to the electricity grid via a new high voltage power transmission line. Infrastructure in the region does not support OZ Minerals’ current activities and future regional expansion plans. The new transmission line will meet the company’s operational requirements and enable its growth strategy for the region.

Agreements are being progressed with industry participants and the State Government to facilitate the development and operation of the line:

  • ElectraNet to build, own, operate and maintain the new transmission line
  • SolarReserve, a renewable energy developer, to cost share a section of the line’s construction and operation
  • BHP, Olympic Dam, for land access and support for a regional energy supply plan
  • The State Government for access and regulatory requirements
  • Communities and landowners along the route of the line

The second phase will be progressively developed and includes procurement, to take place in the latter half of the year, and generation which includes cost saving initiatives and consideration of renewable energy options.

OZ Minerals Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Cole said, “In developing the strategy, we have addressed reliability, security and affordability for our current mining assets and enabled our ambitious growth aspirations for the region and beyond.

“The new transmission line will enhance security of power supply, reduce line losses and enable the execution of the Prominent Hill mine plan, Carrapateena operations and the exploitation of future optionality for district expansion at Carrapateena.

“The cost impact of the new line will be a 3% to 4% increase in Prominent Hill’s Life of Mine All-In Sustaining Costs (AISC) from mid-2020 (previously guided at 2% to 5%), offset by a circa 1% cost benefit at Carrapateena. These cost estimates are based on SolarReserve’s development of its solar thermal generation and storage facility near Port Augusta.

“The line will have the capacity for other users to draw power or input generation, which will improve the economics for other developments in the region and, as more users connect, OZ Minerals’ operating costs will reduce proportionately.

“Our approach to Power Procurement has vindicated our decision to sign a short term, 18 month pricing agreement in 2017, as independent agencies are forecasting a downward trending power price market. As a result, we have flexibility to commit to short term or long term contract pricing, or a combination of both, and consider generation source options as they become more affordable,” Mr Cole said.

“The power strategy also includes a modest onsite solar generation plant at Prominent Hill.

“Elements of the second phase of our strategy, comprising power procurement, generation and site energy saving initiatives, will be progressively developed and actioned.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Phase 1 section covering Power Transmission omitted for brevity

Phase 2

Power Procurement and Generation

Electricity pricing remains fixed at Prominent Hill to the end of 2018. OZ Minerals’ future sourcing strategy will contemplate a traditional approach to supply as well as alternative generation sources.

Energy prices are currently trending downwards.

The past 12 months have seen a range of additional energy solutions come on line in South Australia including new diesel generation and battery storage under the State Government’s Energy Plan. Additional generation has been constructed with more generation planned including SolarReserve’s solar thermal generation and storage facility near Port Augusta and other renewable sources.

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s December 2017 regional generation outlook indicates that 38 new projects are planned to supplement existing generation in South Australia.

Site Energy Saving Initiatives

As part of the South Australian Energy Productivity Program, an energy audit was conducted at Prominent Hill to identify ways to lower energy consumption. A resulting initiative looks at linking ventilation fans to smart technology, enabling on-demand usage in the Prominent Hill underground and reducing secondary ventilation energy consumption by approximately 15%, saving up to 1.5% of total site power usage.

OZ Minerals has received conditional approval for a grant from the South Australian Government to install a solar plant and storage capabilities at Prominent Hill, which is anticipated to reduce grid energy requirements. The grant is valued at up to $2.5 million, and OZ Minerals is currently looking at optimising project plans.

The solar plant at Prominent Hill will increase OZ Minerals’ understanding and capability with respect to renewable energy and generation sources which may be required for operations in remote locations such as West Musgrave.

OZ Minerals is also working with a number of potential energy developers to explore and innovate new, additional renewable options across OZ Minerals’ assets.

At Carrapateena, solar panels provide a number of opportunities with the potential to reduce diesel consumption and lower costs during construction.

A wind mast will be installed at the West Musgrave project to assess the viability of wind generation. The further scoping study base case identified solar photovoltaic combined with diesel as a project energy generator. The site presents opportunities for alternative renewable generation as the price point continues to reduce.

Source: OZ Minerals


Project Briefs

Palmer Wind Farm

The Environment, Resources and Development Court of South Australia has dismissed an appeal against the development of Tilt Renewables’ Palmer Wind Farm in the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia. In late 2015 the Mid Murray Council granted development plan consent to an amended proposal involving a reduced, 103 turbine wind farm.


Sandigo Solar Farm

ESCO Pacific’s Sandigo Solar Farm in NSW was placed on public exhibition until 8 April. The proposed Sandigo Solar Farms project is a utility-scale renewable energy project that would comprise up to two solar farms located at Sandigo in NSW, one each at Kywong and Glen Moira, generating up to a combined total of 300 MW (AC). It has an estimated capital investment value of $240mil, and will employ around 130 people in construction and 4 when operating.


Moama Solar Farm

A development application for Terrain Solar’s proposed 28 MW Moama Solar Farm in NSW was referred to Western Joint Regional Planning Panel by Murray River Council. The project has an estimated capital investment value of almost $30mil.


Coopers Gap Wind Farm

EPC contractor for PARF’s 123-turbine, up to 453 MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm near Cooranga North in Queensland, GE-CATCON, has engaged Walbridge Gilbert & Aztec and Consolidated Power Projects Australia Pty Ltd to carry out the civil and electrical balance of plant contract which includes design, supply and installation of access roads, turbine foundations, electrical reticulation and transmission lines, operation and maintenance facilities and upgrades of existing infrastructure. Works started in February 2018 with the first wind turbine components expected to be delivered to site in May 2018, the substation expected to be ready for service in Q4 2018, and practical completion of the project is expected in Q4 2019.

Tempo secures $11 million in contracts and preferred status on large solar

27 February

Tempo Australia Limited (ASX: TPP) today announced that the company has secured a number of new construction and maintenance contracts with a combined value of over $ 11 million, while also receiving binding letters of intent for $23 million worth of new solar works in Victoria.

The contracts have been signed with new and existing clients in the industrial, commercial and telecommunications sectors, and include:

  • execution of a five-year Master Service Agreement (MSA) for maintenance of telecommunication network for a leading international mobile network manager, following the similar MSA previously awarded for the Vodafone network;
  • execution of a one-year MSA for the supply of electrical services for Cushman & Wakefield’s national infrastructure currently under management;
  • delivery of electrical maintenance services for the City of Vincent in Western Australia until 2019; and
  • execution of a five-year MSA for another leading international mobile network manager to deliver construction services and testing of telecommunication towers, following the MSA previously awarded to carry out distributed antenna system work.

Tempo’s CEO and Managing Director, Max Bergomi, said the recent contract awards were an encouraging sign for the company whose new national approach was delivering greater efficiencies for clients.

 “We are pleased to be continuing to broaden our client base and provide new and existing clients with the advantage and efficiencies that result from planning and dispatching services from our National Operations Centre in Sydney,” he said.

Letters of intent for Victorian solar projects

In addition to the contracts, Tempo has also recently received two binding letters of intent totalling $23 million from a leading International Power Company (IPC) for the following works:

  • Supply and installation of a high voltage substation for a 100 mega-watt solar farm; and
  • Engineering and construction of all plant for a 35 mega-watt solar farm, including mechanical, electrical and civil works, HV substation, and procurement of electrical cables.

The commencement of works is subject to the IPC reaching agreement on a Power Purchase Agreement as part of the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme, expected in the third quarter of 2018.

 “These letters of intent are validation of our large project service offering and the work that has occurred over the past 12 months to develop relationships with key partners in the renewable and power energy space,” said Mr Bergomi.

“Tempo has been actively engaged in a tendering phase while markets have been in a state of delay, and we’re optimistic that these recent wins are a sign of what’s to come in 2018,” he said.

Source: Tempo Australia


Update to contract awards and letters of intent

28 February

Further to the previous announcement on 27 February 2018, Tempo Australia Limited (ASX: TPP) provides an update regarding the new construction and maintenance contracts and binding letters of intent for solar works in Victoria.

Both of the international mobile network managers referenced in the previous announcement have existing contracts with the Tempo group, and are large offshore financial disclosing entities who manage a large portion of Australia’s mobile network on behalf of Australian network carriers.

In regards to the letters of intent with the leading International Power Company (IPC) also referenced, Tempo confirms the company is part of a listed multinational group that reports multi-billion dollar annual EBITDA’s, providing the Tempo Board with sufficient comfort to engage as a counterparty. This agreement is binding upon both parties, however is still subject to the IPC being successful in the competitive process to reach agreement on a Power Purchase Agreement as part of the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme.

The Victorian Government is expected to award commercial contracts in the third quarter of 2018. Should the bid be won by the aforementioned IPC, Tempo will release an announcement at that time further outlining details of the projects, counterparty and other necessary information relevant to the market.

Source: Tempo Australia


CETO Wave Energy update

27 February

  • Albany Wave Energy Project site specific design and development advances
  • CETO 6 design, development and testing progress
  • Significant European and UK collaboration, research and supply agreements to support delivery of Albany and future wave projects

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX:CCE) is pleased to provide an update on the latest developments on its CETO 6 design and its Albany Wave Energy Project, as well as new and ongoing collaboration relationships with several key UK-based partners and suppliers.

As announced in November, CETO 6 builds on Carnegie’s decade long development of CETO, and over the past two years, incorporates internal and external collaboration efforts as well as significant time and resource investment to deliver a step change in performance. The CETO 6 design builds on intellectual property first lodged by Carnegie in 2013 incorporating on-board power generation and multiple moorings and power take off (PTO) modules.

The first deployment of the CETO 6 unit will be at Albany in Western Australia. The Albany Wave Energy Project (AWEP) involves the design, manufacture and install of a CETO 6 unit in Carnegie’s existing licence area offshore from Torbay and Sandpatch in Albany during the 2019/2020 summer weather window. The Project will also deliver common user infrastructure at the Albany site which Carnegie will make available for other wave energy industry developers once AWEP is complete.

AWEP is supported by $15.75m from the Western Australian Government’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and $11.7m of undrawn funding from Carnegie’s $13m CETO 6 grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The past months have seen design progress on the core CETO 6 technology as well as the site-specific design and development for the Albany Wave Energy Project.

Site Development Activities

Recent site development activities include completion of a metocean modelling study, deployment of an acoustic wave and current meter, ongoing monitoring of the previously deployed wave buoy, local site investigations, studies and surveys and ongoing stakeholder engagement.

The detailed measurement of the wave resource at the offshore site has been occurring for over two months from the installation of Carnegie’s wave buoy at a site approximately 1.5 kilometres offshore from the existing Albany wind farm. The data buoy is deployed in 30 meters of water depth and is measuring wave height, period and energy spectra and is transmitting this data to Carnegie’s CETO team. Wave data gathered at the deployment site feeds into the CETO 6 unit design and also supports the development of the Project’s installation, operations and maintenance design and planning. A significant wave event was recorded in December when the Hmax (maximum wave height) reached 6.8 m.

In addition, the University of Western Australia (UWA) completed a Metocean modelling study for the Project and deployed an acoustic wave and current meter (AWAC). These activities were done through the Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC) which was established in association with Carnegie’s AWEP.

These activities help characterise the yearly wave conditions and extreme events that could be experienced at the offshore site. This detailed knowledge of the nearshore wave field feeds into many aspects of the Project design and delivery including management of extreme loads and identifying safe working conditions. Through WERC, the University of Western Australia will also soon deploy two additional wave buoys at strategic locations which will help calibration of the Metocean modelling work.

Carnegie and its contractors have also been undertaking environmental site inspections and appraisals, grid connection studies and site surveys which will continue as part of the Project’s approvals, permitting and consultation processes. Upcoming activities on site include geophysical and geotechnical surveys which will help further characterise the deployment site. Good progress has also been made on the cable design, including installation and route options for the cable installation at the AWEP site.

Onshore Site Inspections and Surveys in Albany

Consultation with specific project stakeholders and engagement with the local supply chain has commenced and local community consultation activities will be undertaken over the next few months.

Carnegie will be exhibiting at the Great Southern Sustainable Living Fair & Expo in Albany in March and will also be holding several additional engineering and local supplier events.

CETO 6 Design Activities

The CETO 6 design packages for the Albany Wave Energy Project are progressing, along with the ongoing CETO research and development, which includes developing tools and methods to support AWEP as well as undertaking collaborative R&D activities that will feed into future commercial CETO Projects.

The CETO design team has been progressing the CETO Unit architecture design including modelling to establish the optimum physical implementation of the Power Take Off (PTO) inside the Buoyant Actuator to maximise power and facilitate construction for AWEP. Testing campaigns to validate preferred PTO designs are currently under development.

Further design and analysis of the CETO Unit performance has been undertaken across the range of expected sea states at the Albany site to achieve the best Buoyant Actuator (BA) geometry for power production, load optimisation and manufacturing, local logistics and operating costs. This is now incorporating the specific data for the site from the metocean study.

The optimised Buoyant Actuator (BA) geometry will now proceed to wave tank testing at the University of Plymouth in South West England. A tank testing campaign at 1/20th scale will commence in the coming weeks that will test the preferred geometry and power take off design for CETO 6 and the validation of the computational work undertaken for the Albany as well as at Wave Hub, in Cornwall, UK. Carnegie has signed an MOU with the University of Plymouth to collaborate on the development of CETO wave energy projects at Wave Hub in Cornwall by utilising numerical and tank testing methods and analysis. Successful delivery of AWEP will allow Carnegie to proceed towards delivery of a CETO array project at the Wave Hub site.

Carnegie has completed further Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) numerical simulations for estimation of the power, loads and motions of CETO 6 at Albany. This work supports the load and motions case that will feed into final design specifications for components such as the foundations.

Geotechnical and foundation development activities are also being progressed in the UK via a newly signed MOU with James Fisher Marine Services Ltd. This collaboration is focused on low cost foundation design, subsea connectors, components and tooling, array planning, operation, installation and maintenance requirements for wave energy projects at Wave Hub.

A wave to wire model of the CETO 6 technology at Albany is also being developed using Mathworks products. Virtual prototyping such as this reduces risk and fosters innovation because it allows the rapid testing of novel ideas and cost-effective understanding the dynamic behaviour of specific components.

In addition, a design load calibration methodology is also under development. There is currently no wave energy converter (WEC) design standard the industry can directly rely on to define a relevant safety factor. The method developed is a statistical approach based on extreme value analysis to define the relevant design load. This aims at ensuring the design load considered delivers the appropriate level of safety without being overly conservative and therefore adding unnecessary cost. This work is being developed in collaboration with UWA via the Wave Energy Research Centre (WERC).

Further work has been performed to develop a system level Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) building on best system engineering practice for AWEP. This ensures early identification of potential failures and triggers the implementation of relevant mitigations actions.

With the immediate focus for delivery of the first CETO 6 prototype shifting from Wave Hub in Cornwall to Albany in Western Australia, Carnegie and Wave Hub Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to capture Carnegie’s work delivered to date at Wave Hub and to progress development for a CETO array following the Albany Project. The collaboration activities will focus specifically on site development, array planning, operational and maintenance requirements for wave energy devices and arrays.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


Project Update

Bowen Solar Farm

Infigen Energy submitted a referral to the Federal Department of the Environment & Energy for its proposed Bowen Solar Farm in northern Queensland. The project involves the construction of a large-scale solar farm with a maximum capacity of 100MW within a 137.6 ha development footprint, connected to the grid via the existing high voltage line within the property. The detailed design, specific layout and electricity generating capacity have not been confirmed at this stage. However, it is envisaged the project will involve a typical solar farm with arrays, switch yards, battery storage, control building, and car park area to facilitate the operation of the solar farm within the nominated development area. The proposed development footprint includes 73.9 ha of cleared grazing land, 39.7 ha of heavily disturbed regrowth vegetation and 24ha of heavily disturbed remnant vegetation.



Community information sessions have been held in support of Green Switch Australia’s proposed 45 MW Gregadoo Solar Farm in the Riverina district of New South Wales.

Terrain Solar has started planning for its Glenella Solar Farm proposed for an 80 hectare site in the Mackay region of Queensland.


CEO of Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

27 February

After overseeing 320 projects which have led to more than $3.5 billion dollars of investment over the last six years Ivor Frischknecht has advised the Government he will not be seeking a third term as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Mr Frischknecht has helped to make ARENA a success by utilising his expertise in energy, innovation and early stage investment.

Under his guidance, ARENA has developed a clear set of priority investment areas consistent with the Turnbull Government’s emphasis on affordable and reliable energy.

Of significance ARENA has invested in the construction of 12 new large-scale solar farms, a variety of battery projects and the feasibility study for Snowy 2.0 during Mr Frischknecht tenure.

He has strengthened key relationships between ARENA, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Mr Frischknecht has provided the Government with sufficient notice of his intentions to allow a thorough search to be undertaken to find a suitable replacement and ensure a smooth handover.

I thank Mr Frischknecht for the contribution he has made in helping the Government to deliver a more affordable and reliable energy system as we transition to a lower emissions future.

Source: Federal Government


Windlab Exceeds Prospectus Forecast; Scales Up Operations

28 February

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) has today released its annual results for the 2017 year.

Windlab delivered a strong financial result for 2017, and in doing so met its prospectus revenue forecast and exceeded its Net Profit Before Tax (NPBT) statutory prospectus forecast. The Company achieved strong revenue and earnings growth. Revenue for the year grew 36% to $23.3M, excluding equity accounted profits from associates (operating projects). NPBT grew 184% to $14.4M, compared to a statutory prospectus forecast of $12.5M.

Operating expenses were $6.3M including $0.7m in one off IPO costs, compared to a statutory prospectus forecast of $7.4M. Direct Project expenditure was $2.7M, compared to a prospectus forecast of $3.2M, despite progressing all major projects as expected.

Cashflow from Operating Activities grew 775% to $12.0M, driven by financial close payments from Coopers Gap and Kennedy Energy Park, project revenues from South Africa and the US and growing recurring cashflows.

Recurring revenues from asset management and equity accounted profits from operating projects more than doubled to $2.7M.

At year end the Group held $14.2M in cash, mainly in Australian dollars. Net assets grew from $13.4M to $56.9M, including $23.6m in new equity net of costs, conversion of $10.6M in debt, and the strong net profit. The Group’s outstanding fixed-interest working capital facility with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation totals $4.7m, a very modest level of gearing against total assets of $73.1m.

Investments in operating projects grew by $30.3m following contribution of the Group’s 50% share of construction equity to Kennedy Energy Park and the accumulation of profits in the Kiata Wind Farm SPV.

“These results are an affirmation of Windlab’s scientific advantage, development track record and business model. Strong growth in recurring revenue will continue this year as Kiata and Kennedy contribute in 2018 and beyond.” said Roger Price, Executive Chairman.

“In parallel with achieving these results in 2017 we have continued to invest in our pipeline, with Lakeland, Kennedy Phase 2, and our overseas projects progressing through development. These investments will underpin Windlab’s future growth plans as we complete projects and extract value from our high quality development portfolio.”

Source: Windlab


Project Update

Jupiter Wind Farm

The NSW Department of Planning & Environment recommended not to approve EPYC’s proposed 350 MW Jupiter Wind Farm near Tarago, which will now go to the Planning Assessment Commission for a final decision. The reasons given by the DPE for refusing the development application are:

  1. The project would result in unacceptable visual impacts on the landscape and residences in the local area;
  2. The project is not supported by the majority of local residents, the local councils and key interest groups;
  3. The project is not consistent with the applicable land use zoning provisions; and
  4. For the above reasons, the project is not a suitable site for a large-scale wind farm and is not in the public interest.


Project Update

Beelbee Solar Farm

APA submitted a referral to the Federal Department of the Environment & Energy for its proposed Beelbee Solar Farm, approximately 42km west of Dalby in Queensland, with a 9km transmission connection into the national electricity grid. The Beelbee Solar Farm is expected to produce between 150MW and 240MW of power into the national electricity grid, depending on the selection of either fixed or tracking panels, and final design configuration. The solar farm site will consist of arrays of panels in a number of discrete areas, avoiding site constraints and areas of ecological significance.

It is estimated there will be between 524,000 and 816,000 solar modules (based on concept designs). The arrays, including necessary spacing, access, and inverters, will cover a total area of approximately 360ha or 70% of the site.

Approval has been sought for battery storage of up to 100MWh. While specifics of the battery storage (type and layout) have not been determined, it is estimated that an area of approximately 17,000m2 will be required for the full 100MWh capacity.


Neil Weatherly

Manager Access & Approvals


Tel: (07) 3323 6148

Email: [email protected]


New data: Australia fails on emissions, yet again

1 March

Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels have jumped yet again, increasing for the third consecutive year, following the release of the latest national data.

The Department of the Environment and Energy’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory report shows Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels increased by 0.8% (without land use change and forestry) over the year to September 2017.

Climate Councillor and international climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said the latest data shows Australia’s pollution levels continue to reach disappointing new heights.

“This is an abject failure and Australia can do better than this. We are now becoming complacent, as the nation’s greenhouse gas pollution levels consistently rise, every quarter since March 2013,” he said.

“The window of opportunity to tackle climate change is rapidly closing. We cannot sit on our hands and allow another year to go by, when more than 554 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (in 12 months to September 2017) is pumped into the atmosphere.”

“All of this data should serve as yet another serious warning signal for the Federal Government to act swiftly to cut our rising pollution levels and to tackle climate change."

“We must continue the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technologies through strong and credible climate and energy policy. The proposed National Energy Guarantee will do nothing but guarantee failure when it comes to tackling climate change.”

“Renewables have proven themselves time and time again, our states and territories have embraced their necessity in Australia’s future, now the Federal Government should do the same.”

Source: Climate Council


Agave trial powers up Far North bio revolution

28 February

Renewable electricity and biofuels made from agave are now one step closer, following kick-off of a groundbreaking trial by MSF Sugar, with support from the Queensland Government.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick joined Member for Cook Cynthia Lui and MSF Sugar CEO Mike Barry today, to inspect the company’s first crop of over 3,500 agave plants at Arriga.

“Commencement of MSF Sugar’s agave trial is a major milestone in the company’s journey to develop its $60 million biorefinery complex,” Mr Dick said.

“Once operational, MSF Sugar’s proposed biorefinery complex will be a world-first initiative that will see the company produce sugar, renewable baseload electricity and ethanol biofuels from one location, using locally-grown sugarcane fibre and potentially agave, a succulent plant native to Mexico and South America.”

Mr Dick said the benefits of developing a large-scale agave cropping industry in the Far North were significant, for residents and local farmers.

“Using both agave and sugarcane fibre as feedstock for the biorefinery and green electricity plant means both facilities can operate all year around rather than just nine months, which overcomes sugarcane’s seasonal nature,” Mr Dick said.

“Agave needs little irrigation and grows well in low-grade agricultural land, so the potential future income diversification opportunities for local farmers are considerable.”

Mr Dick said that MSF Sugar has advised that its biorefinery complex was expected to generate 80 construction and farming jobs and a further 50 operational jobs.

“Powered by an onsite bagasse and potentially agave fuelled 24 MW Green Power Station, the MSF Sugar combined biorefinery complex is expected to produce 110,000 tonnes of raw sugar, green electricity for the grid and 55 million litres of ethanol biofuel annually. The Green Power Station will also supply baseload electricity to 28,000 homes, 24 hours per day,” Mr Dick said.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the project represents a major boost for the region’s economy.

“MSF’s project here in Arriga is another step towards achieving the Palaszczuk Government’s vision for a $1 billion sustainable, export-oriented biotechnology and bioproducts sector,” Ms Lui said.

According to MSF Sugar CEO Mike Barry, “undertaking such an ambitious pilot project would be much less achievable without the support of the Queensland Government, which highlights the important role governments play in supporting the development of sustainable, high value industries".

“The Biofutures Acceleration Program funding enabled us to fast-track the project and without this support, we may not have progressed to trial stage for another couple of years," he said.

Mr Dick said the project was receiving funding from the Queensland Government’s Biofutures Acceleration Program to conduct a feasibility study which will consider all processes related to farming the new agave crop, making the biomass products (ethanol and electricity) and delivering the end products to market. This builds on funding from the Queensland Government’s Biofutures Commercialisation Program to demonstrate bioethanol production for agave at the pilot scale.

Source: Queensland Government



GE announces Haliade-X, the world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine

1 March

  • Haliade-X brings higher value to customers by producing more energy from the wind with a 12 MW generator rating, an industry-leading capacity factor1 and advanced digital capabilities
  • Haliade-X 12 MW is currently being bid for projects that will ship in 2021
  • Haliade-X 12 MW will produce 45 percent more energy than any other offshore wind turbine available today and will generate up to 67 GWh annually2, enough renewable power for up to 16,000 European households2
  • $400 million program will fund engineering, testing and supply chain development over the next three to five years

GE Renewable Energy (NYSE:GE) today unveiled its plan to develop the largest, most powerful offshore wind turbine: the Haliade-X. Featuring a 12 MW direct drive generator and an industry leading gross capacity factor of 63 percent1 the Haliade-X will produce 45 percent more energy than any other offshore turbine available today2. GE will invest more than $400 million over the next three to five years in development and deployment of the Haliade-X.

John Flannery, Chairman and CEO of GE, said, "We want to lead in the technologies that are driving the global energy transition. Offshore wind is one of those technologies and we will bring the full resources of GE to make the Haliade-X program successful for our customers."

Towering 260 meters over the sea, more than five times the size of the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, the Haliade-X 12 MW carries a 220-meter rotor. Designed and manufactured by LM Wind Power, the 107-meter-long blades will be the longest offshore blades to date and will be longer than the size of a soccer field. One Haliade-X 12 MW turbine will generate up to 67 GWh annually2, enough clean power for up to 16,000 households per turbine, and up to 1 million European households in a 750 MW windfarm configuration.

Jérôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy said, "The renewables industry took more than 20 years to install the first 17 GW of offshore wind. Today, the industry forecasts that it will install more than 90 GW over the next 12 years. This is being driven by lower cost of electricity from scale and technology. The Haliade-X shows GE's commitment to the offshore wind segment and will set a new benchmark for cost of electricity, thus driving more offshore growth."

The ability to produce more power from a single turbine means a smaller number of turbines in the total farm, which translates to less capital expenditure for the balance of plant and reduced risk in project execution as the installation cycle time is reduced. It also simplifies operation and maintenance of the wind farm. All of this reduces the investment and operation cost for developers, makes offshore wind projects more profitable, and ultimately lowers cost of electricity for consumers.

John Lavelle, CEO of Offshore Wind at GE Renewable Energy said "The Haliade-X 12 MW will help our customers in an increasingly competitive offshore environment, and through its size and digital functionality provide important value across manufacturing, installation and operation."

GE's Haliade-X platform is designed to offer greater efficiency in generating power from the wind that is available. With a 63 percent gross capacity factor1, the Haliade-X 12 MW is five to seven points above the current industry benchmark. Therefore, it will produce more energy per MW installed, which will significantly increase returns for customers.

To design and build the Haliade-X platform, GE Renewable Energy is relying on an unprecedented collaboration across the GE portfolio, leveraging the knowledge of GE's Onshore wind team, with 50,000 turbines in the field; the blade expertise of LM Wind Power; the GE Power and GE Aviation engineers for peer reviews of component and systems design; the Global Research Center for control systems and component validation; and GE Digital for supporting digital modelling, analytics and app development. The program is a GE-wide effort.

GE Renewable Energy aims to supply its first nacelle for demonstration in 2019 and ship the first units in 2021.

1 "Capacity factor" compares how much energy was generated against the maximum that could have been produced at continuous full power operation during a specific period of time.

2 Based on wind conditions on a typical German North Sea site.

Source: GE


Project Update

Bango Wind Farm


The Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) has completed its assessment of the Bango Wind Farm. The application has been referred to the Planning Assessment Commission (the Commission) for determination, under the terms of the Minister’s delegation.

Due to the level of public interest in the proposal, the Commission will be meeting to hear public views on the Assessment Report and recommendation, prior to determining the proposal. This is an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the DP&E’s assessment and recommended conditions of approval, before a decision is made.

The Commission meeting is scheduled to commence at 9:00am on Thursday, 22 March 2018 at the Boorowa Ex-Services & Citizens Club, 55-59 Pudman Street, Boorowa NSW 2586. The meeting is open to the public to observe the proceedings.

NOTE: The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has recommended approval of the Bango Wind Farm subject to conditions.


Project Brief

Junee Solar Farm

Terrain Solar submitted a development application to the Junee Shire Council for its proposed 26 MW Junee Solar Farm, approximately 5km north of Junee in New South Wales. The solar farm infrastructure will occupy a footprint of approximately 93 hectares. The generated electricity will be exported into the network through augmentation works to Essential Energy’s existing 66 kV overhead transmission line that traverses the site and runs through to the Junee Zone Substation. The project has an estimated capital investment value of approximately $30mil.


Historic Snowy deal

2 March

The Turnbull Government has reached an agreement with the New South Wales and Victorian Governments to take full ownership of Snowy Hydro Limited in a deal that will deliver more than $6 billion in Commonwealth funds for investments in infrastructure across both states.

The historic agreement will generate more reliable energy, cheaper electricity, better infrastructure and more jobs for NSW and Victoria.

Initiated by the Federal Government and announced at the 2017 Federal Budget, the deal includes a broad commitment to invest the proceeds in productive infrastructure projects, with NSW set to receive $4.154 billion and Victoria $2.077 billion, reflecting their respective Snowy shareholdings.

The agreement also builds on the Turnbull Government’s substantive energy sector reforms to ensure reliable and affordable energy for businesses and households.

In a win for Australian energy consumers, the agreement will pave the way for the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project to proceed to a final investment decision by the independent Snowy board.

The purchase will see this iconic infrastructure remain in Australian Government hands and NSW and Victoria will receive a fair market value for an important energy asset. The deal will be contingent on the Victorian Parliament confirming the sale and the Commonwealth Parliament passing an appropriation bill.

Key terms reached as part of the purchase are:

  • The Australian Government will increase its shareholding from 13 per cent to 100 per cent by purchasing NSW’s (58 per cent) and Victoria’s (29 per cent) shareholdings. The agreed fair market value of the enterprise is $7.8 billion. Allowing for Snowy Hydro’s debt as of 31 December 2017, NSW will receive $4.154 billion and Victoria $2.077 billion.
  • NSW and Victoria will invest proceeds of the sale into productive infrastructure, further boosting their already substantial capital works budgets and providing a vital boost to the national economy.
  • NSW will provide all reasonable assistance to Snowy Hydro in relation to its current and future operations (including planning and approvals process for Snowy 2.0);
  • The Australian Government will provide an assurance that Snowy Hydro will continue to be a successful operation. Importantly, it will continue to be in public ownership, and employment levels and existing head office locations will not change;
  • There will be no change to current arrangements on water issues; and
  • The transaction will not affect allocations of GST for NSW or Victoria.

Snowy Hydro is a critical player within the National Electricity Market. The company owns and operates 5,500 MW of generation capacity including the iconic Snowy Mountains Scheme. Snowy 2.0 is a proposed expansion of the Snowy Mountains Scheme and will provide an additional generation capacity of 2000 MW to power about 500,000 homes at peak demand.

The Commonwealth thanks the Secretaries of the Australian, NSW and Victorian Treasuries that have worked on this complex deal since May 2017. All jurisdictions have worked cooperatively in securing this important transaction.

Source: Federal Government


WA’s first co-located wind and solar farm completed at Emu Downs

2 March

When APA Group bought the Emu Downs Wind Farm in 2011, the new owners faced a challenge: how do you guarantee a steady supply of energy throughout the day?

The Emu Downs Wind Farm, a 48-turbine farm that was constructed in Western Australia in 2006, stands on a site featuring two dominant wind resources. In the morning, wind blows from the east, while in the afternoon, the Fremantle Doctor sweeps in from the west. In the middle of the day, however, the wind dips, resulting in a fall in energy production at the 80-megawatt wind farm.

The solution? A 20-megawatt solar farm built on the same site to complement the prevailing wind resource, using the existing transmission connection infrastructure.

“You’ve got the profile of the wind in the morning, which dips in the middle of the day, and you’ve got the solar picking up in the middle of the day. It fits in really nicely,” says Adam Pegg, Head of Business Development in Renewables at APA Group. “You get a flatter profile with the wind and solar working together.”

The size of the solar farm is an important element in its design. “Twenty megawatts sounds like an arbitrary number, but it was what our modelling spat out,” says Pegg. “We didn’t have to increase the size of our substation or increase the connection point and we were able to squeeze 20 megawatts of solar in there without too much curtailment.”

Now, he says, the 80-megawatt wind farm and 20-megawatt solar farm produce 100 megawatts of energy that pass through the existing 80-megawatt connection point.

The Emu Downs Solar Farm (EDSF) features 75,000 photovoltaic panels spread across 70 hectares on a site adjacent to the wind farm, 200 kilometres north of Perth and 30 kilometres west of Cervantes.

The $92 million project has been operational since December 2017, when it was finished three weeks ahead of schedule.

EDSF forms part of the first co-located solar and wind farm in Western Australia, and one of the first in the country. As well as providing complementary energy resources, co-location delivers cost savings through the use of shared infrastructure, including the substation and the connection point, and “any operating synergies that might exist,” says Pegg.

APA Group has entered into a power purchase agreement to sell electricity and generation certificates generated by the solar farm to energy provider Synergy to 2030.

ARENA provided APA Group with $5.5 million in funding for the project, one of 12 of solar farms that won funding through ARENA’s multimillion-dollar large-scale solar round in 2016.

The $92 million project has been operational since December 2017, when it was finished three weeks ahead of schedule.

The development of large-scale solar has leapt ahead in recent years in large part to ARENA’s funding scheme, says Pegg. “It was an important step for the industry.”

In 2011, when APA Group first developed plans for the solar addition to the wind farm, solar was prohibitively expensive, he says. “It was at least a couple of hundred dollars per megawatt-hour, compared to wind, which was perhaps half the price.”

Back then, Pegg notes, the largest solar plant in the country was 10 megawatts. Today, the 12 solar farms that ARENA has commissioned will triple Australia’s large-scale solar capacity from 240 MW to 720 MW and power 150,000 Australian homes.

ARENA CEO Mr Ivor Frischknecht said the completion of the Emu Downs Solar Farm was a significant milestone for renewables in Australia.

“Before ARENA’s strong investment, large scale solar remained in its infancy in Australia,” he said. “The competitive round was critical in supporting the technology to becoming competitive and helping to close the gap that exists between large-scale solar PV and other commercially competitive forms of power generation, including wind energy.

“APA’s Emu Downs Solar Farm marks the beginning of a quick succession of ARENA-funded large scale solar farms reaching completion this year, injecting $1.1 billion into solar PV and increasing the makeup of renewable energy to the grid.”

Source: ARENA


New Project

Rodds Bay Solar Farm

Developer: Renew Estate

Capacity: 300 MW

Location: Bororen, northern Queensland

LGA: Gladstone Regional Council

Expected cost: $400-500mil

Description: The project site is approximately 2758 ha in size. Key elements of the proposed infrastructure include PV modules mounted on tracking array structures, containerised power conversion stations containing electrical switchgear and an electrical substation for connection to the National Electricity Market. The project includes:

  • Approximately 900,000 photovoltaic solar modules
  • Approximately 10,000 tracking structures
  • Approximately 55 containerised Power Conversion Stations containing electrical switchgear, inverters and medium voltage transformers


Tom Harrison

Renew Estate

Mob: 0405 415 551

Email: [email protected]

Solar and storage combine to provide reliable power in Far North Queensland

19 February

Construction of Australia's first co-located large-scale solar and battery project to be connected to the electricity grid is now complete.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the project would provide reliable power to more than 3,000 households living on the grid's fringe in Cape York.

"This is fantastic news for communities in Cape York. There is no reason why they should not have access to reliable power simply because of their location," Mr Entsch said.

"The Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, provided more than $17 million to the $42.5 million Lakeland Solar and Storage Project, located near one of the most remote National Electricity Market substations in Australia.

"The 10.8MW solar photovoltaic plant and 1.4MW/5.3MWh lithium-ion battery will demonstrate providing energy to the local regional community autonomously for several hours."

Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the Government was committed to delivering affordable and reliable power for all Australians.

"For the people of Lakeland, who live on the fringe of the electricity grid where transmission is generally less reliable, this project helps ensure the lights stay on, even when the sun isn't shining," Minister Frydenberg said.

"It is yet another example of the Coalition Government delivering practical solutions for communities facing energy challenges.

"Combining solar generation and battery storage means energy generated throughout the day can be captured and stored for use when it's needed overnight or during peak usage times.

"The overall reliance of the community on the grid is reduced and smart controller software manages energy intermittency to create reliable power generation.

"The project will serve as a great example for other regional communities on the fringe of the electricity grid."

Source: Federal Government


Conergy flicks the switch on Australia’s first grid-connected, utility-scale solar and battery facility in Far North Queensland

19 February

Australia’s first grid-connected, utility-scale solar and battery facility – 13MW Lakeland Solar & Storage Project on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula – has started feeding electricity into the grid, providing certainty of summer power supply for Far North Queenslanders.

While ‘flicking the switch’ to connect Lakeland I to the grid, project developer and owner Conergy announced Lakeland Stage II, following approval by Cook Shire Council.

When completed, Lakeland I and II, will deliver a total of 30MW of solar electricity to the grid and provide local power storage to supply Far North Queensland homes and businesses.

Lakeland Solar & Storage Project, which was made possible through $17.4M funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is located near the town of Lakeland, in the Cook Shire, which is more than 240km north west of Cairns.

Conergy Managing Director Christopher West said as Asia Pacific’s largest downstream solar company, Conergy was excited to be delivering reliable, renewable power to FNQ.

“It’s great news for the people of Queensland, and it’s a milestone for Conergy as we bring this facility on line – the first solar and storage project of its scale connected to the grid in Australia,” he said.

“The region is abundant in solar resource, so it’s an ideal place to deliver solar projects like Lakeland and now Lakeland II.

“Once completed, Lakeland and Lakeland II will provide 30MW of local solar generation, with storage.

“Imagine powering up approximately 4,015 average home air-conditioning units and running them all at the same time for eight hours through the heat of the day.

“That’s the combined production output capacity of Lakeland I and II. And better still, the energy is cleaner and more reliable for the people of Far North Queensland.”

Mr West said, “We are excited to continue our expansion of solar power capacity in Queensland, in the context of the continuing 50 per cent renewable energy target and the broader Powering Queensland Plan.

“Having locally-based energy generation in these more remote areas reduces power losses caused by lengthy transmission distances from power stations outside the region.

“Extreme heat in summer can also compromise the efficiency of the network, making local, dispatchable generation even more important.

“The summer months are obviously a challenging time for the network, but with the addition of the power feeding in from the Lakeland project, people in the region can look forward to more stable and reliable supply, even in times of peak demand.”

Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott said the Council was looking forward to working with Conergy again to deliver even more stable and secure power resources for local residents.

“We are very pleased to be able to approve Lakeland stage two, both for the fact that it again improves supply reliability in our region but also because this is an energy solution which is cleaner and sustainable.

“Cook Shire is very keen to continue our commitment to green alternative energy solutions and Lakeland I and now II are certainly an expression of that.”

Conergy ultimately aims to deliver one gigawatt of solar and storage for Australia, on the back of its global development of more than 3GW.

“Australia, and Far North Queensland in particular, have the challenge of a geographically dispersed network.” Mayor Scott said.

“This is what makes the solar and storage opportunity so exciting.

“Cook Shire is pleased to be alongside Conergy at the forefront of this new-generation energy industry.

Source: Conergy


Stellata Energy drives forward energisation of largest solar farm in Western Australia with key developments

19 February

Stellata Energy (‘Stellata’), and its joint venture partner, Ingenious Infrastructure, today announces it has successfully reached several milestones in the development of the largest solar project in Western Australia (WA), Merredin Solar Farm (132MWp). Firstly, the Company has entered into a grid connection contract with Western Power. The deal, signed on 19 December, secures the Interconnection Works Contract (IWC) and Electricity Transfer Access Contract (ETAC) for the project.  During the same month, an Electricity Generation Licence was also granted by the Economic Regulation Authority, making the project the largest solar farm in WA to have reached this point.  Merredin has also now received Certified Reserve Capacity level with AEMO and is expected to sign its EPC contract in March this year. Successfully reaching these milestones ensures that construction remains on track to commence in June 2018, with energisation anticipated for June 2019.

The development of Merredin Solar Farm positions Stellata as one of the leading solar developers in WA, whose partnership with Ingenious commits to funding a pipeline of utility scale solar farms across the state. Together, the partnership brings a wealth of knowledge to the project with collective expertise spanning financing, developing and operating solar projects across the globe.

Commenting on the developments, Guy Beesley, Managing Director, Stellata said: “Securing the generation licence, grid connection and reserve capacity credits for Merredin Solar Farm represents a huge step forward for our partnership and the Merredin project, having only received planning permission in June last year. Now that the contracts are in place, we look forward to commencing construction and furthering our efforts to bring clean, renewable electricity to Western Australians.”

Source: Stellata Energy


GFG Alliance’s trailblazing green energy study awarded key federal funding

21 February

An ambitious plan by Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance to enhance South Australia’s energy security through an innovative pumped storage project near Whyalla, moved a step closer to reality today with the award of Australian Government funding for a significant pre-feasibility study.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), on behalf of the Australian Government, is providing A$500,000 for the GFG Alliance to investigate how the Iron Duchess North mine pit, in the South Middleback Ranges of South Australia, could be utilised as a lower reservoir for a pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) plant with an estimated capacity of 90 MW and 390 MWh.

This activity will receive funding from ARENA as part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program, and follows on from an earlier, positive concept study in relation to the project. ARENA’s funding adds to a similar financial commitment from the Government of South Australia via their Renewable Technology Fund announced earlier this month.

PHES works by pumping water uphill between two connected reservoirs at times of low electricity demand when power is cheap and abundant, and then running the water back downhill to drive turbines during periods when demand is high or when supply is low due to lack of wind or sun.

The first stage of this study is expected to be completed in six months, and will include high-level designs, engineering studies, network studies, geotechnical investigation, market modelling and commercial evaluation.

If the results from this study are positive, this proposed investment in Australia’s future green energy supply – currently having an estimated cost of A$170 million – could be built by 2022.

SIMEC ZEN Energy – part of the GFG Alliance – will play a key role in the study and will also be project managing it. Responding to the funding announcement, Geoff Titus, Chief Executive Officer of SIMEC ZEN Energy said:

“We’re grateful to ARENA for their support on this important scheme. This ground-breaking study into pumped hydro storage potential at the South Middleback Ranges is a great opportunity for SIMEC ZEN Energy to obtain real-world insights and use these to provide solutions for customers seeking secure, affordable and low-emission energy to overcome their current energy challenges.

“We look forward to working initially with Liberty OneSteel to meet its energy needs and ultimately to establishing partnerships with other large energy users across Australia seeking a new way of contracting energy for their long-term success.”

Matt Reed, Executive General Manager of GFG Alliance business SIMEC Mining, said:

“As well as the environmental advantages this innovative renewable energy project will bring, it will also re-use depleted pits, thereby unlocking a legacy from past economic activity for the benefit of Australia’s future generations. GFG Alliance, with its unique focus on energy, mining and industry is ideally placed to capture this added value for the economy.

“GFG Alliance is grateful for this funding support that will help accelerate Australia’s transition to a more economic, secure, reliable, and sustainable electricity network.”

Source: ARENA


Strengthening South Australia’s system through storage

21 February

The Turnbull Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing $1 million to conduct two feasibility studies into two pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) projects, designed to strengthen the South Australian system and deliver more affordable and reliable power for South Australian families and businesses.

The first $500,000 will be provided to EnergyAustralia for the next stage feasibility study into the Cultana seawater PHES project – a project that would be the first of its kind in Australia and have a capacity equivalent to more than 126,000 home batteries at a third of the cost.

In February 2017, the Turnbull Government, through ARENA, provided $453,000 to conduct an initial feasibility study into the project which found it could generate 225MW/1770MWh of electricity. Including engineering assessments, planning approvals and financial modelling, the first feasibility study determined the project could be constructed and fully operational by 2023.

This next stage feasibility study will complete the project design, including studies on environmental impacts and connection to the grid.

The second $500,000 will be provided to Zen Energy and SIMEC Mining for phase one of a feasibility study into a PHES project at the former Iron Duchess North mine in the South Middleback Ranges near Whyalla.

Utilising an existing mine pit as a lower reservoir, the project has an estimated capacity of 90MW/390MWh. The technical and commercial feasibility study will include high level designs, engineering studies, network studies, geotechnical investigation, market modelling and commercial evaluation.

“The Turnbull Government put energy storage on the agenda to deliver a more affordable and reliable energy system for Australians,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“A 2017 report by the Australian Council of Learned Academies noted that no large-scale pumped hydro facilities have been built in Australia in the last 30 years – this is what the Turnbull Government is fixing.

“South Australia is facing a significant transition issue which is implicating both system security and electricity pricing.

“That’s why we’re investing in projects such as these, because the South Australian Government failed to take energy storage needs into account all the while pursuing a reckless 50 per cent renewable energy target.”

In his review of the National Electricity Market, Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel noted that pumped hydro storage systems are the most mature electrical energy storage systems available.

Whether it’s Snowy 2.0 in New South Wales and Victoria, the Battery of the Nation projects in Tasmania, the Kidston hybrid solar and PHES project in Queensland or these various projects in South Australia, the Turnbull Government is exploring, upgrading and expanding pumped hydro energy storage projects across Australia.

Source: Federal Government


New clean energy targets put South Australia on the world map

21 February

The new renewable energy and energy storage targets announced by the South Australian Government are genuinely world-class ambitions that help to put the state’s clean energy achievements on the world map, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the South Australian Government had shown that it is a national and international leader in the uptake of renewable energy and the transition of its energy sector.

“The energy storage target in particular is exactly what is needed to help deliver higher levels of wind and solar while ensuring the ongoing reliability of the power system. Both the 75 per cent renewable energy target and the new energy storage target underline the state’s many clean energy achievements, from working with Tesla and Neoen to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery to producing half of SA’s power from renewables,” Mr Thornton said.

“South Australia has shown that it is possible to deliver electricity that is both reliable and clean, and as more low-cost renewable energy enters the power system it will push power prices down for homes and businesses. The government is driving a shift toward clean energy which will reduce its exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices and make the state much more competitive in the future – while creating business opportunities in the here and now.

“One thing our industry has shown is that if you give us a target or a goal, we will beat it. South Australia has essentially met its existing renewable energy target seven years early, and there are now enough projects which will go ahead to meet the national 2020 renewable energy project. The expertise and efficiency our industry has built up is remarkable,” he said.

The Clean Energy Council has released an eight-point plan ahead of the election to unlock a battery revolution in South Australia. In some respects the state government has gone above and beyond these recommendations.

Mr Thornton said the industry welcomed the support of both the South Australian Liberal Party and SA Best for the solar thermal plant in Port Augusta, as well as the Liberals’ previously-announced plan for more batteries in the state’s households. The industry is looking forward to further strong announcements on energy from both parties, he said.

Source: Clean Energy Council


$3m South Australian Grant for Elizabeth Microgrid

21 February


  • Award of $3 million government grant for a utility battery system in South Australia
  • Design, construct, operate and maintain a 2MW/500 kWh Battery Energy Storage System
  • Site is former GM Holden manufacturing facility in Elizabeth in Adelaide

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $3 million Government grant to design, construct, operate and maintain a 2MW/500kWh Battery Energy Storage system (BESS) at the General Motors Holden Site in Elizabeth, South Australia. The grant has been awarded from the Renewable Technology Fund, part of the South Australian Government’s Energy Plan.

The BESS will provide a unique demonstration of grid-support services in times of peak demand and will operate alongside the existing diesel fuelled back up generators at Elizabeth. The facility offers key advantages of traditional diesel run gas turbines for grid support, offering significant savings in standby fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, low maintenance, low noise pollution and faster response to grid support events.

The facility is based on Carnegie’s standardised 2MW grid support BESS, capable of expansion up to the 10’s and 100’s of MW. Carnegie is also working closely with the new owner of the General Motors Holden Site to develop a rooftop solar system of initially 3MW in capacity, which could be expanded to 10-15MW if deployed across the site’s available roof space. Works will commence immediately on design and grid connection for the BESS and are forecast to complete by December 2018.

South Australian Premier, the Hon Jay Weatherill said,

“This solar and battery project by Carnegie is part of a wave of new investment in South Australia we have leveraged through the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund announced as part of our energy plan.”

“Renewable energy projects like this also reduce demand on the grid during peak times, which puts downward pressure on power prices for all South Australians. This project is symbolic of the broader transition we are seeing in our economy away from traditional manufacturing towards high-tech industries creating jobs of the future for South Australians.”

Carnegie’s Managing Director Dr Michael Ottaviano said,

“We are fielding an increasing number of opportunities that historically were performed by diesel or gas turbines, for which battery systems are now increasingly competitive. The CCE battery solution offers faster response time, lower operating cost, no greenhouse gas pollution, and silent operation. This is Carnegie’s first project in South Australia and means we are now delivering projects right across Australia.”

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


SA charges ahead with clean energy combo

21 February

South Australia remains ahead of the pack when it comes to the nation’s clean energy race, with plans to increase the state’s renewables target, while also rolling out a new storage target, in what would be an Australian first.

Climate Councillor and energy expert Professor Andrew Stock said the South Australian Government’s proposals mean the state would increase its Renewable Energy Target to 75 percent by 2025, making it one of the highest in the country, while also introducing a new storage target.

“South Australia is really raising the stakes when it comes to Australia’s renewables and energy storage race,” he said.

“The state is already on track to reach its original target of 50 per cent renewable sources 7 years ahead of schedule and is now increasing this target even further. This is another step in the right direction towards tackling climate change.”

“This means that South Australia will receive around three quarters of its electricity from clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy, such as wind and solar by 2025.”

The announcements include plans for South Australia to create a Renewable Storage Target of 25 per cent by 2025.

“The proposal to rollout Australia’s first energy storage target forms a significant clean energy combination.

“This is a natural step for South Australia, following the switch-on of the world’s most powerful battery and the construction of the nation’s first solar thermal plant and virtual power station.”

Stock called on the rest of the nation to continue to follow South Australia’s leadership when it comes to embracing Australia’s transition to a 21st century electricity grid.

“South Australia is among states and territories leading the charge in the nation’s clean energy race, but unfortunately the Federal Government remains stuck in the stalls with an inadequate National Energy Guarantee.”

“The Federal Government must move to implement strong and credible climate and energy policy to encourage Australia’s transition to renewable energy and storage technology, in a bid to cut our rising pollution levels and tackle climate change.”

Source: Climate Council


Australia’s first hydrogen demonstration park with Siemens technology to be built in Adelaide

21 February

South Australia’s Tonsley Innovation District is set to become a hub of hydrogen activity in Australia after Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG), the country’s largest gas distribution business, announced the construction of the country’s first hydrogen production and distribution facility. This will be enabled by a 1.25 mega watt Siemens PEM electrolyser that will produce hydrogen using electricity from the grid and potentially on-site solar.

The power-to-gas demonstration plant – to be called Hydrogen Park SA (HyP SA) will produce hydrogen from renewable electricity, which will then be injected into the local gas distribution network at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide to provide low-carbon gas to homes and businesses. Hydrogen Park will play a crucial role in demonstrating how electrolysers can be integrated into electricity networks to support network stability – particularly in renewable-rich regions such as South Australia.  

Announcing the project at the CEDA: Economic and Political Overview in Adelaide event in Adelaide, Jeff Connolly, CEO and Chairman of Siemens Australia said, “Hydrogen holds exciting potential for Australia, and it’s great to be partnering with the South Australian Government and the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group to deliver proven and world leading hydrogen technology.

“It’s pleasing to see hydrogen become reality since we began driving this conversation in Australia only a few short years ago. Reticulating hydrogen into the gas network supports de-carbonisation of the state. It also supports the development of a domestic market for hydrogen which I believe can lead to Australia becoming a renewable energy export superpower if we harness the untapped renewable assets of the country.”

The hydrogen produced will be injected into AGIG’s local gas network to power the Tonsley Innovation District – but with the ability to be expanded to supply a proposed residential development in the area and other remote customers through tube and trailer facilities.

Andrew Staniford, AGIG Chief Customer Officer welcomed the decision saying, "We are delighted that South Australia will lead the way with this pioneering technology. It propels South Australia’s status as a leader in renewable technology and a first mover in hydrogen. The demonstration plant will illustrate the complementary nature of gas and electricity in meeting the decarbonisation challenge – a key in balancing the energy trilemma."

Hydrogen has been a significant focus area for Siemens in Australia. This announcement follows last year’s release of Hydrogen Roadmap by South Australia, which in turn followed a Memorandum of Understanding signed between WorleyParsons and Siemens to focus on leveraging innovative technologies for energy solutions.

Source: Siemens Australia


PROJECT BRIEF: Low Head Wind Farm

George Town Council this week approved Low Head Wind Farm Pty Ltd’s application for the construction and operation of a 10-turbine wind farm with a capacity of up to 35 MW of electricity approximately 5.5km east of Low Head in northern Tasmania. The proposal also involves the construction of twin 22kV transmission lines from the wind farm site to the George Town substation 8km to the south.


Shane Bartel


Low Head Wind Farm Pty Ltd

Tel: 0408 997 735

Email: [email protected]


PROJECT BRIEF: George Town Solar Farm

On 21 February 2018 George Town Council advertised the start of the public exhibition period of the development application for the George Town Solar Farm. The advertisement period runs for 2 weeks (ending 6 March 2018) and allows members of the public to comment on the proposal. The project will then enter the final stages of review with George Town Council. Epuron is proposing to build a solar farm with capacity of up to 5 MW (A.C.) occupying an area of up to 12 hectares. The site is ideal as it is flat and clear, with good access to the existing road network and nearby powerlines. The land is unoccupied and zoned as Light Industrial, and as a result the project is expected to have minimal adverse environmental impacts. The project will connect to the existing 22 kilovolt powerline running adjacent to the site, and provide power back towards the George Town substation. Construction is anticipated to start mid-to-late 2018.


EOIs sought for Leeton Solar Farm

Photon Energy is seeking Expressions of Interest to construct the 30 MWp, $30mil Leeton Solar Farm located approximately 1.6 km from Leeton city centre in NSW and covering an area of 37ha.

The solar farm will be connected to the Essential Energy network and will include the following infrastructure

  • 86 500 solar panels
  • Solar PV mounting structure
  • DC and AC cabling
  • Inverter container modules
  • Landscape screening
  • HV infrastructure

For the construction of the project, Photon Energy is looking for capable and experienced suppliers and subcontractors. Photon Energy is committed to support local industry and community groups.

The ICN Work Package is divided into six (6) chapters:

  • Civil works – earth moving, access tracks, excavations,   concreting, etc.
  • Mechanical works – fencing, piling, PV array assemblies, etc.
  • Electrical works – Cable reticulation, trenching, termination,   etc.
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Landscaping – vegetation screening
  • Site support services – accommodation, catering, waste recycling, etc.

More details are available here.

Source: ICN Gateway


NEW PROJECTS: Cohuna Solar Farm & Girgarre Solar Farm

Leeson Projects is planning to develop two new solar farms in Victoria for a total cost of $200mil. The Cohuna Solar Farm is a 34 MWp project consisting of approximately 100,000 solar panels installed on 82.5 hectares of land 8km south of Cohuna in Victoria. The Girgarre Solar Farm is a 100 MWp project consisting of approximately 250,000 solar panels installed on 250 hectares of land 5km west of Girgarre in Victoria

Project Timings: Cohuna Solar Farm

Project construction start date: Q4 2018

Project construction end date: Q4 2019

Project Timings: Girgarre Solar Farm

Project construction start date: Q1 2019

Project construction end date: Q3 2020

An EPC contractor will be appointed as the main contractor for the solar farms, which will undertake the key engineering design and procurement for the facilities. A subcontractor will be appointed for the Balance of Plant (BOP). This will include the work packages such as:

  • Civil and electrical balance of plant (onsite roads, piles, buildings, electrical reticulation, etc.)
  • Logistics
  • Tracker and PV panel installation
  • Interconnection works.

Smaller work packages will be specified to assist with the main work packages listed above.

An industry briefing session is expected to occur in Autumn 2018.

More details are available here.

Source: ICN Gateway

Mungari Solar Farm

12 February

  • Carnegie Clean Energy has been successful in an application to negotiate 100MW solar and 20MWh battery site in Western Australia.
  • The Mungari Solar Farm site is in the Buffer Zone of the Mungari Strategic Industrial Area (MSIA), which is located approximately 26km south-west of Kalgoorlie and 13km north-east of Coolgardie in Western Australia.
  • The Mungari Solar Farm would supply clean energy to the Eastern Goldfields, which has significant electricity supply constraints.

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that after a competitive process, the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI), in collaboration with LandCorp, has awarded it in-principle approval to negotiate a lease for 250ha within the Buffer Zone of the Mungari Strategic Industrial Area, to build, own and operate a solar farm.

The proposed solar farm will be up to 100MW and include up to 20MWh of battery storage. The MSIA is located approximately 26km south-west of Kalgoorlie and 13km north-east of Coolgardie in Western Australia, along the Great Eastern Highway.

Carnegie’s Managing Director Dr Michael Ottaviano commented, “Carnegie has a strong track record of developing greenfield sites into shovel ready renewable projects rapidly and responsibly, most recently with its Northam Solar Farm.”

 “We are excited to play a role in the development of the Mungari Strategic Industrial Area, which has an important role in the future economic prosperity of the Eastern Goldfields and look forward to working closely with local industries seeking sources of clean power generation, the State Government, local governments and other key stakeholders in bringing this project to fruition.”

The development of the Mungari Solar Farm is conditional on reaching suitable lease arrangements with Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the results of a Feasibility Study, including consultation with Western Power for grid connection.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

PROJECT UPDATE - Vales Point Solar

Delta Electricity’s up to 55 MW Vales Point Solar Project put on public exhibition until 18 March 2018. The development has an estimated capital investment value of $117mil, and is in the local government areas of Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast.

The project area covers approximately 80 hectares of land located within the land holding of the existing Vales Point Power Station and specifically on the rehabilitated area of the Vales Point Ash Dam.

Key components of the project are:

  • Construction and operation of up to 55 MW capacity solar facility delivering an annual output of approximately 110 gigawatt hours (GWh);
  • Installation of approximately 220,000 solar panel modules supported by either steel piles or concrete ballasted footings;
  • Installation of ancillary electrical control equipment and switchyard for distribution;
  • Connection to the National Electricity Market (NEM) via a short 33 kV transmission line (mainly overhead with an option for some underground cabling) to the Vales Point Zone Substation;
  • Approximately 100 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs during a 12 to 18 month construction program;
  • An estimated 30 year design life with ongoing employment for up to five people.


Anthony Callen

Delta Electricity

Tel: (02) 4352 6027

Email: [email protected]


Kidston Renewable Energy Hub project updates

12 February

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to provide an update in relation to the development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub in North Queensland.

50MW Kidston Solar Project (KS1)

Following the successful on-time energisation of KS1 in November 2017 (refer ASX announcement 24 November 2017) and the subsequent achievement of first revenues in December 2017 (refer ASX announcement 4 December 2017), Genex is pleased to inform stakeholders that the commissioning works for the project are progressing well.

Commissioning is scheduled to continue over the coming months as the project ramps up to full capacity. During this period, Genex will continue to receive revenues for the electricity sold into the National Electricity Market (NEM) in addition to the revenues received for the sale of Large-Scale Generation Certificates, which the project is entitled to receive for every MWh of electricity produced.

Following the achievement of full capacity and the finalisation of all commissioning works (known as Practical Completion), the 20-year Revenue Support Deed with the Queensland State Government will commence.

Kidston Stage 2 Project (K2)

Following the appointment of UGL as preferred Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor for the 270MW Kidston Stage 2 Solar Project (K2-Solar) in December 2017 (refer ASX Announcement 12 December 2017), Genex has been working with UGL to advance the detailed design works, which are progressing as scheduled.

Following the favourable design optimisation for the 250MW Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro) (refer ASX announcement 20 October 2017), and the appointment of a preferred EPC Contractor through the McConnell Dowell-led Joint Venture (refer ASX announcement 23 October 2017), the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process is continuing to advance as scheduled.

As part of this ECI process, Genex and McConnell Dowell have revised the joint venture arrangement, with John Holland Pty Ltd (JHG) replacing Downer EDI Ltd as joint venture partner. JHG is at the forefront of Australia’s property and infrastructure markets. Their contracting and services capabilities cover the full spectrum of the traditional building and civil engineering markets as well as specialist engineering in the resources, energy, marine, water and waste water and tunnelling sectors. JHG is owned by China Communication and Construction Company Limited, which is listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Exchanges.

The ECI processes for K2 remain on track toward agreeing full fixed price EPC wrap contracts with UGL for K2-Solar and with McConnell Dowell and JHG for K2-Hydro well in advance of financial close, which is scheduled to occur during calendar 2018.

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has provided $8.9 million in funding to support the construction of Genex’s KS1 Project, and up to $9 million in funding to support the development of K2-Solar and K2-Hydro.

The Queensland State Government has continued to support the development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, providing a 20-year revenue support deed for KS1 through the Solar 150 Program, and designating the Hub as ‘Critical Infrastructure’ to the State.

Source: Genex Power


Green hydrogen facility to be constructed near Port Lincoln

12 February

A 15MW hydrogen electrolyser power plant will be constructed near Port Lincoln, in what will be a globally-significant demonstrator project for the emerging hydrogen energy sector.

Hydrogen infrastructure company Hydrogen Utility™ (H2U), working with German-­based electrolysis and ammonia specialist thyssenkrupp will deliver the $117.5 million project, with the assistance of a $4.7 million grant and $7.5 million loan from the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund.

The proposed facility will integrate a portfolio of innovative hydrogen technologies, including a 15MW electrolyser plant, a distributed ammonia production facility, and a 10MW hydrogen-­fired gas turbine and 5MW hydrogen fuel cell, which will both supply power to the grid.

The electrolyser plant will be one of the largest green hydrogen production facilities worldwide, and among the first ever commercial facilities to produce distributed ammonia from intermittent renewable resources that can be used as an industrial fertiliser.

About 30 construction and 30 ongoing jobs will be created through the project.


Hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources such as wind or solar through a process called electrolysis.

Surplus electricity from renewable generators is used in an electrolyser to split clean water into hydrogen and oxygen. That hydrogen can then be used to power fuel cell vehicles, make ammonia, generate electricity in a turbine or fuel cell, supply industry, or to export around the world.

Source: SA Government


$7m contract award for 5MW solar farm

14 February Highlights:

  • Carnegie’s wholly owned subsidiary Energy Made Clean and JV partner Lendlease awarded the design and construction of a $7m, 5MW Solar project in Newcastle, NSW.
  • Competitive tender process run by the City of Newcastle to locate solar farm on a former landfill site.
  • Design will start soon with commissioning starting end of August, completion is expected end of September 2018

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to announce that its 100% owned subsidiary, leading Australian battery and solar engineering company, Energy Made Clean, and its Joint Venture partner, Lendlease, have been awarded the contract for the Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of a 5MW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) project in Newcastle, NSW.

The project has been awarded after a nationally competitive tender process was run by the City of Newcastle and located on a capped, former landfill site at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre in Newcastle as part of the Council’s plan to cut its emissions by 30 per cent by 2020.

Carnegie’s Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano said, “We are delighted to have won our first utility scale solar farm project in NSW and our first to be connected in the National Electricity Market. This project brings the value of new contracted work for our joint venture to over $30m over the past 2 months.”

The solar farm will be installed as a ground mounted fixed tilt system and utilising an optimised piling system to suit the site topology and allow simple future addition of a Battery Energy Storage System. Design will commence immediately with commissioning expected end of Quarter 3, 2018.

About Newcastle Summerhill Solar Project

This Project is part of the Council’s 2020 target to achieve 30% renewable energy generation to offset electricity consumption within the Newcastle Local Government Area. The Site is located within Summerhill Waste Management Centre (SWMC), in Wallsend, NSW. Newcastle City Council owns and operates the Summerhill Waste Management Centre (SWMC).

The area designated for the Solar Farm facility is located to the east of the SWMC boundary and contains a retired Building and Construction Wastes landfill cell that is capped with clay and vegetated with grass. As part of future works separate to this Contract, the City of Newcastle intends for the future installation of battery storage systems that could provide electric fleet charging and demand response capabilities.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


Risen Energy acquires Yarranlea Solar Farm

14 February

Risen Energy acquired 100% of the share of Yarranlea Solar Pty Ltd in late January 2018. The Yarranlea Solar Farm project, which will be located approximately 170 km West of Brisbane near Toowoomba, has a total capacity of 121 MW solar power.

As owners of the Yarranlea Solar Farm project, Risen Energy will take the project from detailed engineering design to construction, commissioning and thereafter own and operate the solar farm.

Once completed the Yarranlea Solar Farm power station will connect to the National Electricity Market, (NEM) via the nearby Yarranlea zone substation and is projected to produce 264 gigawatthour (GWh) each year, enough to power 52,800 South East Queensland households, with an emissions saving of approximately 124,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.

Yarranlea Solar Farm project commenced in 2016 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Over 200 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the plant which will have approximately 400,000 solar panels installed at the site.

Risen Energy will provide their global EPC experience to support the Yarranlea Solar project and will supply the latest PV panel technology and integrated battery storage to allow it to supply power to the grid during periods of peak demand.

John Zhong, Project Development & Investment Director, Risen Energy (Australia) said “due to wholesale electricity markets, Risen Energy will fund 100% of the Yarranlea Solar Farm project without finance. No PPA is attached to the Yarranlea Solar Farm project so we decided to go ahead with merchant to capture the NEM spot price.”

 “There are a number of technical challenges with the generator performance standards (GPS). In discussion with AEMO and NSPs and supported by technical specialists, we secured the offer to connect from Ergon Energy and received approval from the Australian Energy Market Operator, (AEMO), under the National Electricity Rules, clause 5.3.4A for the proposed GPS for Yarranlea Solar Farm. We will continue to work with industrial specialists and consult with local council, electricity authority, regulator and local people to progress the project to the next stage to achieve the best outcome for the project and community” Zhong said.

Nick Canto, Founding Director of Yarranlea Solar Pty Ltd said “after an exhaustive expression of interest process from a range of local and international organisations, we quickly drew a conclusion that Risen was the right choice to take the project forward. We have had close dealings with Risen over a 12-month period, as the regulatory approval processes were finalised.  This has reinforced our impression of their commitment to the project, community and we know they will be great custodians of the project going forward.”

Source: Risen Energy


NEW PROJECT: Avonlie Solar Farm

Renewable Energy Systems proposes to develop the approximately 200 MW Avonlie Solar Farm, south east of Narrandera in NSW. The solar farm would occupy around 608 hectares of rural land currently used for agriculture. The proposal includes solar arrays on tracking systems, modules, inverters, a battery storage facility, a substation, underground cabling, security fencing, emergency lighting and associated infrastructure. It has an estimated capital cost of $250mil.

The proposal consists of the following components:

  • Solar arrays mounted on either a fixed or single-axis tracking system
  • Power conversion units
  • A substation including an elevated busbar, switchroom, a lightning protection system, current and voltage transformers and a connection into the existing 132kV TransGrid overhead line
  • A battery storage facility


Mike Whitbread

Renewable Energy Systems

Tel: 0431 572 730

Email: [email protected]


NEW PROJECT: Collie Solar Farm

Hadouken Pty Ltd proposes to construct and operate a 20 MW solar farm in Collie, south-west Western Australia. The solar farm will also have an option to install a battery (Liion) energy storage system. It will be comprised of 69,000 PV panels on a piled-framework of a fixed-tilt arrangement covering an area of approximately 18 ha. Associated infrastructure will consist of:

  • Five inverters and housings
  • Underground cabling
  • Five to ten battery storage housings (in time)
  • Switchgear
  • Export cable from the switchgear to 22 kV transmission line
  • Perimeter fence and access gate

Construction will take between three and six months to complete and is currently scheduled to begin in Q3 2018, but this may change depending on when components are available. The solar farm will be controlled and monitored remotely from Perth. It is expected that personnel will visit Lot 2977 at most on a bi-weekly basis to conduct cleaning, maintenance, fire management and vegetation control. Major maintenance will be required periodically to replace PV modules, inverter equipment and other components. Major maintenance will involve similar activities as construction. The expected life of the solar farm is 25 years.


Ben Tan

Director and CEO

Hadouken Pty Ltd

Tel: 0432 647 485

Email: [email protected]


PROJECT BRIEF - Asian Renewable Energy Hub

The federal Department of the Environment & Energy declared the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) project, 220km east of Port Hedland in the East Pilbara region of northern WA, a controlled action which will require assessment and approval under the EPBC Act before it can proceed. No surprise given the vast scale of the proposal, an up to 6GW wind and solar hybrid power plant that would export its electricity production to Indonesia via subsea electrical cable. The AREH is being developed by a team which includes CWP Energy Asia, InterContinental Energy and Vestas.


Dundonnell Wind Farm bid submitted into Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme

14 February

Leading Australasian renewable energy operator Tilt Renewables Limited (“Tilt Renewables”) announces that it has submitted a bid into the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS) for a portion of output from the fully permitted Dundonnell Wind Farm (“Dundonnell”).

Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme

In June 2016, the Victorian Government committed to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) of 25% of energy generation in the state by 2020 and 40% by 2025. To ensure these targets are met, the Victorian Government is seeking to contract up to 650MW of new renewable energy capacity under the VREAS. The outcome of this process is expected to be known around July 2018. Participation in the VREAS presents an opportunity for Tilt Renewables to secure a 15 year contract from the Victorian Government which will provide price certainty for a portion of Dundonnell’s generation output which will underpin the investment decision to proceed with the project.

Dundonnell Wind Farm overview

Dundonnell is a high quality development opportunity and Tilt Renewables believes that it has submitted a strong bid into what is expected to be a highly competitive process. Should Dundonnell be awarded a contract under the VREAS construction would begin in late CY2018 with an estimated total construction cost of approximately A$600 million. The Dundonnell project comprises 80 turbines with nameplate capacity of 336MW, and would increase Tilt Renewables’ generation portfolio capacity by more than 55% once completed. Dundonnell is expected to power the equivalent of 140,000 homes and avoid the equivalent of 670,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Construction of the wind farm and associated transmission works is expected to employ around 200 full-time employees for more than two years, and 10 full-time employees once operational. The project site is located approximately 15 kilometres from the Salt Creek Wind Farm, currently under construction in western Victoria. Dundonnell has received all required planning and environmental permits. If successful in the VREAS process, Dundonnell is expected to begin generation in CY2020, with the specific turbines bid into VREAS operational by the first half of CY2020 and supplying the VREAS contract until late 2035.

Funding arrangements

Tilt Renewables’ current expectation is that it would fund Dundonnell and the associated VREAS bid using a combination of new corporate debt and an equity raising together covering the full estimated construction cost. As part of the preparation of the bid Tilt Renewables has secured a fully committed debt package from National Australia Bank Limited and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. which, following completion of standard conditions, will be available to fund approximately half of Dundonnell construction costs.

The balance of the funding is expected to be provided from an equity raising by Tilt Renewables. In order to provide further support for the bid, Tilt Renewables has also obtained equity funding support from its majority shareholder Infratil Limited (“Infratil”). This equity funding support comprises a conditional agreement by Infratil to offer to underwrite 100% of an equity raising of A$300 million for Dundonnell (subject to agreement on equity pricing). Should Infratil underwrite the equity raising in full, various shareholder approvals will be required.

Further details of the timing and terms of any equity raising (including any associated shareholder approval process, if required) will be provided to the shareholders and the market when the outcome of the VREAS bid process is known.

The funding structure for the development of Dundonnell is expected to result in relatively stable gearing metrics for Tilt Renewables on a pro forma basis and the revenue hedging from the proposed Dundonnell VREAS contracting has been bid at a level to preserve the portfolio’s strong bias to price certainty through long-term revenue contracts.

Source: Tilt Renewables


Equis Energy achieves financial close on $200m Tailem Bend Solar Project

14 February

Equis Energy (Equis), Asia‐Pacific’s largest renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP), has achieved financial close on its 127 MW Tailem Bend Solar Project (Tailem Solar) in South Australia, 100km south‐east of Adelaide. Construction is due to commence in February 2018 and the $200m project is expected to begin delivering power to the grid in Q1 2019.

Equis has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro Limited (Snowy Hydro) under which Snowy Hydro will purchase 100% of the power from Tailem Solar for at least 22 years. Snowy Hydro is a leading integrated energy business in Australia that owns and operates 5,500 MW of generation capacity across Australia, including the 4,100 MW Snowy Mountains hydro‐electric scheme.

Tailem Solar will be one of the lowest cost solar projects in Australia and will create hundreds of jobs, training opportunities and economic growth within Tailem Bend and surrounding local communities.

Tailem Solar will supply power equivalent to the annual needs of 41,600 homes and an area of the project site will be reserved to accommodate a future battery installation with storage of up to 100 MWh. Tailem Solar will save over 102,000 tonnes of CO2 annually compared to the same generation from South Australia’s existing power plants.

David Russell, Equis Energy Director, said, “Australia represents one of the most exciting solar power generation markets globally and Equis expects to build over $1 billion of new projects over the next 24‐36 months. As Asia’s largest renewable energy developer, Equis is able to leverage its economies of scale to deliver large scale, low‐cost, reliable renewable energy, which Australia needs, as well as providing employment opportunities and supporting economic growth in local communities.”

Equis is also developing Tailem Bend 2, a 111 MW solar project adjacent to Tailem Solar. Tailem Bend 2 will bring down power prices further by leveraging the existing infrastructure of Tailem Solar. Tailem Bend 2 is expected to commence construction in late 2018.

The two Tailem Bend solar projects will have a combined generation output of approximately 413,000 megawatt hours per year (MWh/year), supplying power equivalent to the annual needs of 82,600 homes and saving over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually compared to the same generation from South Australia’s existing power plants.

Source: Equis Energy


Victoria’s Minister D’ambrosio visits Acciona’s Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm

14 February

The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, today visited ACCIONA’s under-construction Mt Gellibrand wind farm.

The Minister was briefed on the progress being made at the site, and shown various components that form the turbines. She also took the time to meet with staff, subcontractors and local landowners.

ACCIONA Energy Australia Managing Director Brett Wickham said: “We were delighted to host Minister D’Ambrosio today. She is a strong advocate for the renewables sector, and it’s great to see that Victoria is powering ahead with its transition to cleaner forms of energy.”

ACCIONA is currently erecting several turbines at the site. Four are already complete with blades, 13 are complete to the nacelle, and other towers are going up at a rate of two to three per week. There will be a total of 44 turbines at the conclusion of the erection process.

After each tower is erected a separate crew adds the final 26-metre top section and the nacelle, which houses the gear box, drive train and generator. The final steps involve attaching the hub to the nacelle, and then the three 62-metre blades to the hub.

Other construction activities are also progressing well. The substation’s main power transformers have been assembled, electrical cable installation is on track, and a control building will arrive in February.

Mt Gellibrand is scheduled for commissioning in April, and due to commence operations in mid-2018. Once in service, it will produce around 429 gigawatt-hours (GWh) a year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 60,000 homes and avoiding the emission of some 412,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations.

Source: ACCIONA Energy


State Government backs Australia’s first straw-fuelled power plant

14 February

The State Government has supported plans to develop Australia’s first straw-fuelled power plant near Ardrossan on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.

The company behind the project, Yorke Biomass Energy, has received a $476,000 Renewable Technology Fund grant towards a feasibility study to be carried out before the company makes a final decision on investment.

The straw-fuelled biomass generator will produce 15MW of power, as well as a new income stream for farmers and additional competition for the grid, which puts downward pressure on power prices.

The demonstration project will be located near the Ardrossan West substation and will create about 40 ongoing jobs if progressed.

Once the Ardrossan demonstration project is complete, Yorke Biomass Energy plans to replicate the project across South Australia in remote and off-grid locations, particularly where crop farming and mining projects are located. The company has identified 10 potential locations to produce up to 150MW of additional generation capacity in South Australia.


The Yorke Biomass Energy plant is the latest project to be supported through the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund. Other renewables projects supported through the fund include:

  • Tesla big battery at Jamestown
  • Tesla Virtual Power Plant
  • Tilt solar farm and big battery at Snowtown
  • SIMEC ZEC pumped hydro project near Whyalla
  • Altura pumped hydro project near port Augusta
  • Rise pumped Hydro project near Port Germein
  • EnergyAustralia pumped hydro project near Whyalla
  • 1414 Degrees bioenergy storage at the Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • Sunshift solar storage project
  • Planet Ark Schneider solar storage project
  • UniSA solar storage project.

Quotes attributable to Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis

More renewable energy means cheaper power for South Australians, and the State Government is supporting the development of a diverse range of new renewables projects to add competition to the grid.

This is new technology that would not only be an Australian first but could create hundreds of new jobs in regional South Australia as Yorke Biomass Energy seek to roll out as many as 10 straw-fuelled power stations across the State.

This project would also create new income streams for local farmers seeking to supply straw to the plant, helping sustain and build regional communities on Yorke Peninsula.

Quotes attributable to Yorke Biomass Energy Chairman Terry Kallis

This funding grant will enable us to take some big steps forward with our demonstration project and proceed through to commercial close during the second half of 2018,” said Mr Kallis.

It’s also a fantastic vote of confidence in the project by the South Australian Government, which continues to look at innovative new ways to provide cheaper, greener and more reliable energy in South Australia.

We believe straw-fuelled power generation can play an important role in Australia’s energy mix. It can help reduce the cost of electricity and create new economic benefits to local rural communities, as well as helping resolve issues between mining and agricultural pursuits in a win-win manner.

There are also significant environmental benefits on offer, such as improvements to sustainable local farming in terms of soil health, crop rotation and weed management, in addition to reduced greenhouse gases and improved energy security.

Source: SA Government


Battery boom keeping Australia’s grid fully charged

14 February

Australia’s love affair with clean energy and battery storage is only just beginning, with the nation on the verge of an energy storage boom, as the cost of lithium-ion batteries rapidly drops, according to a new Climate Council report.

The ‘Fully Charged: Renewables and Storage Powering Australia’ report shows that Australia is on the cusp of a reliable renewable energy future, as the cost of energy storage rapidly drops, with prices dropping by 80 per cent since 2010, and are tipped to halve again by 2025.

“Australia’s renewables and battery storage boom will keep the nation’s power grid fully charged, especially during extreme weather events, such as summer heatwaves,” said Climate Councillor and energy expert Professor Andrew Stock.

“We live in one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, so pairing affordable renewables with energy storage like batteries, pumped hydro and heat storage just makes economic sense,” he said.

“Clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology now accounts for 16 per cent of Australia’s total electricity supply, with dozens more projects under construction or in the pipeline this year alone.”


◦The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 80% since 2010. Costs are expected to halve again by 2025 (under 7 years).

◦6,750 new household batteries were installed in 2016. The market is predicted to have tripled in size in 2017, with over 20,000 new installations.

◦Renewable energy now represents 16% of Australia’s electricity generation.

◦VIC, QLD and the NT are also investing in grid scale battery storage technology.

◦Federal, QLD and TAS governments are also considering developing pumped hydro projects.

◦The Australian electricity grid (NEM) and old fossil fuelled power stations are increasingly vulnerable to worsening extreme weather events, particularly as these power stations age.

◦More than 50% of Australia’s coal fleet will be over 40 years old by 2030.

◦Australia could reach 50% renewables by 2030 without significant new energy storage.

◦Australia must reach zero carbon pollution well before 2050 to effectively tackle climate change.

Climate Councillor and former BP President Greg Bourne said the report confirms Australian households and businesses are embracing the nation’s transition to a 21st Century energy grid.

“Clean energy storage is gaining momentum across the nation, from the world’s most powerful battery, solar thermal storage and virtual power plants in South Australia to plans for grid scale batteries in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory too,” he said.

With states and territories taking the lead in Australia’s renewables race, Bourne said the Federal Government was missing in action over credible and coherent federal energy and climate policy.

“The lack of ambition in the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) places the renewables and storage boom at risk of grinding to a halt, while failing to adequately cut rising pollution levels and tackle climate change” he said.

“The transition to renewable energy and storage is inevitable and is happening now. The only thing putting this at risk is the Federal Government’s lack of credible climate and energy policy.

“The strongest test of good climate and energy policy is whether it cuts Australia’s rising pollution levels and tackles intensifying climate change, through supporting the rollout of renewable energy and storage technologies, along with the retirement of ageing, polluting and inefficient coal fired power stations.”

Source: Climate Council


Expansion of solar business: innogy goes Down Under

14 February


> Acquisition of project rights for two solar power plants with a combined capacity of more than 460 megawatts in New South Wales

 > Total investment volume of more than €400 million including project rights

 > Start of construction planned for 2018

 > A year after the acquisition of BELECTRIC, innogy is making further progress on its strategic plans for growing a value accretive solar business

 > innogy benefits from BELECTRIC’s experience in constructing and operating utility-scale solar power plants

innogy SE continues to implement its growth strategy: Just one year after the successful acquisition of the international solar and battery storage specialist BELECTRIC, innogy SE is progressing in growing a value accretive solar business through the purchase of two large-scale solar development projects from Overland Sun Farming (“Overland”) in Australia, one of the leading Australian development companies. The projects “Limondale” and “Hillston” with a combined capacity of more than 460 megawatts (MW) are located in New South Wales. The parties signed all relevant contracts, with the transfer of the project companies to innogy anticipated to take place in the second quarter of this year. All parties involved have agreed to keep the terms and conditions of the transaction confidential, including the purchase price. The acquisition is subject to certain standard conditions, including land and planning arrangements, as well as review by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and approval from Australia’s Federal Treasurer from a foreign investment perspective. It is anticipated that the various conditions will be completed in the second quarter of 2018, enabling the entire transaction to complete.

Uwe Tigges, CEO of innogy SE

 “With the acquisition of two of Overland’s Australian solar development projects, innogy is entering into a strongly growing renewable energy market. This is a perfect fit with our strategy to deliver sustainable bottom line growth in accordance with innogy's financial targets to maximise value for the company and our shareholders. Execution of the two photovoltaic power plant projects is in line with innogy’s hurdle rate framework and funding capacity.”

Hans Bünting, Chief Operating Officer Renewables of innogy SE

“Taking over the international solar and battery storage specialist BELECTRIC was the first step to gaining a reliable footprint in photovoltaic power plant technology. Thanks to BELECTRIC’s existing network, we have been able to make our first significant utility-scale solar investment, not just anywhere, but in Australia – the continent with the highest solar irradiation per square meter. Australia is an excellent starting point for innogy to grow a valuable solar business.”

The two projects are already in a well-advanced development stage, with all land, planning and connection processes, arrangements and approvals as well as detailed designs and construction arrangements expected to be finalised during the second quarter.

“Limondale”, the first development project with a planned installed capacity of 347 MWp, will be located at Balranald, New South Wales. Construction works are expected to start in the second quarter of this year. Commissioning of the plant will be gradually realised. Full commercial operation is expected by the end of 2019. The second development project, “Hillston”, has a planned capacity of 115 MWp. Construction works are anticipated to commence at the latest by the third quarter of this year to achieve full commercial operation by the end of 2019.

The planned investment volume of both projects including acquisition of project rights totals to more than €400 million. At completion of the transaction, innogy will become the sole owner of the two projects. The final investment decision to construct both projects will be taken in line with its targets regarding leverage and financial stability. innogy will review all options regarding the ownership and financing structure of the project in order to maximise value for the company and shareholders.

Under current planning innogy’s subsidiary BELECTRIC will be in charge of construction works (EPC) and take over the operation and maintenance (O&M) for both solar plants as service provider. The company is an experienced player in the global solar market with close to two gigawatt of executed projects all over the world, including projects in Australia, and is among the world´s leading O&M providers.

innogy has considerable experience in developing, designing, financing, constructing and operating renewables assets, both independently and with project partners and investors. innogy will establish a new subsidiary and team based in Australia: In addition to solar, innogy is also investigating project opportunities for battery storage and onshore wind in Australia.

Source: Innogy


South Australian renewable energy agreement

14 February

Excerpt from packaging company Orora Ltd’s Half Year Results:

Orora has also today announced that it has signed a long term power purchasing agreement with global renewable energy provider Pacific Hydro, to supply wind-generated electricity for Orora’s South Australian (SA) operations, which includes the Gawler Glass facility. Under the agreement, Orora has secured the long-term supply of renewable energy from Clements Gap Wind Farm, for a volume equal to Orora’s total electricity demand in SA. In addition to the supply of renewable energy, the agreement also includes innovative risk sharing arrangements to further protect Orora’s exposure to variable market prices in South Australia.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr Garrard said, “Orora operates energy intensive businesses and is continuing to actively investigate a range of options to manage higher energy prices and safeguard supply for the Australian operations. Renewable energy represents a competitively priced and sustainable energy source and this agreement provides Orora’s SA operations with greater energy price certainty over the long-term.”


CIMIC’S UGL awarded $170m Tailem Bend Solar Farm project

15 February

CIMIC Group company UGL has been awarded contracts by Equis Energy to build and maintain the Tailem Bend 127MWDC Solar Farm in South Australia.

The project will generate revenue to UGL of approximately $170 million and is due to commence in early 2018, with power generation to the grid expected in 2019.

CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer Michael Wright said: “With our growing expertise in delivering renewable energy projects, CIMIC and UGL are proud to be supporting the growth of the Australian renewable energy market and delivering the Tailem Bend Solar Farm for Equis Energy.”

UGL Managing Director Jason Spears said: “The Tailem Bend Solar Farm expands UGL’s national footprint – we now have a solar farm under construction in every Australian mainland state – reaffirming our position as the leading EPC contractor in the renewable energy sector. We are very pleased to be partnering with Equis Energy to deliver this South Australian solar farm.”

UGL will undertake the engineering, procurement and construction of the project, including the associated substation and, critically, will provide the internal expertise to ensure the project is integrated successfully into the electricity network. Once operational, UGL will provide the operation and maintenance services for a five-year period.

UGL currently has solar projects under construction at Emu Downs in Western Australia, Kidston and Collinsville in Queensland, White Rock in New South Wales and Bannerton in Victoria.

Source: CIMIC


CWP Renewables’ Crudine Ridge Wind Farm tenders

15 February

CWP Renewables has successfully secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) for its Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, and is set to commence construction in April 2018.

Tenders have been released today for a broad range of works on the project which received approval from the NSW Planning Assessment Commission in 2016, and Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Energy in April 2017.

There are currently 38 tenders open for the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm. The 135 MW project, located near Pyramul, 45 km south of Mudgee in the Central West, NSW, has agreed an energy offtake with Meridian Energy Australia, owners of retailer Powershop.

Comprising 37 wind turbine generators, the project will generate enough clean energy to power 52,000 homes and offset over 325,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year once constructed.

“We first identified the area in 2007 and through consistent and genuine engagement with the local community, Councils and a wide array of stakeholders the project will now reach its potential”, said Mr Ed Mounsey, Head of Development of CWP Renewables.

The work packages include telecommunications, construction, civil works, fencing, electrical, engineering and plumbing tenders among others and the tenders close on 16 April 2018.

ANZ have been selected as financial advisor on the deal with Norton Rose Fulbright performing the legal advisor role. Construction consortium details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Project will consist of 37 wind turbine generators, internal access roads and electrical reticulation, a substation, switching station and 16 km of 132 kV transmission line. The Project is expected to commence construction in the second quarter of 2018.

Source: Australian Tenders


Energy Security Board National Energy Guarantee - consultation paper

15 February

The first public consultation paper for the National Energy Guarantee (Guarantee) has today been released by the independent Energy Security Board (ESB). The guarantee’s intention is to deliver more reliable, affordable and cleaner energy to Australian consumers.

The ESB is chaired by Dr Kerry Schott AO, and includes Deputy Chair Clare Savage, Australian Energy Market Commission Chair John Pierce AO, Australian Energy Market Operator Chief Executive Officer Audrey Zibelman, and Australian Energy Regulator Chair Paula Conboy.

ESB is implementing the COAG Energy Council’s mandate to deliver a lower emissions, reliable power system with enough electricity available when needed, at the lowest possible price.

The Guarantee was considered by the COAG Energy Council at its last meeting in November 2017 which agreed that further development work and public consultation should be conducted.

“We are seeking feedback from stakeholders on the high level design of the mechanism’s reliability and emissions component,” Dr Schott said.

“While the Federal Government will set the emission target itself we need stakeholder inputs on how contracting and compliance associated with meeting annual electricity emissions targets will work in practice.

“Reliability requirements will be set for each region across the whole power system, and we welcome contributions exploring the effectiveness of proposed incentives for investment in dispatchable energy and compliance arrangements.”

The release of this paper is the first step in a consultation process that will occur over coming months. The ESB will provide a draft high-level design to the COAG Energy Council in early April, ahead of the COAG meeting later that month where ministers will consider the report.

A stakeholder forum and webinar will be held on 26 February 2018. To register your interest in attending the public forum, please email [email protected]au. The event will be held in Sydney with further logistics to be confirmed.

Submissions on the consultation paper, attached below, are due by 8 March 2018 to [email protected].

Source: COAG


The NEG: Kicking the climate can down the road

15 February

The proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) continues to miss the mark on slashing Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution and improving energy reliability, following the release of the Federal Government’s discussion paper today.

“The Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee fails to address the core question of how Australia will reduce electricity pollution to tackle intensifying climate change,” said Climate Councillor and energy expert Professor Andrew Stock.

“When it comes to cutting pollution this proposal is weak. It’s 2030 target of just 26-28% for the electricity sector is too low. This is far below what is needed to tackle climate change,” he said.

“Under the NEG, Australia will actually be locked into this weak target. This proposal is kicking the climate can down the road for another ten to fifteen years.”

“Australia’s transition to clean energy and storage is underway and happening now. But the proposed NEG risks the nation’s renewables and storage boom from grinding to a halt.”

Professor Stock said the discussion paper raised more questions than answers over the National Energy Guarantees ability to fulfil its grand promises.

“It’s unclear how new investment in clean energy will be brought online ahead of coal closures. It’s unclear how further competition in the electricity market will be encouraged to drive down power prices. What is clear, is that this policy will not cut pollution and it absolutely will not tackle climate change.”

“The strongest test of credible climate and energy policy is whether it make deep cuts Australia’s rising carbon pollution levels. This can only occur through supporting the rapid rollout of renewable energy and storage technologies, along with the retirement of ageing, polluting and inefficient fossil fuel power stations.”

“States and Territories are already leading the charge when it comes to Australia’s transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology. Now, the Federal Government must get on with the job of driving investment in a modern and secure 21st Century energy grid.”

Source: Climate Council


ReNu Energy signs solar PV PPA term sheet and extends bioenergy PPA

15 February

ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) has signed two agreements with A.J. Bush & Sons (Manufactures) Pty Ltd (AJ Bush).


  • Solar PV Power Purchase Agreement (Solar PV PPA) term sheet providing exclusivity for the development of an 850 kW DC solar PV project (Solar Project).
  • Ten year extension to existing Bioenergy Power Purchase Agreement (Bioenergy PPA) for the 1.1 MW operational bioenergy project (Bioenergy Project).
  • Supports ReNu Energy’s strategic objective to develop the pipeline with 14.9 MW of projects either in operation, construction or under term sheet.

ReNu Energy is pleased to announce the signing of a term sheet for a new Solar PV PPA and extension of its existing Bioenergy PPA with AJ Bush, a leader in the utilisation of renewable energy and a long standing customer of ReNu Energy. The projects are located at AJ Bush’s rendering facility near Beaudesert, Queensland.

Commenting on the agreements, ReNu Energy Chief Executive Officer Mr Chris Murray said, “It is a pleasure to be extending our relationship with AJ Bush, a leader in the utilisation of renewable energy and a long term customer. We are also delighted at the opportunity to develop the Solar Project at AJ Bush’s facility. The combination of solar PV and bioenergy is a great solution for the facility and its load requirements.

These agreements build on an already great start to 2018 for ReNu Energy, having recently announced the commencement of commercial operations at the Goulburn Bioenergy Project and the settlement of the Amaroo Solar PV Project acquisition. Securing the revenue stream from the Bioenergy PPA for a further 10 years and adding to our pipeline of solar PV projects under term sheet has increased our portfolio of renewable energy projects to 14.9 MW DC, which includes 3.3 MW of operational assets. With a further strong pipeline of opportunities under review, we look forward to increasing our portfolio significantly this year”.

Solar PV PPA term sheet

ReNu Energy and AJ Bush have entered into a term sheet that provides ReNu Energy with exclusivity until 31 March 2018 to execute a Power Purchase Agreement for an 850 kW DC solar PV project with a 25 year term. The capital cost of the Solar Project is approximately $1.5 million.

Forward-looking Statements: This ASX-announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on an assessment of present economic, market and operating conditions, and on a number of assumptions regarding future events and actions that are expected to take place that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance actual results, performance or achievements of ReNu Energy may be materially different from the statements in this announcement. ReNu Energy does not undertake to update or revise forward-looking statements.

The solar PV equipment will be ground mounted on AJ Bush’s land adjacent to the rendering facility. The Solar Project will provide approximately 1,330 MWh per year of renewable energy which will be used exclusively behind the meter by AJ Bush and will generate approximately 1,330 Large Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) per year which are to ReNu Energy’s account.

Execution of the PPA is subject to customary conditions including due diligence, relevant approvals and finance.

On completion of the Solar Project, ReNu Energy can supply up to half of the rendering facility’s energy demand, providing significant electricity cost savings and decreasing the site’s emissions by approximately 3,700 tonnes of CO2e per annum.

Bioenergy PPA Extension

The 1.1 MW bioenergy project at AJ Bush commenced operation in 2011 and was acquired by ReNu Energy in 2015. The Bioenergy Project underwent a major upgrade in late 2016 which included the replacement of one generator and installation of gas conditioning equipment.

The Bioenergy Project receives biogas from AJ Bush’s facility and generates approximately 3,360 MWh per year of renewable energy which is utilised behind the meter at the facility. It also generates approximately 3,360 LGCs per year.

The extension, which is on the same terms as the existing PPA, extends the term of the agreement for a further 10 years to January 2031.

Source: ReNu Energy


International review of Australia's energy policies backs Turnbull Government plan

15 February

An In-Depth Review of Australia’s Energy Policies by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found the National Electricity Market (NEM) is “world leading” while also identifying a number of key challenges facing Australia’s energy markets.

The Review’s recommendations align with reforms already under way as the Turnbull Government works to deliver an affordable and reliable energy system that will also meet Australia’s international commitments.

These include the responses to the Finkel Review into the National Electricity Market, gas market reforms and the National Energy Guarantee.

In particular, the National Energy Guarantee goes towards the Review’s overarching recommendation – for a stable, enduring policy response so that Australia can manage the energy transition already taking place. As the IEA Review highlights, the creation of the Guarantee is a welcome development in this regard, describing it as a “promising opportunity” to integrate energy and climate policies.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol has further said that “the government’s efforts to ensure energy security and move ahead with market reforms have been impressive”.

The Government’s National Energy Guarantee will ensure Australians will be $300 a year better off than they would be under Labor cutting electricity prices by:

  • ending subsidies for energy, which are passed on to all customers;
  • creating a level playing field that ensures all types of energy are part of Australia’s mix;
  • providing certainty for investors – more certainty will mean more supply and, in turn, lower prices; and
  • reducing volatility, by ensuring reliable energy sources which provide power when it’s needed.

The In-Depth Review also identified the threat to affordable and reliable energy due to the bans put in place by the Victorian and Northern Territory Labor governments on the development of gas.

The IEA found “there are significant concerns about the price and the availability of natural gas amid moratoriums on gas production in the eastern market”.

The Review of Australia’s Energy Policies was undertaken in March 2017 and is undertaken approximately every four years. The expert panel met with over 100 companies, industry associations and government representatives in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.

The In-Depth Review of Australia’s Energy Policies is available via:

Source: Federal Government


Transformation underway at North Queensland solar farms

16 February

Two 70-tonne transformers are being installed at the Strathmore Substation near Collinsville as two new North Queensland solar farms prepare to join the electricity transmission network.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the transformers were the most significant pieces of equipment needed to complete the connection of the Whitsunday and Hamilton projects to the transmission network. The projects are being developed by Australian renewable energy company Edify Energy and its German investor WIRSOL.

“These solar farms will generate 115 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, enough to power the equivalent of 62,000 average Queensland homes after they join the grid in March,” Dr Lynham said.

“They are among the first of 23 large-scale renewable generation projects in the pipeline in Queensland, including 13 in North Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.

Construction started at the $122 million Whitsunday and $138 million Hamilton projects in June 2017, and they will create more than 200 construction jobs at their peak.

The Whitsunday Solar Farm is one of the four projects successful in receiving Palaszczuk Government support through the Solar 150 initiative.

The revenue certainty provided through Solar 150 has helped make Queensland an attractive location for renewable projects, and spurred unprecedented growth in investment in the state.

The transformers arrived at the Port of Brisbane in mid-January, were transported more than 1250 km by road, and are currently being installed.

Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York said transporting the massive pieces of equipment had been a major logistical exercise.

“It took several days for the transformers to be transported on two long-load platform trailers and when fully assembled, they will each weigh close to 110-tonnes and stand six metres tall,” she said.

Powerlink is scheduled to start commissioning connections for the solar farms next month.

WIRSOL managing director Mark Hogan said construction at the solar farms was on schedule to meet their proposed commissioning date and they would soon be producing a significant volume of clean energy for the region.

“With our project partners Edify, we are proud to be owners of these ground-breaking projects and we look forward to exporting electricity to the Powerlink network.”

Another three solar farms are underway in the Collinsville area - Daydream, Hayman and the Collinsville Solar PV project and are due to be completed later this year.

Source: Powerlink

Solar microgrid to power South Australian produce market

4 February

The South Australian Produce Market will install 1600 solar panels and a large lithium-ion battery on their facility at Pooraka, in an investment set to save stallholders over half a million dollars a year off their power bills.

The $10.5 million microgrid, which will be constructed with the help of a $2.5 million State Government Energy Productivity Program grant, is understood to be the largest private solar PV system in South Australia.

The system will supply all of the wholesale market’s energy needs and will also feed surplus power into the broader grid, relieving peak demand and putting downward pressure on power prices for all South Australians.

The microgrid will comprise of a 4.2MWh lithium-ion battery, 2.5MW solar PV system and 2.5MW onsite generator and at full capacity will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 4,500 homes.

The project will cut greenhouse gas emissions from the site by 2,637 tonnes each year and it is anticipated market stallholders will save up to $5.5M over the next 10 years compared to the current Retail offers available in SA.

The control system for the site is being developed by local South Australian company AZZO. The microgrid will be fully operational by late 2018 and will create about 40 jobs during construction.

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the SA Produce Market microgrid project kicks of a week in which the State Government will make a range of major announcements on new renewable energy projects that will put downward pressure on power prices for South Australians.


There are about 7300 businesses in SA with solar PV systems, with combined capacity of 102MW – roughly equivalent to the Tesla battery at Jamestown.

Almost 210,000 SA households have rooftop solar PV, with total capacity of 720MW.

The 2016-17 Mid Year Budget Review included $31 million over two years to help large South Australian businesses manage their electricity costs.

The funding was first available for businesses to undertake energy audits of their facilities to determine where efficiencies can be made. The audits made recommendations about technology or infrastructure upgrades that could be carried out to reduce cost and grants were made available to implement those recommendations.

A number of other recipients are in the process of having their grant funding finalised.

Source: South Australia Government


World’s largest ‘Virtual Power Plant’ to lower energy bills

4 February

The State Government has unveiled a plan to roll out a network of at least 50,000 home solar and battery systems across South Australia, working together to form the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant.

Beginning with a trial of 1100 Housing SA properties, a 5kW solar panel system and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 battery will be installed at no charge to the household and financed through the sale of electricity.

Following the trial, which has now commenced, systems are set to be installed at a further 24,000 Housing Trust properties, and then a similar deal offered to all South Australian households, with a plan for at least 50,000 households to participate over the next four years.

A registration of interest will be opened today for members of the public who wish to participate in the program.

The Government will release a market notice later this week for a retailer to deliver the program, with a preference of bringing a new player into the market.

Analysis by Frontier Economics shows the 250MW plant is expected to lower energy bills for participating households by 30 per cent.

Additionally, all South Australians will also benefit from the increased generation in the South Australian energy mix, with lower energy prices and increased energy stability.

The State Government is assisting the rollout with a $2 million grant and $30 million loan from the Renewable Technology Fund.


Today’s announcement is the next phase in the State Government’s Energy Plan, which is already making South Australia more self-sufficient through the world’s largest lithium ion battery and the solar thermal plant.

The Virtual Power Plant will be the biggest of its kind in the world, easily eclipsing Canberra’s Reposit Power Virtual Power Plant, which connects 250 homes and businesses to the grid.

A recent report by the Australian Energy Market Commission said that energy prices in South Australia are expected to fall by approximately $300 over the next two years for the average household.

Source: South Australia Government


Goulburn Bioenergy Project commences commercial operation

5 February

ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) has commenced commercial operation at the Goulburn Bioenergy Project.


  • The Goulburn Bioenergy Project has achieved practical completion and commenced commercial operation.
  • Revenue flow from the project has commenced and will ramp up as biogas production increases.
  • $1.4 million of the $2.1 million ARENA grant has been received and the conditions precedent for the next milestone payment of $0.68 million are expected to be met in March 2018.
  • Supports ReNu Energy’s target of $2 million of EBITDA from operating projects by 30 June 2018.1

ReNu Energy is pleased to announce that the Goulburn Bioenergy Project (the Project), located at the Southern Meats Pty Ltd abattoir in Goulburn, NSW (the Facility) has reached practical completion and commenced commercial operation.

The anaerobic digester and biogas treatment plant have been commissioned and are operational. The digester is receiving the full waste flow from the Facility and biogas production is ramping up with high gas quality. The two 800 kW dual fuel Caterpillar generators have been operated on both natural gas and biogas.

Chris Murray, Managing Director of ReNu Energy said, “The commercial operation of the Goulburn Bioenergy Project is a significant milestone for ReNu Energy and for the bioenergy sector in Australia. The project will supply approximately 4,000 MWh of energy annually, representing over 50% of the Facility’s power consumption and a significant reduction in energy costs and carbon emissions for our customer, Southern Meats.

The Project would not have been possible without the support of Southern Meats, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). We acknowledge and thank Southern Meats and ARENA for their support.”

1 On an annualised run-rate basis.

About the Project

The Goulburn Bioenergy Project is located at the Southern Meats Pty Ltd abattoir in Goulburn, NSW.

The Project includes an anaerobic digester, which is supplied with waste water from the Facility, biogas treatment plant, two 800 kW dual fuel Caterpillar generators and electrical interconnection to the Facility. The electricity generated is supplied to the Facility at peak times of the daily billing cycle to reduce the Facility’s overall electricity costs. To be able to meet the peak demand periods, the generators can be operated on dual fuel, blending biogas with natural gas. Dual fuel blending is a novel and innovative application in the field of bioenergy, enabling projects to better meet the demand cycles of customers and enhance project viability through the addition of natural gas.

ReNu Energy owns and operates the project under a Build Own Operate Maintain (BOOM) model whereby ReNu Energy owns and operates the equipment and Southern Meats purchases the electricity supplied under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The Project will generate Large Scale Renewable Energy Certificates (LGCs) and Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) which will be to ReNu Energy’s account. ReNu Energy has a contract for the supply of ACCUs with the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Projects is supported by a $2.1 million grant funding agreement with ARENA.

Source: ReNu Energy



Merredin Solar Farm’s proposed action to clear native vegetation to establish a 100 MW capacity solar farm approximately 5km south-west of Merredin in Western Australia was declared “Not a controlled action” by the Federal Government’s Department of the Environment & Energy.


World’s largest virtual power plant a game changer

5 February

South Australia is preparing to step up its renewables and energy storage game, with the state announcing plans to rollout the world’s largest virtual power plant.

Climate Council Acting CEO and Head of Research, Dr Martin Rice said the South Australian Government and Tesla initiative was a ‘game changer’ for the national energy market, and would cut rising household power bills.

“This announcement shows that the transition to a 21st Century grid, made up of clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and battery storage is inevitable and it’s happening now,” he said.

Dr Rice said South Australia is home to the highest proportion of solar and wind electricity in Australia, which is also among the highest in the world.

“South Australia is leading the charge, from the most powerful battery, wind and solar plants, to upcoming solar thermal and now the world’s largest virtual power plant,” he said.

“The state is doing its bit to slash pollution levels and to tackle climate change, now we just need the Federal Government to do the same for the nation.”

The announcement details low income households, Tesla and the state’s electricity grid will share the benefits. The initiative will see around 50,000 homes in South Australia receive solar panels and battery storage installed, with the cost of the project financed in part through the sale of electricity generated from the solar panels installed. The system can also provide power to the grid at time of peak demand.

Dr Rice said the announcement also follows the release of ReachTel polling, commissioned by the Climate Council in South Australia last week. The results showing SA residents polled are proud of the state’s leadership on renewables and storage.

“The results show that no matter what the age, around 60% of people polled are proud of the state’s clean energy leadership,” he said.

“Almost 60 percent of people polled (33.5% Liberal, 83.3% Labor, 54.3% SA Best) said the rest of Australia should follow SA’s lead on renewable energy and storage within the next five to ten years.”

Source: Climate Council


Strategic realignment in juwi Australia

6 February

juwi, a global renewable company founded in 1996 and has since delivered over 4.4GW of solar and wind projects worldwide with a total investment volume of >$10billion. juwi entered the Australian business in 2014 with the acquisition of Qi power focusing on a niche hybrid/offgrid segment resulting in successfully executing the world’s largest solar diesel battery hybrid reference project Sandfire Degrussa in Western Australia.

As part of the strategic initiative to expand project development activities beyond the offgrid/hybrid segment into utility scale PV projects, the juwi board has decided to strengthen the project development expertise in the management team.

The leadership position will be taken over by Cameron Garnsworthy, who brings with him a wealth of experience in the Australian Solar and Wind development space. In this latest role, he was the Managing Director of a market leading player in Australia and successfully closed 250 MW of solar PV projects. He has also served as a non-executive director at the Clean Energy Council providing guidance and input on wide ranging issues affecting the development of the clean energy industry in Australia. Prior to that, Cameron was heading the Renewables arm of Energy Australia – a leading electricity generator and retailer in the Australian market. Cameron also has prior experience on the buy side with juwi and was involved in various transactions in Germany for the purchase of wind farm projects that were built by juwi.

Source: juwi Australia


Fraser and Matiri rivers set to generate more power for the local regions

5 February

The Fraser River has a long association with power generation and irrigation and this valuable resource is soon to be sending even more energy back into the community as Pioneer Energy gets ready to begin their latest hydro project.

In the 1980s, the potential was identified for further hydro generation on the river, upstream of the Fraser Dam. In 2015 Pioneer Energy obtained the necessary consents to construct a new scheme upstream of the Fraser Dam. The natural ‘fall’ of the river upstream of the Fraser Dam creates potential for high energy generation. It will be a ‘run of river’ scheme and will be entirely dependent on natural inflows.

The scheme’s powerhouse will be three kilometres upstream of the Fraser Dam, near where the inflow from Rough Creek joins the Fraser and the water intake is a further three and a half kilometres up river from this. .

The power scheme will be located on Earnscleugh Station, and will be largely unseen with most of the three and a half kilometres of pipeline buried.

Due to the altitude and topography of the area, the construction is unable to take place during the winter but some of the track construction and upgrades will begin in February. The main construction of the intake, powerhouse and pipeline is scheduled to start in September 2018.

Part of the scheme will include the upgrading of the existing four-wheel drive track, up to the head of the Fraser Dam, which provides access to the Shek Harn walking track, and the walking/mountain-bike track known as Prospect Hill. A new access track will be installed from the head of the Fraser Dam on privately-owned land following the true right of the Fraser River. It will be located to avoid any impact on the river, and to stay clear of the many historic mining remnants along the banks of the Fraser River.

The work will be carried out using local contractors where practical, and the benefits will also flow back into the region via Pioneer Energy’s owner, the Central Lakes Trust.

The Upper Fraser is expected to generate approximately 30 GWh of power annually (enough to supply around 4000 households) and should be supplying the local region with power by March 2019.

Simultaneously and similarly scaled to the Upper Fraser project, the development of the Matiri Hydro scheme in the Tasman district has also been approved for construction. The Matiri scheme will add approximately 28 GWh into the Murchinson area by October 2019.

Once commissioned, Pioneer Energy will sell these schemes to one of their joint-venture partnerships, the Southern Generation Limited Partnership. The Upper Fraser and Matiri schemes will join SGLP’s current stable of two South Island wind farms and the North Island’s Aniwhenua hydro-scheme. The Southern Generation Partnership is a 50/50 partnership between Pioneer Energy and the Roaring Forties, with the Roaring Forties shareholding equally shared between Electricity Invercargill and The Power Company.

Source: Pioneer Energy



Sydney-based PowerAsia’s replacement prospectus, seeking to raise $9mil through the issue of 45mil shares at $0.20 each, was lodged on 2 February with the offer closed on 9 February. Admission to the ASX and trading of shares is targeted for 16 February 2018. One of PowerAsia’s foundation projects is the 20.6 MW Paget Solar Project in Mackay in Queensland, for which it has signed an option deed to acquire from Bosso Holdings and Maggiolo Holdings.


Tilt Renewables announces two exciting new energy projects for South Australia

7 February

Leading Australasian renewable energy operator Tilt Renewables has today announced advances in two new renewable energy projects for South Australia.

A new 300 MW, 1350MWh pumped hydro energy storage project at Highbury is moving to the approvals phase; and a grant of more than $7 million has been announced from SA’s Renewable Technology Fund to support development of the Snowtown North Solar Farm and Battery Energy Storage System Project.

“Together, these projects will make a meaningful contribution to the State’s renewable energy and security of supply targets and economic priorities,” said Tilt Renewables Chief Executive Deion Campbell.

The projects also reinforce Tilt Renewables’ long term commitment to the South Australian electricity market and associated support of local communities.

“We have already invested close to $1B in SA and are well placed to help the State continue to lead the world in integrating large scale intermittent renewable generation technology,” Mr Campbell said.

At an event hosted by Tilt Renewables today at the site of the Highbury project, South Australia’s Energy Minister, the Hon. Tom Koutsantonis congratulated Tilt renewables for the success of their application to the Renewable Technology Fund and for their vision in the development of these cutting edge renewable energy projects.

Approximately 200 site staff will be employed during the 12-month construction of the Snowtown facility and up to 300 people over 30 months at Highbury.

“Clearly today Tilt Renewables has taken two steps towards achieving its vision to be a leading developer and owner of renewable electricity generation assets and I am proud of the team that has worked to get the business to this stage with these projects,” added Deion Campbell.

Tilt Renewables is looking forward to working with its project partners, the South Australian Government and the local communities to bring these two exciting projects to life.

Highbury Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project

Tilt Renewables is entering the planning approval phase for the pumped hydro facility on the site of a decommissioned quarry in Highbury, 14km north east of the Adelaide CBD.

The site at the old Highbury Quarry is currently owned by project partner Holcim Australia and ceased quarrying operations in 2009. The site offers a number of attributes making it ideal for a pumped hydro development, including existing reservoir and road infrastructure, and straight forward connection to the grid.

A pumped hydro storage scheme works by pumping water from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir during periods of low energy prices. It can then generate power when electricity demand is high, by releasing gravity-fed water from the upper reservoir through generators and back to the lower reservoir, for the cycle to begin again.

Tilt Renewables Deion Campbell says pumped hydro has always been a key component of an electricity system because it allows renewable electricity to be stored and used when required, without introducing carbon into the equation.

“We see this project as a real winner for the South Australian community. Not only will we be able to support energy security and contribute to reducing power price volatility, we’ll also have the option to open up some of the 350 hectare site for public recreational use with potential for walking trails, picnic areas and outdoor activities.”

Snowtown Solar and Storage Project

The grant of $7,125,000 from the SA Renewable Technology Fund will support development of Tilt Renewable’s Snowtown North Solar Farm and Battery Energy Storage System Project.

The $90 million project will be built alongside Tilt Renewables existing wind farms at Snowtown and deliver a new 44MW solar farm and a 21 MW, 26 MWh battery energy storage system. The energy generated will be injected into the national electricity grid via the existing 100MW Snowtown Stage 1 Wind Farm substation.

The new solar energy farm will consist of up to 180,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and will be located on 100 ha of cleared farming land next to the existing Snowtown Stage 1 Wind Farm substation.

Deion Campbell said the Snowtown development demonstrates that the integration of the right mix of existing technologies in a modern renewable electricity system, can provide flexibility and security of supply and that co-location can greatly increase asset utilisation and overall system efficiency.

“When complete, the new infrastructure will be part of the biggest co-located wind, solar and battery facility in Australasia.”

“By combining wind energy (with typically an evening peak at this site) and solar energy (with a daytime peak), the two assets can combine to better match daily electricity demands, with the battery reducing the effect of short term variability from the two renewable generation technologies” Mr Campbell added.

Mr Campbell welcomed the grant from the South Australian government, “with this solar and battery project, Tilt Renewables will be able to increase the utilisation of existing infrastructure at Snowtown and clearly demonstrate how we see the potential for various components of a renewable generation based electricity system to work together, improving energy security, reliability and efficiency”.

Source: Tilt Renewables


Lakeland Wind Farm approved

7 February

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) announces that the Lakeland Wind Farm in Far North Queensland has received development approval from the Queensland Government’s Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

The Lakeland Wind Farm will be located 60 km south-west of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula, adjacent to the town of Lakeland. The wind farm has been approved for up to 30 wind turbines and all necessary electrical infrastructure to connect the project to the national electricity network. It is expected to have a name plate capacity of around 100MW subject to final turbine type selection and site optimisation.

“Receiving approval for a wind farm is perhaps the single most important milestone in the development process.” stated Roger Price, Executive Chairman and CEO of Windlab Limited. “With work on the connection agreement and EPC selection well advanced the focus is now on financing to allow the project to reach financial close as planned.”

The wind farm will generate sufficient power to supply more than 50,000 average Australian homes. Construction is anticipated to commence in the 2nd half of 2018.

Source: Windlab


GFG Alliance commits to funding Middleback Pumped Hydro Study

7 February

On the back of completing a successful concept study, today Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has committed to spending $1.7m on pre-feasibility studies for its Middleback Range Pumped Hydro Project.

Targeted for ultimate delivery in 2022, this project’s critical next step should take 6 months to complete and will include high level designs, engineering studies, network studies, geotechnical investigation, market modelling and commercial evaluation.

The pre-feasibility studies will be conducted by local South Australian company SIMEC ZEN Energy, which became part of the GFG Alliance in September 2017. The project forms part of SIMEC ZEN Energy’s strategic plan to establish 1 Gigawatt of additional dispatchable renewable energy generation in South Australia, which will provide access to lower cost, reliable, and low emission energy for both GFG’s own steelworks at Whyalla and other industrial and commercial users across Australia.

The Middleback Range Pumped Hydro Project represents a new approach to increasing Australia’s energy security by converting a depleted iron ore pit into energy infrastructure. Based on current estimates of potential size, its 90MW, four hour storage technology is estimated to represent a $170m investment in South Australia’s energy future.

The study costs are being partially supported by a $500,000 grant from the SA Government’s Renewable Technology Fund. The GFG Alliance is grateful for this funding which is speeding the way for Australia to reach a more economic, secure, reliable and sustainable electricity network.

With its unique industry focus integrating energy with mining,GFG Alliance is unlocking new value from legacy mining projects that can be passed on for the benefit of Australia’s future generations.

Commenting on this commitment, Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of GFG Alliance said: “The cost of solar and wind is rapidly declining globally with the evolution of technology and economies of scale. However, without a viable large-scale storage solution‎ this revolution is incomplete and unsustainable.

“Pumped hydro has the prospect of being a macro solution to power storage. We at GFG Alliance are very proud and excited to be playing a key role in the development of this breakthrough. Using the empty mining pits from our SIMEC Mining division in South Australia as reservoirs for storing hydro power, and the using the specific expertise of SIMEC ZEN Energy to develop this technology, we will balance power generated by our large-scale solar projects in Whyalla with dispatchable hydro power generated in the Middleback ranges.

“A dramatic reduction in power price is the most important ingredient needed for an industrial renaissance in Australia, which GFG is entirely committed to effecting. Solar and pumped hydro together is the combination that can achieve this. This can be a game changer for our highly energy intensive industries such as steel and aluminium”.

Source: GFG Alliance


Limestone Coast bioenergy hotspot

7 February

Moves are underway to turn a major Limestone Coast food manufacturer into a bioenergy hotspot. Blue Lake Milling has developed a plan to convert cereal husks into power as part of an ambitious project designed to reduce energy costs and provide a positive impact on the energy market in South Australia.

The Tatiara company is one of the first in South Australia to take advantage of the State Government’s Bioenergy Roadmap Program designed to unlock potential biofuel resources and stimulate investment in innovative power-generating technology. The program, which is being administered statewide by Regional Development Australia – Limestone Coast (RDALC), lays the groundwork for new projects by providing mentorship and feasibility funding for applicants.

“There is real scope for utilising a waste or residual resource to provide energy solutions for South Australia, and the search is underway for new feedstocks for bioenergy production,” explains RDALC senior project officer Roger Babolka. “Funding is available to help guide applicants through the conceptual stages to try to get these projects off the ground.”

Blue Lake Milling’s proposal has now progressed to a full feasibility study in recognition of the anticipated environmental and economic benefits. Each year, the company’s Bordertown plant processes approximately 24,000 tonnes of husk as a by-product of its cereal oat production. The husk is sold to stock feeders to be used as a bulk filler in feed pellets, but BLM chief executive officer, Ben Abbot, says it would be more valuable as a fuel source.

“We are a 24-hour 5-day-a-week operation, and while this time last year our monthly power bill was $50,000, it has since jumped to $80,000 per month,” he says. “With the system that we are looking at, we would generate more than enough power ourselves; two thirds of it would go to the mill, and the remaining third could be put back into the grid, which is an added bonus.”

Through a process of anaerobic digestion, the discarded oat husks would be placed in a tank of water with bacteria added. The methane gas subsequently produced by the organic breakdown process would be channelled to an engine to generate power, using technology that is already in widespread use across Europe.

“It’s proven technology, and a West Australian company has also successfully adopted a similar system to process food waste,” Mr Abbot explains. “We already have the fuel and the site, with the equipment expected to cover a 40 x 40-metre area.”

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said, “The opportunities that exist in the renewable energy and storage sector are incredibly diverse. The State Government recently announced the support of four projects through the Renewable Technology Fund that includes battery storage, hydrogen fuel cells and thermal storage using biogas from sewage.

“We are also pleased to fund this feasibility study in bioenergy generated from oat husks at iconic South Australian company Blue Lake Milling. By harnessing industrial by products such as these, we can lower power prices for businesses and also reduce the overall demand on the electricity grid” says Minister Koutsantonis.

The Bioenergy Roadmap Program will remain open for applications through to 30th June 2018, or until the funds are expended, with applications assessed as they are received. Applications are available at:

Source: Regional Development Australia


Wind farm generates jobs now, energy soon

7 February

Construction is officially underway on Australia’s largest wind farm on Queensland’s Darling Downs, generating 200 construction jobs in 2018, and clean energy in 2019.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today joined AGL to turn the first sod on the almost $850 million Coopers Gap Wind Farm midway between Kingaroy and Dalby.

“This is the second large-scale renewable project in the Western Downs to get underway,” Dr Lynham said.

“Coopers Gap will bring $850 million of investment, 200 construction jobs, and up to 20 ongoing operational jobs to the Western Downs.

“The Western Downs is fast becoming Australia’s renewable energy capital, with Coopers Gap and 10 approved solar projects.

“Together, they represent more than 2000 megawatts of renewable energy that will help power Queensland’s electricity grid and its regional economies, and help us meet our international emissions reduction commitments.

“Combined, these projects would represent more than $5 billion of investment, and more than 3000 construction jobs for the Western Downs.  

The 453 megawatt (MW) Coopers Gap Wind Farm is about 250 km west of Brisbane, will produce approximately 1,510,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually. This is sufficient to power more than 260,000 average Australian homes when fully operational in mid-2019.

The renewable energy produced from the wind farm’s 123 turbines will also reduce CO2 emissions by 1,180,000 tonnes annually, the equivalent of taking 340,000 cars off the road.

The project is also a coordinated project, a special status which allows the State’s independent Co-ordinator-General Queensland’s to use his powers to cut red tape and help deliver project.

Work has already started to connect the wind farm to the grid. Queensland’s high voltage transmission provider Powerlink is building a new 275kV substation at Cooranga North, with commissioned expected by the end of this year.

Dr Lynham said ongoing private sector investment, like AGL’s, was concrete endorsement of Queensland’s renewable energy policy.

“Our 50 per cent renewable energy generation target by 2030 has encouraged an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment in 23 large-scale projects that are currently financially committed to or under construction right across the State.

“When complete, these projects will more than double Queensland’s renewable energy output and produce enough electricity to power around 987,000 homes.”

Source: Queensland Government


$7.5m Northam Solar Farm debt financing

7 February

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that progress continues on WA’s first merchant utility solar project, the 10 MW Northam Solar Farm, with the completion and execution of the detailed transaction documentation for the $7.5 million construction debt finance with the Perth based private investment group Asymmetric Credit Partners Pty Ltd. The first draw down will now be completed and subsequent funds will be transferred to the project mid-February.

Works are now underway at the Northam Solar Farm site and the project is on track to complete in the second half of 2018 when it will begin selling power into the Western Australian grid. Upon completion of project construction and commissioning Carnegie plans to refinance the debt facility. The Company plans to likewise refinance its 2MW Garden Island Microgrid at the completion of construction.

As part of securing the construction finance facility, Carnegie undertook a corporate debt restructure including the wind up of its $2.8million unlisted convertible note, first previously announced to the ASX on 9 October 2017. Under the terms of the convertible note conversion and wind up, upon successful execution of the detailed documentation for the Northam Solar Construction Finance facility, Carnegie will now issue to the convertible note holders 19.6 million ordinary shares and 35 million unlisted five-year options with an exercise price of 6.0c. Additionally, Carnegie has now restructured its $5m EMC unlisted convertible notes, to remove the general security arrangements associated with these notes, in return for lowering the exercise price to 4.0c per share.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


Western Australia’s largest on-grid battery win

8 February


  • Carnegie’s wholly owned subsidiary Energy Made Clean (EMC) and JV partner Lendlease Services awarded the design and construction of a 5MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) for WA State Government utility Western Power.
  • This BESS will integrate with wind, solar and the grid at Kalbarri to form the largest microgrid in Western Australia.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin late-2018 and commence operation in mid-2019.

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to announce that its 100% owned subsidiary, leading Australian battery and solar engineering company, Energy Made Clean, and its Joint Venture partner, Lendlease Services have been awarded a $6.8 million contract for the Supply, Delivery and Installation of a 5MW Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facility located in Kalbarri, 500km north of Perth for Western Power. The BESS will have a 4.5MWh energy capacity and a minimum 2MWh that is accessible at any time for reliability back-up services.

With a capacity of a 5MW, and overload capacity to 10MW, the BESS will form part of the largest microgrid in Western Australia. The system will be supported by a trailing Operations and Maintenance (O&M) contract, serviced by the EMC Lendlease JV’s dedicated maintenance team.

Currently, Kalbarri is solely supplied with electricity via a 140 km, 33kV radial Kalbarri feeder from Geraldton. This feeder is exposed to environmental factors including wind-borne marine salt and dust pollution, and combined with its length and remoteness, can lead to extended outages on the line.

With two modes of operation for the BESS facility, Kalbarri will now be able to be supplied reliable energy through Island Mode, capable of operating in isolation from the South West Interconnected Network, and also have access to energy through Grid Mode, which will provide network stabilisation services with regards to voltage and frequency to other generation sources.

Carnegie Clean Energy CEO & Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano said the awarding of this project demonstrated its capability to deliver innovative utility-scale solar and microgrid solutions for customers across Australia.

“We’re excited to have won an extremely competitive, global tender using the latest in storage and control technologies. This reinforces Carnegie’s leadership in the design and delivery of innovative energy solutions in Australia.”

“This BESS will deliver energy security to Kalbarri, a regional area of Western Australia which has previously had its energy supply disrupted because of its remote location.”

“This contract award comes just over 12 months after the establishment of the EMC/Lendlease JV which has secured $25m in orders in the last 4 weeks with Kalbarri and our Northam Solar Farm. With tender cycles running in excess of 12 months, and a clear focus on delivery of high value projects for utility grade customers, we are just starting to see the results of our hard work over the past year.”

Speaking at the announcement of the contract, West Australian Energy Minister, Ben Wyatt said: “This is a great outcome for the Western Australian economy and the Kalbarri community.”

“It is a game changer for regional communities who rely on power from a long feeder line, which is subject to environmental factors that can cause outages. The improved reliability for the region will boost the local tourism and retail operations, as well as enhance the lifestyle of residents.

“This partnership between Western Power and the EMC/LendLease JV also supports the Kalbarri community’s desire to be renewable-powered, with this project being one of Australia's biggest 100% renewable microgrids.”

The EMC Lendlease JV presented an optimised configuration of lithium-ion batteries and grid-forming battery inverters using its containerised BESS platform.

Design work for the project commences immediately, with construction scheduled to commence in November 2018 and operation by June 2019.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


State Government backs new pumped hydro projects for Upper Spencer Gulf

8 February

The State Government has backed four new pumped hydro energy storage projects in the Upper Spencer Gulf with almost $9 million in grants from the Renewable Technology Fund.

The projects, located at reservoirs and disused mine sites near Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Germein, would add a total of about 750MW of generation capacity to the South Australian grid. If all projects are progressed, the companies will invest a combined total of about $1.5 billion, creating about 550 jobs during construction.

Altura Group

Secured a $4.7 million grant towards $9.4 million for development phase activities before a final investment decision can be made for the pumped hydro energy storage Goat Hill Project, 12km west of Port Augusta. The 230MW/1840MWh project would require an investment of approximately $410 million and would create about 200 jobs during construction. The project is being developed with project partner Delta Electricity.

Rise Renewables

Received a $3 million grant towards $6.3 million in accelerated engineering, design and development activities in support of their pumped hydro energy storage project, adjacent to high voltage transmission lines and the existing Baroota Reservoir, north-east of Port Germein. The $406 million project, delivering up to 200-230MW/1600MWh 8 hour supply, would create about 100 jobs during construction.


Secured a $500,000 grant towards $8 million in engineering and design activities to support their pumped hydro energy storage project at Cultana, north of Whyalla. The 225MW/1770MWh facility would require an investment of $477 million and create 200 jobs during construction.

GFG Alliance

Secured a $500,000 grant towards $1.7 million in pre-feasibility work on their pumped hydro energy storage proposal at Iron Duchess mine site in the Middleback Ranges. The $170 million, 90MW/390MWh facility would create 100 jobs during construction.

Source: South Australia Government


NSW leads nation for solar farms

8 February

The number of solar farms approved in NSW doubled in 2017 and another already approved this year, with future capacity to support more than 1,800 jobs and power about half a million homes with sustainable energy.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the state’s planning system gave the green light to 10 projects in 2017, twice the number of projects approved the year before, and has approved NSW’s first solar plant for 2018.

"Once the 10 solar projects are up and running, they will have a combined solar capacity of nearly 1,200 megawatts and collectively reduce carbon emissions by over 2.5 million tonnes, which is equivalent to taking around 800,000 cars off the road," Mr Roberts said.

"The projects are all located in regional NSW and will support around 1,800 construction jobs.

"Sunny Central West NSW proved to be a hotspot in 2017, with six of the 10 proposals coming from the region.

"It may be early in 2018, and yet we’ve already approved another 170MW solar project in the Riverina, known as the Finley Solar Project.

"Our state already benefits from three operating solar farms in Nyngan, Moree and Broken Hill. There are another seven solar projects currently under construction across regional NSW in Parkes, Yoogali, Manildra, Dubbo, Glenn Innes, Goulburn and Forbes.

"The Nyngan Solar Plant in the state’s North-West is the largest operating solar farm in Australia and is visible from outer space."

Minister for Resources and Energy, Don Harwin, added that the popularity of solar power was clear.

"The NSW Government has now approved 22 solar projects in total and we have more renewable generation capacity under construction than any other state, at around 1,000 megawatts," Mr Harwin said.

"These projects will ensure our energy security and with many more in the pipeline, NSW is in a stronger position than other states.

"Balancing energy generation remains very important. We need to harness a diverse range of technologies for energy affordability, reliability and security."

The NSW Government assesses all applications on their merits, under planning legislation and clear official policies to consider any potential benefits or impacts to the environment, the economy and the community.

NSW Solar Farm Fact Sheet

Solar farm proposals approved by the NSW Government in the last 12 months:

Limondale Solar Farm, Balranald, Far West NSW (250 MW)

Sunraysia Solar Farm, Balranald, Far West NSW (200 MW)

Coleambally Solar Farm, Coleambally, Riverina Murray NSW (150 MW)

Nevertire Solar Farm, Dubbo, Central West NSW (120 MW)

Hillston Sun Farm, Hillston, Central West NSW (100 MW)

Metz Solar Farm, Armidale, New England North West NSW (100 MW)

Gilgandra Solar Farm, Gilgandra, Central West NSW (40 MW)

Walgett Solar Farm, Walgett, Central West NSW (30MW)

Beryl Solar Farm, Gulgong, Central West NSW (95MW)

Hay Solar Farm, Central West NSW (100MW)

Finley Solar Farm, Central West NSW (170 MW)

Total solar power capacity: 1,355 Megawatts

NOTE: Search by individual project names here.

Source: NSW Government


EOIs sought for Winton Solar Farm

FRV are proposing an 85 MW solar farm in central north Victoria. Construction of the project is expected to commence in late 2018 and be completed approximately 12 months later. Winton Solar Farm is located around 25km south-west of Wangaratta, near the town of Winton, in the shire of Benalla. The site covers approximately 250Ha of agricultural land. 

The Winton Solar Farm will be connected to the national electricity grid via the existing Glenrowan Terminal Station and will consist of the following infrastructure:

  • Solar Panels - Approximately 300,000 solar panels (modules), installed in regular parallel arrays.
  • Mounting structures - each panel would be fixed to a metal mounting structure.
  • Above ground DC cabling – this is fixed to the mounting structure, connecting each module in strings to combiner boxes.
  • Underground AC and DC cabling Power conversion units - inverters, step up transformers and switchgear located within 40ft steel containers or on container skid pads.
  • Internal access tracks to allow for light vehicle traffic during maintenance period.
  • Perimeter fencing around the site, with an associated security system. Small site office and maintenance shed.
  • Temporary infrastructure associated with site construction, including a site construction compound and temporary storage and laydown areas.
  • Landscape screening around certain boundaries of the site.      

FRV will be using local content to support the delivery of this project wherever possible. We are looking to proactively partner with local suppliers and community groups/stakeholders ahead of the delivery of this project to maximise this opportunity.

Expressions of Interest are currently being sought from suppliers and contractors for work packages including:

  1. Civil Works
  2. Electrical Substation Works
  3. Electrical Works
  4. Mechanical Installations

More information is available here.


Work packages for the Horsham Solar Farm

Expressions of Interest for detailed work packages will be released later this year for the Horsham Solar Farm, a $200 million project in Victoria managed by ESCO Pacific. The Horsham Solar Farm is a utility scale renewable energy project with an output measuring up to 130 MW. The $200 million dollar project is located approximately 5km east of Horsham CBD in the Rural City of Horsham in Victoria. The site is currently used for agricultural purposes, mainly cropping activities, and was chosen as it has proximity to the AusNet Services network, good road network access and relatively flat land.

The solar farm will cover an area of approximately 196 hectares and comprise approximately 340,000 solar photovoltaic modules dispatched to the local electricity distribution network via AusNet Services transmission network.

Works Required

Some of the works required for this solar farm project will include:

  • Civil Works – earth moving, track building, installation of pilings, concrete slabs, fencing, etc.
  • Electrical Works – Substation, transformer, (mostly underground) cabling, connection of inverters, etc.
  • Mechanical assembly – Assemble PV panels on frames and other tasks
  • Steel supply (pilings, racking/mounting hardware, rebar, etc.)
  • Temporary construction buildings (office, plumbing, security, etc.)

More information is available here.


Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park - Stage 2

DP Energy Australia Pty Ltd is seeking consent to undertake the construction of the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park – Stage 2. The development will comprise the staged construction of a solar photovoltaic (pv) farm (with up to 5,000,000 solar PV modules) with an installed capacity of up to 500MW (AC), up to 400MW (AC) of battery energy storage via one or more energy storage facilities and up to 3000 MW of synchronous condenser capacity via one or more synchronous condenser facilities on two sites (east and west).

Associated works will include: PV inverter/transformer stations, PV interconnector substations, switching station, overhead/underground transmission and internal cabling connections, access tracks, security fencing, site clearance, viewing area and service infrastructure. Temporary development components include the establishment of construction compounds and laydown areas.


Gabrielle Powell

DP Energy

Tel: (07) 4095 2877

Email: [email protected]



Gannawarra Solar farm Pty Ltd is applying for a licence to generate, sell and supply electricity from its Gannawarra Solar Farm (GSF). GSF is a 59.7 MWp DC (55 MW AC with maximum connection capacity of 50 MW AC) single axis tracking project located west of Kerang in north-west Victoria. It consists of tier 1 equipment:

- 22 SMA 2.5MW inverters,

- 170,636 JA Solar 350/355 Wp modules; and

- a single axis tracking system by Array Technologies, Inc.

GSF Pty Ltd appointed RCR O’Donnell Griffin Pty Ltd (RCR) to construct the solar farm and its associated substation under a fully wrapped Engineering, Construction and Procurement Contract.

GSF is GSF Pty Ltd’s principal asset and carries on no other business. GSF Pty Ltd is ultimately majority owned by Wircon Gmbh as to 94.9% (Wirsol), with a minority (5.1%) shareholding retained by Edify Energy Pty Ltd (Edify).

Source: SA Essential Services Commission

KfW IPEX-Bank, NordLB and CEFC finance 190-MWp solar farm in Australia

26 January

KfW IPEX-Bank, NordLB and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Australia's promotional bank for renewable energy, are supporting the Coleambally photovoltaic project in Australia with a long-term loan. The solar power station is being sponsored by the French project developer and long-term investor Neoen which has commissioned Bouygues Construction S.A. to build the plant. A key role will be played by another European company, Schneider, also a French manufacturer, which will supply the project with inverters. The total investment volume for Coleambally will be more than AUD 200 million (above EUR 130 million). All three banks act as mandated lead arrangers in the complex financing structure.

The Coleambally project involves the construction of a new 190-MWp photovoltaic farm in the state of New South Wales in southeastern Australia. The general contractor (EPC) Bouygues Construction S.A. is providing all services needed for the project – supplying and installing the components, construction and start-up of operation – through its Australian office. In addition, the French construction company will also be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the photovoltaic farm for the next 20 years. EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd. signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) to buy a major share of the green energy. TransGrid, the transmission grid operator, will provide the grid connection for Coleambally. The plant is scheduled for completion at the end of September 2018.

Coleambally is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than typical 50,000 homes, while abating about 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 90,000 cars off the road.

Source: KfW IPEX-Bank



Name: Naring Solar Farm

Developer: Lightsource Renewable Energy

Capacity: 60 MW

Location: Naring, northern Victoria

Expected cost: $55mil

Description: More than 200,000 modules to be located on 122 ha site. Lightsource’s first Australian project.

Contact: Conor McGuigan

Business Development Director

Lightsource Renewable Energy

Email: [email protected]


Jinergy supplies 6MW PERC solar panels for Whyalla Solar Farm

26 January

Jinneng Clean Energy Technology Ltd. ("Jinergy" or the "Company"), a China based global leader in PV industry, announced that the company provided 6MW solar panels for the SSE Australia solar farm, the first utility scale solar power plant in Whyalla, South Australia. The farm was officially opened by the Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill on January 23rd.

Located in Whyalla, the fourth largest city and traditional industrial town in South Australia, the solar power plant indicates that solar industry will be priority for the city. Lyn Breuer, mayor of Whyalla points out that it would be another sign Whyalla was motoring ahead as an industrial powerhouse while being driven by a renewable energy focus.

The solar power plant employs 6MW Jinergy PERC(Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell) monocrystalline solar panels, which could generate more power than regular solar panels with solar cell efficiency over 21.6%. The project is estimated to generate 10GWh electricity each year after grid-connection and will be on service for at least twenty-five years. The solar power plant provides stable clean energy for at least 1,400 homes and reduces carbon emission by 7,500 tons each year.

Source: Jinergy



ESCO Pacific’s 170 MW Finley Solar Farm in NSW has been approved by the state government. The project site is located ~6km west of Finley within the Berrigan Shire and encompasses the holdings of three existing farming properties, of which the land comprises flat-lying open paddocks crossed by a network of irrigation and drainage channels. The total project area covers 500 ha, while the development foot-print for the solar farm will utilise up to 385 ha. A 132 kV transmission line crosses the north of the Project area and connects with TransGrid’s nearby Finley 132 substation.

CWP Renewables’ Sapphire Solar Farm has been placed on exhibition by the NSW Department of Planning & Environment. The proposal is for a solar farm with approximately 180 MW capacity, plus battery-based storage of 100 MWh, co-located with CWP Renewables’ planned Sapphire Wind Farm. The site is located ~28km east of Inverell and 35km west of Glen Innes, in the Northern Tablelands region of NSW. The public has until 28 February to make submissions in relation to the proposed development.


Sunshine Coast joins Australia’s biggest council climate partnership

29 January

Sunshine Coast Council has demonstrated its commitment to achieving its vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart and creative, by joining forces with the country’s largest local government climate partnership.

As part of the growing Cities Power Partnership, Sunshine Coast Council joins a network of 70 local councils who pledge to achieve five key actions across renewable energy, efficiency, transport and working together.

Progress is updated via a six-monthly online survey.

In return, the Cities Power Partnership provides incentives for councils to deliver on their selected targets and to work together to help each other.

Members of the partnership have access to a national knowledge hub and an online analytical tool to measure energy, cost and emissions savings of projects.

They are also buddied with other councils to share knowledge; receive visits from domestic and international experts; be connected to community energy groups; and be celebrated at events with other local leaders.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said council was proud of the leadership role it plays in transitioning to a more sustainable and resilient Sunshine Coast and was excited to both share knowledge and learn from other communities as part of the partnership program.

“The Climate Council initiative supports local councils to take practical and effective steps to bring on clean energy technology, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and other climate solutions to the local area,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“As well as aligning perfectly with our vision to be Australia’s most sustainable region, the partnership program complements many priority actions under our recently endorsed Environment and Liveability Strategy 2017 – an integrated approach to achieving a healthy, sustainable and liveable community.

“We are the first local government in Australia to offset 100% of our electricity consumption with energy from a renewable source, thanks to our Sunshine Coast Solar Farm.

“Since its commission in July last year, the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm has generated more than 12,000 megawatts and it will conservatively deliver $22 million in savings, after all costs, for our ratepayers over the next 30 years.

“This is an impressive pioneering project and is yet another example of our council being a national leader.

“In fact, it’s so impressive, 15 councils around Australia have already inquired about how they can follow in our footsteps and we are keen to share our learnings to benefit the environment.”

Climate Councillor Professor Lesley Hughes said that Queensland’s local governments were emerging as the frontline for tackling climate change in Australia.

“We are pleased to welcome the Sunshine Coast to the Cities Power Partnership, and congratulate Mayor Mark Jamieson and his councillor colleagues on their commitment to tackling climate change,” Professor Hughes said.

“Queensland has enormous potential to be part of the climate change solution and we are excited to see so many local governments jumping on board the Cities Power Partnership.

“Today, there are more than 70 councils, representing over 7.5 million Australians already rolling up their sleeves to get on with the job.

“Council-backed renewable projects are springing up across the state, bringing with them jobs, investment and infrastructure powered by cheap, reliable clean energy.”

Source: Sunshine Coast Council


Canadian Solar to partner with Photon Energy for co-development of 1.14 GWp solar projects in Australia

29 January

Canadian Solar Inc. (the "Company", or "Canadian Solar") (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world's largest solar power companies, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Photon Energy NV ("Photon Energy") to co-develop five utility-scale solar power projects, with a total capacity of 1.14 GWp in New South Wales, Australia.

Canadian Solar will acquire a 51% shareholding in each of Photon Energy's five project companies in Australia that carry a total of 1.14 GWp of projects. The portfolio of projects includes the 316 MWp project in Gunning which is fully owned by Photon Energy, as well as four projects co-developed by Photon Energy with Polpo Investment, namely the 178 MWp project in Mumbil, the 165 MWp project in Gunnedah, the 286 MWp project in Suntop and the 196 MWp project in Maryvale.

"This transaction represents an exciting moment for the Photon Energy Group with our long-term commitment to the Australian market bearing fruit. This cooperation marks a tangible achievement of the entire team in Australia who have gained the trust of a leading global player in the solar industry such as Canadian Solar," commented Georg Hotar, CEO of Photon Energy NV.

"Canadian Solar is delighted to partner with Photon Energy and bring 1.14 GWp into the Australian market," commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar, "As a very active developer for solar power plants in Australia, we will continue to strengthen our leading position in the market by partnering with Photon Energy."

Source: Canadian Solar


Solar launch shines light on renewable energy partnerships

30 January

Lismore Community Solar – a project that includes the construction of Australia’s largest floating solar farm – was launched today by Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy and Northern NSW, Benjamin Franklin MLC.

Mr Franklin was joined by Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith, stakeholders and local solar farm investors, as well as Professors Will Steffen and Lesley Hughes from the Climate Council.

The Lismore Community Solar initiative is a partnership between Lismore City Council and community solar energy facilitator Farming the Sun, to break new ground in working with communities to fund renewable energy projects that power Council facilities.

As part of the Lismore Community Solar initiative, Council has built two 100kW solar farms – a rooftop solar farm at Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre that has been operating since March and a floating solar farm at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant.

The rooftop solar farm is now providing 15% of the aquatic centre’s power while the floating solar farm’s 280 solar panels generate 12% of the treatment plant’s energy needs.

The innovative floating design provides capacity for the solar farm to expand across the overflow ponds and Council’s aim is to eventually power the treatment plant from 100% solar energy.

“This is an historic occasion for Lismore. We have demonstrated that you can collaborate with your community and provide renewable energy solutions for a regional city,” Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said.

“I am so excited our local investors were here to celebrate this milestone. It is their conviction and passion to see a renewable energy future that has made this project a reality.”

Both solar farms were funded by companies made up of 20 local investors, with the funds loaned to Council under a financial model that is the first of its kind in Australia.

“It has already generated interest both nationally and internationally as a model for government and community cooperation, with investors receiving a return better than that of a bank,” Lismore City Council’s Environmental Strategies Officer Sharyn Hunnisett explained.

“The project has not been without its challenges to establish and get operational, but now that we have done the hard work we have a model others can emulate. We hope to see renewable energy projects like this taken up between councils and communities right across Australia, whether that’s using sun, wind or wave technology.”

The two solar farms are one of many measures in Council’s Renewable Energy Master Plan to achieve Council’s goal of self-generating all its electricity from renewable sources by 2023.

Both solar farm projects have been assisted by funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Growing Community Energy grants program plus donations from private philanthropists.

As well as the launch of Lismore Community Solar, the Climate Council also welcomed 35 new councils to the Cities Power Partnership, a network of local councils working to tackle climate change, of which Lismore was a founding member.

The Climate Council also presented Lismore City Council with a petition of 23,000 signatures congratulating Lismore on its achievements.

Source: Lismore Council


Tilt Renewables agreement for Salt Creek Wind Farm to supply Meridian Energy Australia

1 February

Leading Australasian renewable energy operator Tilt Renewables has announced an agreement to sell electricity produced from its Salt Creek Wind Farm in Western Victoria to Meridian Energy Australia, to support the growth of its retail business Powershop.

The Salt Creek Wind Farm near Warndoo, 250 km west of Melbourne, is targeted to be commissioned by July 2018 and will have an installed capacity of 54 megawatts.

The agreement with Meridian Energy Australia will deliver 50 per cent of the electricity production to Meridian from commissioning of the wind farm until the end of 2018, and 100 per cent from then, until the end of the contract in 2030.

Tilt Renewables Chief Executive Officer Deion Campbell, says “We are very pleased to be partnering with Meridian Energy Australia and the long term off-take agreement for energy from the Salt Creek Wind Farm further improves the long term offtake contract profile of the Tilt Renewables business.”

The wind farm will be connected to the national electricity grid via a 49 km power line, ending at the Terang Terminal Station. The project utilises 15 Vestas V126 - 3.6MW turbines.

Further information on the Salt Creek Wind Farm can be found on the Tilt Renewables Project page

Source: Tilt Renewables


CWP Renewables to construct Crudine Wind Farm

1 February

CWP Renewables has successfully secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) for its Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, and is set to commence construction in April 2018.

The 135 MW project, located near Pyramul, 45 km south of Mudgee in the Central West, NSW, has agreed an energy offtake with Meridian Energy Australia, owners of retailer Powershop.

Comprising 37 wind turbine generators, the project will generate enough clean energy to power 52,000 homes and offset over 325,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year once constructed.

“We first identified the area in 2007 and through consistent and genuine engagement with the local community, Councils and a wide array of stakeholders the project will now reach its potential”, said Mr Ed Mounsey, Head of Development of CWP Renewables.

Mr. Mounsey commented that “the project is set to provide regional benefits by contributing over $160,000 per annum to Community Enhancement Funds established with Mid-western and Bathurst Regional Councils, as well as upgrades to over 20 km of local Council roads.” 19 host landowners will benefit from rental income throughout the life of the Project and Neighbour Agreements will help distribute funds to others in the local community. 75 full time equivalent jobs are expected to be created during construction which will stimulate further investment in local businesses and services.

ANZ have been selected as financial advisor on the deal with Norton Rose Fulbright performing the legal advisor role. Construction consortium details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Source: CWP Renewables


Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy (BJCE) launch Australia’s first co-located wind and solar farm

1 February

Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy (BJCE) officially launched Australia’s first co-located wind and solar farm today in Bannister, 10km south of Crookwell, in the Southern Tablelands.

The 28-hectare solar farm was jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and is jointly owned by BJCE and Goldwind (Capital) Australia. It consists of 42,000 solar panels and generates enough electricity to power over 3,100 homes on an average day of sunshine. Gullen Solar Farm will offset more than 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the New South Wales grid every year, which equates to the average annual emissions of approximately 7000 passenger vehicles.

Weiwei Shi, General Manager of BJCE Australia said, “This is an historic moment for clean energy in Australia. Gullen Solar Farm is an important demonstration project – right at the forefront of renewable energy integration technology. It proves the advantages of co-locating energy infrastructure, which effectively minimizes costs and environmental impacts. Together with our 73-turbine wind farm, the combined facility can power more than 70,000 average homes.”

NSW Energy and Utilities Minister, the Hon Don Harwin said, “The 10 megawatt Gullen Solar Farm, is the first of seven large-scale solar projects expected to start operating this year. I welcome the investment in NSW, this is playing an important role in our energy security and regional development.”

Special guests at the launch included Ms Hongbo Wang, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Consulate General of People’s Republic of China in Sydney, the Mayors of both the Upper Lachlan and Goulburn Mulwarree Shire Councils and leaders from Decmil Group and Balance Services Group, who constructed the solar farm in a joint venture.

BJCE, in collaboration with South East Region of Renewable Energy Excellence (SERREE) also frequently hosts wind and solar farm tours to inform and educate students, community members and visitors to the region about renewable energy.

BJCE’s next clean energy project is the Biala Wind Farm, a 31-turbine wind farm located in Biala NSW. For more information about Biala Wind Farm visit

Source: Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy


Meridian Energy Australia invests in renewable energy by adding hydro, solar and wind projects to meet on-going customer growth

1 February

Meridian Energy Australia has entered into an agreement to purchase three hydro power stations from Trustpower for A$168m and in addition has signed three Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with renewable projects in Victoria and New South Wales to support Powershop’s continued customer growth. The combination of these hydro, wind and solar projects will add 749 GWh, taking Meridian’s annual renewable generation to roughly 1,300 GWh in Australia.

Meridian Energy Australia and Powershop Australia’s Chief Executive Ed McManus says, “Meridian is pleased to add hydro, wind and solar generation capacity to our existing wind generation. These agreements expand our portfolio of 100% renewable generation allowing us to support our growing customer base and drive further demand for large scale renewable energy in Australia.”

“Powershop, Meridian Australia’s retail arm, has been on a strong growth trajectory since its launch in 2014, with customer numbers now more than 100,000. Acquiring the three hydro power stations along with the three PPAs for wind and solar farms in New South Wales and Victoria allows Powershop to continue to cover its growing retail position.”

“Powershop’s steady growth is proof that Australians have a strong desire to support a green energy company. Our business model has always been based on having a balanced portfolio of generation and retail. Powershop’s growth has created the need for us to make this move in the market. As Powershop continues to grow, we will invest in more renewable energy generation.”

“Additionally, the opportunity to acquire hydro assets in Australia is extremely rare and having a balanced portfolio of wind, solar and hydro allows us to more effectively manage risk in the market. Meridian will continue to monitor new technology, such as pumped hydro, batteries and thermal solar, so that we can ensure we have a diverse range of technologies and generation,” McManus said.

Powershop Australia is the only electricity retailer to be certified 100% carbon neutral by the Australian Government and has been ranked by Greenpeace as the greenest power company in Australia for two years running.

About the agreements:

Trustpower Limited Hydro power stations, New South Wales

Meridian Energy Australia has entered into a conditional agreement with Trustpower Limited to purchase GSP Energy Pty Ltd, which operates three hydro power stations; Hume, Burrinjuck and the Keepit Power Stations (formally the Green State Power hydro assets), located in New South Wales, Australia. The agreement is for the purchase of 100% of the shares of GSP Energy Pty Ltd.

CWP Renewables – Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, NSW

The Crudine Ridge Wind Farm is an approved wind energy project near Pyramul, NSW, situated approximately 45 km south of Mudgee. The new project consists of 37 wind turbines, with a generation capacity of 135 MW and is due for completion in 2019.

Total Eren – Stage 1 of Kiamal Solar Farm, Victoria

The proposed Stage 1 of Kiamal Solar Farm is located north of the Ouyen township in North-West Victoria and is developed by Total Eren, a leading French independent power producer. Stage 1 of Kiamal Solar Farm is expected to have a nameplate capacity of 200 MW and will be Total Eren’s first investment in Australia. The project is currently in advanced development and is due for completion in mid-2019 with part of its capacity contracted to Meridian Energy Australia.

TILT Renewables – Salt Creek Wind Farm

Salt Creek Wind Farm is currently under construction near Woorndoo, around 250 kilometres west of Melbourne, Victoria. The wind farm, due for completion in mid to late 2018 is located on a Merino Stud Farm and has a capacity of 54 MW.

Source: Meridian Energy



Name: Kiamal Solar Farm

Developer: Total Eren

Capacity: Up to 350 MW (first stage 200 MW)

Location: Ouyen in north-western Victoria.

Estimated cost: $90mil

Description: Planning approval granted for the project, including a 100MW/380MWh battery storage facility. The proposed project is made up of two sections which are bisected by the Calder Highway. Construction expected to begin in the second quarter 2018. A number of construction work packages are open for expressions of interest, including Civil Works, Electrical Works, Solar Farm Installation, Structural Steel, Temporary Construction Facilities and Transportation. More details are available from ICN Gateway at


Name: Wodonga SOL1 Solar Farm

Developer: Wodonga Solar Power Pty Ltd (JV between S-Energy and Heliades Pty Ltd)

Capacity: 54 MW

Location: Approximately 20km from Wodonga in north-east Victoria

Estimated cost: $80mil

Description: The solar farm will be connected to an AusNet 66Kv substation located south-west of the regional city of Wodonga. Construction is expected to take ~14 months with more than 80 jobs created in the Wodonga region. SNC Lavalin (Power) is EPC and O&M partner for the project, and Deloitte is financial adviser. Wodonga Solar Power Pty Ltd is a JV between South Korean solar company S-Energy, and Melbourne infrastructure project management consultancy Heliades Pty Ltd. A number of construction work packages are open for expressions of interest, including surveying & geotech, earth works and site clearing, piling, transport companies (moving containers from Melbourne to site), perimeter Fencing, CCTV security system and local onsite security during construction, unskilled labourers and skilled labour (electricians). More details are available from ICN Gateway at


$600M Moorabool Wind Farm project - Australian Tenders

1 February

Goldwind Australia Pty Ltd has today released 34 tenders for the construction and operation of the Moorabool Wind Farm south of Ballan in Victoria. Main Contractor will be appointed to engineer, procure and construct the $600 Moorabool Wind Farm.

The Moorabool Wind Farm project is located approximately 4km south of Ballan, 67km from Melbourne, 27km from Ballarat and 47km from Geelong. The wind farm will extend 14km north to south between Ballan and Mount Wallace to the west of the C141(Geelong-Ballan Rd).

The project is divided into two sections, the Bungeeltap Section towards the north of the project site and the Ballark Section to the south.

The project scope includes the construction and operation of 107 wind turbines and is expected to produce 1,100,000 MWh of electricity annually. This is enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 223,000 average Victorian homes every year, representing 11% of Victorian homes. It will contribute to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target of 25% by 2020 and 40% by 2025.

The natural terrain and consistent wind speeds in the area are significant and the connection to the electricity network is also strong.                                                            

A Main Contractor will be appointed to engineer, procure and construct (EPC) the project.  

Expressions of Interest are currently being sought from suppliers and contractors for work packages including: Logistics include wind turbine erection and the design and construction of the civil and electrical balance of plant (onsite roads, foundations, buildings and electrical reticulation).

Further smaller work packages will become available following appointment of the Main Contractor.

More information:


SA to Oz: Follow our clean energy lead

2 February

South Australian voters want to see the rest of Australia follow in the state’s clean energy footsteps, with new polling showing that 57.6% of respondents believe the rest of the country should switch to renewable energy and storage in the next 5 to 10 years.

The ReachTel poll, commissioned by the Climate Council, (conducted on the evening of Monday, January 29th) investigated South Australian attitudes towards the state’s leadership on renewable energy and storage, including the recent installation of the world’s largest lithium ion battery.

Energy expert of 40 years’ experience, South Australian and Climate Councillor, Andrew Stock, said the results show that South Australians are proud to be leading the nation’s transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology.

“These results show that no matter what the age, around 60% of people polled are proud of the state’s clean energy leadership,” he said.

Stock explained that South Australia is home to the highest proportion of solar and wind electricity in Australia, which is also among the highest in the world.

“This poll shows that most believe having the world’s most powerful battery has also boosted the state’s reputation. They also believe that by embracing solar power as homeowners and businesses, they are doing more to deal with power prices than the Federal Government,” he said.


◦The clear majority of respondents (60.2%) felt proud of South Australia for being home to the highest proportion of solar and wind electricity in the country, and among the highest in the world.

◦ 62.2% think Australia should switch to renewable energy (like solar and wind) plus storage technologies as the main source of the country’s electricity in the next 10 years.

◦44.7% of Liberal voters believe Australia should switch to renewable energy (like solar and wind) plus storage technologies in the next five to ten years. This is in contrast to using fossil fuels such as coal and gas (17.4% and 12.5% respectively).

◦28.2% of respondents believe the South Australian State Government is doing the most to deal with high power prices in the state, followed by homeowners and businesses with solar panels (25%).

◦55.1% of residents polled said South Australia’s leadership on renewable energy and storage has been important for cutting pollution and tackling climate change, with 25.9% saying it was important and 29.2% saying it was very important.

◦57.6% of people polled (33.5% Liberal, 83.3% Labor, 54.3% SA Best) said the rest of Australia should follow SA’s lead on renewable energy and storage within the next five to ten years.

◦The majority of people polled believe Tesla’s big battery has had a positive impact on the state’s reputation, with 28.6% rating it as ‘very positive’ and ‘24.6%’ rating it as ‘positive’ for South Australia.

◦Almost 44% of respondents think South Australia’s renewable energy and storage is boosting the state’s economy (23.3% Liberal and 67.6% Labor).

Stock said the poll confirms that South Australians are proud to be living in the state that’s leading Australia’s renewables race.

“South Australia is leading the charge, from the most powerful battery, wind and solar plants, to the upcoming solar thermal plant. The state is doing its bit to slash pollution levels and to tackle climate change, now we just need the Federal Government to do the same for the nation,” he said.

Source: Climate Council

Equis and Global Infrastructure Partners announce closing of US$5.0 billion renewable energy generation acquisition of Equis Energy

19 January

Equis Pte. Ltd (Equis) and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) announced today the closing of the previously announced sale by Equis of 100% of the equity interest in Equis Energy to GIP and its co-investors, for an enterprise value of USD5.0 billion (including assumed liabilities of USD1.3bn). The net transaction consideration has been settled in cash.


Headquartered in Singapore, Equis Energy is the largest renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), with more than 180 assets comprising 11,135MW in operation, construction and development across APAC including Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.


The transaction is the largest renewable energy generation acquisition in history and positions GIP as a dominant renewable energy developer in the key OECD growth markets of Australia and Japan, as well as across India and South-East Asia.


Source: Equis



Name: Clarke Creek Solar Farm

Developer: Lacour Energy

Location: Clarke Creek, 150km south-west of Mackay and 30 km west of Ogmore in Queensland

LGA: Isaac Regional Council and Livingstone Shire Council

Capacity: Up to 400 MW

Description: The Project consists of four areas containing solar arrays, including a 200MW array in the north and a 200MW array in the south, and ancillary infrastructure, plus three areas within which the substation, energy storage and ancillary infrastructure may be located. Co-located with te proposed Clarke Creek Wind Farm with a capacity of up to 877.5 MW.

Contact: James Townsend


Tel: (08) 9321 6632

Email: [email protected]


Development Approval for another large solar farm in the Fraser Coast

20 January

The Fraser Coast and Wide Bay region will soon have another very large solar farm with the Munna Creek Solar Farm project getting Development Approval from the Fraser Coast Council. The developer of this solar farm, REST Energy, is already registered in the National Electricity Market as an intending participant. CEO Mr Frank Wang said that the electricity connection work was also progressing well and on track for this $200 million project. Negotiations with potential construction contractors have commenced.


The 120 mega-watt solar farm will have over 500,000 solar panels and cover an area of about 250ha. It will generate about 250,000 mega-watt-hours of clean, renewable electricity each year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. It will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of about 30,000 Queensland homes and be roughly equivalent to removing over 50,000 cars from the road.


The project will give a jobs boost to the Fraser Coast area, providing about 300 jobs during construction and about 10 full time jobs during operation.

For further information see:


Source: REST


Reliable, affordable electricity for all: Adani Renewables here to stay

22 January

Adani Group has been named as one of the top 15 global and top 3 Asia Pacific developers of solar power, in part due to their Australian solar projects through Adani Renewables.


The list of global powerbrokers was released this month by Greentech Media, a branch of research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie.


In 2018, Adani Renewables will begin construction on over 200 MW of solar projects to supply electricity to the Australian grid.


Adani Renewables CEO Jennifer Purdie says this year is looking promising as the company moves forward with significant projects based in Whyalla, South Australia, and Rugby Run near Moranbah, Queensland.

“Adani Renewables’ vision is reliable, affordable electricity for all, including industry, as the energy mix changes to generate lower emissions. We aim to develop, own and operate renewable energy assets, and we are proud to be developing a pipeline of projects here in Australia, with a goal to see 1500MW of renewable energy added to the Australian grid by 2022.”


With its first Power Purchase Agreement now in place, Adani Renewables is off to a strong start. Dr Purdie says the Renewables business suits Adani’s global position as a provider of resources, logistics and energy, and particularly complements Australian markets.


“Adani believes that Renewables make up a vital part of a balanced energy mix, and while they are not the full solution, they are certainly a part of the solution.”


“With the cost of energy to industry currently rising, Adani Renewables believes the Australian energy industry and policy makers must reverse this trend so that Australia once again has a competitive advantage through a globally competitive energy price. This is certainly something we should be able to do in time, through an appropriate energy mix, given the quality and diversity of Australia’s energy resources.”


The knowledge of how to develop and operate a successful solar project is certainly not new to the Adani Group, which owns and operates the largest single-site solar plant in the world in Southern India. Adani also has an entire factory in India dedicated to producing 1.2 GW of solar panels every year to supply India’s growing renewables market.


Source: Adani Group


Commencement of construction at Granville Harbour

22 January

A re-elected Liberal Government has a target to make Tasmania energy self-sufficient with an additional 1000 gigawatts hours of on-island renewable generation by the end of 2022.


The development of the West Coast’s Granville Harbour Wind Farm will be important to achieving this.


Today marks the start of construction of the $280 million Granville Harbour Wind Farm.


Once completed, the wind farm will have 31 turbines providing 112 megawatts of capacity, enough to power more than 46,000 homes.


The project is expected to create around 200 jobs during construction and about 10 on-going jobs, which is a massive jobs boost for the West Coast.


Construction comes after Hydro Tasmania announced last year that it reached an in-principle agreement with Westcoast Wind Pty Ltd in relation to a power purchase agreement.


In addition to Granville Harbour, construction on Cattle Hill Wind Farm in the Central Highlands is progressing, and Hydro Tasmania is continuing with their $1 billion 10 year upgrade to facilities to increase generation by 250 GWh, which is enough additional generation to power over 30,000 Tasmanian homes.


Source: Tasmania Government


PowerAsia closes IPO for ASX listing

Sydney-based PowerAsia’s prospectus seeking to raise $9mil through the issue of 45mil shares at $0.20 each, closed on 19 January. The company plans to be admitted to the ASX to start trading shares on 29 January.


PowerAsia’s foundation projects include the Paget Solar Project in Mackay in Queensland, for which it has signed an option deed to acquire from Bosso Holdings and Maggiolo Holdings. The project was identified by the State-owned Energy Queensland, given the level of industrial growth in the Mackay area, and the near capacity load on the Energy Queensland South Mackay sub-station. The site was identified as a potential supplement to the daytime peak load capacity.


A technical feasibility report confirmed the site as both technically and commercially viable. A development application was approved by the Mackay Regional Council (MRC). Energy Queensland identified three 6.2MW AC connection points, and as the proposed site will support 20MWp (DC), the output can be comfortably accommodated via the 18.6MW of AC connection.


Civil construction preparatory work has already commenced and subsequent to receipt of the Energy Queensland connection offer, construction of the generation application is expected to commence in January 2018.


PowerAsia has also entered into a Development Agreement with Dip Sabha Hydropower Pvt Ltd (DSH) for the development and construction of the 10 MW, A$26.5mil Sabha Khola A Hydroelectric Project in Nepal.


The PowerAsia board is comprised of Chairman James Scott-Mitchell and directors Phil Pryor and Alan Gao.


Contact phone: (02) 8007 5505



SolarReserve accelerates growth in South Australia with opening of Australian headquarters and field office

22 January

SolarReserve, a leading worldwide developer of large-scale solar power projects and advanced solar thermal technology, has opened two new offices in South Australia – its Australian headquarters in Adelaide located at Level 5, 26 Flinders Street, and a field office in Port Augusta located at 45 Commercial Road. With Australia identified as a priority market for the global organisation, SolarReserve’s Adelaide team will focus on delivering the Aurora Solar Energy Project as well as spearhead SolarReserve’s future projects in South Australia and the broader region.


 “South Australia is leading the world in renewable energy technologies, and SolarReserve’s solar thermal power plant is one of the world’s most exciting projects,” said South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill. “Port Augusta is a symbol of South Australia’s transition from old to new.”


“We are targeting a large percentage of the sourcing and services value for the Aurora project to come from South Australia in the construction phase, which will support an exciting new industry,” said Tom Georgis, SolarReserve’s SVP of Development. “The Aurora project is part of a much bigger picture for South Australia. SolarReserve hopes to build six solar thermal projects in the State over the next ten years, with our Australian headquarters in Adelaide serving as the development hub.”


The field office in Port Augusta will serve as a conduit for local workers and businesses to participate in the Aurora project and for SolarReserve to maximise local opportunities. The Aurora team encourages the local community to visit the new office to learn more about the project and discuss opportunities.


Investing in South Australia’s Clean Energy Future

South Australia, the leading state for renewable energy in Australia, is positioned to become the leading state for solar energy and dispatchable renewable energy in Australia. SolarReserve is committed to supporting South Australia’s goals which will attract investment and build an exciting and growing new industry. The Aurora project along with SolarReserve’s future investment in the state will develop a supply chain that can be leveraged across the broader region, create thousands of jobs for South Australians, and bring about a new age in clean, reliable and affordable energy that’s fully dispatchable, day and night.


Source: Solar Reserve


Renewables powers jobs, investment in Western Downs

23 January

Large-scale projects are generating new energy, new jobs and new investment in regional Queensland, with the Western Downs Regional Council hosting 10 proposed projects.


The 10 solar farms and Cooper’s Gap wind farm combined would support 3120 construction jobs, $5.5 billion in investment and 2.41 gigawatts of installed electricity generation.


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the State Government was determined to achieve a 50% share of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030, and the pipeline of projects – under construction, planned and proposed – valued at more than $20 billion with the promise of 15,000 construction jobs.


“The impact on the Western Downs is very significant," the Premier said.


"The region’s unemployment rate is 4.8% - 1% below the state average.


"There is new investment and renewed optimism on the Western Downs.”


Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said the visit was a chance to show the region was leading the way in jobs creation through its innovative pioneering of renewable energy.


"We are immensely proud of what the Western Downs is contributing to the Queensland and Australian economies, and having the Premier out here in the Energy Capital of Queensland is an opportunity for her to see this first hand," he said.


"This region is not only placed to support the billions of dollars' worth of development being attracted, we also have the skilled workforce to fill the thousands of real regional jobs being generated."


Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said renewables were a key plant of Government’s Powering Queensland’s Future Plan, and during last year’s State election it committed to $151.6 million in new investment for renewable energy generation including:


  • $97 million for solar schools
  • $50 million down payment for a new solar thermal power plant
  • $1 million study for renewable solutions for the Daintree
  • $3.6 million to help decarbonise remote communities


The Government also committed to establish a new publically owned CleanCo with a mandate to deliver 1000MW of renewable energy with a focus on flexible dispatchable generation.


Source: Queensland Government



Record year of investment means Australia’s 2020 Renewable Energy Target will be met

23 January

The Clean Energy Regulator has today released new information to the market that shows Australia will meet the 2020 Renewable Energy Target.


The Regulator has previously said that to meet the 2020 target of 33 000 gigawatt hours of additional renewable energy, approximately 6000 megawatts of large-scale generation capacity would need to be announced and built between 2016 and 2019.


Following a record level of investment in renewable energy in 2017, Clean Energy Regulator Chair David Parker today said we’ve reached a major milestone ahead of schedule.


“While announcements started slowly in 2016, the momentum we saw in the later part of that year continued throughout 2017 and has now reached a level that we believe will be sufficient to meet the 2020 target,” Mr Parker said.


Of the 6532 megawatts of new large-scale generation firmly announced since 2016, more than 4900 megawatts is fully financed, with most already under construction or operating, while the rest is expected to begin construction early this year. A further 1600 megawatts of projects have a power purchase agreement in place which we expect will progress to financial close. Queensland will see the bulk of this new construction, followed by Victoria and New South Wales.


“In 2017, more than 1000 megawatts of renewable projects were completed and began generation, the biggest year ever for new build coming online,” Mr Parker said.


“We expect 2018 and 2019 to be even bigger, with each year having more than double the new build completed compared to 2017.”


Of the firmly announced projects since 2016, solar makes up 46 per cent of the total new capacity.


“Solar is an important emerging player in the energy mix, particularly on long summer days. Over the next few years as more of these projects become operational they will make an increasing contribution to meeting peak electricity demand,” Mr Parker said.


“There is still a long way to go on the journey to reach the 2020 target, but we believe it will be met due to the hard work and tenacity of the electricity sector, the renewables industry and those that have financed these projects."


Source: CER


RET: Australia can capitalise on renewables boom

23 January

With Australia on track to achieve its 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET), the Climate Council is urging the Federal Government to keep up the momentum on clean energy.


The Clean Energy Regulator today confirmed Australia is on track to meet its 2020 Renewable Energy Target of 33,000 GWh (about 23.5% of electricity generation), thanks to a record year for clean energy investment in 2017.


Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie called on the Federal Government to put in place stronger targets in a bid to drive further investment and slash Australia’s rising greenhouse gas pollution levels and tackle climate change.


“Achieving our 2020 target ahead of schedule shows the value of setting and implementing renewable energy policy. However this growing industry now faces an investment cliff with no Federal policy in place for the decade ahead, the Federal Government has an opportunity to really capitalise on this boom.”

“Research shows that a renewable energy target of 50% could create 28,000 additional jobs nationally in 2030.


“Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, so it’s no surprise that renewable energy is going gangbusters, with 2017 alone seeing more than $11 billion dollars in investment, making Australia seventh for clean energy investment in the world. Without Federal policy we could lose that momentum.”


“Fortunately, states and territories, such as South Australia and Queensland are leading the charge when it comes to the rollout of large-scale wind and solar. While local governments are also rolling up their sleeves in their own backyards.”


“Renewable energy and storage technologies are clean, affordable and reliable, compared to ageing, expensive and inefficient fossil fuels. It’s no surprise that Australians are taking up renewables such as rooftop solar in droves, taking control of their household power bills.”


Climate Council Climate and Energy Analyst, Petra Stock said Australia’s clean energy potential needed to be supported through credible federal climate and energy policy.


“Australia has a bright renewable-powered future ahead. But we need effective policy in place to get us there,” she said.


“Unfortunately the Federal Government is dragging its heels, with the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) unlikely to drive new investment.


A renewable energy target was first introduced 20 years ago by the Howard government, expanded by states, and then the Rudd government. The RET has been critical to driving investment and growth in renewable energy nationwide.


Source: Climate Council


Work starts on power link for Darling Downs Solar Farm

23 January

Construction is underway on the transmission line that will connect APA Group’s $220 million Darling Downs Solar Farm to the state’s electricity network later this year.


Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Powerlink had started construction for APA on a new 350 metre transmission line linking the 110MW solar farm to the existing Braemar to Darling Downs transmission line.


The farm, about 45km west of Dalby, will be one of Australia’s largest when it starts operating late this year. It will have around 400,000 solar panels installed over 250 hectares, generating enough renewable energy to power up to 32,000 homes.


“This important project is part of the renewable energy boom we’re currently seeing across the State, including in south west Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.


“APA’s project is part of our $3.6 billion pipeline of committed renewable energy projects, which together will create almost 3000 jobs in regional Queensland.


“We are right on track to deliver on our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, with the right mix of coal, gas and renewable generation to maintain reliability and put downward pressure on electricity prices.”


The Darling Downs solar farm is expected to create 200 construction jobs, with an additional seven jobs supported as part of Powerlink’s grid connection works.


Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York said Powerlink’s grid connection work involved constructing 350 metres of new transmission line on three new transmission poles.


“This essential work will enable the renewable energy generated at the solar farm to be delivered safely and efficiently to the National Electricity Market,” she said.

“We are working closely with APA to complete our construction works in March, with a view to energising the new transmission line in the second quarter of 2018.”


APA Managing Director and CEO Mick McCormack said APA continued to grow its investment in owning and operating significant energy infrastructure as part of its growth strategy.


“The Darling Downs Solar Farm is part of APA’s growing renewable infrastructure portfolio. As Australia’s leading energy infrastructure business, we see investing in renewable energy as key to supporting Australia’s transition to a lower carbon economy,” Mr McCormack said.


Source: Queensland Government


98MW Susan River Solar Farm and 75MW Childers Solar Farm achieve financial close

23 January

ESCO Pacific and Elliott Advisers (UK) Ltd. (“Elliott”) are pleased to announce the successful financial close of the 98MW Susan River Solar Farm and 75MW Childers Solar Farm, both located in South East Queensland. Affiliates of Elliott will own 100% of the projects, and are prepared to fund the projects through to connection entirely with equity.


Construction will now commence and is expected to take 9 months. The solar farms are located in Bundaberg Regional Council (Childers) and Fraser Coast Regional Council (Susan River). Construction and O&M will be undertaken by Biosar Energy (through its Australian arm), which has completed over 1.3 GW of installed capacity in 13 countries.


ESCO Pacific Managing Director and founder Steve Rademaker said: “Achieving financial close on the sale of the 98MW Susan River Solar Farm and 75MW Childers Solar Farm further demonstrates ESCO Pacific’s ability to take the lead in delivering significant projects to market. It is clear that Australian merchant solar remains an attractive opportunity for experienced investors. ESCO looks forward to continue bringing jobs and growth to regional Australia through its extensive pipeline of highly advanced projects currently under development”


Key advisers

Advisers on the project included:

  • Lennox Partners as financial adviser to ESCO Pacific
  • White & Case as ESCO Pacific’s legal advisers
  • McCullough Robertson as Elliott’s legal advisers
  • Grant Samuel as financial adviser to Elliott


Source: ESCO Pacific


Record $12b investment will see RET met in 2020

23 January

The Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has today announced that there will be enough renewable energy projects built over the next three years to meet the Renewable Energy Target in 2020.


The CER has previously said that to meet the Renewable Energy Target approximately 6000 megawatts of capacity would need to be announced and built between 2016 and 2019. This milestone has been surpassed ahead of schedule following a record level of investment in renewable energy in 2017.


Already, 4924 megawatts of the 6532 megawatts of capacity that has been firmly announced is under construction or already operating, with the balance expected to be fully financed and under construction early this year. More than 1600 megawatts of projects have a power purchase agreement in place which we expect will progress to financial close.

The construction of this level of firmly announced renewable projects will lead to an investment of more than $12 billion which will support growth in the Australian economy.


Queensland has the largest share of this new build with more than 2000 MW of capacity, followed by Victoria with around 1600 MW and New South Wales with 1400 MW.


One of the major shifts in the market, is the huge increase in share of large-scale solar. In the first 6000 megawatts committed under the scheme, solar contributed only four per cent of the total. In the firmly announced projects since 2016, solar now makes up 46%.


This will ensure significant additional electricity supply is available in the market well ahead of 2020. Importantly, as outlined in the Australian Energy Market Commission’s 2017 Residential Electricity Price Trends Report released in December, this extra supply is expected to apply downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices over the next three years.


This year should see around 2600 megawatts of new renewables projects commence operating which will further strengthen reliability and reduce emissions in addition to reducing electricity prices.


This additional supply is expected to lead to a reduction in large-scale generation certificate spot prices. These certificates are purchased by liable entities, mostly electricity retailers, to meet their renewable energy target obligations.


I want to acknowledge the support of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to get a number of projects off the ground. Importantly, ARENA helped with the early learning that drove down the deployment costs of solar allowing it to be more cost competitive with wind.


Source: Federal Government


Kiata Wind Farm to strengthen Victoria’s energy network

24 January

A new wind farm in Western Victoria will power more than 20,000 households as part of a jobs boom in Western Victoria with six projects underway or proposed in the area.


These include Stockyard Hill, Lal Lal, Moorabool, Dundonnell, Murra Warra and the Bulgana Green Power Hub – Stawell Nectar Farms.


Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today officially opened the $77 million project which supported 100 construction jobs and three ongoing jobs in the region.


Kiata’s nine towers were made by Australia’s largest wind tower manufacturer Keppel Prince. It is one of four large-scale, renewable energy generators for Victoria — the others being the 132MW Mount Gellibrand wind farms and the 100MW Bannerton Solar Park and 38MW Numurkah Solar Farm.


The Renewable Certificate Purchasing Initiative supports the Labor Government’s renewable energy and climate change targets by bringing around 300MW of new renewable energy generation into the grid – driving down prices and helping secure our energy supply.


Wilson Transformer Company – the largest Australian-owned and based manufacturer – supplied the transformers for the farm, supporting local manufacturing jobs at its two manufacturing facilities in Glen Waverley and Wodonga.


Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target will see an estimated $9 billion of investment and around 11,000 jobs created over the life of the scheme. These projects are the next step in helping our Government achieve its renewable energy targets of 25% renewable energy production by 2020 and 40% by 2025.


Source: Victoria Government


$1.6 million Garden Island Microgrid Project milestone payment

24 January

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that it has received a $1.63 million grant milestone progress payment from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the Garden Island Microgrid Project. The Project involves the construction and installation of a 2MW solar PV array, a 2MW/0.5MWh battery energy storage system and a control system.


Carnegie has now received $2.3 million of a total $2.5 million funding package from ARENA to support the Garden Island Microgrid Project. ARENA’s funding package for the Project is comprised of $700,000 grant funding and $1.8 million of convertible note funding.


Carnegie will now issue $1.6 million in convertible notes to ARENA. The ARENA convertible notes will prima facie be unsecured debt with 0% interest over a 6 year term and can be converted by ARENA to ordinary shares in Carnegie at a conversion price of $0.053 per share. The final $200,000 in convertible notes will be issued to ARENA upon commissioning.


Construction of the frames and solar panels is now complete as is the installation of the battery energy storage system, inverters and transformers. Work now moves to completion of cabling, testing and commissioning.


Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


Kiata Wind Farm officially opened by Victorian Minister for Energy

24 January

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) today announced that the 31MW Kiata Wind Farm in western Victoria was officially opened by the Honorable Lily D’Ambrosio, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. The opening ceremony was attended by project staff, landowners, and many of the project’s local community shareholders, who received equity under Windlab’s pioneering community shareholding model.


The project recently achieved full commercial operations, following a successful phase of commissioning and performance testing during November and December 2017. Even though under commission conditions during this period Kiata was among the best performing wind farms, measured by capacity factor, operating across the National Electricity Market.


Kiata is located near Nhill and comprises 9 Vestas V126, 3.45MW wind turbines at a hub height of 117M. It is the first project supported by the Victorian Government’s LGC procurement scheme to be completed. Under this arrangement the wind farm sells most of the LGCs generated from the project to the Victorian Government under a fixed price 5-year contract, with a 5-year option. Kiata was connected to the electricity network in early November and has sold all electricity into spot merchant market since that time, achieving prices well in excess of the projects original feasibility model forecasts. All electricity generated is expected be sold on the same basis.


Windlab owns 25% of Kiata and will receive its share of project distributions beginning in the first half of 2018. Windlab also holds an asset management agreement with Kiata Wind Farm Pty Ltd. The contract commences on the Commercial Operations Date and runs for 5 years, with a 5 year extension option.


“The team from Windlab and Vestas should again be congratulated for delivering the project just a few days later than planned and well under budget.” stated Roger Price, Executive Chairman and CEO of Windlab Limited. “With exposure to the merchant electricity market over the summer period we look forward to the project delivering strong economic performance across the first few months of operation.”


Source: Windlab


CEFC finance for largest solar farm in NSW expands regional solar belt

24 January

The CEFC is supporting the expansion of the emerging solar generation belt in regional New South Wales, committing $30 million in debt finance to what will be the state’s largest solar farm. The 150MW (AC) Coleambally Solar Farm is being developed by Neoen Australia.


NSW has the largest electricity demand in Australia, however, it has a relatively low penetration of large-scale solar generation. During the past 12 months, the CEFC has worked with developer Neoen Australia to accelerate large-scale solar capacity in regional NSW, providing debt finance for four projects that will deliver an additional 260MW (AC) of renewable energy capacity.


“We are pleased to support Neoen’s investments in the construction of new solar generation in New South Wales. As well as driving lower emissions and regional employment, these investments are delivering renewable energy to large population centres,” CEFC Large-Scale solar lead Monique Miller said.


The Coleambally Solar Farm is five kilometres north east of Coleambally, and 70 kilometres south of Griffith. The development is part a growing stable of NSW solar projects developed by Neoen with CEFC finance.


The CEFC has provided a further $150 million in debt finance to Neoen solar farm developments in Dubbo, Griffith and Parkes. The Griffith and Parkes solar farm projects are now fully built and are undergoing commissioning, exporting increasing amount of renewable electricity into the national electricity grid as commissioning progresses. Full-scale commercial operation is expected to be achieved before the end of February.


Neoen Australia’s Head of Solar Development Chris Leonard said: “Neoen is pleased to have achieved financial close on the Coleambally Solar Farm, working with CEFC and other financiers NORD/LB and KfW Ipex. We would like to thank them for their commitment to Australia’s clean energy future and Australia’s renewable energy sector.”


The Coleambally Solar Farm will consist of about 565,000 solar panels on 550 hectares. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 50,000 homes, while abating about 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 90,000 cars off the road. The project has contracted 70 per cent of its output to EnergyAustralia.


The Coleambally site was chosen after a feasibility assessment confirmed there was an abundant solar resource at the location, which also boasts an existing electricity substation with grid connection capacity. Up to 300 workers are likely to be employed during the construction phase, which is expected to take around nine months.


CEFC investments in large-scale solar are accelerating the development of more than 1.3GW of renewable generation capacity across NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA, which in turn have contributed to the significant improvements in knowhow, costs and technologies for the Australian solar sector overall.


Source: CERC

Moira Shire approves another large scale solar project

21 December

Moira Shire is leading the way in renewable energy development with a planning permit for a $112 million solar farm on Kaarimba Road, Wunghnu approved this week.

CEO Mark Henderson said the site consisted of 270 hectares which would house more than 200,000 solar panels, producing approximately 102 megawatts of power.

"X-Elio Australia Pty Ltd is a Spanish based company which specialises in the development of solar farms. They have constructed solar farms across the world including Japan, South America, the Middle East, USA and Mexico," Mr Henderson said.

"The proposed solar farm will help to diversify the local and regional economy and strengthen Moira’s reputation as a council that embraces renewable energy investment.

"Conditions will be set out to ensure a 10 metre wide landscaping buffer will minimise visual impact around the solar farm."

Mr Henderson said the electricity produced on site will connect back into the grid and provide improved energy security for Numurkah, Cobram and Yarrawonga.

"Local tradespeople wherever possible will be used to construct and install the solar panels and ancillary facilities," he said.

"After the initial construction period, X-Elio will employ staff to maintain the land, including slashing grass, eradicating weeds and vermin, managing the landscape buffer and general maintenance of the project."

Approval of this project follows close on the heels of a $175 million, 100 megawatt solar farm by Neoen Australia Pty Ltd and set on 500 hectares near Drumanure, which was given the green light by Moira Shire in August.

Source: Moira Shire Council



Name: Solar River Project

Developer: Solar River Project Pty Ltd

Capacity: 200 MW

Location: Maude, South Australia

Estimated cost: $454mil

Description: The Solar River Project comprises single axis tracking photovoltaic arrays with a combined 200MW capacity; 20MWh battery storage system, 275kV transmission line to Robertstown substation, and ancillary infrastructure including substation, access roads and temporary construction facilities

Contact: Aju Yeldhose

Project Manager

The Solar River Project Pty Ltd

Email: [email protected]


Name: Goat Hill Pumped Storage Hydro Project

Developer: Altura Group

Capacity: 270 MW

Location: Lincoln Gap, South Australia

Estimated cost: $350mil

Description: 230-270MW capacity pumped hydro facility comprising an upper and lower reservoir, penstock, powerhouse and ancillary infrastructure including transmission lines, access roads, water supply line and temporary construction facilities.

Contact: Rosahlena Robinson


Altura Group

Tel: 0429 567 037

Email: [email protected]


AusNet Services to develop Murra Warra Wind Farm Terminal Station

12 January

AusNet Services (ASX: AST) announced today that agreement has been secured with RES Australia and Macquarie Capital to develop a new transmission connection for Stage 1 of the Murra Warra Wind Farm project, located approximately 30km north of Horsham in north western Victoria.

The Stage 1 windfarm capacity will be 226MW, with a total permitted capacity of 429MW. Stage 1 of the wind farm will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of more than 220,000 Victorian homes, and reduce CO2 emissions by 900,000 tonnes per annum; the equivalent of almost 320,000 fewer cars on the road each year.

Additionally, the Stage 1 Murra Warra wind farm will provide approximately 150 full time direct jobs during construction and eight during operation.

AusNet Services’ Executive General Manager Commercial Energy Services, Chad Hymas, said AusNet Services was committed to supporting wind farm development and renewable energy in Australia.

AusNet Services is excited and proud to be making a meaningful contribution to this significant wind farm development that will support our industry’s transformation and contribute to continuous job growth in the region,” Mr Hymas said.

The agreement follows an extensive period of collaborative planning and design between AusNet Services and RES Australia in conjunction with industry and state planning bodies.

Mr Hymas said the project represents a further achievement in AusNet Services strategy to grow our contracted asset base while generating attractive long-term returns as we transition into a sustainable and integrated new energy future.

Source: AusNet Services


UNSW signs world-first solar energy agreement

15 Jan

In the first deal its kind in the world university sector, UNSW has reached an agreement with Maoneng Australia and Origin Energy to have 100% of its energy supplied by photovoltaic solar energy.

UNSW Sydney has announced a tripartite arrangement with contract partners Maoneng Australia (Maoneng) and Origin Energy (Origin) for an offsite Solar PV Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (Solar PPA).

The 15-year solar supply agreement with Maoneng is the first of its kind in Australia – bringing together a retailer, developer and corporate – and will allow UNSW to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality on energy use by 2020. UNSW believes it is the first university worldwide to go fully energy carbon neutral with 100% of its needs supplied by solar photovoltaics (PV).

“This landmark initiative is an exciting step towards realising UNSW’s goal of carbon neutrality on energy use by 2020 and reflects our commitment to making a positive global impact,” said UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs.

“The Solar PPA arrangement will allow UNSW to secure carbon emission-free electricity supplies at a cost which is economically and environmentally attractive when compared to fossil fuel-sourced supplies.

“Over the past six months, UNSW has collaborated with our contract partners Maoneng and Origin to develop a Solar PPA model that leads the way in renewable energy procurement and reflects our commitment to global impact outlined in our 2025 Strategy.

“It is also highly significant and a testament to the world-class research carried out here at UNSW, that a technology which we played a leading role in developing is now being used to provide the university with a renewable source of emissions-free energy.

“UNSW researchers, in particular Professor Martin Green and the late Professor Stuart Wenham and their teams, have been instrumental in ensuring that solar energy is affordable and accessible to all –- today’s announcement is a testament to their work,” said Professor Jacobs.

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Jacobs. The 142kW array is part of the 692kW of solar PV arrays currently installed across rooftops at the UNSW Kensington campus.

The agreement, which was signed on 14 December 2017, will see UNSW purchase up to 124,000 MWh of renewable energy per annum from Maoneng’s Sunraysia Solar Farm near Balranald in south-western NSW, meeting UNSW’s annual energy requirement starting in 2019.

A three-year retail firming contract was also signed with Origin, as the electricity retailer, to manage the intermittency of solar production.

NSW Minister for Energy Don Harwin said the agreement was evidence of UNSW’s leadership in renewables.

“Already a world leader in solar PV technologies, this agreement is yet another demonstration of UNSW’s commitment to a clean energy future,” said Mr Harwin.

“I congratulate UNSW for entering into this agreement, it’s not only great for the environment but it will deliver jobs and investment in regional NSW."

In December 2017, UNSW’s School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering was awarded 12 projects with a total cash grant value of more than $16 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Five of those projects are focusing on the further development of UNSW’s Advanced Hydrogenation technology to improve world record commercial solar cells.

The tripartite arrangement for UNSW was supported by Norton Rose Fulbright as legal advisors who specialise in PPAs, along with energy management consulting firm Energy Action, who provided energy market analysis and advice.

This ground-breaking agreement provides UNSW with a direct line of sight over the source of renewables supply, reduced emissions, and greater certainty around prices over the next 15 years.

Kelly Davies, Senior Consultant at Norton Rose Fulbright, said: “UNSW is a true leader of innovation. The PPA market has been extremely dynamic in the last 12 months and deals like UNSW’s have been critical in driving real change in the way universities and other users procure energy.”

Energy Action’s Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Slavich, said: “This ground-breaking agreement provides UNSW with a direct line of sight over the source of renewables supply, reduced emissions, and greater certainty around prices over the next 15 years. We are seeing a strong trend amongst corporate energy users turning to PPAs as a way to hedge against future pricing movements and to meet their green energy objectives.”

Maoneng’s Project Finance Director, Kevin Chen, said: “By collaborating with Origin and UNSW and maintaining an open dialogue, we have created a corporate PPA template that we believe not only works for UNSW, but can be replicated and tailored to fulfil the specific needs of each customer.”

Origin’s General Manager, Business Energy, Ryan Willemsen-Bell, said: “Origin is proud to be a contract partner in this agreement with UNSW and we are committed to creating innovative solutions to help our customers meet their carbon neutrality aspirations.

“At Origin we are accelerating our transition towards renewables. And our customers want to be part of that, given our target to have more than 25% of Origin’s generation mix coming from renewables by 2020.

”The Sunraysia Solar Farm development will include a visitor’s centre and weather monitoring system, with UNSW staff and students having site visit access for data sharing, research and case study purposes.

An annual financial scholarship worth $10,000 is included in the Solar PPA for students studying at Balranald Central School to attend UNSW, along with a series of presentations from UNSW to the school both onsite and via webinar on renewables technology and industry. Employment of local staff and subcontractors to develop the project is also encouraging for the local economy.

Construction of the Sunraysia Solar Farm is due to begin later this year, with completion and the start of solar energy generation expected in the second quarter of 2019. Origin will be providing electricity to UNSW during the solar farm construction.

Source: University of NSW


Women in Renewables launches 2018 with e-mentoring program

15 January

The Clean Energy Council’s Women in Renewables Initiative (WiR) is seeking both mentors and mentees from the renewable energy industry to be part of a new e-mentoring program.

The e-mentoring program is conducted by the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA).

Women in Renewables Chair Natalie Collard said the mentoring process offers “knowledge sharing and support for career progression at its best”.

“We are aiming to make our young and dynamic industry even stronger, by enabling women in renewable energy to grow, flourish and learn from others through online paired e-mentoring,” Ms Collard said.

“Having experienced the growth myself from both having and now being a mentor, these kinds of opportunities are incredibly valuable for those on both sides of the relationship.”

Ms Collard said while the program was aimed at developing female renewable energy professionals, the Clean Energy Council is seeking both women and men to be involved as mentors.

“We’re calling on women and men in the industry to nominate themselves as mentors. By doing so they’re making a commitment to empower women and close the gender gap in the renewable energy industry. Through the e-mentoring process we hope to unlock a wealth of professional and personal potential for the industry,” Ms Collard said.

The e-mentoring program runs for nine-months, with the mentee having access to online modules, webinars and handbooks throughout this time. There will be five intakes from February to June 2018 with the relationship beginning once AWRA pairs the mentee and mentor. Eligibility and acceptance into the program is determined by AWRA.

Expression of interest forms for mentors and mentees are available online. For further information please see the Women in Renewables page at

Source: Clean Energy Council


Powering ANCA with a Wind PPA

15 January

Australia’s fastest growing business power retailer, Flow Power, has announced that it has signed ANCA, a market leader in CNC machinery and systems, as one of its first customers for its Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreement.

The landmark agreement, one of the first of its kind in Australia, sources renewable energy from Ararat Wind Farm to allow ANCA direct access long term energy at wholesale prices. This renewable energy can be used in real time to offset grid electricity consumption, potentially saving businesses thousands of dollars in electricity costs and reducing overall emissions.

ANCA’s Group CEO, Grant Anderson comments: “At ANCA we are always looking for opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment and, as a manufacturing plant, the partnership with Flow Power to access renewable power will bring us tremendous benefits. This is a win-win helping both our business and the environment.”

“ANCA has succeed on a global scale by taking an innovative approach to manufacturing. We see Flow Power’s unique model of giving companies back the control over their energy costs as an approach that shares our core value of innovation.”

ANCA will buy its power from a renewable plant, accessing fixed rates for long term savings over a period of ten years. The agreement will buy a fixed percentage of wind and solar power directly from the renewable generator in real time, calculated at 30 minute intervals under a ‘take or pay’ arrangement, meaning that ANCA will only pay for what it uses.

Matthew van der Linden, Managing Director of Flow Power, comments, “We’re very pleased to welcome ANCA as a customer and as one of the very first companies to benefit from Flow Power’s Renewable Corporate PPA. This type of deal is a game changer. Finally, we’ll begin to see Australia to catch up with other international markets that have proven this model to be a success.”

“Flow Power empowers businesses to take control of their energy consumption. Our Renewable Corporate PPAs will open up the market to more Australian businesses and allow them to access lower power prices through agreements that have only previously been available to big corporations with the scale to negotiate one-to-one with large renewable plants.”

Flow Power’s Renewable Corporate PPAs allow businesses to benefit from lower power costs while reducing their carbon footprint and overall emissions.

Source: Flow Power



Name: Western Plains Wind Farm

Developer: Epuron

Location: 4km north of Stanley, Tasmania

Capacity: 40 MW

Description: The project will include around 13 wind turbines on the "Western Plains" property north-west of Stanley. Epuron has been measuring wind speeds on the property for many years and the high wind speeds, together with very low turbulence, provide an excellent resource for wind farm development. The project will connect to the existing Port Latta substation via a new 22 or 33 kilovolt powerline primarily located within the existing road easement.

Name: Wesley Vale Solar Farm

Developer: Epuron

Location: Wesley Vale, Tasmania

Capacity: 12.5 MW

Description: The project will occupy an area of around 35 hectares located approximately 2.5km north of the town. The land has previously been used for grazing, and as a result the project is expected to have limited negative environmental impacts. A 22 kilovolt powerline will connect the site to the adjacent Wesley Vale substation located across Mill Road from the site. The project is intended to be built in stages, and may include energy storage in the future.

Contact: Shane Bartel

Project Manager


Tel: 0408 997 735

Email: [email protected]


Solar farms to go ahead

15 January

Horsham Rural City Council has issued the go ahead for two major solar farming enterprises in the municipality.

Mayor Cr Pam Clarke said that Council has approved planning permit applications to construct and operate solar farms on a 196 hectare property at Riverside (Horsham Solar Farm) and a 370 hectare property at Murra Warra, from ESCO Pacific Pty and RES, respectively.

“These companies can now make submissions to the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS) which was launched in November. The scheme aims to support achievement of the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets which is to ensure that 25 per cent of the State’s electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2020, rising to 40 percent by 2025,” she said.

Submissions to the VREAS for large scale technology neutral and solar-specific renewable energy will be accepted until February, with the outcomes announced in July. Proponents are required to demonstrate their ability to engage with communities and neighbours.

Cr Clarke said that it will be important for the two companies to work closely with neighbours and the community throughout the process.

“These projects are significant for the region. With a combined total investment of $470 million, incorporating up to 1,290,000 solar panels, the new solar farms will generate substantial economic activity during the initial construction phase and with their ongoing operations,” she said.

Source: Horsham Rural City Council


Queensland generation applications

Generation applications have been made to the Queensland Government for the Whitsunday Solar Farm and the Hamilton Solar Farm near Collinsville, which are both comprised of up to 215,280 solar panels at 320 watt (W) and 23 x 2.5 megawatt (MW) inverters, with a combined generating capacity of 68.9MW DC. The Hamilton Solar Farm comprised of up to 215,280 solar panels at 320 watt (W) and 23 x 2.5 megawatt (MW) inverters with a combined generating capacity of 68.9MW DC. Both projects will connect to the grid at Powerlink’s new Springlands substation near the Strathmore substation. The operator of the solar farms has contracted Edify Energy Pty Ltd to oversee the day to day management of the solar farm through a 20-year Asset Management Agreement. The ultimate owner of the solar farms is Welee Australia Pty Ltd, which owns 100% of the shares in the operator. The shareholding in Welee is comprised of WIRCON Australia HoldCo GmbH (94.9%) and Edify (5.1%).

Ratch Australia has also applied for a generation authority for its Collinsville Solar Farm, located approximately 5km west of the town at the site of the decommissioned Collinsville coal-fired generator. CSPV has leased the land off two other Ratch companies, which are the owners of the land and were the original operators of the coal-fired generator. The generating plant will comprise up to 163,676 solar PV panels and 21 x 500 kilowatt (kW) inverters with a combined generating capacity of 58.68 megawatts (MW) DC. This will comprise of 48,140 panels at 355W and 115, 536 at 360W. The operator CSPV proposes to connect the solar farm to Ergon Energy’s distribution network at the Collinsville 33 kV switchyard. Electricity generated is proposed to be sent into the National Electricity Market (NEM). CSPV has entered into an off-take agreement with Braemar Power Projects for 70 per cent of the solar farm’s generation. The remaining 30 per cent of generation will be sold by CSPV into the spot wholesale market in the NEM. CSPV is an entity formed specifically to own the solar farm, and will be able to draw on the expertise of its parent group. Ratch is an unlisted public company, incorporated in Australia and owned by a Thai power generation company, Ratchaburi Electricity Generation Holding PCL (80%), and Australian engineering services company, Broadspectrum Ltd (20%).

Source: Queensland Government


Community co-investment initiative to proceed in 2018

18 January

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Community Investment Testing survey.

CWP is pleased to announce that the Sapphire Wind Farm in northern New South Wales will be opened to community investment from the local community, in an Australian industry first.

With your strong interest through our series of public events and online survey in late 2017, we received pledges of $5.4 million from 337 community members, with 80% of pledges coming from the local area.

CWP is extremely encouraged by the interest shown in community investment at the Sapphire Wind Farm. It exceeded our expectations and demonstrates the level of public interest in investing in large renewable energy projects, alongside institutional investors.

Given the extent of interest and the decision to proceed, the community investment survey has re-opened to allow further pledges until mid-2018. Further, we will look to extend the investment opportunity to encompass the proposed Sapphire Renewable Energy Hub, which is proposed to add significant solar generation and battery storage to the Sapphire Wind Farm.

The local communities surrounding the Sapphire projects remain the priority for the Sapphire community investment opportunity. Direct community investment extends the benefit sharing of these renewable energy projects, on top of the existing Community Benefit Fund and Neighbour Agreements with landowners surrounding the projects.

Akin Consulting, together with Starfish Enterprises, will work closely with CWP Renewables through 2018 to finalise the design and establishment of the community investment company, which will begin operating when construction the Sapphire Wind Farm is completed in late 2018.

Source: CWP Renewables


10 MW Northam Solar Farm update

18 January

  • Execution of detailed documentation for 50% equity investment from Indigenous Business Australia and Perth Noongar Foundation
  • Design and construct contract executed with EMC/Lendlease Joint Venture
  • Engineering works underway and long lead items ordered
  • Largest solar project under construction in Western Australia

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that progress continues on WA’s first merchant utility solar project, the 10 MW Northam Solar Farm, with the completion and execution of the detailed transaction documentation for the Partnership Agreement with co-equity investors Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and Perth Noongar Foundation (PNF).

The Design and Construct Contract with the Energy Made Clean/Lendlease Joint Venture has also now been executed. The Northam Solar project has a capital cost of approximately $17million, which includes Carnegie’s development fee. Significant progress has already been made with initial engineering works and long lead items ordered. The project is on track to complete in the second half of 2018 and when it will begin selling power into the Western Australian grid. It is the largest solar project currently under construction in Western Australia and the first ever to be developed on a “merchant” basis where the power is not contracted under a long term offtake agreement. Carnegie retains a 50% interest in the solar farm.

The Northam Solar Farm has been developed as a template for future projects where Carnegie receives value from multiple revenue streams including:

  • electricity sales;
  • renewable energy certificate sales;
  • reserve capacity credit payments;
  • project construction and operating and maintenance; and
  • a project development fee.

Carnegie’s Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano, commented:

“This is an important step forward to formally move the project into the construction and delivery phase. We look forward to working with IBA, PNF and Lendlease on the delivery of this innovative project.”

Indigenous Business Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Rajiv Viswanathan, commented:

“IBA is excited to see this partnership come to life, demonstrating how we can work alongside Indigenous organisations and the private sector to generate positive financial and social returns from new areas of the economy”.

Perth Noongar Foundation’s Chairman, Cedric Jacobs, commented:

“We are excited about the journey we are on together with Carnegie and IBA. We recognise the tremendous effort and engagement by all parties to date”.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


Global heat: hottest five-year period on record confirmed

19 January

The hottest period on record has been officially confirmed, with the world experiencing its hottest five-years from 2013 through 2017, according to new climate data released today.

The Climate Council’s ‘2017: Record-breaking Year for Heat and Extreme Weather’ report coincides with this morning’s release of climate data from peak climate observation body the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Climate Councillor and international climate scientist Professor Will Steffen said that the global temperature averaged over the last five years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) has been confirmed as the highest ever on record for any five-year period. This record is part of a sharp, long-term upswing in global temperatures, with 17 out of the 18 years hottest years on record all occurring in this century.

“Just like dominos, temperature and extreme weather records have toppled one after the other around the globe in 2017,” he said.

“Here in Australia, we are seeing the effects of intensifying climate change first hand. We’ve seen records reach disappointing new height’s in just 12 months, with more than 260 heat and low rainfall records smashed throughout one season (winter) alone.”

“Australians have been touched by soaring temperatures, with some regions in New South Wales and South Australia experiencing daytime temperatures nearing 50 degrees last summer.

“Severe heatwaves are silent killers, causing more deaths since the 1890s than bushfires, cyclones, earthquakes, floods and severe storms combined.”


◦The 2013-2017 period has been the hottest five-year period ever recorded.

◦2017 was the third hottest year ever recorded, and the hottest year in which temperatures have not been boosted by an El Niño event.

◦The world’s 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1998 and 17 of the 18 hottest years on record have occurred this century.

◦2017 was Australia’s third hottest year on record.

◦Seven of the ten hottest years on record in Australia have happened since 2005. Five of the seven have occurred the past five years.

◦2017 broke records for hot, dry conditions with more than 260 heat and low rainfall records broken throughout winter.

◦The increasing global heat, driven primarily by the burning of fossil fuels, exacerbated extreme weather events around the globe and in Australia in 2017.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said the global data release was timely after the Federal Government admitted that Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution levels were consistently rising, contributing to intensifying climate change.

“Climate change is exacerbating extreme weather events across Australia and around the globe. This was obvious in 2017, from severe heatwaves and bushfires, through to supercharged storms, cyclones and flooding,” she said.

“The window of opportunity to tackle climate change is rapidly closing. The release of this data is yet another warning to the Federal Government to urgently slash Australia’s rising greenhouse gas pollution levels in a bid to protect Australians from escalating extreme weather events, placing lives at risk.”

“Australia has an opportunity now to continue the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology, instead of locking our country into a very dangerous future.”

To view NOAA’s full report please visit the official website.

Source: Climate Council

Welcome back in 2018

The AltEnergy team hopes you enjoyed the festive season and, like us, are raring to launch back into what promises to be another outstanding year for renewable energy in our region. While the volume of news has understandably been a little slow over the Christmas/NY period, we look forward to ramping up to full capacity with our weekly Project Updates in the coming weeks. This edition covers the period from just before Christmas.

We have some changes to announce in the coming weeks as AltEnergy evolves into an exciting new phase of development. Rest assured we will continue to provide our users with a weekly comprehensive compilation of all the major project news impacting the Australia and New Zealand renewable energy industries, in tandem with our exhaustive and up-to-date database.


Meridian enters into conditional agreement for hydro assets to support Powershop growth

22 December

Meridian Energy through its subsidiary Meridian Energy Australia Pty Ltd has entered into a conditional agreement with Trustpower Limited for the purchase of GSP Energy Pty Ltd which operates three hydro power stations, the Hume, Burrinjuck and the Keepit Power Stations (formally the Green State Power hydro assets), located in Australia.

The agreement is for the purchase of 100% of the shares of GSP Energy Pty Ltd and is subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.

Meridian’s Chief Executive Neal Barclay says, “Meridian is building our portfolio of complementary Australian renewable generation to support our growing retail business”.

Meridian has been growing its retail customer numbers through its Powershop brand in Australia since 2014. Acquiring the hydro assets located in New South Wales allows the company to continue to cover its growing retail business by adding 92.4 MWs of hydro to its renewable generation portfolio.

“We are committed to the Powershop business in Australia,” says Barclay.

“We have a retail offering that is disrupting the Australian market. Customers are finding value in our easy-to-use online model that shows them how much power they are using and what it costs and we’re finding there is a strong and growing desire from Australian electricity consumers to support a ‘green’ energy retailer,” adds Barclay.

Source: Meridian Energy


Renewable energy to power Stawell farm in world-first

29 December

The Andrews Labor Government will build a major new wind farm with battery storage in Western Victoria that will power the expansion of Stawell’s Nectar Farms.

This project will make the advanced agriculture facility the world’s first ever crop farm to be completely powered by renewable energy.

The 15-year Support Agreement between the Labor Government and Neoen Australia will deliver the Bulgana Green Power Hub – an integrated energy project of a scale and technology never been seen before.

More than 1,300 jobs will be created – including 270 direct ongoing jobs in the agricultural sector and 10 direct ongoing jobs in the renewable energy industry – all located in the Stawell region.

The wind farm and battery storage system will provide reliable and affordable renewable energy to unlock the development of a major new advanced agriculture facility in Stawell, with a total expected investment of $665 million.

The farm will use the latest in hydroponic glasshouse and plant technology to create a 40 hectare, state-of-the-art facility to supply the highest quality vegetables into domestic and international markets.

The co-located 204MW Bulgana Green Power Hub will be backed up by a 20MW battery, making the farms expansion a reality by providing the secure and affordable energy that Nectar Farms needs for its hydroponic greenhouses.

The project will help secure the Labor Government’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets of 15 to 20 per cent (from 2005 levels) by the year 2020.

Source: Victoria Government


CEFC finance supports cleaner grid with forecasting technology at battery ready Oakey Solar Farm

30 December

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is extending its commitment to the 80MW (AC) Oakey Solar Farm in south-east Queensland, in an investment that will also deliver forecasting technology to enhance grid stability and energy reliability.

CEFC Large-Scale Solar lead Gloria Chan today confirmed the CEFC would commit $55 million in debt finance to Oakey 2, the 55MW second stage of the Oakey Solar Farm. The investment builds on the CEFC's earlier a commitment of $19.5 million for the adjacent 25 MW Oakey 1 development, which is already under construction.

When completed, the combined 80MW Oakey project is expected to deliver enough renewable energy to power around 24,000 Queensland homes.

"This is an exciting development for the next generation of Queensland solar, with the Oakey project being 'battery ready'," Ms Chan said.

"A key feature of the CEFC's role in the market is to encourage critical technologies that assist in Australia's smooth transition to a cleaner, more reliable electricity grid.

"As part of this investment, equity sponsor Foresight Solar Fund Limited will collaborate with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to install suitable five-minute forecasting technology that can assist AEMO enhance grid stability as Australia transitions to higher penetration of renewables."

The CEFC recently committed $150 million in debt finance to stage one of the Lincoln Gap wind farm, in South Australia's Port Augusta region. The CEFC financing facility includes finance towards a 10MW battery energy storage system, capable of producing up to 10MWh of fast response storage capacity.

Ms Chan said: "We are pleased to invest in innovative clean energy projects such as Oakey and Lincoln Gap, which are at the forefront of a new model of renewable energy development. Both projects will demonstrate how we can accommodate an increasing proportion of renewable energy into the electricity grid, helping Australia lower electricity-related emissions while delivering a clean and reliable grid. We expect this trend to continue in future projects that we finance."

The CEFC has committed approximately $495 million in finance towards large-scale solar projects in Queensland, accelerating the development of more than 750MW in large-scale solar capacity in the Sunshine State.

"Our solar investments in Queensland have supported a number of innovative projects, including the first stage solar farm at the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, which will eventually use pumped hydro as a form of energy storage. We are also financing the Kennedy Energy Park in Queensland, which integrates wind, solar and battery technologies," Ms Chan said.

"Solar is an increasingly cost-effective energy solution in areas like Oakey, which have high levels of solar irradiation. It makes sense to increase solar energy generation in these areas alongside investing in complementary technologies that enhance the stability of a renewables-powered grid."

Oakey 2 is being developed by Canadian Solar on an uncontracted or merchant basis. Oakey 1 secured an offtake agreement from the Queensland Government as well as funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The development, which is on agricultural land, provides local land owners with the opportunity to improve the resilience of their farming operations by generating an additional source of income through long-term leasing.

The Foresight Solar Fund Limited announced the acquisition of a 49 per cent share in Oakey 1 and 100 per cent interest in Oakey 2 in October. The Foresight fund's Australian solar portfolio includes the Longreach solar farm in Queensland and the Bannerton Solar Park in Victoria. In addition, Foresight Group, on behalf of KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management Co. Ltd and Hanwha Energy, acquired the Barcaldine Remote Community Solar Farm in Queensland, which also benefited from CEFC finance.

Ricardo Pineiro, Partner of Foresight commented: "We are delighted to be working alongside the CEFC once again on the financing of the Oakey projects. This project is particularly interesting for the Fund because it will be the first to include forecasting technology which will help enhance grid stability. This is very important as more renewables generation gets connected to the grid."

Canadian Solar's General Manager Daniel Ruoss said: "Since 2014, Canadian Solar has been investing millions of dollars in Queensland and its world-class solar resources. Through our project developments, we are collaborating closely with local stakeholders to maximise the benefits for the region and local communities.

"Oakey 2, which will involve 120 construction jobs, is scheduled to commence construction in the first quarter of 2018 and we expect it to be grid connected by the end of 2018."

Source: CEFC


Olam signs long term Renewable Corporate PPA with Flow Power

3 January

Australia’s fastest growing business power retailer, Flow Power, has announced that it has entered into a large-scale Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Olam Orchards Australia Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of leading global agribusiness, Olam International Limited (Olam).

The deal, one of the first of its kind in Australia, allows Olam direct access to secure, cost effective energy with an expected significant reduction in costs over a period of 10 years. This renewable power, sourced from Ararat Wind Farm, can be used in real time to offset grid electricity consumption, potentially saving thousands of dollars in energy costs.

Olam’s Co-Founder and Group CEO, Sunny Verghese, comments: ““We are proud to be one of the first businesses to sign a Corporate Renewable PPA in Australia. This is in line with our strategy to grow our renewable energy portfolio around the world, from solar panels for cocoa processing in Cote d’lvoire, to harnessing geothermal power for our onion dehydration plants in the USA. These are just a few of our initiatives to tackle climate change as part of our purpose of ‘Re-imagining global agriculture’. In addition, this transaction also provides us energy cost visibility over the longer term”.

Flow Power announced the availability of Renewable Corporate PPAs earlier this year, with a view to providing Australian businesses the ability to tap into a global trend that brings energy costs down and benefits both the environment and the economy.

Matthew van der Linden, Managing Director of Flow Power, comments, “Olam has been a customer of Flow Power for many years. We are very excited for them to be among the first to benefit from our new offering. Our Renewable Corporate PPAs open the market to a much broader range of businesses that don’t necessarily have the scale to negotiate one-to-one with large renewable plants. It is a game changer that we expect will allow Australia to catch up with other international markets that have proven this model to be a success.” He continued; “By working with Flow Power, companies aim to get the benefit of low cost power in a way that works for their business.”

Renewable Corporate PPAs allow businesses to contribute to a lower carbon economy and reduce overall emissions, as well as potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs.

Source: Flow Power


Vestas Australia seeking EOIs as part of VRET

Vestas Australia is calling for expressions of interest for a range of work packages in relation to its participation in the Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET) program. Vestas is participating in VRET as an equipment supplier to project proponents and is seeking to engage with capable, local suppliers/subcontractors of:

  • hub and tower components
  • TCI and maintenance
  • balance of plant construction
  • nacelle components
  • blade materials

Vestas said it is “committed to providing full, fair and reasonable opportunity for capable local industry to participate across its supply chain opportunities, and reflect our commitment to local industry participation and local content”.

Full details available here



Tilt Renewables applied for electricity generation licence for its planned 52 MW Salt Creek Wind Farm near Woorndoo in western Victoria.

The Federal Department of the Environment & Heritage has declared CWP Renewables’270 MW Sapphire Solar Farm and storage project, 28km east of Inverell in NSW, a controlled action, and so it will “require assessment and approval under the EPBC Act before it can proceed”.

The Mareeba Shire Council has approved Tilt Renewables’ development application for the planned 75 MW Chewko Solar Farm in Mareeba, northern Queensland. The project will consist of ~200,000 solar PV panels located on 150 hectares south-west of Mareeba on land that is currently used for grazing cattle. Grid connection will tie into the 132kv power line which runs between Turkinje and Yalkula. Construction expected to take ~12 months, with about 250 people employed & one to two people during 25 years of operation.

The Victorian Minister for Planning has decided that an Environment Effects Statement (EES) is not required for Synergy Wind’s planned Alberton Wind Energy Facility, west of Alberton township in South Gippsland. The project will provide 460 GWh of renewable energy per year and is proposed to comprise 34 turbines located on a total footprint area of approximately 59.4ha.



Name: Clarke Creek Wind Farm

Developer: Lacour Energy

Location: Clarke Creek, 150km south-west of Mackay and 30 km west of Ogmore in Queensland

LGA: Isaac Regional Council and Livingstone Shire Council

Capacity: Up to 195 wind turbines of approximately 4.5 MW capacity = 877.5 MW (the final selection of turbine technology will be determined as part of the detailed design following project approval)

Description: The Project is proposed over 11 freehold lots with a total area of the lots of approximately 76,300 hectares (ha). The final Project construction footprint is anticipated to cover around 1,792 ha, with an operational footprint is approximately 828 hectares (ha). The detailed design stage, when the wind turbine make and model selected will be completed and informed by future work on wind energy modelling from existing onsite monitoring masts, geotechnical investigations, ecological constraints, network capacity connection constraints, and the market for renewable energy.


James Townsend


Tel: (08) 9321 6632

Email: [email protected]


Name: Desailly Renewable Energy Park

Developer: DP Energy

Location: Approximately 75km to the north-west of the town of Mareeba and 55km west of Port Douglas in North Queensland

LGA: Mareeba Shire Council

Capacity: Up to 1000 MW (AC) solar, 400 MW (AC) of battery storage, and up to 3000 MW of synchronous condenser capacity

Description: The main permanent components of the Project are as follows:

- approximately 10,000,000 solar PV modules;

- up to 1000 solar PV inverter/transformer stations;

- up to 20 solar PV interconnector substations containing switchgear and transformers;

- up to two main site substations containing transformers, protection equipment, switchgear, batteries and other related equipment;

- two storage/grid support locations comprising:

o up to 400MW of energy storage with a maximum area of 8ha and a maximum height of 12m;

o up to 3000MW.s of synchronous condenser capacity facilities with a maximum area of 8ha and a maximum height of 12m;

- approximately 180km of solar PV site tracks;

- electrical cabling (linking solar arrays);

- security fencing (nominally 2.4m high) around the solar PV sites;

- two access locations from the Mulligan Highway; and

- a viewing platform and visitor information facility.


Gabrielle Powell

DP Energy Australia Pty Ltd

Tel: (07) 4095 2877

Email: [email protected]


NSW Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative

NSW is transitioning to a clean energy future. There is a clear role for innovative business models and technologies to help manage this transition and to help NSW achieve the objective of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The NSW Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative can support you as an early adopter of a new clean energy technology or business model.

The initiative aims to share stories, break down barriers and directly support clean energy projects.

A project supported under the initiative will employ a low-emissions or zero emissions technology in a way that is novel to NSW. For example, your clean energy project might include:

  • Deploying an energy storage system to shift load during the day
  • Testing a new electricity trading platform, retail model or financing mechanism
  • Developing and testing a new bioenergy clean energy source.

We are currently accepting applications for three streams of the initiative:

1.Development of a case study

2.Funding support for a feasibility study

3.Funding support for a pilot project

The Clean Energy Knowledge Sharing Initiative is a NSW Department of Planning and Environment program. Applications will be accepted and processed on an ongoing basis, with applications accepted no later than 28 February 2018, or until all funding has been committed.

To learn more about the program:

  • Download our program flyer
  • Read about our eligibility requirements
  • Apply for the case study stream
  • Apply for the feasibility study and pilot stream

For more information, contact the Clean Energy Programs Unit of the Department of Planning and Environment on 02 8229 2837 or [email protected].


Clean Energy Finance Corporation statutory review: public consultation

The Department of the Environment and Energy is overseeing a review of the operation of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 2012, in line with section 81 of that Act. The review is being conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and will consider the effectiveness of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation in facilitating increased flows of finance into the clean energy sector.

The review invites public submissions, which will be considered prior to the completion of a review report. A copy of the review report will be tabled in Parliament in line with the requirements of the Act.

The Consultation paper is open for public comment until 16 February 2018.

Further details are available here.

Source: Department of Environment & Energy


SolarReserve achieves key milestone in development of South Australia’s first solar thermal power station

9 January

SolarReserve has received Development Approval for its Aurora Solar Energy Project, a key milestone required to build the landmark 150 megawatt solar thermal power station 30 kilometers north of Port Augusta. The approval process examined a range of critical elements including environmental, community, and social impacts of the Aurora project, which were assessed by several South Australian Government agencies. Development Approval is a legal document which enables SolarReserve to construct the Aurora project, provided the construction complies with the submitted plans and any conditions outlined in the Development Approval.

“It’s fantastic that SolarReserve has received development approval to move forward with this world-leading project that will deliver clean, dispatchable renewable energy to supply our electrified rail, hospitals, schools and other major government buildings,” said South Australia’s Acting Energy Minister Chris Picton. “This approval triggers an investment of about $650 million, will create a total of about 700 construction and ongoing jobs in Port Augusta and will add new competition to the South Australian market, putting downward pressure on power prices.”

“This important milestone is a significant step in the development of the Aurora solar thermal power station, which will bring SolarReserve’s world-leading clean power generation technology to South Australia,” said SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith. “The remarkable story of the transition of Port Augusta from coal to renewable energy – which won a competitive tender against fossil fuel – is also a preview of the future of power generation around the world.”

Minimising Environmental Impact while Maximising Local Benefits

As part of SolarReserve’s project development process, the company collaborates with stakeholders and local communities to ensure the project has minimal environmental impact while working to maximise benefits for local communities. The Aurora Solar Energy Project has had overwhelming support from not only the Port Augusta and South Australian community but a range of local agencies and organisations including the local Barngarla Aboriginal Group. The Aurora Solar Energy Project is on schedule with final approvals expected in the first half of 2018 and construction expected to commence shortly thereafter.

Dispatchable Electricity, Day and Night

The first of its kind in Australia, the Aurora Solar Energy Project will utilise SolarReserve’s world leading solar thermal technology with integrated molten salt energy storage. Aurora will generate electricity and collect and store the sun’s energy during the daytime – in essence ‘charging’ its own salt battery for use after the sun has set. The power station will provide the equivalent electricity needs of all of the State’s schools, hospitals, police stations, and government buildings over a full year.

Aurora’s massive 1,100 megawatt-hours of storage will provide 8 hours of full load power after dark. This means that, from storage (its ‘salt battery’) alone, Aurora will be capable of powering South Australia far in excess of State Government buildings, the equivalent of over 230,000 homes for 8 hours, or around 35% of all of the households in South Australia.

Creating Jobs and Economic Benefits for South Australia – Today and Tomorrow

Because a solar thermal power station operates like a conventional coal or gas power station, many of the jobs require the same skill sets as conventional energy jobs – from its construction phase through to operations. Aurora is an example of how sustainable solutions are able to foster new industries and create new jobs for South Australia:

  • 4,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs will be created during construction, with a significant portion of those created in South Australia
  • 650 full time construction jobs are expected for a duration of 30 months
  • 50 full-time, permanent jobs will be required for operations and maintenance
  • Equipment and services will be purchased across South Australia, which will support an entirely new industry and develop a supply chain, which will be leveraged for other solar thermal projects in South Australia and the broader region

As part of this transformative project, SolarReserve will be establishing a research partnership with South Australian universities to advance solar thermal research and education in South Australia.

Source: Solar Reserve

AGL announces plans for Liddell Power Station

9 December

AGL has today outlined plans for Liddell Power Station beyond its announced retirement in 2022.

The NSW Generation Plan proposes a mix of high-efficiency gas peakers, renewables, battery storage and demand response, coupled with an efficiency upgrade at Bayswater Power Station and conversion of generators at Liddell into synchronous condensers. The feasibility of a pumped hydro project in the Hunter region is being explored with the NSW Government.

Details of the plan, which was developed to align with the National Energy Guarantee, are attached.

Graeme Hunt, Chairman of AGL said: “This plan demonstrates that old power plants can be replaced with a mixture of new, cleaner technology, while improving reliability and affordability.

“Decisions for the investments are staged to enable flexibility to respond to the changing needs of the market and improvements in technology over the next five years,” Mr Hunt said.

The AGL Board has approved the commencement of efficiency improvements at Bayswater that will create more capacity without using additional fuel; ordering equipment to convert generators at Liddell to synchronous condensers; and the signing of contracts to purchase 300MW of generation from two new solar power stations to be developed by third parties in NSW.

An assessment of AGL’s plan found the replacement generation is more affordable at $83/MWh, compared with extending Liddell at $106/MWh.

The plan was also found to deliver reliable, dispatchable power for longer, due to a longer asset life of 15-30 years, compared with a Liddell extension of five years.

Independent analysis found an extension until 2027 would cost approximately $920 million.

The AGL Board also considered selling Liddell and determined that a sale would not be pursued as Liddell is currently needed to supply energy to its customers and will be repurposed to form part of its alternative generation post 2022.

In addition, as Liddell shares infrastructure with Bayswater Power Station – such as coal unloading facilities and water systems – separating it would require duplication of this infrastructure.

AGL has committed to its workforce it will not use forced redundancies when Liddell retires in 2022.

AGL’s proposed portfolio to replace Liddell will shrink its carbon footprint by 17.6%.

AGL provided seven years’ notice of the closure of Liddell to avoid the volatility in the market that has been seen from the sudden closure of other coal and gas plants.

Source: AGL


Maoneng Australia Group – portfolio update

9 December

New South Wales – Maoneng Australia [“Maoneng”], one of Australia’s leading solar PV developer and owner of renewable energy assets is expanding its NSW portfolio after securing key contracts with one of Australia’s largest electricity retailer – AGL Energy.

On 7th December 2017, Maoneng entered into a power purchase agreement with AGL Energy [“AGL”] to supply up to 800,000 MWh of renewable energy per annum for 15 years.

Maoneng’s Vice President Qiao Nan Han said the AGL contract, which underpins 300MW of solar PV power plants in NSW, is the largest solar energy supply contract ever signed in Australia.

The contracts will underpin at least two major solar farms in NSW, including the Sunraysia Solar Farm in Balranald.

“The Sunraysia Solar Farm will be the first of several solar farms which Maoneng will work with AGL to develop. We are pleased to have entered into a contract with AGL that provides certainty for renewables development and energy security,” said Qiao Nan Han.

The balance of the AGL contract will be allocated to the next most suitable project within Maoneng’s development portfolio in NSW. Maoneng will also consider the acquisition of suitable shovel ready projects.

“In the absence of bankable PPAs during a period of political uncertainty, we believe that the AGL contract sets us apart from the market. The second project underpinned by the AGL contract, the Midgar Solar Project, demonstrates our continuous efforts to transition Australia out of fossil fuel dependency. We remain committed to making a difference in the energy sector, one solar panel at a time,” said Qiao Nan Han.

Certainty and Energy Prices

Solar PV power plants are typically financed based on the certainty of revenue and cashflow. This can be achieved through a financial instrument between a buyer and a seller of renewable energy. The instrument provides the certainty that a fixed price for energy is agreed between the two parties for a long period of time. Once such an agreement is in place, the power plant will then have the certainty of revenue and cashflow required to be project financed by banks under a low risk investment regime.

Unlike fossil fuel generators which operate based on the periodic consumption of fossil fuels, renewable energy generators are designed and built with their lifetime supply of “renewable fuel” on day one. This in turn means that renewable energy generators tend to require large capital investments as they have up to 30 years of fuel installed in one go. The large upfront investment is typically amortised over a long period of time by banks and investors.

In a politically uncertain market, it is difficult for both buyers and sellers to put a value on renewable energy (or energy in general). This will typically lead to energy supply issues – especially amidst imminent closures of existing power plants. As the National Electricity Market (NEM) fundamentally operates on supply and demand, a lack of supply of energy will immediately translate to a higher cost of energy – which has been exhibited in the past few years and for the foreseeable period.

The cost of energy at any point throughout the day is determined by a bid stack. The stack is comprised of generators who are bidding to supply energy for any given period. Only the lowest cost generators which bid into the stack can dispatch and sell their electricity, but the price for which the entire volume is sold is determined by the highest price of the bid stack. As renewable energy continues to replace base load (such as coal), it is also critical to have economic peaking power plants that can finish the bid stack with competitive pricing. In the short term, gas will continue to play a critical role to compliment renewable energy, but it will only be a matter of time before large batteries start taking over that role.

More about the Sunraysia Solar Farm

The development of Sunraysia Solar Farm was first announced in May 2016, with the receipt of the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements in June 2016. Following six months of land, site, technical and grid interconnection feasibility studies, an Environmental Impact Statement [“EIS”] was submitted in February 2017. Incorporating stakeholder comments and inputs, the SSF was approved for construction in July 2017.

Sunraysia Solar Farm entered into a Memorandum of Understanding [“MOU”] with Decmil Australia for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction of the solar farm with construction expecting to commence in Q2 2018.

Rothschild has been appointed as Maoneng’s Financial Advisor. Investor Relations and lender enquiries should be directed to Rothschild’s representative on the following page.

Source: Maoneng Australia


NEW PROJECT – Wellington Solar Farm

First Solar’s proposed 174 MW Wellington Solar Farm has been placed on public exhibition by NSW Department of Planning & the Environment until 28 January 2018. Landowners’ consent granted for the project which will have an estimated capital investment value of almost $270mil.

The proposed site is located approximately 2km north east of Wellington, in western central NSW, within the Dubbo Regional Local Government Area (LGA). The extent of the solar array site is 316ha (excluding connection to the substation). The dominant land use onsite and in the local area is agriculture. There are a number of existing transmission lines within the area, which connect to an existing substation. An overhead transmission line passes through the main proposal site. The proposal would require an additional transmission line to connect to the substation, which would be overhead.

The proposed Wellington SF would comprise of the installation of a solar plant with an upper capacity of 174MW that would supply electricity to the national electricity grid. The key infrastructure for proposal would include:

- PV modules (solar panels).

- Single Axis horizontal tracking (likely) or fixed mounting frames.

- 30‐50 inverter stations with associated transformer.

- An onsite substation or substation within the existing Transgrid substation containing one transformer and associated switchgear.

- A 33kV, 132kV or 330kV transmission line to the adjacent existing Wellington Substation (100m).

- Energy Storage Facility (ESF) (Lithium‐ion cells).

The proposal includes an ESF, which will be constructed at the same time as the solar farm, or as part of a staged development within 5 years of the commissioning of the solar farm. Subject to economic and technical considerations, the ESF will comprise banks of lithium‐ion cells housed in powerpacks. The facility would have approximately 25MW/100MWh rated capacity. If the ESF is constructed outside the main construction period, a specific traffic management plan, construction noise management plan and community notification procedure would be undertaken to manage any additional impacts.


Mirjam Tome

First Solar

Tel: (02) 9002 7713

Email: [email protected]


Construction starts on $160 million Kennedy Energy Park

11 December

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) today announced the start of construction of the first utility-scale wind, solar and storage hybrid generator connected to the national electricity network near Hughenden in north west Queensland, coinciding with a sod turning ceremony held today.

Kennedy Energy Park is an innovative 43.2MW Wind, 15MW Solar and 2MW Li Ion battery storage hybrid project. The site was identified and developed by Windlab Limited and is now owned by Kennedy Energy Park Holding Pty Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture between Windlab with Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation of Japan. The project will use twelve Vestas V136. 3.6MW turbines at a hub height of 132metres and 56,000 Jinko solar panels on a single axis tracking mount. The project is being constructed under a joint and several EPC contract managed by Vestas and Quanta.

Windlab will act as the owners’ representative during construction and will remain the operator of the project under a 20-year asset management contract. The project is expected to take around 12 months to construct and is scheduled to be operational before the end of 2018.

Windlab's Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roger Price, stated at the ceremony that, "This is an industry first that will produce and feed clean renewable energy into the grid with much greater consistency and reliability from a combination of solar, wind and battery storage. It's also an important and valuable demonstration of how renewable energy can be used to cost effectively meet most network demand for power - day and night. We believe that this style of hybrid configuration will be increasingly used, particularly in remote locations and emerging markets, as the world transitions to a clean energy future. We are excited about the opportunities that the expertise gained from this pioneering project will present as we seek to replicate it across certain locations in Australia and Southern Africa.”

"The Hughenden site has an excellent solar irradiation pattern and exceptional complementary wind resources which continue to blow at night making it ideal for a hybrid renewable energy project. The matching of wind and solar will be vital for Queensland in achieving it 50% renewable energy target by 2030," claimed Mr Price.

"This is the first stage of what will likely become a multibillion-dollar investment program in and around Hughenden as this region becomes Australia’s leading renewable energy location with the completion of Queensland’s Clean Energy Hub, with "Big Kennedy" at its centre. Big Kennedy is the second phase of the overall project and will provide up to 1,200 megawatts of wind energy. The Big Kennedy project is located approximately 80Kms north of our existing wind, solar and storage hybrid generator project at Kennedy Energy Park. Big Kennedy will be a central component of the Queensland Government’s Powering North Queensland Plan. Big Kennedy is expected to be critical in balancing Queensland's solar generation as the state moves towards fifty percent renewable energy capacity.”

Source: Windlab


Councillors look at benefits of going solar

11 December

Enhancing Tamworth Regional Council’s environmental sustainability credentials will be among the outcomes Councillors seek to achieve tomorrow night when they look at options for installing solar photovoltaic systems at Council facilities to reduce ongoing energy costs and improve energy security.

A Council report giving an overview of a Solar Photovoltaic System Discussion Paper is among 33 matters on the agenda at the final Ordinary Meeting for the year.

It recommends Council investigate the viability of small scale or medium scale solar installations at its facilities where the energy produced is to be used on site and the findings detailed in a report to Council. It also recommends going ahead with the process to call for an Expressions of Interest to install a large scale solar facility where energy produced is exported to the National Electricity Market.

The report comes after Council engaged consultants GHD earlier this year to produce a Solar Photovoltaic Systems Discussions Paper to guide Council’s development of a financially viable strategy for implementing solar at Council facilities.

The discussion paper looked into all aspects of the issue including Council’s current energy usage and costs, future expected increases in energy prices, the set-up cost of solar photovoltaic systems and the rebates currently offered by the Australian Government under its Clean Energy Regulator Scheme (Small-scale Technology Certificates or STCs and Large-scale Generation Certificates or LGCs) which are due to end in 2030.

Tamworth Regional Council Sustainability Officer, Tim Hurcum, said the discussion paper has identified three potential solar opportunities for Council to consider.

“The discussion paper provides a great understanding of the solar market including available rebates and Power Purchase Agreement models involving third party developers,” he said. “It also shows a strong financial business case can underpin solar projects and looks at how to maximise potential income, how to fund up-front construction costs and how expected changes to rebate schemes may have an impact.

“Importantly, the discussion paper recommends Council take a timely approach and install solar photovoltaic systems while the full financial benefit of the energy certificate rebate scheme is in place.’’

The Council report said possible small scale solar installations on Council sites will be assessed in house. If Councillors decide to proceed with an Expression of Interest for a larger solar installation, the Council report recommends engaging GHD to prepare the necessary documents and to review submissions with the cost funded equally from Council’s Water and Wastewater Reserves.

Source: Tamworth Council


Contracts in place for power station build

11 December

Expansion of Top Energy’s Ngawha Geothermal Power Station will be one of the largest construction projects ever to be undertaken in the Far North.

With a total project value of $176 million, Chief Executive Russell Shaw says the addition of the new 28 megawatt power station to existing operations, will be game changer for Northland.

Once completed in 2021, the capacity at the power station will be increased to 53 megawatts; which, Mr Shaw says, will radically improve the security and reliability of the power supply for the whole Northland region.

“Our reliance on the National Grid which transports power from the south, will be substantially reduced,” he says.

“Ultimately, expansion of the Ngawha power station could secure the region’s energy independence, with clear benefits for local consumers by providing a renewable and lower cost source of generation and power.”

Mr Shaw, says with recent major transaction approval from the Top Energy Consumer Trust and Top Energy Board, separate contracts are now being awarded for civil engineering, drilling services, and power plant design and manufacture.

The civil works involved in the expansion is massive.

“Over 700,000 cubic meters of dirt will be excavated over three summer periods from October to April, with completion of civil works in 2020”.

The Execution of this work has been awarded to New Zealand owned local company United Civil Construction, which has been undertaking enabling works since October.

Mr Shaw says the company has extensive earthworks experience and has worked on some of Northland’s largest industrial infrastructure builds and upgrades such as the Whangarei Sewerage Scheme Stage 3, civil works at Northport’s Deep Water Port and roading projects such as the Kamo Bypass Stage 2 and more recently the SH1 Brynderwyn Safe System Project.

United Civil is responsible for constructing the platform for the new power station, forming the drilling pads for the geothermal production well and reinjection of geothermal fluid back into the geothermal field, as well as other associated civil works.

With a permanent base in Whangarei, Mr Shaw says that United Civil will largely draw upon a Northland based workforce, creating employment opportunities and contributing to the local economy.

United Civil and its subcontractors currently employ six local workers and are actively recruiting for foremen, experienced plant operators and keen labourers.

For the other two contracts, Top Energy looked off shore to deliver the best value for the project.

Iceland Drilling, with decades of experience in the field of geothermal drilling, including the Ngatamariki geothermal power station near Taupo, will send a specialist team and be based in Northland for one year from April 2018.

Israeli geothermal plant construction experts ORMAT have the contract to design, build and supply the power station which will commissioned in 2021.

Ormat has a long history with the operations at Ngawha supplying the original 10 megawatt power station, which was commissioned in June 1998 and then expanded to 25 megawatts in 2008.

Ormat management were in New Zealand for the signing of the contract in Kerikeri on 8 December.

Source: Top Energy


Flinders Hybrid Energy Hub

11 December

The Flinders Island community can look forward to a secure and cleaner energy future thanks to its new Hybrid Energy Hub.

Officially launched today, the hub will transform the island’s power supply and provide another exceptional renewable showcase for remote communities around Australia and the world.

Flinders Island has historically been dependent on diesel generation. The hub technology will make it 60 per cent renewably-powered, on average, using wind and solar. When there’s enough wind and sunshine to do so, the island will be 100 per cent renewably-powered for considerable periods of time.

The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said the result is less diesel usage, lower energy production costs, lower emissions, and a further boost for Flinders’ clean and sustainable reputation.

“This is Tasmanian innovation bringing clean energy to isolated communities,” Mr Davy said.

“The Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub gives islanders a secure and cleaner future – consistent with the community’s vision of becoming permanently 100 per cent renewable in the future.

“We take pride in supporting Tasmanian communities and a clean, sustainable energy future – both at a big-picture and grassroots level,” he said.

The Flinders Hub is able to harness more renewable energy from a 900 kilowatt (kW) wind turbine and 200 kW solar array by using unique enabling technologies and an advanced control system that will manage the fluctuating mix of wind, solar and diesel power in a stable, secure and reliable way - as proven in previous projects on King Island, at Coober Pedy, and on Rottnest Island.

The enabling technologies on Flinders include a 750 kilowatt / 266 kilowatt-hour battery, an 850 kilovolt-ampere flywheel, and a 1.5 megawatt dynamic resistor.

The $13.38 million Flinders Island Hybrid Energy Hub project was made possible by support of $5.5 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Source: Hydro Tasmania


Genex appoints UGL as preferred EPC contractor for the 270mw Kidston Solar Two project

12 December

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to provide an update in relation to the development of the 270MW Kidston Stage 2 Solar project (K2-Solar) at Kidston, North Queensland. The K2-Solar project is part of the overall Kidston Stage 2 (K2) project, which includes a co-located 250MW hydro pumped storage project (K2-Hydro).

Following engagement with a number of leading EPC contractors, Genex has appointed UGL as its preferred Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor for the K2-Solar project. UGL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australian publicly listed company CIMIC Group Limited (ASX: CIM), which is a world-leading infrastructure, mining, services and public private partnerships group. UGL was also engaged by Genex as EPC contractor for the 50MW Kidston Solar One project (KS1), which commenced generation on schedule and within budget earlier this month (refer ASX announcement 4 December 2017).

As part of an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process, Genex will work with UGL to finalise an EPC contract that reflects the most cost-effective and time-efficient solution, taking account of the extensive learnings gained during the construction of KS1. The ECI process for K2-Solar aligns with the procedure currently underway for the K2-Hydro project (refer ASX announcement 23 October 2017).

Genex intends that the combined Kidston Stage 2 project will be the subject of a single project financing, with individual EPC contracts for K2-Solar and K2-Hydro designed to take advantage of the specialist expertise and experience that each party can offer individually.

Commenting on UGL’s appointment, Genex Managing Director Michael Addison stated:

“UGL has been selected as preferred EPC contractor for K2-Solar based on its strong delivery performance for KS1, which commenced generation on schedule and within budget earlier this month. Since the appointment of UGL as EPC Contractor for KS1 in December 2016, UGL has expanded its project portfolio in Australia to become one of the leading contractors for large-scale solar projects.

We will work closely with UGL over the coming weeks to finalise an EPC contract that will allow K2-Solar to be built within our proposed budget and timeframe, replicating the successful KS1 partnership”.

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has provided $8.9 million in funding to support the construction of Genex’s KS1 project, and up to $9 million in funding to support the development of K2-Solar and K2-Hydro.

The Queensland State Government has continued to support the development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, providing a 20-year revenue support deed for KS1 through the Solar 150 Program, and designating the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub as ‘Critical Infrastructure’ to the State.

Source: Genex Power


Third round open for new energy technology projects

12 December

The Andrews Labor Government today opened the third round of the New Energy Jobs Fund for new energy technology projects to encourage the uptake of renewable energy and reduce emissions.

Round three of the New Energy Jobs Fund program will offer a total of up to $3 million, with grants of between $20,000 and $1 million available.

The program is designed to assist community and business needs, with a focus on funding projects which will deliver significant community benefits.

Round three will have separate streams for new energy technology community and industry applications with categories that focus on manufacturing, technology, sustainable transport, community and skills.

Round one closed in March 2016, with 24 successful projects and funding of $5.9 million. Round two closed in March 2017, with 21 projects and funding of $6.8 million. The New Energy Jobs Fund is an initiative of the $200 million Future Industries Fund.

The Government also announced the opening of the Expression of Interest stage of a $10 million Microgrid Demonstration Initiative.

Grants of between $100,000 and $5 million will be available to facilitate and implement state-wide microgrid demonstration projects, with the aim of unlocking clean energy microgrid markets in Victoria.

The Expression of Interest is seeking to identify projects and explore the range of potential microgrid solutions and will be followed by a Request for Proposal in 2018.

The funding aims to support a range of demonstration projects in different locations, building types, scale and business models.

Source: Victoria Government


Plug and play on the way for renewable connections

13 December

A more consumer-friendly approach to connect renewables to the grid is the ambition of the new suite of guidelines being developed by Energy Networks Australia.

Standardising and streamlining the connection of next generation technology has been identified as a key priority by networks, customers and industry stakeholders.

The Distributed Energy Resources National Connection Guidelines will provide a consistent set of protocols to connect and integrate a range of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) with Australia’s electricity networks.

Energy Networks Australia’s CEO Andrew Dillon said that better facilitating customer owned resources into the grid is essential.

“The Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap finds that almost two-thirds of customers will have distributed energy resources by 2050 and network service providers could buy grid support in a network optimisation market worth $2.5 billion per year.

“However, the Finkel Review identified a number of challenges associated with integration of DER, which will require modernised connection standards and uniform control mechanisms to strengthen system security,” Mr Dillon said.

”Our guidelines aim to enable the modern energy grid for the community.”

The Finkel Review recommended development of Energy Security Obligations by mid-2018 that includes a holistic review and update of connection standards.

Energy Networks Australia will work with the Clean Energy Council and other key stakeholders to develop the Guidelines, enabling customers to connect to electricity networks and markets in a consistent way that improves grid efficiency and security.

”This project reflects our commitment to embed an efficient, reliable and affordable energy network for all Australians,” Mr Dillon said.

Distributed energy resources, such as large-scale wind and solar, battery storage and household solar, can help provide the electricity required to meet demand. As Australia’s electricity grid continues to modernise, these renewable technologies will facilitate the transition to a smarter grid.

Consultation with all electricity network businesses, consumer representatives and key industry stakeholders will take place in the initial project phase. A framework will be released by March, and further guidelines released from May through to December.

A briefing webinar will be hosted by Energy Networks Australia on Thursday 14 December at 2.00pm; to register, go to

Source: Energy Networks Australia


PROJECT UPDATE – Merredin Solar farm

Stellata Energy submits referral to federal Department of Energy and the Environment for its proposed 100 MW Merredin Solar Farm, east of Perth in WA. The proposed solar farm will comprise approximately 400,000 tracking solar panels and associated infrastructure. Approximately 44-48 Inverters will be interspersed throughout the panels. The proposed solar farm will connect via a 220kV cable back into existing Western Power infrastructure (Merredin Terminal) abutting the north-western boundary of the site.

The site will be constructed relatively quickly, taking approximately 9-12 months from site setout and installation of welfare facilities. Up to 200 people will be employed during the peak construction period, occurring approximately half way through the construction phase. Stellata will appoint a contractor to construct and install the facility. The contractor will be responsible for all items relevant to construction and for adherence to all approvals and relevant standards. Construction will possibly be in up to two phases. The generation equipment will all be constructed in one campaign, with the battery storage to possibly be delayed until a subsequent stage. The proposal is open for public comment.


Troy Santen

Stellata Energy

Director of Development

Tel: 0430 066 715

Email: [email protected]


Comet Solar Farm approved

Hadstone Energy Pty Ltd are delighted that development approval for the 309 MWp Comet Solar Farm project near Blackwater in Queensland has been granted today by Central Highlands Regional Council.

Comet Solar Farm is a major infrastructure project that will help solve Queensland’s summer generation shortfall, producing 675 Gigawatt-hours of electricity in an average year.

Mark Love, Managing Director of Hadstone Energy Pty Ltd, said “Our project plan had all approvals coming through in mid-November, and RPS Planning and the council have together done a great job to keep this on track. Powerlink are due to issue Comet’s Offer to Connect next week, so now we can turn our attention to getting the solar farm built”.

Comet is due to commission on 30 November 2018. This timetable is challenging, but allows the project to make the fullest contribution to mitigating Queensland’s anticipated power shortfall next summer.

Details of the project are:

  • Total installed capacity: 309 MWp DC
  • Export limit: 235 MW ac
  • Modules: 909,720 x 340 Wp
  • Inverters: 114 x SMA 2,500kVA
  • Single-axis tracking with 7m row spacing
  • Connection at 132kV to the Powerlink network

Hadstone has been supported by a very able and proactive group of consultants and manufacturers, including:

  • Planning by RPS in Brisbane
  • Grid consultancy by GHD Hill Michael
  • Land legals for Hadstone by Herbert Smith Freehills
  • Corporate legals for Exebury Capital by Bird & Bird
  • Inverter modelling support by SMA
  • Array design by DETRA


RCR EPC and O&M contracts finalised for 88MWac Wemen and 75MWac Clermont Solar Farms

14 December

Diversified engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce that it has received a notice to proceed for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) and Operation and Maintenance (“O&M”) for the 75MWac Clermont Solar Farm and the 88MWac Wemen Solar Farm, being developed by international renewable energy company, Wirsol Energy Ltd (part of the WIRCON Group).

As announced on 13 November 2017, RCR’s EPC and O&M contracts for these projects are valued at approximately $260 million.

With the EPC and O&M contracts now executed and a notice to proceed received, RCR will commence construction activity immediately on these two large-scale solar farm projects.

The Clermont Solar Farm is located in Rockhampton, Northern Queensland and the Wemen Solar Farm is located in Wemen, Victoria.

RCR Managing Director & CEO, Dr Paul Dalgleish said “We look forward to a long relationship with Wirsol who are a leading project developer of sustainable energy projects and one of the largest developers of utility-scale solar projects in Australia with over 335MWac currently under construction.”

Source: RCR Tomlinson


Wirsol Energy PTY Ltd. Announces construction of a further 199MWp of Solar Projects in Australia

14 December

  • Wemen Solar Farm, Victoria – 110MWp DC
  • Clermont Solar Farm, Queensland – 89MWp DC

Wirsol Energy Pty Ltd (WIRSOL), today announces that it has reached financial close for the construction of the Wemen Solar Farm in Victoria and the Clermont Solar Farm in Queensland. The projects are being financed on a fully merchant basis with a long-term debt facility from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and equity provided from WIRSOL’s parent WIRCON, headquartered in Germany.  Both projects have been contracted to RCR Tomlinson for the EPC buildout and longer-term O&M contracts, with asset management contracted to CWP Renewables.  The financial adviser in closing the debt was Elgar Middleton LLP, legal advice for the WIRSOL group via Norton Rose Fulbright and technical advice via RINA Consulting.  Wemen Solar Farm was acquired from Overland Sun Farming in November 2017 and Clermont Solar Park was acquired from Epuron just prior to financial close.

Wemen Solar Farm and Clermont Solar Farm represent an overall investment of circa AU$375m and follows on from the previous three projects WIRSOL announced in March 2017 of a similar fiscal investment of circa AU$380m. The Wemen and Clermont projects will commence construction in January 2018 and are scheduled for connection to grid during Q3 2018. These two projects, combined with the three WIRSOL projects currently under construction – the Whitsunday, Hamilton and Gannawarra Solar Farms – position WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd as the leader in solar power within Australia. The CEFC has provided debt finance for the five WIRSOL projects, reflecting its commitment to accelerate the development of large-scale solar in Australia.

Mark Hogan, Managing Director of WIRSOL commented: “I am delighted that WIRSOL is now firmly positioned as the leading fully integrated investor / owner / developer of solar farms in Australia. Sustainable Energy Research Analytics (SERA) recently provided an insight into the solar market which indicates that we have circa 20% market share. Whilst we do not drive ourselves on market share, as we have an internal goal of deploying 1GW of solar by 2020, it is nevertheless encouraging that we are making such traction in relatively short timelines.  I am delighted with the team that we have built at our offices in Manly, Sydney, which has significantly grown, doubling its Australian workforce in 2017. We have exceptional legal, financial and technical partners, and the CEFC along with Nord LB, CBA and ARENA, have all been hugely supportive of our business.  We plan on continuing our success with the next five large-scale solar projects totalling 470MWp that are in development with our joint venture partner, Renew Estate.”

Peter Vest, Managing Director of WIRCON declared: “The evolving Australian team has grown significantly in recent months to be one of the most diverse and knowledgeable in Australia. We have great partnerships that continue to go from strength to strength which, coupled with the unique capital arrangements within the group, prove to be a powerful recipe for success. As we move forward we will continue to evaluate ways in which to provide long-term sustainable investment platforms for our shareholders, whilst mitigating longer-term foreign exchange risk. The next 2-3 years within WIRCON and WIRSOL are set to be challenging but hugely exciting.”

Bill Calcraft, Non-Executive Director of WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd states: “Adding these two projects of 199MWp to our existing portfolio highlights the significant movement we have had on the Australian solar industry to date. The team here in Australia have accomplished major achievements since our entry earlier this year with no evidence of the WIRSOL movement slowing down. As 2017 ends on a hugely positive note, we are set to enter an ambitious 2018 with an impressive pipeline.”

CEFC Large-Scale Solar Lead Monique Miller said: “The CEFC is delighted to work alongside WIRSOL as it increases its investment in large-scale solar projects. These projects are contributing to the ongoing development of Australia’s critical energy infrastructure. We are pleased our commitment of $207 million as sole debt financier to the Wemen and Clermont solar farms will enable WIRSOL to begin construction on the two projects as early as January 2018, while the company continues to secure offtake agreements.”

Source: Wirsol


Origin to halve emissions in line with Paris 2°C goal

14 December

Origin Energy Limited (Origin) has committed to a company-wide 50 per cent reduction in absolute scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 20321, becoming the first Australian company to have science-based targets recognised by the global We Mean Business (WMB) initiative.

Origin has also committed to a 25 per cent reduction in value chain Scope 3 emissions on 2017 levels over the same period.

Origin CEO Frank Calabria said, “This is a major milestone for Origin. We want to be leading the transition to a cleaner and smarter energy future and we are proud to now have a tangible commitment for emissions reduction across our business.

“We have clearly set ourselves challenging targets, yet we are confident in our ability to achieve them having already laid out the five pillars that will provide a pathway for the decarbonisation of our business over time.

“Continuing to grow renewables in our portfolio is one of the key planks of this transition, as are the closure of our only coal fired power station, Eraring, in the early 2030s, increasing reliance on gas and giving customers the technology to use energy more efficiently in their homes and businesses.

“As Australia’s leading energy company, we’re determined to help achieve the smoothest possible transition to a cleaner and smarter energy future at the lowest cost to the households and businesses that rely on the energy we produce.

“We firmly believe decarbonising our business is not only the right thing to do by our stakeholders and the planet, it also presents opportunities to create value, and Origin is well positioned on this journey having prepared for a low carbon future for many years,” Mr Calabria said.

Origin confirmed earlier this year its intention to announce emissions reduction targets, consistent with its commitments to the WMB initiative. The targets have been endorsed by the international Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). SBTi is the only body authorised by WMB to verify targets mathematically to ensure scientific alignment with the Paris target of limiting global warming to 2°C.

Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions predominantly come from Origin’s generation business and other activities, while Scope 3 emissions are a result of gas purchases and electricity purchased from the pool.

“Setting a science-based target fulfils a commitment Origin made under the global We Mean Business initiative and we’re proud to commit to targets in line with a 2C world, solidifying our role in helping Australia reach its 2030 emissions reduction target,” Mr Calabria said.

“More can and should be done and we have also stated our belief that a long-term goal of net zero emissions for the electricity sector by 2050 is achievable.

“We will continue to work with governments on coordinated national energy policy on behalf of our customers, because it will provide the right framework and signals to help industry meet our climate change targets at the least cost to consumers,” Mr Calabria said.

1 On 2017 levels, excluding Lattice Energy which is being divested.

Source: Origin Energy


CEFC reaches 1GW solar milestone with finance across 20 large scale solar projects

15 December

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has reached a major investment milestone for large-scale solar development in Australia, with its latest two investments helping accelerate the delivery of more than 1GW in additional solar energy across 20 projects.

The CEFC today announced it had committed $207 million in debt finance to accelerate the development of 200MW of additional solar capacity across two WIRSOL Energy projects - the Wemen Solar Farm in Victoria and the Clermont Solar Farm in Queensland.

With these latest commitments, the CEFC has invested in 20 large-scale solar projects since 2013, becoming Australia's largest solar investor, supporting projects across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

CEFC Large-Scale Solar Lead Monique Miller said: "Increasing the amount of renewable energy generation in our electricity mix is essential for the Australian economy to achieve net zero emissions in the second half of the century. Our investment in large-scale solar continues to play a major role in accelerating Australia's clean energy transition, with CEFC finance helping to demonstrate the commercial potential of these investments in the ongoing development of Australia's critical energy infrastructure."

Ms Miller added: "The addition of more than 1GWp of new solar energy since 2013 equates to enough electricity to power about 375,000 average homes. While our solar investments represent just one per cent of Australia's total electricity generation, they represent a substantial reduction in carbon emissions, of around 1.8 million tonnes annually, making an important contribution to Australia's overall emissions reduction goals."

The CEFC has committed $110 million in senior secured debt towards the 110MW Wemen Solar Farm near Mildura in Victoria and up to $97 million in senior secured debt towards the 90MW Clermont Solar Farm 400km west of Rockhampton in Queensland.

The Wemen Solar Farm is expected to produce enough power to supply nearly 34,000 homes, while the Clermont development is expected to produce enough energy to supply nearly 31,000 homes.

CEFC transaction lead Niall Brady said "The CEFC's role as sole debt financier would enable WIRSOL to begin construction on the two projects as early as January 2018, before having secured a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the solar output.

Mr Brady added: "There is still a gap in investor appetite for projects that are in the process of finalising Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), which has the potential to delay construction. We are pleased to work with project proponents such as WIRSOL in helping to overcome these hurdles.

"Australia's large-scale solar market is maturing, and we are pleased to see growing interest from private sector financiers in refinancing projects once they are contracted and operational, because of the lower perceived investment risk.

"For a project sponsor, refinancing may offer the opportunity to borrow at a reduced cost once the project has a contracted revenue stream. The CEFC's role as an 'interim' financier is ultimately helping to crowd in additional private sector investment to support the sector's continued development."

WIRSOL Managing Director Mark Hogan said: "We see strong potential for renewable energy in Australia, and these two projects are an important part of our evolving large-scale solar portfolio. We have been delighted to have the CEFC work alongside WIRSOL as we continue to invest in these exciting developments. These projects are at the heart of our strategy to become a leading fully integrated investor, owner and developer of large-scale solar developments in Australia."

Finance for the Clermont Solar Farm is another example of the CEFC's focus on delivering clean energy solutions in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Area, as part of its Reef Funding Program.

Source: CEFC


Lightsource and BP join forces to drive growth in solar power development worldwide

 15 December

  • BP to invest $200m in Lightsource over three years for a 43% stake in the business
  • Lightsource is Europe’s largest solar development company, focused on the acquisition, development and long-term management of large-scale solar projects
  • Lightsource to rebrand as Lightsource BP
  • Combination expected to propel company’s continuing rapid expansion worldwide

Lightsource and BP today announced that they have agreed to form a strategic partnership, bringing Lightsource’s solar development and management expertise together with BP’s global scale, relationships and trading capabilities to drive further growth across the world.

BP will acquire on completion a 43% equity share in Lightsource for a total consideration of $200 million, paid over three years. The great majority of this investment will fund Lightsource’s worldwide growth pipeline. The company will be renamed Lightsource BP and BP will have two seats on the board of directors.

“BP has been committed to advancing lower-carbon energy for over 20 years and we’re excited to be coming back to solar, but in a new and very different way.“

Nick Boyle, Group CEO and founder of Lightsource, said: “We founded Lightsource to lead the solar revolution and chose to partner with BP because, like us, their ambition is to build and grow this company for the long-term. Not only does this partnership make strategic sense, but our combined forces will be part of accelerating the low-carbon transition. Solar power is the fastest growing source of new energy and we are excited to be at the forefront of this development.”

Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive added: “BP has been committed to advancing lower-carbon energy for over 20 years and we’re excited to be coming back to solar, but in a new and very different way. While our history in the solar industry was centred on manufacturing panels, Lightsource BP will instead grow value through developing and managing major solar projects around the world. I am confident that the combination of Lightsource’s expertise and experience with BP’s relationships and resources will propel this innovative business to even more rapid growth.”

Global installed solar generating capacity more than tripled in the past four years and grew by over 30% in 2016 alone, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy. BP’s Energy Outlook analysis sees solar as likely to generate around a third of the world’s total renewable power and up to 10% of total global power by 2035.

Lightsource is a global leader in the development, acquisition and long-term management of large-scale solar projects and smart energy solutions worldwide. It has grown in just seven years to become Europe’s largest developer and operator of utility-scale solar projects. The company has commissioned 1.3 GW of solar capacity to date and manages approximately 2GW of capacity under long-term operations and maintenance contracts - the equivalent of powering over half a million homes through clean energy.

BP’s interest in Lightsource BP will complement its existing Alternative Energy business, which includes wind energy, biofuels and biopower. BP Wind Energy has interests in onshore wind energy across the US with total gross generating capacity of 2.3GW. BP Biofuels has world scale plants in Brazil, which produce around 800 million litres of ethanol equivalent per year as well as generating low-carbon power for Brazil’s national grid.

Lightsource BP will target the growing demand for large-scale solar projects worldwide with a focus on grid-connected plants and corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed with private companies. The company will continue to develop and deliver Lightsource’s 6GW growth pipeline, which is largely focused in the US, India, Europe and the Middle East.

The company sees opportunities to create additional value through integrating solar with BP’s other businesses and trading capabilities as well as through BP’s international scale and relationships.

Dev Sanyal, BP’s chief executive for Alternative Energy, added: “We see significant opportunity to offer affordable, reliable, low-carbon power solutions by integrating solar alongside our existing Alternative Energy and gas business. We see Lightsource as a strategic partner with a similar vision and, with the benefits of BP’s global scale and relationships, we together plan to build the global market leader for solar.”

Under the terms of the agreement, BP will pay Lightsource $50million on completion of the agreement, with the balance paid in instalments over three years. Completion is anticipated in early 2018.

Lightsource were advised by Rothschild, White and Case, Deloitte and Baker & McKenzie.

Source: BP

Editor’s note: Lightsource BP has a Melbourne office but no Australian projects under development we are aware of.

Sun Brilliance Cunderdin Solar Farm signs access agreements with Western Power

1 December

Sun Brilliance Power Pty Ltd is pleased to announce that it has now signed access arrangements with Western Power to allow us to deliver renewable energy from our solar farm to be built in Cunderdin.

The Sun Brilliance Cunderdin Solar Farm project will be built in 2 phases, with an initial construction of single-axis tracking array with a capacity of 85 MWdc, with phase 2 adding a further 43 MWdc to a total of 128 MWdc.

Sun Brilliance Power has signed two contracts with Western Power - an interconnecting works (IWC) contract which allows the solar farm to connect to the Western Power grid, and a second agreement - an electricity transfer access contract (ETAC) - that allows the solar farm to send solar-sourced electricity into the electricity network.

Sun Brilliance would like to acknowledge the hard work and support of Western Power to facilitate this process to reach a successful conclusion.

Sun Brilliance is expecting construction to commence in Q1 2018 and operational by the end of Q3. When completed, the $150mn Cunderdin Solar Farm will be the largest solar power plant in Western Australia.

Bringing new jobs and new investment in the regions, this announcement is great news for Western Australia, as well as an important milestone for Sun Brilliance on its ambitious journey to become one of Australia’s leading energy developers.

Source: Sun Brilliance


Admission to official list

4 December

New Energy Solar Limited and New Energy Solar Fund were admitted to the Official List of ASX Limited today, Monday 4 December 2017.

Official quotation of the following securities will commence at 12.00pm AEDT today, Monday 4 December 2017, on a conditional and deferred settlement basis.

Source: ASX


Genex achieves first revenue for Kidston Solar Stage 1

4 December

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that, following successful transformer energisation of the Kidston Solar Stage 1 Project (KS1 or Project) (refer ASX announcement 24 November 2017), Genex has now generated its first revenue from KS1.

Electricity produced from the Project is now being transmitted into the National Electricity Market (NEM). As commissioning for the Project is completed over the coming months, electricity generation will be ramped-up until full capacity has been reached, at which point the 20-year Revenue Support Deed with the Queensland State Government will be initiated (refer ASX announcement 22 December 2016).

Commenting on today’s milestone of first revenue generation, Genex’s Managing Director Michael Addison stated:

“The Project has now transitioned from being technically operational to commercially active. This ground-breaking milestone marks the first earnings for the Project and for Genex as a company.

This transition from a development company to generating operational cash flows will serve to strengthen our financial position as we seek to reach financial close for our Kidston Stage Two Projects in 2018.”

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has provided $8.9 million in funding to support the construction of KS1, in addition to providing up to $9 million in funding to support the development of the Kidston Stage Two Projects.

The Queensland State Government has continued to support the development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, providing a 20-year revenue support deed for KS1 through the Solar 150 Program, and designating the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub as ‘Critical Infrastructure’ to the State.

Source: Genex Power


Bombora Wave Power Albany Project – Q&A

  1. Albany has now been added to the Bombora Wave Power mWaveTM project pipeline. What is the predicted timeline for the installation of this project in Albany?

The Carnegie program is roughly 2.5 years and at that stage the ‘common user facility’ becomes available for other users, including Bombora.

  1. Testing of the mWaveTM is due to start in Europe. Will the success of this determine how the Albany project is rolled out?

Yes, Albany is one of a number of sites we have in our mid-term pipeline for our commercial rollout.

  1. What makes Albany ideal for wave energy? The wave climate?

The Albany site is ideal as it has a consistent and high wave energy resource. Wave energy compliments wind and solar renewable options in providing consistent power to the grid.

As an emerging industry it is important to have good government and local support, which Albany clearly has.

The other major driver for location is the commerciality of each project. This is dependent on numerous factors which are yet to be determined at Albany. We are optimistic that these will be clarified in time for the commercial roll out of a wave farm in Albany.

  1. How will the project work? Carnegie will finish installing the common user wave energy infrastructure and then Bombora will be able to use the infrastructure?

Carnegie will install the ‘common user facility’ and then install and test their CETO 6 device for 12 months. At the conclusion of Carnegie’s testing program the ‘common user facility’ will be made available to other users.

  1. How many mWaveTM’s will Bombora deploy? How will Bombora work alongside Carnegie?

Bombora plan to install a small scale commercial array of 1.5MW mWaveTM’s at Albany. This could be anywhere between one and ten mWaveTM’s.

Carnegie has indicated they would also like to install a small commercial array in Albany.

The site can accommodate both Bombora and Carnegie arrays.

  1. How has Bombora cooperated on the wave energy project with Carnegie?

Carnegie and Bombora have agreed to share the data gathered from the test site, which will include wave energy resource patterns, geological surveys and environmental studies. This cooperation has been set up to ensure a smooth transition to the installation of a Bombora mWaveTM at the ‘common user facility’.

  1. How much power can the mWaveTM generate?

Each mWaveTM can generate up to 1.5MegaWatts of electricity so a wave ‘farm’, of say 40 mWave’sTM on an average day would generate enough power to supply 14,000 homes – so a city the size of Albany.

On a rougher day, the wave farm could supply power for 85,000 homes – 10% of Western Australia’s domestic needs. The mWaveTM is designed to produce electricity for the mass market and is complimentary to solar and wind to power your home.

  1. What is Bombora’s long term plan for Albany wave energy? How much energy do you hope to create?

Bombora would like to be part of Albany’s vision of becoming a fully renewable energy city. A Bombora wave farm, providing clean energy to the city of Albany and the creation of local employment in the installation, operation and maintenance of the wave farm is part of our vision.

  1. How does the mWaveTM differ from Carnegie’s proposed wave energy units?

They harness the power from waves differently.

Carnegie's CETO 6 is a large buoy just beneath the surface of the wave. The buoy is tethered to the sea floor and uses the surge and heave motion of the wave to drive a generator.

Bombora’s mWaveTM rests on the seafloor like a submerged reef and is covered with large flexible membranes. As waves pass over the mWaveTM the height of water above the device changes resulting in an increased pressure on the membranes. This pressure squeezes the air out of the membranes to drive an air turbine.

  1. What makes wave energy more viable than other renewables?

Wave energy has huge potential. Waves are very powerful and occur at all times of the day and night.

The industry is currently in its early stages and consequently the energy costs are high compared to other renewables. As the technology matures in the coming years the costs will drop significantly and wave farms will become a normal part of the renewable economy.

Source: Bombora Wave Power


Adelaide Brighton strengthens energy supply portfolio

Adelaide Brighton Ltd (ASX:ABC) advises further strengthening of its energy supply portfolio with the signing of new gas and electricity contracts in South Australia.

Adelaide Brighton has entered into an agreement with Beach Energy Limited (ASX: BPT, “Beach”) for the supply of gas to its South Australian operations.

Adelaide Brighton has also entered into an agreement with Infigen Energy Limited (ASX: IFN) for the supply of its electricity requirements to the Birkenhead and Angaston cement manufacturing plants and Klein Point Quarry on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.

The supply agreements allow Adelaide Brighton to continue its focus on energy efficient and sustainable operations in South Australia. Adelaide Brighton has a proactive strategy designed to manage energy costs and operating risks through measures that include:

- A portfolio approach to energy supply and procurement benefits;

- Consumption management and operational efficiency;

- The aim of obtaining 30% of energy supply from alternative fuels in the medium term;

- Use of alternative cementitious materials in place of more energy intensive products;

- Cost recovery through vertical integration and long term customer relationships; and

- Financial strategies, where they add value for shareholders.

Adelaide Brighton CEO and Managing Director, Martin Brydon, said “The new agreements with Beach and Infigen provide our South Australian operations continued certainty of energy supply at competitive prices and underpin our leading position in this important market”.

Source: Adelaide Brighton

Editor’s note: Infigen Energy understood to be providing electricity to Adelaide Brighton Cement from its Lake Bonney Wind Farm


MOU for Solar PV project In New South Wales

- Decmil and Maoneng Australia enter into an exclusive MOU to design and construct a 250MW solar PV project in Balranald, NSW

- The ~$275 million EPC solar PV project is due to commence in March 2018 and will be one of the largest solar projects in NSW

Decmil Group Limited (ASX: DCG) (“Decmil” or “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Maoneng Australia (“Maoneng”) for its 250MW Sunraysia Solar PV project located near Balranald in New South Wales.

The exclusive MOU will see Decmil and Maoneng work together on early engineering design and finalisation of an Engineer Procure Construct (“EPC”) contract valued at approximately ~$275 million.

Subject to agreement on commercial terms and the project successfully achieving financial close, the EPC contract will be awarded by the end of March 2018.

Expected to commence shortly after award, the project is set to be one of Australia’s largest utility scale Solar PV power plants and represents a significant expansion of Decmil’s presence in the renewable energy market as an EPC contractor.

Sunraysia will be one of the first solar farms in NSW to use batteries to store energy. This will provide greater energy reliability and allow the solar farm to produce electricity during periods of peak demand rather than only during sunlight hours.

Decmil Managing Director and Group CEO, Scott Criddle, commented:

“Decmil is looking forward to partnering with Maoneng on the Sunraysia project. Both organisations bring together complimentary skills to successfully deliver this project to the Australian renewable energy market.

Decmil has been building its capability in renewable energy in recent years, based on nearly 40 years of experience and expertise in regional engineering construction”.

The Sunraysia project is Maoneng’s second significant project in the Australian market, the first being the Mugga Lane Solar Park developed and built under the ACT Government’s Reverse Solar Auction.

Source: Decmil


Flyers Creek modifications approved

Modifications approved to Infigen Energy’s proposed Flyers Creek Wind Farm, approximately 20km south of Orange in NSW. The wind farm was approved by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission on 14 March 2014, allowing for Infigen to install 42 turbines up to 150 metres in height and build a range of associated infrastructure. The wind farm would generate around 130 MW, enough to power around 63,000 homes, and Infigen proposed to start construction in early to mid-2018. The wind farm covers an area of approximately 6000 hectares, and includes land from 19 different owners. Three owners that were treated as “associated” land owners in the original assessment of the merits of the wind farm have indicated they do not wish to be part of the wind farm. Infigen sought to modify the approval primarily to reflect this change. Approval was granted to remove 3 properties and associated residences from the project area and delete 4 turbines. Two turbines will be moved to reduce the visual impacts on impacted residences, and the approved 33 kV power line relocated to avoid these properties.



Airport Development Group seeking generation licences by the end of this year for a number of its PV projects, including:

- Ground-mounted PV arrays at Darwin International Airport with 45.5 MW capacity plus additional rooftop installations of 560 kW (with plans to expand rooftop capacity by 7 MW for total of 52.5 MW)

- Ground-mounted solar capacity of 10.235 MW, plus 650 kW on car park covers, at the Alice Springs Airport

- Proposed ground-mounted solar capacity of 5 MW within the Tennant Creek Airport lease, along with the existing rooftop installation of 6 kW on the terminal roof


Mike Little

Director of Operations

Airport Development Group

Tel: (08) 8920 1832

Email: [email protected]


ReNu Energy secures two further opportunities for 1.14 MW of solar PV projects


  • ReNu Energy has executed two term sheets, securing exclusivity on the acquisition of projects with a combined solar PV installed capacity of 1.14 MW DC, comprising:
  1. a portfolio of recently constructed projects located throughout the National Electricity Market with a total solar PV installed capacity of 340 kW DC, each having existing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in place, at a cost of approximately $580,000; and
  2. an 800 kW DC solar PV development project in western New South Wales, underpinned by a 25-year PPA for approximately 40% of generation capacity. It is anticipated that this project could be completed in the second half of 2018 at a cost of approximately $1.4 million.
  • Both term sheets remain subject to completion of detailed due diligence and financing.

ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) is pleased to announce the signing of two term sheets for the acquisition of solar PV projects totalling 1.14 MW.

The first non-binding term sheet relates to the acquisition of a portfolio of five solar PV projects, offered to ReNu Energy by VivoPower Pty Ltd under the VivoPower Alliance Agreement. The portfolio totals approximately 340 kW and includes several power purchase agreements with small to medium enterprises located throughout the National Electricity Market. ReNu Energy and VivoPower have agreed on a period of exclusivity to the end of February 2018 to allow ReNu Energy to complete due diligence and for the parties to finalise the detailed terms and conditions. ReNu Energy’s investment in the assets would be approximately $580,000.

The second non-binding term sheet is for the acquisition of an 800 kW solar PV project to be constructed on an agricultural property in the Riverina district of western New South Wales, underpinned by a 25 year PPA for approximately 40% of generation capacity. The term sheet provides ReNu Energy exclusivity to the end of February 2018 to complete due diligence, finalise and execute a project development agreement with the developer and to obtain finance.

Subject to satisfying several conditions, including connection and development approvals and project financing, it is anticipated that the project could be completed in the second half of 2018 at a cost of approximately $1.4 million.

Mr Steve McLean, ReNu Energy Chairman said, “We are delighted with the continued growth of our portfolio of renewable energy assets, through our alliance agreement with VivoPower, engagement with developers and our own project origination. Both opportunities announced today fit nicely within our business streams of behind the meter and grid connected projects, and promise to deliver stable, long term returns of greater than 12% (pre-tax) to our shareholders.”

Over the past 6 months ReNu Energy has built a strong pipeline of projects, with the first of four Solar PV embedded network projects set to commence production this month, settlement of the Amaroo facility expected within weeks and due diligence on the proposed 7.4 MW Boggabilla solar farm well underway.

“By February next year, we expect to be generating 3.7 MW of electricity for our customers from our portfolio of committed assets, and this will increase to 5.5 MW by June. If Boggabilla and these two new opportunities can be brought online as scheduled, we could be generating 14 MW by the end of 2018, with an ever-expanding list of opportunities in the business development pipeline.

I am really pleased with the progress we have made in building our portfolio. We are well positioned to achieve positive EBITDA in 2018, and we look forward to converting these agreements next year.” Mr McLean said.

Source: ReNu Energy


First tower goes up at Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm

6 December

The first tower has gone up at ACCIONA’s Mt Gellibrand wind farm in Victoria, representing a major construction milestone for the project.

Comprising three base sections lifted by a 500-tonne crane and then bolted together, the 61-metre tower was erected on a single day by a team of skilled personnel with extensive expertise.

Over the next seven months, 44 steel towers in total will be installed at the site. After each one is erected a separate crew adds the 26-metre top section and the nacelle, which houses the gear box, drive train and generator.

The final steps involve attaching the hub to the nacelle, and then the three 60-metre blades to the hub. At their highest point the blades will reach almost 150 metres into the air.

Each blade weighs approximately 17.5 tonnes, while the four tower sections collectively tip the scales at 220 tonnes. Over the complete installation process, more than 18,000 tonnes of turbine infrastructure will be moved into place.

Over 150 people have been involved in construction at the site, including several local contractors. Around $10 million will be spent directly in the local area over the course of the project.

ACCIONA Energy Australia Managing Director Brett Wickham said: “Building a wind farm is a significant undertaking, and after so much preparation we’re pleased to see the towers going up. Our team is working hard, and our local subcontractors continue to contribute their valuable skills to this project – we couldn’t do it without them, and we thank the community for their ongoing support.”



NSW Planning Assessment Commission determination - Beryl Solar Farm

6 December

The Planning Assessment Commission has decided to grant consent to the State significant development application by First Solar Pty Ltd to construct and operate the Beryl Solar Farm. The decision follows the Commission’s public meeting at the Gulgong RSL on 21 November 2017.

The approved solar farm, to be located on agricultural land about 5 kilometres west of the mid western town of Gulgong, will have an installed capacity of about 74 megawatts of electricity.

In reaching its decision, the Commission considered carefully First Solar’s proposal, the concerns raised by the community, as well as the Department’s assessment report and recommendations. The Commission was persuaded by the depth of concern expressed by the community to investigate the extent and nature of potential visual and noise impacts of the proposal, in particular.

The Commission found need to impose consent conditions that require First Solar to appoint an independent auditor and commission an audit report within six months of the start of construction to ensure efforts to plant vegetation will be sufficient to provide appropriate visual screening in both the short and long term.

The Commission also found reason to impose consent conditions that require First Solar to implement a complaint handling and recording protocol for the life of the development, particularly in respect of the potential for unexpected noise impacts. Complaints, and First Solar’s response to those complaints, must be published publicly on First Solar’s website in the first instance and may be followed up by the Department of Planning and Environment if this becomes necessary.

Though addressing particular issues, these conditions have wider benefits and will assist in giving the local community confidence about the environmental performance of the whole development.

The Commission considered carefully the arguments for and against the location of solar infrastructure on land within the project site zoned R5 – Large-lot Residential. The Commission found that there were compelling strategic and policy reasons to delete solar infrastructure from the R5 land. These arguments relate to the planning instruments that apply to the land, the availability of R5 land and the community’s concern for the encroachment of solar infrastructure on residential land.

On balance, the Commission found that the renewable energy benefits of the proposal, excluding the R5 land, correspond to National and State renewable energy objectives, while also furthering the aims, objectives and matters to consider in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and relevant Environmental Planning Instruments including the Mid-Western Regional Local Environmental Plan 2012.

Source: NSW Government


ACCIONA supports Australian manufacturing as Mt Gellibrand transformer deliveries begin

7 December

- Imminent delivery of critical components for Mt Gellibrand wind farm

- $7 million contract for Victorian manufacturer Wilson Transformer Company

Acciona Energy is about to take delivery of critical components for its 132 MW under-construction wind farm at Mt Gellibrand in Victoria – supporting local manufacturing and helping sustain jobs.

Earlier this year, the company contracted Victorian-based Wilson Transformer Company to provide two main power transformers and 44 kiosk transformers under a $7 million deal.

Deliveries to the site will begin in the next few days following a 25-week manufacturing process. The two main transformers will arrive first, followed by a staggered delivery of the kiosks over the next few months. The transformers are vital links in connecting the wind farm’s turbines to the grid.

“Wilson Transformer Company has an excellent reputation as a Victorian manufacturer with high quality products,” said Brett Wickham, ACCIONA Energy’s Managing Director in Australia. “This was a tough competition with international companies very interested too, but Wilson Transformer Company delivered a great offer backed by strong local commitment”.

“We are firm believers in maximising our engagement with local industry wherever we can. Companies like Wilson Transformer Company show that increasing numbers of businesses see long-term sustainable growth opportunities in the renewable energy sector, and that should be encouraged as the industry expands.”

Ed Wilson, Wilson Transformer Company’s Managing Director, said: “We are very pleased to enhance our relationship with ACCIONA through this contract, and are proud of our growing role in the renewable sector. Local manufacturing such as this is vital for our economy, and we have a highly-skilled team that our customers can rely on to deliver reliable products that stand the test of time.”

The Mt Gellibrand wind farm is 25 km east of Colac and 17km west of Winchelsea. The $258 million project is bringing significant economic activity and benefits to the region, with over 100 construction jobs and approximately 10 ongoing full-time equivalent positions on site.

Established in 1933, Wilson Transformer Company is a leading specialist in the delivery of transformer solutions. From their manufacturing base in Australia, they deliver solutions to a wide variety of industries and customers around the world. These include electricity generators, transmission and distribution organisations, heavy and light industrial users, as well as mining, oil and gas businesses.



Government a shining light in solar deal

8 December

The NSW Government has signed a contract with Neoen Australia Pty Ltd to support construction of the Dubbo Solar Hub in the state’s Central West.

The project will generate enough clean energy to power around 10,000 homes a year, put downward pressure on electricity prices and further improve NSW’s energy security. It will also create new jobs.

Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said the Government’s first move into large-scale renewable energy procurement will provide huge benefits for the community.

“The NSW Government is showing leadership by using our significant purchasing power to deliver more renewable energy in NSW,” Mr Harwin said.

“This deal will support jobs in regional NSW, boost our energy security and help the State Government meet our obligations under the Renewable Energy Target as a large energy user.

“This lays the foundation for more renewable energy procurement, which will deliver more power supply for the state and put more downward pressure on prices.”

The contract, which commences on 1 July 2019 and expires 31 December 2030, will meet 15.6 per cent of the Government’s obligations under the Renewable Energy Target.

The 24-megawatt solar hub will consist of farms in Narromine and South Keswick. The project is one of five in NSW to secure a share of $34.9 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) large-scale solar funding round last year.

“ARENA’s funding for projects like this one and others in Glen Innes, Griffith, Parkes and Manildra highlights the growing importance of the NSW solar industry’s role in ensuring we have secure, sustainable and affordable energy,” Minister Harwin said.

Member for Dubbo Troy Grant welcomed the investment in the region.

“This project brings with it 175 jobs throughout the construction phase here in Dubbo, a fantastic boost for our local economy,” Mr Grant said.

NSW leads Australia in large-scale solar, with three of the country’s largest operating solar farms and a further seven under construction.

The largest solar project in the Southern Hemisphere is expected to commence construction at Balranald, in the state’s Riverina region early next year.

Source: NSW Government