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.

Contact:

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.

Background

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

Contact:

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.

Contact:

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.

Background

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.”

KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE:

◦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

Summary

> 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] 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).

Highlights

  • 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: www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/energy-policies-of-iea-countries---australia-2018-review.html

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.

Background

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.

Background

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.

Highlights

  • 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

 

PROJECT BRIEF

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

 

PROJECT BRIEF

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: www.rdalimestonecoast.org.au

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

Highlights:

  • 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.

EnergyAustralia

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.

Contact:

Gabrielle Powell

DP Energy

Tel: (07) 4095 2877

Email: [email protected]

 

PROJECT BRIEF

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

 

NEW PROJECT

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

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

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 https://www.tiltrenewables.com/assets-and-projects/Salt-Creek-Wind-Farm/

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 www.bialawindfarm.com

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

 

NEW PROJECTS

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 https://gateway.icn.org.au/project/4060/total-eren-kiamal-solar-farm

 

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 https://gateway.icn.org.au/project/4058/wodonga-sol1-solar-farm?st=projects&psid=1517623373

 

$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: https://info.australiantenders.com.au/news

 

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.

KEY FINDINGS:

◦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

 

NEW PROJECT

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

Director

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: www.restweb.net

 

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

Web: https://www.powerasia.energy/

 

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

 

NEW PROJECTS

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

Director

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 cleanenergycouncil.org.au

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

 

NEW PROJECTS

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

Epuron

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.”

KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE:

◦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

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

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.

 

NEW PROJECTS

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.

Contact:

James Townsend

Director

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.

Contact:

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]v.au.

 

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.

Contact:

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 www.energynetworks.com.au/events.

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.

Contact:

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.

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

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

Contact

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

Highlights:

  • 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.”

Source: ACCIONA

 

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.

Source: ACCIONA

 

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

First Solar Panels installed at White Rock Solar Farm

27 November

The first panels have now been installed at White Rock Solar Farm, located adjacent to White Rock Wind Farm, 20 km west of Glen Innes. The development is a solar-wind hybrid renewable energy facility.

Dan Ford, Goldwind Owner’s Representative for the project said reaching this project milestone demonstrates construction is well underway.

‘Construction of the civil works on the boundary fence and access and internal roads has been completed and recent activity on site has seen significant progress in structural work on frames and pile installation,’ said Dan.

‘The first of the solar panels have now been installed. In total 72,000 panels will be installed over the coming months. Once operational, the solar farm will have the capacity to generate electricity to supply the equivalent of approximately 7,200 average NSW homes,’ said Dan.

Alongside the wind farm project, White Rock Solar Farm represents a significant economic investment for the region. Up to 75 people are expected to be on site at construction peak with two ongoing operational and maintenance staff.

White Rock Solar is Goldwind’s second wind-solar hybrid project following the 10MW Gullen Solar project in the Southern Tablelands of NSW.

Source: Goldwind Australia

 

Roadmap to Renewables report released: major election commitment delivered

27 November

Chief Minister Michael Gunner today released the Government’s Roadmap to Renewables report – a Territory Labor election commitment - marking a big step towards delivering on Labor’s target of 50% renewable energy by 2030.

Mr Gunner said the report set out a credible path for the Northern Territory to take advantage of the unprecedented opportunity presented by the rapid shift to renewable energy across the globe.

“The shift to renewable energy is inevitable, and the Northern Territory is uniquely placed to take advantage of this technological advance to deliver secure, reliable and affordable power,” Mr Gunner said.

“Our abundance of renewable resources and our existing gas power infrastructure puts us in the box seat.

“Increased investment in renewable energy creates jobs, and delivering cheap and reliable energy for businesses and families is a boost for economic development and population growth.

“That’s why we have accepted or accepted in principle the key 11 recommendations from the report.

“Over the coming months we will carefully and methodically undertaking the financial and economic modelling required to implement these recommendations in a way which delivers the cheapest possible power for families and businesses, and minimises the need for taxpayer investment.”

Mr Gunner said part of this process will be providing $750 000 to Power Water to develop and validate a dynamic system model, which will ensure that increasing levels of renewable energy can be integrated into the grid in a stable and predictable way.

“We want to ensure that market rules and technical requirements are clear and transparent so businesses have the confidence to invest and create jobs in the renewables sector,” Mr Gunner said.

“Today I am also announcing $4.5 million for co-contribution grants of up to $1000 to households to undertake energy efficiency measures such as installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, batteries, solar pool pumps, smart meters, efficient lighting, solar hot water, energy efficient appliances, and efficiency audits.

“An important part of this initiative will be partnering with community groups to deliver educational and awareness campaigns about being energy smart. I look forward to announcing further details of this scheme in the coming months.

“I thank Chair Alan Langworthy and all the panel members for their work on this report.

“We will continue to work with the community, business and experts in the field to deliver secure, reliable and affordable power and create jobs in this exciting sector.

The recommendation are available here http://newsroom.nt.gov.au/api/attachment/byId/10687

Source: NT Government

 

10 MW Northam Solar Farm update

28 November

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that WA’s first merchant utility solar project, the 10MW Northam Solar Farm, is underway with the selection of co equity investors Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and Perth Noongar Foundation (PNF) from a competitive investment process run by Carnegie.

IBA and PNF have signed a binding term‐sheet with Carnegie for a collective 50% ownership of the Northam Solar Project alongside Carnegie’s 50% ownership. IBA and PNF are now engaged in an exclusivity period to complete the detailed transaction documentation which will be finalised in the coming weeks. Upon execution of the detailed documentation, all funding requirements for the Northam Solar Project will be complete.

Additionally, Carnegie has made significant progress on a range of associated activities including:

- Confirmation of a binding grid connection offer and signing of the Electricity Transfer Access Contract (ETAC) and Interconnection Works Contract (IWC) with Western Power, facilitating the commencement of onsite connection works in December 2017;

- Formal award of Reserve Capacity Accreditation (RCC) from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) confirming the eligibility for capacity credit payments;

- Signing of a 25‐year land lease agreement at site with a local Northam landowner;

- Secured a 12‐month construction debt finance facility for $7.5 million provided by the Perth based private investment group Asymmetric Credit Partners Pty Ltd.; and

- Finalisation and approval of the Development Application by the Mid‐West / Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel (JDAP).

Carnegie’s Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano, commented:

“This will be Carnegie’s second solar project that we own and operate and we’re delighted to be working alongside Indigenous Business Australia and the Perth Noongar Foundation as their first investment in renewable energy in WA. The Northam Solar Project is a great step forward in Carnegie’s strategy of developing a mixture of customer owned projects that generate an immediate return at the completion of construction and self‐owned projects that generate an annuity return over the life of the project.”

Indigenous Business Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Rajiv Viswanathan, commented:

“We are excited to be part of this ground‐breaking solar initiative alongside our partners Carnegie and PNF. This project is an example of the private and public sectors partnering with Indigenous investors to promote impact investment. IBA is actively considering other impact investment opportunities, as announced in its recent launch of its Indigenous Investment Partnerships initiative.”

Perth Noongar Foundation’s Chairman, Cedric Jacobs, commented:

“Our forefathers, ancestors and elders have all had a cultural responsibility to protect and nurture mother earth for the current and future generations. The Perth Noongar Foundation is proud to have the opportunity to partner with this project as it offers our people, and the greater community, access to a renewable clean energy which is sustainable and aligns with our cultural values and responsibilities. Spiritually, I am pleased to see this project take place in Northam, the land of my childhood.”

Carnegie has developed the Northam solar farm as a template for future projects where the company can receive value from multiple revenue streams including electricity sales, renewable energy certificate sales and reserve capacity credit payments relating to its 50% ownership of the Project, a project development fee at financial close and a share of the EPC and operations and maintenance margins.

Carnegie, IBA and PNF will work with Energy Made Clean and Lendlease to drive Noongar and Aboriginal employment and procurement outcomes in the construction and operation of the Northam Solar Project.

The Northam Solar Project has a capital cost of approximately $17m including Carnegie’s development fee paid upon completion of the detailed documentation in the coming weeks at which time it will begin construction. It is expected to be complete in the 2nd half of 2018 and when it will begin selling power into the Western Australian grid.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

New deal for fast energy – five minute settlement

28 November

The Australian Energy Market Commission today made a final rule to change the settlement period for the electricity spot price from 30 minutes to five minutes, starting in 2021.

This fundamental change will help get the electricity wholesale market ready for new technologies that enable the power system to operate in a more dynamic way.

Five minute settlement provides a better price signal for investment in fast response technologies, such as batteries, new generation gas peaker plants and demand response.

These fast responders are needed to support the increasing penetration of variable generation in the market.

“With more wind and solar generation entering the market, along with the retirement of thermal generators, there is an important role for fast response generation and services to plug the gaps when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining,” said AEMC Chairman John Pierce.

Moving to five minute settlement will align the physical electricity system – which matches demand and supply of electricity every five minutes – with the price signal provided by the market for that five minute period.

“Price signals that align with physical operations lead to more efficient bidding, operational decisions and investment,” said Mr Pierce.

“Over time, this flows through to lower wholesale costs, which should lead to lower electricity prices than in a market with 30 minute settlement. Wholesale costs make up around one third of a typical electricity bill.”

Five minute settlement will start on 1 July 2021. This gives industry time to adjust to this major change which affects the spot and contract markets, metering and IT systems.

The timeframe balances the need to capture the benefits of moving to five minute settlement as soon as possible against the transitional costs and risks. It also gives industry a timetable for building and developing new fast response generation and technologies in preparation for the change in three years’ time – so this investment can start happening now.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) will work closely with industry to develop an implementation plan, with policy guidance from the AEMC. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will monitor and report on the conduct of market participants and the effectiveness of competition throughout the transition.

The five minute settlement rule change proposal was submitted by Sun Metals, a zinc refinery and large energy user. Under the National Electricity Rules, any individual, group or organisation can lodge a rule change request or submission with the AEMC.

Source: AEMC

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

Edify Energy’s planned 200 MW Majors Creek Solar Farm near Woodstock in northern Queensland approved by the Townsville City Council. Construction scheduled to start in mid-2018 providing employment for approximately 250 people, and would be completed in around 12 months if done in a single stage. The solar farm will be connected to the grid via a new switchyard and existing 275 kV transmission line, and will be designed to accommodate battery storage at a later date. The development envelope covers approximately 540 ha.

Sun Brilliance Power signed agreements with WA network operator Western Power to connect and sell power on a merchant basis from its planned 128 MW Cunderdin Solar Farm in WA’s Wheatbelt region east of Perth.

 

Green light for new energy project in South Australia

29 November

- Schneider Electric and Planet Ark Power awarded $1.95m South Australia State Government grant towards a $13.8m solar photovoltaic (PV) and battery microgrid project

- First project of its kind in Australia

Schneider Electric, the global energy management specialist, in partnership with Australian renewable energy engineering company Planet Ark Power, has been awarded a $1.95m grant by the State Government to support the delivery of a secure, sustainable and affordable energy supply to South Australia.

The grant will help build a $13.9 million solar and battery pilot project at a major distribution centre in Adelaide’s north. The first project of its kind in Australia, it combines solar power and battery technology optimised by a Schneider Electric led microgrid management system integrated with an Advanced Distribution Management System to deliver more secure and reliable energy back to the grid.

Gareth O’Reilly, Zone President and Managing Director of Schneider Electric Australia & New Zealand, said that this is a significant milestone for Australia’s renewable energy future.

“The South Australian Government leads the way with its vision for renewable energy generation, and this project is a significant stepping stone towards a future where the whole of Australia has reliable and affordable sources of renewable energy.

 

“Nationwide, there is potential for 10,000MW or more of demand side response and load shifting, equivalent to five Liddell power stations, and 20 per cent energy efficiency improvements across the National Electricity Market.

 

“At Schneider Electric we believe demand side response and energy efficiency should be explored as a first priority to make energy for all Australians safer, more reliable, more sustainable and more affordable. Full adoption of demand side response and load shifting solutions will reduce the need to open new large-scale power stations. It will also provide the network with the flexibility to allow high levels of renewable penetration into the system,” concludes Mr O’Reilly.

The grant is one of four grants from this round and part of the SA State Government’s $150 million Renewable Technology Fund designed to support projects in four categories - renewable generation; bulk energy storage; bioenergy; and hydrogen infrastructure. This grant comes as recognition for Schneider Electric and Planet Ark Power that their current and proposed future work is contributing to a more secure, sustainable and affordable energy future.

Jonathan Ruddick, General Manager at Planet Ark Power said: “Planet Ark Power is proud to be partnering with both the South Australian Government and Schneider Electric on this exciting initiative. This microgrid project allows the demonstration of the technology that will power our future energy supply both locally and globally. The microgrid harnesses the full potential of renewable energy by dealing with the intermittent nature of solar. This project is an example of South Australian leadership in building a stable and affordable energy future.”

The project will include a grid-connected microgrid with 2.9MWh of smart battery storage, demand management, new network integration technology and up to 6MW of rooftop solar power.

Central to this project will be the integration of Schneider Electric’s market leading EcoStruxure Platforms, including its Advanced Distribution Management System and Microgrid Advisor, which will optimise the site’s solar PV and battery storage. Embedding solar generation and storage with microgrid control, will improve the grid’s resilience and the energy security of the site.

Work is expected to commence early in 2018.

Source: Schneider Electric

 

Next wave of energy storage projects announced

29 November

The State Government has announced the next wave of energy storage projects to be green lit in South Australia, with four new proposals receiving support through the Renewable Technology Fund.

The projects, which range from batteries and hydrogen fuel cells to thermal storage using sewage, demonstrate the diverse technologies that are available to help South Australia capitalise on its position as a global leader in the production of renewable energy. The projects will create a total of about 50 construction jobs and 10 ongoing positions. The successful recipients sharing in more than $8 million in grants are:

Planet Ark Power – Schneider Electric

$1.95m grant towards a $13.9m solar PV and battery project at a major distribution centre in Adelaide’s North. The project includes a micro-grid management system optimising 5.7MW of solar PV coupled with 2.9MWh of battery storage and integrates with SA Power Networks’ Utility Distribution Management System.

UniSA

$3.6m grant towards a $7.7m project at the Mawson Lakes campus that includes hydrogen production and a 50kW hydrogen fuel cell, a 0.45MWh flow battery, 3.2 million litres of chilled water storage and 1.8MW of ground and roof mounted solar PV. The project will cut campus emissions by 35 per cent and reduce peak demand on the grid.

1414 Degrees

$1.6m grant towards a $3.2m thermal storage project at the Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant using a home grown technology being commercialised by 1414 Degrees. The project will include a 0.25MW/10MWh thermal energy storage device that holds heat generated from the combustion of biogas produced on site.

SunSHIFT

$1m grant towards a $2.69m modular and relocatable solar PV and battery storage project at the Heathgate Resources Beverley mine. The project will pair 1MW of solar PV with a 1MW/0.5MWh battery, and integrate with the existing on-site gas power plant.

Background

In March the State Government announced the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund – a key pillar of the Government’s energy plan. The Fund is designed to accelerate the transformation to the next generation of renewable energy technologies.

Companies from around the world have already submitted over 80 proposals for technologies that include batteries, bioenergy, pumped hydro, thermal, compressed air and hydrogen. A portion of the fund has already been allocated to the grid-scale Tesla battery currently being built by Neoen near Jamestown.

Source: SA Government

 

New proposal would provide renewable energy and manufacturing boost to Indonesia; Australia’s wind and solar resources to generate renewable energy

29 November

Leaders in renewable energy technology and development today unveiled a ground-breaking proposal with the potential to solve several key energy and sustainable development challenges facing Indonesia, while creating significant new manufacturing opportunities.

The Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) is a proposed up to 6-gigawatt wind and solar hybrid power plant in Western Australia’s East Pilbara region that would export its electricity production to Indonesia via subsea electrical cables. The AREH is being developed by a team which includes CWP Energy Asia and InterContinental Energy (leading renewable energy project developers) and Vestas (the world leader in sustainable energy solutions).

While the electricity generated would come from Australia, the wind and solar generating equipment would be manufactured in Indonesia, creating a new source of skilled, high-tech jobs, the development of a local supply chain and technology and knowledge transfer.

By 2025, the AREH would provide the reliable and cost-competitive electricity that would help to meet Indonesia’s energy demand and renewable energy targets. In addition, AREH would help to address energy security challenges through long-term and stable pricing for electricity, as the wind and sun have no cost and no exposure to future carbon pricing.

The AREH Project

The Project site’s outstanding wind and solar resources can deliver large-scale, stable and competitively priced renewable electricity. The Project’s proximity to Indonesia, combined with advances in subsea cable technology that allow the cost-efficient transmission of electricity over very long distances, result in an opportunity to connect the South East Asia region and to unlock the possibility of developing this large-scale intercontinental renewable energy hub. The first phase of the AREH Project has an initial cost estimate of USD 10 billion, with subsequent phases to include supplying renewable energy to other countries in South East Asia.

The scale of the wind turbines, solar panels and related equipment needed for the Project would be large enough to justify building new manufacturing facilities in Indonesia, thus creating a large renewable energy industrial base that could help reduce the cost of power across Indonesia and the rest of the region, and create thousands of skilled jobs.

The Background

After three years of work developing the proposal and assessing its viability, the AREH Project team are looking to engage potential Indonesian manufacturing, construction and investment partners.

Already, onshore and offshore development studies for the AREH are underway, a team of partners and investors has been assembled, and the Governments of Indonesia, Australia and Denmark – which has a long history of enabling the creating of renewable energy markets – have been engaged. The Project Team has just submitted the Project for environmental review in Australia.

The Team

The AREH Project Team has extensive experience developing and building renewable energy projects in Australia, Indonesia and around the globe. This proven track record, together with input from expert consultants, technology partners and knowledgeable stakeholders has resulted in a validated development and construction strategy. Technology partners Prysmian and Swire Pacific Offshore assisted with the feasibility work and remain engaged in the Project. Prysmian is the world’s leading subsea cable manufacturer and Swire Pacific Offshore is a leading offshore contractor.

“The most important step in developing a project is finding the best site,” said Alexander Tancock, Managing Director of InterContinental Energy. “We spent two years investigating the entire northwest coast of Australia, and found this incredible location. Almost three times the size of Bali; it has a unique geography and topography that gives it far higher wind and solar resources than the average in that area. And those resources are perfectly complementary, with lots of sun during the daytime and high wind speeds in the morning, evening and night. That is why we can deliver such competitively priced power to Indonesia.”

“Wind and solar energy, working together, have enormous potential to supply reliable and competitively-priced renewable energy across regions,” said Alexander Hewitt, managing Director of CWP Energy Asia. “Given the increasing ability to move energy over long distances, the Asia Renewable Energy Hub is a compelling proposition for Indonesia – not only for supplying the energy, but for the economic benefits that come with establishing manufacturing facilities in Indonesia.“

“As renewable energy becomes cost-competitive with fossil fuels, it becomes more and more attractive both as source of electricity and as a source of jobs and investment,” said Clive Turton, President of Vestas Asia Pacific. “The Asian Renewable Energy Hub can compete over the long-term as a cost-effective means of supplying energy. It can also provide the foundation for a strong Indonesian renewable energy technology manufacturing hub, driving investment, job creation and a local value-added supply chain.”

You can find more information on the AREH here: www.asianrehub.com

 

Charged up and ready - as renewable energy to be delivered around the clock

1 December

In a landmark moment for renewable energy, Hornsdale Power Reserve, featuring the world’s largest lithium ion battery, was launched today by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and Neoen Deputy CEO Romain Desrousseaux.

This means that, for the first time, clean and affordable wind energy can be dispatched to the grid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether the wind is blowing or not, improving system reliability.

Tesla powerpacks, connected to Neoen's Hornsdale windfarm, are now operational and delivering power to the National Energy Market, providing system security services to South Australia.

The ability to dispatch into the system when needed, also opens up the opportunity for Hornsdale Power Reserve to sign competitive long term contracts with medium-sized business directly.

Today’s launch follows a successful period of regulatory testing that ensured the battery’s ability to both act as a generator and charge to and from the National Energy Market.

The battery was delivered ahead of the State Government's deadline of the beginning of summer, and well ahead of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's self-imposed deadline of "100 days or it's free", just 63 days after the grid connection-agreement was signed.

Background

In March 2017, the State Government announced its Energy Plan, with the objective of delivering cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy to South Australians.

This plan included building the nation’s largest battery, to store renewable energy and have back up power for when we need it.

In July, following a competitive process, French renewable energy company Neoen and US sustainable energy company Tesla, were awarded the contract to deliver the project, which would be the world’s largest lithium ion battery and installed near Jamestown.

Source: SA Government

 

CIP enters into partnership with Offshore Energy for Australian offshore wind project

Offshore Energy Pty Ltd. (Offshore Energy) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), on behalf of the fund Copenhagen Infrastructure III K/S (CI III), are pleased to announce that they have entered into a partnership regarding the continued development of Australia’s first offshore wind farm, the Star of the South. The project has so far been developed solely by Offshore Energy.

The Star of the South is located off the south coast of Gippsland, Victoria. The site is located 10-25 km off the coast in the Bass Strait and has a total expected capacity of up to 2,000MW. Further development of the site will be undertaken jointly by the partnership.

“Offshore Energy is delighted to partner with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, one of the leading offshore wind developers in the world, to develop Australia’s first offshore wind farm. The partnership brings together local knowledge and proven international experience that we believe will deliver many benefits for Australia, Victoria and local communities.”, says Andy Evans, Managing Director of Offshore Energy.

”Star of the South offers a unique opportunity within offshore wind in a new market. We are very satisfied with this partnership, and look forward to contributing our competence and experience in cooperation with Offshore Energy, all levels of Government and key stakeholders in the development of the first offshore wind project in Australia”, says Torsten Lodberg Smed, Senior Partner in Copenhagen Infrastructure Partner.

Source: Offshore Energy

 

Lyon Group’s Riverland Solar Storage receives development approval

1 December

The Lyon Group announced today that its Riverland Solar Storage project near Morgan in South Australia has received development approval.

The approval from the South Australian Government follows a process that included wide-ranging community consultation, including formal information sessions hosted by the Mid-Murray Council.

Lyon Group Partner David Green said that Mid-Murray Council’s strong support for the project and commitment to regional development had helped expedite the process.

“Mid-Murray Council has helped to move Riverland’s approval process along, which will result in an earlier construction commencement date. The jobs that the Riverland Solar Storage project will bring to the Morgan region will start sooner because of Mid-Murray Council’s support.”

Announced on 30 March 2017, Riverland is projected to employ 270 workers during construction and, assuming its connection offer is received shortly,is now expected to begin operations in the second half of 2018.

Its battery storage capacity will be approximately three times the capacity of the battery at Jamestown.

Mr Green said Lyon was committed to working cooperatively with the local community and would continue to work closely with the Mid-Murray Council to identify opportunities for local engagement and employment during the construction and operation of the project.

Services and equipment that could be sourced locally include site preparation services, access road preparation, structure assembly, electrical services, panel installation, and accommodation.

Mr Green said that South Australian energy consumers would benefit from the introduction of battery storage, through downward pressure on wholesale power prices and a more stable system.

“Large-scale renewables and large-scale battery technology will play a central role in keeping our electricity system stable, reducing prices, and reducing emissions.”

Lyon has Australia’s largest pipelines of large-scale solar and large-scale battery storage projects.

Lyon recently confirmed that it has shortlisted bidders for the first three projects in its Australian pipeline of integrated large-scale solar and large-scale battery storage projects.

The projects are in three states:

Cape York, Queensland (55MW solar + 20MW/80MWh storage)

Nowingi, Victoria (250 MW + 80MW/320MWh)

Riverland, South Australia (240MW + 100MW/400MWh) (up to 330MW solar including stage 2)

Cape York and Riverland now have development approval. Development approval for Nowingi Solar Storage is pending.

 

Lyon Group confirms sale process for first tranche of solar storage projects

1 December

The Lyon Group has shortlisted bidders for the first three projects in its Australian pipeline of integrated, large-scale solar and large-scale battery storage projects.

The transaction, which is expected to close by the end of 2017, is part of Lyon’s strategy to develop more than 2000MW of large-scale storage and more than 1,000MW of large-scale battery storage within the next three years.

The names of the shortlisted bidders cannot be confirmed at this stage but Lyon will retain a stake as part of the transaction.

The projects are in three states:

Cape York, Queensland (55MW solar + 20MW/80MWh storage)

Nowingi, Victoria (250 MW + 80MW/320MWh)

Riverland, South Australia (240MW + 100MW/400MWh) (up to 330MW solar including stage 2)

Following extensive processes with relevant development authorities, electricity transmission companies and the Australian Energy Market Operator, these three projects are all on track for Notice to Proceed by February 2018. Development approvals and offers to connect are either granted or imminent. Lyon has selected preferred EPC contractors and equipment suppliers.

Lyon Partner David Green said the transaction was one of the biggest M&A plays unfolding in Australia right now.“ Major global players are keen to purchase Australia’s only imminent dispatchable new renewables projects because they will deliver commercial returns, with no government funding.”

“These are the world’s biggest integrated solar and storage projects. The purchaser will be a major new player bringing competition to the Australian market.”

“These projects will undercut gas generation, which has commonly set the wholesale electricity price in recent times. The shift from 30 to 5-minute settlement will enhance their value.”

Mr Green said that, despite wrangling over the National Electricity Guarantee, the market had already determined that the shift to more renewable energy and greater focus on system security and reliability were directionally settled.

“Most investors, energy companies and consumers are clear that the energy system will become increasingly clean and smart.”

“Projects like these are central to energy transition. They enable substantially higher levels of variable, zero emissions generation, while strengthening the resilience of the system.”

“These projects are good for consumers and all other people who want to see downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices, major new competition in the generation market, and a grid with greater stability and less need for costly augmentation.”

Source: Lyon Group

Bombora to launch construction of 1.5MW mWaveTM through a multi-million dollar investment from Enzen

17 November

  • Investment enables Bombora to commence construction of commercial sized mWaveTM
  • Funding provided by energy specialist and strategic advisory company, Enzen
  • Albany project added to mWaveTM pipeline

Bombora Wave Power Pty Ltd (‘Bombora’ or ‘the Company’) today announced it has raised a multimillion-dollar round of investment to support the construction of it first commercial sized mWaveTM.

Bombora’s patented, Australian designed, 1.5 Megawatt mWaveTM converts wave energy into low-cost, clean electricity.

The investment is being provided by new strategic investor, Enzen, a global energy and environment company that provides strategic advisory and high-end solutions to the energy and utilities industries.

The funding provides capital to accelerate testing of the membrane, valve and full-scale turbine and generator.

Bombora’s Chief Executive Officer, Sam Leighton said, “This investment from Enzen, after material due diligence of the mWaveTM’s potential, will allow Bombora to move to full-scale construction and testing.

Having a major energy company supporting our product allows the Company to focus on bringing the mWaveTM to market, and provides access to additional networks in the renewable energy industry.”

Mr Dileep Viswanath, Chief Executive Officer, Enzen Australia added, “We believe the mWaveTM has the potential to be a robust solution for the large scale generation of clean energy. Enzen is committed to investing in state-of-the- technology to ensure that it maintains its lead in renewable energy thereby reducing energy prices and ensuring reliability of supply is sustainable for future generations. ”

Originating in India in 2006, Enzen is a global energy and environment company that has been providing large scale, high-end solutions to the energy and utilities industries. Enzen has become a partner of choice, successfully implementing projects for global utilities across India, the United Kingdom and the United States. Enzen recently announced it is expanding its South Australian offices from 30 to 250 staff.

Albany Project

The Albany Wave Energy Project (AWEP), an initiative by the Government of Western Australia to install and provide common user wave energy infrastructure in Albany, was recently awarded to Carnegie Clean Energy Ltd (Carnegie). Bombora is cooperating with Carnegie on the project and looks forward to the opportunity to deploy the mWaveTM at the AWEP site following installation of the AWEP infrastructure.

Source: Bombora Wave Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Albany Wave Power

 

Australian Government awards grant to $8 million project in the City Of Fremantle using the Power Ledger platform

17 November

Today the Australian government announced they will provide $2.57 million in funding for a cutting edge project in the City of Fremantle and $5.68 million will be funded through project partners including Curtin University, Murdoch University, Curtin Institute of Computation, LandCorp, CSIRO/Data61, CISCO and Power Ledger.

The project is trialling the use of blockchain-powered distributed energy and water systems and was the second largest recipient of the Grant across all of Australia, following behind the ‘Switching on Darwin’ project.

What Are The Funds For?

The project, which involves academic, infrastructure and technology partners, will assess how cities can use blockchain technology and data analytics to integrate distributed energy and water systems. The federal funding comes as part of the government’s inaugural Smart Cities and Suburbs Program which aims to solve practical problems. The project will also be supported by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Western Power, and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

How Will It Work?

The trial will involve highly resilient, low-carbon and low-cost systems installed and connected using blockchain technology. A large solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, rooftop solar PV panels, a precinct sized battery, an electric vehicle charge station and precinct water treatment and capture systems will be orchestrated using blockchain technology and data analytics, and demonstrate the interconnected infrastructure of future smart cities.

Onsite energy generation at water treatment systems will also circumvent the need for costly distribution overhauls, as they are due for a $3million upgrade to increase capacity. The project will provide the community with financial and service sustainability while still engaging the private sector.

Brad Pettitt, Mayor of the City of Fremantle, said: “We are delighted to host this project in the City of Fremantle. This collaboration between existing infrastructure, renewable energy and innovative technology fits with our One Planet zero carbon energy target and will help us to secure the ongoing sustainability of essential services for communities that live here.”

What Role Will The Partners Play?

Curtin University has responsibility for project management duties and will carry out the research underpinning the project.

Professor Greg Morrison of Curtin University said: “We will develop a smart metering, battery storage and blockchain trading system to allow energy and water efficiencies between critical dispersed infrastructures that would otherwise have required physical co-location.”

Murdoch University will provide research support on alternative district water supply and storage schemes that will be used to provide water, capacity and ancillary services to each other and the grid.

Martin Anda, Academic Chair of Environmental Engineering, said: “This news is very exciting as we now have the opportunity to develop an entirely new precinct scale urban water system in Fremantle that will harmonise with the innovative Power Ledger Platform.

“I am thrilled with the prospect of commencing research, modelling and designing the novel water distribution infrastructure upgrades at Knutsford, through rainwater capture and wastewater recycling, with the City of Fremantle and the whole team.”

Curtin Institute for Computation and Data61 will provide the data analytics required to generate insights from these projects.

Professor Andrew Rohl, Director of the Curtin Institute for Computation, said: “We commend the City of Fremantle and its industry partners for their vision on this project and look forward to assisting them to provide a more sustainable future for their community.”

CISCO will be supporting the project as part of its strategic partnership with Curtin University called Innovation Central Perth.

CSIRO and Data61 have the capabilities required to assist in the delivery of this project, including megatrend analysis, risk analysis, statistical forecasting and systems modelling.

“CSIRO’s experience collaborating with industry and government to build platforms will ensure the data generated by the project will be utilised by the community, project partners and municipal government.” said Glenn Platt, the Research Director of Grids & Energy Efficiency Systems.

Landcorp is taking part in the project to monitor success in order to explore alternative water and energy systems that are connected to smart technology.

Dean Mudford, Chief Operations Officer of Landcorp, said: “We are excited to be part of a shared commitment to explore alternative water and energy systems which are innovative, resource efficient and connected to smart technology. The potential for this level of innovation to be embedded within the next stage of our Knutsford development supports our broader corporate objective to lead by doing. Funding which allows research to explore alternative water and energy systems has the potential to significantly reduce infrastructure development costs for decades to come.”

How Is Power Ledger Involved?

Power Ledger will provide the transactional layer for the renewable assets as well as the ownership model for the community owned battery.

Dr. Jemma Green, co-founder and chairperson of Power Ledger, said: “Power Ledger is excited to work with a consortium of innovators and technical experts to grow and develop the platform. We’re excited to break ground on this truly novel project that utilises blockchain technology to orchestrate sustainable assets.”

The project will span over two years and will commence within the next two months.

Source: Power Ledger

NOTE: The City of Fremantle has tendered for a 5 MW solar farm as part of this project.

 

First turbine erected at Mount Emerald Wind Farm

20 November

Ratch Australia Corporation announced the completion of the first wind turbine at the Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Walkamin today after the three 16 tonne blades, each 57m long, were positioned in place atop a 90-metre tower.

The milestone follows the raising of the project’s first towers last week. Each tower is made up of four separate sections and is anchored to an 800-tonne concrete and steel foundation using 168, 36mm bolts. The turbine’s 120-tonne nacelle, the box that houses all of the generating components in a wind turbine, and is as big as a shipping container was also craned into place.

Ratch Construction Director, Mr Rene Kuypers, said the significant milestone capped a huge team effort.

“Reaching this construction point has involved careful planning over many months and a lot of work from a lot of people and I’d like to thank them all,” Mr Kuypers said.

“From unloading the cargo at Cairns Port to carefully trucking the components up to Walkamin and now the crane crews erecting the components, it’s teamwork at its best,” he said.

Mr Kuypers said more than 400 construction crew had been inducted to work on the project to date, including 130 locals while more than 20 suppliers had been contracted from the wider Cairns region.

Over the project’s construction phase, more than 450 components will be delivered to site. There will be 53 wind turbines erected in all, each with a capacity exceeding 3 megawatts (MW) for a total capacity of around 180MW. Once fully operational in September 2018, Mount Emerald will be the biggest wind farm in Queensland.

The wind farm will deliver in the order of 540,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy, which is predicted to meet the annual needs of approximately 75,000 north Queensland homes over a 20-year period.

Powerlink’s construction of a dedicated 275kV substation to connect the wind farm to its transmission network is also underway.

Source: Ratch Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Mount Emerald Wind Farm

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

NSW Department of Planning & Environment released three solar farm proposals for community feedback; Vast Solar’s 50 MW Jemalong Solar Farm in , 90 MW Tarleigh Solar Farm in Blighty and the 195 MW Currawarra Solar Farm near Deniliquin, both being developed by RES Australia. All projects are open for public submissions until 21 December.

Clay Preshaw, Director of Resource and Energy Assessments, said Vast Solar previously proposed a solar generation facility at the same site that would generate electricity using solar thermal technology rather than photovoltaic solar panels. "The development application for the solar thermal plant will be amended by the company and the plant moved to an area adjacent to the site. The department will re-exhibit the amended plans for public feedback next year." Mr Preshaw said.

 

PROJECT BRIEF

Renew Power Group seeking electricity generation licence for its planned 4.9 MW Peterborough Solar Farm approximately 100km east of Port Pirie in South Australia. The site is located on the western edge of town and is close to the 33/11 kV Peterborough sub-station. The PSF will be connected to the 33kV SAPN Network. The facility will consist of 2 x SMA inverters, NEXTracker mounting systems and Trina solar panels. GCo electrical is the primary contractor for the solar farm detailed design, procurement and construction (EPC) contract. O&M will also be conducted by GCo for 2 years as part of their EPC contract and Defect Liability Period. Energisation is scheduled by 7 February 2018.

Contact

Jade Feinberg

Project Manager

Renew Power Group

Tel: 042 665 3372

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Bright future for Australian energy storage despite public uncertainty

20 November

A report released today by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) says that Australia has the potential to lead the world in developing large and home scale energy storage systems if public uncertainty can be overcome.

The report, The role of energy storage in Australia’s future energy mix shows that Australia has a wealth of natural advantages that could aid the development of new industries, exports and create jobs in mining and manufacturing.

It also warns that without proper planning and investment in energy storage, electricity costs in Australia will continue to rise and electricity supply will become less reliable.

The report finds the public had some awareness of energy storage such as batteries and pumped hydro but had very limited knowledge of other emerging technologies such as renewable hydrogen.

It also notes reluctance from consumers to install batteries at home for perceived safety reasons. However, the report identifies that Australians are fast adopters given the right market conditions, and there are 1.8 million homes with rooftop solar power systems that could use battery packs for energy storage.

“This report clearly shows the two sides of the coin – that energy storage is an enormous opportunity for Australia but there is work to be done to build consumer confidence,” said the chair of the ACOLA expert working group, Dr Bruce Godfrey.

“The best way to change attitudes is to increase understanding about energy storage.”

“Given our natural resources and our technical expertise, energy storage could represent a major new export industry for our nation,” said Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel.

“Energy storage is an opportunity to capitalise on our research strengths, culture of innovation and abundant natural resources. We have great advantages in the rapidly expanding field of lithium production and the emerging field of renewable hydrogen with export opportunities to Asia.”

“This is the first in a series of ‘horizon scanning’ reports. By working closely with the Office of the Chief Scientist ACOLA aims to present evidence-based reports on key issues to the Prime Minister’s Commonwealth Science Council to inform policy making and identify opportunities,” said ACOLA President, Professor John Fitzgerald.

The report explains that energy storage solutions can improve Australia’s energy system in two major ways. First, by providing greater security by stabilising frequencies that fluctuate within seconds especially with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar farms. Second, by improving reliability by providing additional back-up power when needed in times of high demand such as heatwaves.

The forward-looking report has 10 key findings and contains detailed modelling and a national survey of more than energy 1,000 energy consumers.

Among the findings is that recycling of lithium ion batteries is an opportunity for Australia, where we already have a history of recycling more than 90 per cent of lead-acid batteries.

The report was co-funded by ACOLA and the Office of the Chief Scientist.

After 11.am on Monday 20 November:

The full report can be found at www.acola.org.au

Source: ACOLA

 

ICO and ACCIONA sign a loan agreement for $75 million to finance Australian wind farm

20 November

The President of Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) Pablo Zalba and ACCIONA Managing Director for Economics and Finance Carlos Arilla have signed an agreement for a loan of 75 million Australian dollars (51 million euros equivalent) to finance the construction and start-up of the Mt. Gellibrand wind farm in the State of Victoria.

The new wind farm, which will come on stream in the second semester of 2018, has a total capacity of 132 megawatts (MW). The electricity generated by the facility will all be sold in the wholesale market (pool). The Government of the State of Victoria made a commitment to purchase renewable energy certificates for 66 MW of the power generated by the wind farm, following a public tender in 2016. This contract will enable it to purchase certificates for up to ten years.

Pablo Zalba highlighted “the added value contributed by ICO in this kind of operation, by facilitating finance in local currency”. He also pointed out that “the public bank will continue to promote activities that facilitate the internationalization of Spanish companies so that they can be more competitive”

Carlos Arilla expressed “satisfaction at the support from ICO in a project that strengthens ACCIONA’s position in the renewables market in Australia, a country where we also have a major presence in the infrastructure and water businesses”.

With this loan ICO has once again shown its support for ACCIONA’s expansion plans abroad. In recent years it has participated in the financing of several projects developed by the Spanish group in other countries, such as the Eurus wind farm in Mexico or the El Romero Solar photovoltaic plant in Chile.

Source: ACCIONA

Link to AltEnergy project database: Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm

 

NEG report guarantees one thing – it won’t work for South Australia

21 November

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis says the Energy Security Board’s advice on the National Energy Guarantee proves it would entrench the market power of existing fossil fuel generators and retailers, limiting competition and driving up power prices in South Australia.

The Energy Security Board report, released today, includes a section titled ‘competition in South Australia’, which demonstrates how a NEG would further entrench the monopoly behaviour of large market participants.

Mr Koutsantonis said that the advice shows the NEG would favour the large monopolies meaning it would favour the East Coast and push up prices in South Australia.

The advice also clearly shows how the NEG stifles investment in more renewables.

The Federal Government’s report shows the only thing the NEG guarantees is a longer lifeline for coal, more market power and more profits for the existing generators.

Essentially, the NEG is a guarantee for higher prices in SA.

It proves it would make it more difficult for new competition from renewables to enter the market and takes Australia in the wrong direction. The reason high power prices are being experienced across the country is lack of investment, and lack of competition in the market.

The NEG favours the market status quo, doing nothing to drive the transformation towards renewables and will not drive emission reduction to levels that are needed to meet the Paris targets.

The CET was always considered the ‘second best option’, now COAG is being asked to accept the third best option.

There is nothing here for South Australia – we have already set in motion a plan for our State to be more self-­sufficient and to increase renewable energy generation and storage.

We need more generation and more competition in South Australia, which is the key goal of our energy plan.

Source: SA Government

 

On behalf of all Australians COAG needs to develop the National Energy Guarantee

21 November

Representatives of Australia’s businesses, communities, environment, energy industry and workers are calling on the Commonwealth and States to work together in good faith and a spirit of compromise to make further development of the National Energy Guarantee (the Guarantee) their top priority.

Australia is suffering unsustainably high electricity prices and rising emissions, and our reliability and cost challenges will worsen if the retirement of ageing generators is not managed well. The new private investment needed to turn the situation around will not be forthcoming without confidence in a credible, scalable, integrated and enduring long-term energy and climate policy framework.

To be a success, any framework needs both to sustain broad political support and to address the energy trilemma, supporting a clean and reliable energy system at the lowest sustainable cost. The Guarantee is only a concept at this point, with much development required. But we are hopeful that this further work will identify that the proposed mechanism can deliver. Importantly, there are no apparent alternatives at present that are both potentially functional and potentially acceptable to all sides of politics.

The electricity sector needs certainty, and soon, to put an investment pipeline in place. But the Guarantee is a major and complex reform that will need extensive consultation. It is also just part of a wider energy and climate policy reform agenda including the Finkel reforms, the National Energy Productivity Plan, the Climate Change Policy Review and more. We all look forward to the chance to input as the States, Commonwealth and energy market authorities develop the Guarantee further. Together we can ensure that the overall energy and climate policy framework meets Australia’s needs, including:

  • Competitive, transparent and liquid electricity markets and efficient investment to deliver the lowest sustainable costs to energy users
  • A credible, scalable and enduring settlement of climate policy for the electricity sector to help ensure Australia meets our commitments under the Paris Agreement
  • Confidence for investment in the full range of energy services we need to maintain an affordable and reliable electricity system as old generators retire and emissions decline consistent with our Paris Agreement commitments
  • Comfort that any impacts on industry and the community are understood, equitable and well managed, including maintaining the competitiveness of trade exposed industries, protecting vulnerable households, and ensuring a just transition for electricity sector workers and communities.

The Guarantee must be fit for purpose. Our organisations will not agree to just anything, and neither should COAG. What the COAG Energy Council meeting in Hobart this week should do is agree a work plan and full consultation to resolve the many unanswered questions about the Guarantee as soon as possible and produce a fully-fledged design ready for consideration, agreement and implementation. Without timely progress Australia will see energy costs and emissions increase, threatening our society, environment and economy.

Endorsed by:

 Australian Aluminium Council

 Australian Council of Social Services

 Australian Council of Trade Unions

 Australian Energy Council

 Australian Industry Group

 Australian Steel Institute

 Brotherhood of St Laurence

 Cement Industry Federation

 Clean Energy Council

 Energy Efficiency Council

 Energy Networks Australia

 Energy Users Association of Australia

 Investor Group on Climate Change

 National Farmers' Federation

 St Vincent de Paul Society

 WWF Australia

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Australian first – Melbourne powers ahead with wind farm

23 November

Melbourne’s most iconic organisations have joined together to support the development of a wind farm that will be built near Ararat in regional Victoria.

City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project has united 14 leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations and Councils to source energy from the new 80 MW wind farm.

"We're sending a message that we're committed to jobs and investment in regional Australia as well as long-term energy security for Melbourne," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

"We expect that more than 140 jobs could be created in the construction phase, with around eight ongoing jobs in the operation and management of the facility.

"This power purchasing project will be an Australian first. It shows that large organisations can combine their purchasing power to support the development of new renewable energy plants in regional Australia."

The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project group is led by the City of Melbourne and includes the University of Melbourne, RMIT, Federation Square, City of Port Phillip, City of Yarra, Moreland City Council, Bank Australia, Zoos Victoria, Citywide, National Australia Bank, Australia Post, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and NEXTDC. The group is working to finalise contracts with Melbourne based clean energy company Pacific Hydro which has been selected as the preferred supplier in the tender for the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

The planned wind farm will be owned and operated by Pacific Hydro and the power will be supplied by its retail arm, Tango Energy. The facility will include 39 wind turbines and will deliver a boost to the local economy with construction jobs and opportunities for local businesses, suppliers, and contractors.

The group plans to purchase 88 GWh of energy, which is the equivalent to powering more than 17,000 households in Melbourne for a year.

"This will abate more than 96,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere each year. That's as much as taking more than 22,000 cars off the road," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

Crowlands wind farm has received all relevant planning approvals: construction contracts are being finalised and are subject to financial close. The project at the wind-rich agricultural community, 205kms from Melbourne, was first proposed in 2007. Currently only 17 per cent of Victoria's electricity is derived from renewable energy.

"This model can be replicated all over Australia and internationally, where practical, by groups of cities, businesses, and community members. We're releasing a handbook that makes it easy to learn from our experience, improve on the approach and replicate it many times," the Deputy Lord Mayor said.

"This project adds to a growing number of organisations and governments going direct to market to purchase renewables, but never before has it been proven that such a large number of partners can come together and make it work."

Source: City of Melbourne

Link to AltEnergy project database: Crowlands Wind Farm

 

New renewable energy will lower power bills: Government analysis

23 November

New wind, solar and bioenergy projects built between now and 2020 under the national Renewable Energy Target (RET) will cut the average household power bill by hundreds of dollars a year next decade, according to analysis released by the Federal Government.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the new analysis on the proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) showed that household power bills will be hundreds of dollars lower each year from 2020 to 2030 compared to 2017, because of existing policies which encourage renewable energy.

“It is now clear that more renewable energy in the power system means lower power prices – for both mums and dads and big energy users with major electricity expenses,” Mr Thornton said.

“Renewable energy is now the lowest cost electricity generation it is possible to build. This analysis shows the significant reduction in power bills coming from new renewable energy.

"With the RET coming to a close, it is crucial that any future policy – including the proposed NEG – ensures sustained new investment in clean energy to bring on the much needed new supply to drive down power prices. The NEG policy should ultimately be assessed against this objective.”

Mr Thornton said as well as helping to reduce power prices, renewable energy is creating jobs and investment in regional areas of the country.

“We are in a record year for wind and solar in particular, with close to $9 billion of investment and almost 5000 jobs created in large-scale renewable energy alone. Rooftop solar and storage are also booming, with thousands more employed installing solar power systems in Australian homes and businesses," he said.

“As more large businesses switch on to the idea of creating and storing their own electricity, this will fundamentally change the way we think about our energy system.

“Another report released by the Chief Scientist this week suggested that only a modest amount of energy storage would be needed to accommodate close to 50 per cent renewable energy in the current power system.

“We have joined a call for state and federal governments to work towards further exploration of the NEG at this Friday’s meeting of the COAG Energy Council, to answer the many questions that remain about the policy. However, like many studies before it, this new analysis shows the policy task ahead must tap into the massive benefit renewable energy can provide to Australian homes, businesses and the economy.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

World’s biggest lithium ion battery set to be energised

23 November

South Australia is set to have back-up power in place this summer through the world's largest lithium ion battery, which is set to be energised for the first time in the coming days as it enters a phase of regulatory testing.

Tesla Powerpacks, connected to Neoen's Hornsdale windfarm, have now been fully installed on site, with the testing phase ensuring the battery is optimised and meets AEMO and South Australian Government requirements.

Throughout this testing period, the battery will be providing system security services to South Australia.

Premier Jay Weatherill will join representatives from Neoen, Tesla and Consolidated Power Projects next week to officially launch the battery, which has put South Australia and Jamestown on the map as a world leader in renewable energy with battery storage.

Background

In March 2017, the State Government announced its Energy Plan, with the objective of delivering cleaner, more affordable and more reliable energy to South Australians.

This plan included building the nation’s largest battery, to store renewable energy and have back up power for when we need it.

In July, following a competitive process, French renewable energy company Neoen and US sustainable energy company Tesla, were awarded the contract to deliver the project, which would be the world’s largest lithium ion battery and installed near Jamestown.

Source: SA Government

Link to AltEnergy project database: Hornsdale Wind Farm

 

Genex achieves first energisation for Kidston Solar stage 1

24 November

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that it has successfully achieved solar substation energisation (Energisation) of the Kidston Stage 1 Solar Project (KS1 or Project). Energisation is a major construction milestone and also represents a significant event in the development of the Company.

Energisation is one of the most important testing and commissioning steps before electricity can be exported from the Project into the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Genex is also pleased to report that it has achieved registration by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as a Market Generator, and has thus completed all technical and regulatory processes to enable the export of electricity into the NEM.

Commenting on these significant milestones, Genex’s Managing Director Michael Addison stated:

“Energisation of the solar substation is a crucial milestone in the commissioning for any large-scale renewable energy project. The smooth development of the Project to date is a reflection of the significant dedication and effort by the project delivery team. With all necessary regulatory approvals in place Genex is now able to complete the final steps to enable the dispatch of electricity into the NEM.

With first generation and revenue scheduled for early December 2017, we are pleased to reconfirm that the development remains on time and on budget.

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of the Commonwealth and Queensland State Governments. The Commonwealth Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, has continued to support Genex Power’s Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, providing $8.9 million in funding for KS1 and up to $9 million for Stage 2. The Queensland Government, by providing a 20-year revenue support deed and by designating the Project “Critical Infrastructure”, significantly contributed to the success of the Project”.

Source: Genex Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kidston Solar Project

 

PROJECT BRIEF

Synergy Wind submitted an environmental assessment referral for its planned 34-turbine, 115 MW Alberton Wind Farm to Victorian Government. Synergy expects the project to produce enough clean energy to power more than 45,000 Victorian homes, generate around 115 jobs during construction and contribute around $2.8 million to the local economy. Around 12 long-term jobs are estimated to remain over the life of the project. An EPBC referral for the project was submitted to the Federal Government in December last year.

 

Energy Guarantee must now address critical concerns for renewables industry

24 November

The clean energy industry has welcomed progress on further policy development for the Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) today, but warned the process would now need to address the many concerns it has about the policy.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the most important issue is whether the NEG can ultimately deliver new renewable energy investment that is crucial to reduce power prices.

“The clean energy industry will only support the NEG policy if it is designed and implemented in a way that ensures strong and sustained investment in renewable energy and energy storage,” Mr Thornton said.

“A lot of analysis and work is now required to fill in the detail necessary to fully assess the policy and its potential. This will determine whether it is capable of delivering this new investment and able to secure support from the clean energy sector.”

Mr Thornton said the clean energy sector had a variety of other concerns, including:

  • whether the policy would be scalable to deliver higher levels of new investment to replace the closure of ageing coal generation, or to achieve higher emissions reduction targets in the future
  • the potential impact on energy sector competition and subsequent impact on retail pricing
  • careful consideration of the interaction between the NEG and the complexities of the energy market, as well as the need for high levels of transparency and strong governance and decision-making that will ensure investor confidence in the policy
  • the possibility of the NEG to stifle innovation in exciting new technologies, solutions and business models across the sector.

“We hope the progress today may usher in a new period of long-overdue cooperation between state and federal governments, the business community, the energy industry and a broad cross-section of other industries who are struggling to deal with high power prices,” he said.

“We look forward to working closely with the Energy Security Board and the COAG Energy Council.”

The Clean Energy Council’s position statement on the National Energy Guarantee outlines a variety of concerns based on the policy detail currently available, and is available on our website.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Building the case for a second interconnector for Bass Strait

24 November

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and TasNetworks today announced plans to work together to explore a more detailed feasibility and business case assessment for a second interconnector across the Bass Strait between Tasmania and the mainland grid.

A second interconnector after Basslink would allow Tasmania to expand the amount of electricity it could provide to the grid, allowing Tasmania to play a greater role in the National Electricity Market. It would also provide a backup to ensure supply to Tasmania.

This more detailed feasibility and business case assessment is expected to cost an estimated $20 million, to be funded by both ARENA and TasNetworks.

TasNetworks and ARENA are defining the scope of the more detailed feasibility and business case assessment to be formally assessed by ARENA. The business case for a second interconnector to link Tasmania and Victoria across the Bass Strait would consider:

  • The optimum capacity
  • The preferred route
  • Technical specifications and supply arrangements for the cable, and grid interconnections
  • Potential timing
  • Detailed cost estimates
  • Regulatory revenue investment test
  • Financial and development models to implement the second interconnector

ARENA has previously committed up to $2.5 million for Hydro Tasmania to undertake early stage feasibility studies as part of the Battery of the Nation project.

This work includes upgrading of existing hydro power stations, identifying 15 high potential sites for pumped hydro and how wind power and hydro could help provide dispatchable, reliable power to other states.

This more detailed feasibility and business case assessment will build upon the Tamblyn review and will be informed by the findings of the Battery of the Nation feasibility studies.

The third of these studies currently underway considers how Tasmania can play an expanded role in the NEM through increased wind power and reconfiguring or expanding its hydro capacity, which would rely upon a second interconnector. Preliminary findings from that study indicate that the benefits of a second interconnector could outweigh the costs by $500 million.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer Ivor Frischknecht said making the case for a second interconnector could enable Tasmania to act as a giant battery, providing large scale renewable energy generation and storage capacity.

“Tasmania has some of Australia’s best wind resources, a large established hydro electric system and the potential to develop pumped hydro sites. To harness this potential, a second interconnector would need to be constructed to enable further generation and storage capacity to be delivered to the rest of the NEM.

“With Hydro Tasmania, ARENA is already investigating the feasibility for new wind and pumped hydro, and this business case would be the next step,” Mr Frischknecht said.

TasNetworks Chief Executive Officer Lance Balcombe said a more detailed feasibility and business case assessment would be a crucial step towards determining whether a second interconnector was viable, and how the project should proceed.

“TasNetworks is excited to work with the Australian Government and ARENA to explore the potential for a second interconnector which could unlock huge potential for Tasmania to become a major energy exporter,” he said.

Source: ARENA

 

Turnbull Government welcomes progress on the National Energy Guarantee at COAG Energy Council

24 November

The Turnbull Government welcomes the decision by the COAG Energy Council to undertake further design work on the National Energy Guarantee.

The Guarantee was recommended by the independent expert Energy Security Board (ESB) and has received widespread support from industry and consumer groups.

Agreement by the Council is a significant and constructive step forward in delivering a more affordable and reliable energy system as we transition to a lower emissions future.

As part of the agreement, the ESB will further develop the design details of the National Energy Guarantee and report back to the COAG Energy Council by April 2018.

As ESB modelling undertaken by Frontier Economics shows, wholesale electricity prices are forecast to drop by 23 per cent, while the savings to households will be in the order of $400 per year in the decade from 2020 to 2030 under the National Energy Guarantee and new generation.

Large energy users will also greatly benefit from the Guarantee. For example, a chemical factory could see a reduction in its energy bills of around $1.4 million per year and a paper manufacturer around $10 million per year.

As a truly technology neutral policy, the Guarantee will also drive the right investment and reduce emissions without subsidies, taxes or trading schemes.

The Turnbull Government looks forward to continuing to work with the states and territories and the ESB on the Guarantee in the lead up to the next COAG Energy Council meeting in April 2018.

The Guarantee builds on the wide range of energy policy initiatives already undertaken by the Turnbull Government, including an agreement with retailers to offer millions of Australian consumers a better deal, legislation to stop the networks gaming the system and delivering more gas for Australians before it's shipped offshore. These initiatives, together with a record investment in energy storage, including Snowy 2.0, will help drive a more affordable and reliable system.

Source: Federal Government

Green energy plant components landed in Cairns
10 November
Key components for MSF Sugar’s $75 million green energy plant have landed in Cairns en-route to their final destination at the Tableland Mill.

Among the shipload of 276 individual items is the steam turbine and generator package for the power plant, which at $18 million is the largest single investment item for the cornerstone project.

The HR Endeavour docked into Cairns on November 5 and took several days to unload, with the operation finishing today.

Power plant project manager Mark Magnanini said the items would now be road transported to the construction site across two to three weeks.

“The bulk of the shipment will use normal road freight transport and the logistics will be handled by the principal contractor for the project, ThyssenKrupp,” he said.

“The process will have minimal impact on road users as components will be transported outside of peak times.”

Mr Magnanini said the arrival of the components was a significant project milestone.

“With the major civil works completed, our attention now turns to construction of the plant using the high-precision, custom-manufactured components that have arrived and others that are on the way,” he said.

“It is exciting to see the plant taking shape. This is the first stage of our green energy pipeline and heralds a new era for the far north Queensland sugar industry.”

Ports North chairman Russell Beer said this latest project out of the Port of Cairns reaffirmed its importance as a major cargo hub for far North Queensland.

“Ports North has secured major contracts throughout 2017 by promoting and building the port’s capabilities, with new facilities such as the windfarm component lay down area,” he said.

Panalpina World Transport project development manager Andrew Chatto said 800,000kg, or 800 metric tonnes, of cargo had been discharged from the ship.

“This is a significant project. There are multiple people involved and multiple contractors involved – most of them local – so it’s a fantastic opportunity for the region,” he said.

Construction of the new green energy power plant started in May this year at the Arriga site, west of Cairns, and is on track to be completed by July 2018.

Once operational, the power plant will use a 100 per cent renewable sugarcane fibre, known as bagasse, to produce 24 megawatts of electricity – enough to power every house in the Tableland region.

Fast Facts:
•276 high-precision, custom-manufactured components were shipped on the vessel HR Endeavour from Mumbai and Chennai in India to Cairns, arriving into the port on Sunday 5 November
•The cargo, which weighed a total of 800,000 kilograms or 800 metric tonnes, was discharged from the vessel over three consecutive days
•The components will be transported by road to MSF Sugar’s Tableland Mill over a three week period, with approximately five loads transported per day (75-80 loads in total)

Source: Industry Queensland

Link to AltEnergy project database: Tableland Sugar Mill Power Station

 

Sunshine State shining brightly for renewable energy as election nears
13 November
The Queensland Government’s election pledge for new renewable energy and energy storage funding on the weekend will further build on its strong record of encouraging clean energy jobs and investment in the state, Australia’s renewable energy industry said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the renewable energy and storage industry had invested strongly in Queensland over the last few years, and a large part of that is due to the supportive environment which has been created for business.

“Queensland has led the nation in rooftop solar panels for years, and the many big wind and solar projects which are underway across the state are employing thousands of locals and generating economic opportunities in regional parts of the state,” Mr Thornton said.

“Along with the state’s strong renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030, the new pledge of $50 million for a solar thermal power plant and almost $100 million for solar panels in schools will help to accelerate a 21st century energy system for the sunshine state. Funding to help remote communities decarbonise is also very welcome, along with investigating the feasibility of a battery mega-factory in North Queensland.

“Renewable energy is now the cheapest and cleanest option for new energy generation and, when combined with energy storage, it can do everything fossil fuels can – except much more flexibly and without the pollution,” he said.

Mr Thornton welcomed the Liberal National Party’s renewable energy election commitments to date, but said the idea of building a new coal plant in North Queensland simply doesn’t make sense.

“Renewable energy with storage is now cheaper than new coal, and the reality is that any new coal plant will take at least seven years to be built if everything goes smoothly. However, there are some good ideas in the LNP’s energy policy to streamline approvals for renewable energy projects and introduce more efficient regulation,” he said.

“We have to get smarter to deal with power bills, and that means more renewable energy, more flexible energy storage, better demand response and other enabling technology that can help us use our energy more efficiently when it is most needed.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

A head of steam on geothermal power station expansion
13 November
It’s full steam ahead for the expansion of the Ngawha geothermal power station following major transaction approval from the Top Energy Consumer Trust and Top Energy Board.

Top Energy Chief Executive Russell Shaw says this was the final hurdle the company had to pass to commit to a construction programme to expand the station to 53MW by June 2021.

Bank funding has been secured for an estimated total project cost of $175million. The company is keen to retain local ownership by using bank funding. While constraining the company’s capital expenditure in the short term the investment will ensure benefits from this project are retained for the people of the Far North.

Mr Shaw says with the major transaction approvals, Ngawha Generation Ltd can get the construction programme fully underway.

Initial tenders for civil works have been awarded with some construction activity already underway on the Ngawha site; well drilling will start in early 2018.

Mr Shaw says by September 2018 the company will confirm whether there is a viable geothermal resource to support the expansion.

Once this is clear, he says, “we expect to finalise the contracts for the transmission connection, the supply of the station and the fluid conveyance system, to be on target for a 2021 commissioning”.

Mr Shaw says it has been a long and convoluted road to get to a point where the company is confident the project will be able to proceed.

Resource consents for a period of 35 years granted in July 2017 provide the certainty to support the major investment required.

Mr Shaw describes the expansion of the geothermal power station as one of the most significant projects to be undertaken in the Far North, which could ultimately secure the region’s energy independence.

Source: Top Energy

 

RCR preferred contractor for the Clermont and Wemen Solar Farm projects with combined value 0f $260m
13 November
Diversified engineering and infrastructure company, RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the Preferred EPC Contractor for two major contracts, totalling approximately $260 million 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).

The EPC and O&M Contracts for these two solar farms are currently being negotiated and are subject to financial close, which is expected to be completed on or about 24 November 2017.

Subject to final contracts, RCR’s scope of work will include engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the Solar Farms. Once commissioned, RCR will provide O&M services for an initial period of 2 years, with various option terms for up to a further 13 years.

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 are very pleased to continue our strong relationship with Wirsol to deliver these two large-scale solar energy projects. We are now supporting Wirsol in the development of over 200MWac of renewable energy solar projects.

Wirsol are a leading project developer of sustainable energy projects in the UK, Netherlands, Spain, France, and Germany, and the largest developer of Solar projects in Australia.

We continue to see significant opportunities in the rapidly evolving renewable energy sector.

I am also delighted with the continued growth in our order book in FY18 and we remain preferred on a number of additional renewable energy projects that will support our growth in FY18 and into FY19”, said Dr Dalgleish.

Source: RCR Tomlinson

Link to AltEnergy project database: Clermont Solar Farm and Wemen Solar Farm

 

Solar thermal for Queensland
(Excerpt from Queensland Labor Party’s renewable energy policy)
As part of our commitment to deliver at least 1,000MW of new renewable generation we will also commit up to $50 million in capital funding towards the development of a concentrated solar thermal plant with storage, providing clean baseload power for Queensland.

Solar thermal power generation allows heat from the sun to be stored until it is needed to generate and supply power to the grid, including evening and morning peaks when the sun might not be shining, or the wind blowing.

Importantly, a new solar thermal power plant will mean manufacturing and operational jobs in the regions. It also means that Queensland will be able to start running on solar power even at night – truly turning the Sunshine State into the Solar State.

Link to Queensland Labor Party’s full renewable energy policy here.

Source: Queensland Labor Party

 

CETO 6 design update
13 November
• More powerful CETO 6 design release
• US Patent granted for new design
• New CETO 6 design to be deployed first at Albany Wave Energy Project
Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX:CCE) is pleased to provide an update on the latest design developments to its commercial prototype, the CETO 6 unit. CETO 6 is the most advanced wave energy device globally. It builds on Carnegie’s decade long development of CETO, and over the past two years, incorporates internal and external collaboration as well as significant time and resource investment to make a step change in performance.

The CETO 6 design builds on intellectual property first lodged by Carnegie in 2013 incorporating onboard power generation and multiple moorings and power take off (PTO) modules. The associated US patent, granted on the 6th of November, 2017, confirms the additional features as state of the art.

These features boost power production and unit efficiency however also introduce additional complexity. Carnegie took a conservative development path to progressively introduce these features through its CETO 5 generation and only now with CETO 6, will these features be incorporated for the first time.

The new CETO 6 unit will have a nominal capacity of 1.5MW up from 1MW for the previous design. This capacity will vary in accordance with the specific site conditions for each project and the specific design tailored for a project site. The increase in energy production over the previous single moored CETO 6 unit design results in a more cost competitive unit able to compete with other mainstream renewable technologies, once it is manufactured in high volumes and incorporated in large projects.

Link to full announcement here.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

CEFC finances new milestone in energy storage in a South Australia energy project
13 November
Australia's energy storage transition is on track to meet an important new milestone, with the CEFC announcing finance that includes the first unsubsidised large-scale grid-connected battery, alongside a greenfield wind development.

The CEFC has 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.

The 212MW Lincoln Gap project, being developed by Nexif Energy Australia, will produce enough electricity to power around 155,000 homes. Stage One of the project is a $300 million, 126MW development.

"This project demonstrates how we can move to the next phase of the clean energy transition, delivering a cleaner, reliable and affordable energy supply, by incorporating the latest technology at the greenfield development stage to create a stronger, more integrated grid," CEFC wind sector lead Andrew Gardner said.

"Large-scale battery technology is developing rapidly, and we expect costs to fall significantly, as we have seen with wind and solar. This is the first development project in Australia which has been able to secure debt finance for a grid-connected large-scale battery component on a non-subsidised basis. It provides an important financing model for other developers and investors wanting to be at the forefront of closer integration of renewables into the grid."

Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts Australia will have more than 29,000MW of flexible capacity installed by 2040, including both large-scale and small-scale batteries and demand response capability. This growth will support better management of variable generation as lower cost renewables become an increasingly important part of the electricity mix.

The 10MW Lincoln Gap battery will complement other large-scale battery projects in South Australia, including the 30MW battery being built by ElectraNet on the York Peninsula and the 100MW Tesla battery being built by Neoen near Jamestown. Together, these projects will provide a significant amount of frequency response services to the South Australian grid.

The Lincoln Gap project is expected to be operational from mid-2018. It has secured two long term Large Scale Generation Certificate (LGC) agreements with ERM Power and a long-term electricity offtake agreement with Snowy Hydro. It will feed into the national electricity grid via the Electranet transmission network.

Zeki Akbas from Nexif Energy Australia said construction of the wind farm, 15 kilometres west of the Spencer Gulf town of Port Augusta, was expected to begin by the end of November.

"Nexif Energy has worked meticulously to develop a highly productive, innovative and practical renewable power model which is attractive to investors because of the real and sustainable benefits it will bring customers and communities," Mr Akbas said.

"We are pleased to include grid-scale battery storage as an essential part of the wind farm investment and were happy to receive strong support and encouragement from the CEFC as our investment partner. With the scalable battery storage at Lincoln Gap we will be able to offer more flexibility to the national grid and improve the reliability of the system."

The project will feature the first turbines from Senvion's flagship 3.XM range to be installed in Australia. The Senvion 3.6M140 EBC turbine is designed for moderate and strong wind speeds to enable optimised load management even in challenging wind conditions.

Senvion Australia CEO and Managing Director Raymond Gilfedder said: "This is a significant milestone for Senvion and we are very excited about introducing the Senvion 3.6M140 turbine to Australia. This technology is very well suited to the Australian market, and will ensure that the wind farm will continue to be a high performing asset for the coming decades."

ERM Power Managing Director and CEO Jon Stretch said: "Reducing emissions from the electricity sector is an important part of a long-term plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ERM Power is committed to supporting the growth of renewable sources of energy in Australia. As well as supporting new sources of renewable energy, ERM Power champions the use of smart energy solutions which help customers reduce their consumption and enhance their sustainability goals."

Paul Broad, CEO of Snowy Hydro, said the company was pleased to support the development of the Lincoln Gap Wind Farm through signing a long-term electricity offtake agreement.

"This agreement expands Snowy Hydro's energy footprint in South Australia, now encompassing wind, solar and diesel peaking capabilities in the State," Mr Broad said.

The CEFC's South Australian investment follows its recent $94 million investment in Australia's first fully integrated wind, solar and battery project, at the Queensland Kennedy Energy Park.

Mr Gardner added: "Australia's energy mix requires higher levels of clean energy if we are to meet our Paris emissions reduction commitments. Harnessing flexible capacity, better demand management systems and increased storage capacity in renewable energy projects such as Lincoln Gap and Kennedy are an important contributor to building a stronger, more secure electricity system.

"We expect investors will be increasingly attracted to such large-scale hybrid renewable energy projects as the next wave of investment and technological innovation. By financing these integrated generation and storage projects, the CEFC is demonstrating how Australia can continue to increase our renewable energy capacity, while providing the important ancillary benefits necessary for grid stability and security."

Source: CEFC

 

Nexif Energy achieves financial close on first stage of the 212MW Lincoln Gap Wind Farm in Australia
13 November
Nexif Energy, an independent power producer in Australia and Southeast Asia, has announced that it has reached financial close for the first stage of the Lincoln Gap Wind Farm in Australia.

Located near Port Augusta in South Australia, the Lincoln Gap Wind Farm project’s 126 megawatts (MW) first stage involves the construction and operation of 36 wind turbines, supported by innovative offtake contracts with Snowy Hydro and ERM Power. The full project, a 59-wind turbine farm, will produce 212MW, which is enough electricity to power approximately 155,000 homes. The project will feed into the State’s electricity grid via the ElectraNet transmission network.

The project also includes installation of a utility scale battery system of 10MW, with potential expansion capability to utilize battery technology advancements. This will be one of Australia’s largest private sector-initiated and owned grid battery systems not underwritten by a government contract or funded by government grants.

“As a new, independent participant to the Australian market, we are excited to implement an innovative contracting strategy that will not only provide renewable power to thousands of Australian homes but also optimise the use of grid-scale battery storage on a commercial basis,” said Matthew Bartley, a Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Nexif Energy. “We value the support of all project stakeholders who have worked with us along the way to achieve this important milestone.”

Lincoln Gap will be constructed under the terms of a turnkey contract with Senvion Australia and is expected to begin operation in Q1 2019. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will act as financier, lending up to A$150M (US$115M) for construction of the first stage of the wind farm and Investec has provided facilities totalling A$39M (US$30M) for working capital and letters of credit.

“We are committed to becoming a leading regional independent power generation company and are striving to achieve this by briskly executing on our active projects in Australia, Vietnam and other markets such as Thailand, Bangladesh and the Philippines,” added Surender Singh, a Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Nexif Energy. “We are also seeking additional large-scale investment opportunities in Asia-Pacific as we continue to look toward the future.”

Nexif Energy was formed in 2015 by independent power management company Nexif and global private equity firm Denham Capital. Nexif Energy’s equity commitment for Lincoln Gap represents its largest investment to date.

“This is another landmark project for Nexif Energy and builds upon prior Denham investments in Australia. We are excited to continue expanding Denham’s international power investment footprint across the Australian and Southeast Asian markets with the Nexif Energy platform,” said Denham Capital Director Saurabh Anand. “The region presents significant growth opportunities and we look forward to investing in more projects in the near future alongside Surender, Matthew and their team.”

Source: Nexif Energy

 

Senvion issued notice to deliver 126 MW in South Australia
13 November
Senvion, a leading global manufacturer of wind turbines, has been issued notice to proceed under a contract to install the first 35 turbines of the 59-turbine Lincoln Gap wind farm in South Australia.

The Lincoln Gap wind farm will feature the Senvion 3.6M140 EBC turbine, which will be the first from Senvion’s three-megawatt range to be installed in Australia. Senvion first announced it had a conditional contract in place to deliver over 300 megawatts (MW) of wind energy for Nexif Energy for the Lincoln Gap wind farm in South Australia and the Glen Innes wind farm in New South Wales in February 2017.

Raymond Gilfedder, CEO and Managing Director of Senvion Australia said: “This effective contract for the installation of the first 35 turbines at the Lincoln Gap wind farm is a significant milestone for Senvion. It also marks the introduction of the Senvion 3.6M140 turbine to Australia. This technology is very well suited to the Australian market, and will ensure that the wind farm will continue to be a high performing asset for the coming decades.”

The Senvion 3.6M140 EBC turbine is one of Senvion´s biggest onshore turbines designed for moderate and strong wind speeds. The new turbine is equipped with the innovative load-reducing pitch control system Eco Blade Control (EBC) technology enabling optimized load management even in challenging wind conditions. The 3.6M140 EBC also features a newly designed steel tower and a larger rotor diameter of 140 meters, which generates high yields even at lower wind speeds. The rotor blades feature the new Rodpack technology ensuring a lighter blade design. The first prototype installation of the 3.6M140 EBC was completed in Husum, Germany, in September this year.

The Lincoln Gap wind farm is located near Port Augusta, South Australia. The first 35 turbines installed will deliver 126 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to Australian consumers. This stage of the project will be operational by the third quarter of 2018. Work is already well advanced on the early works for the remaining 24 turbines comprising the second phase of the Lincoln Gap development. When complete, the Lincoln Gap wind farm will produce enough energy to power 155,000 households in South Australia. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is the financier for the project, and Nexif Energy is providing the equity. Senvion worked closely with Nexif Energy to support achievement of financial close.

Srinivas Rao, Executive Vice President Projects and Operations of Nexif Energy said: “We are pleased to be working with Senvion on our first wind project in Australia and we appreciate the support of Senvion in the development of local industry and community engagement strategies.”

Zeki Akbas, CEO of Nexif Energy’s Australian business said: “Senvion has been a valuable partner in the progression of the Lincoln Gap wind farm through development, and has provided valuable support as we worked to optimize the contracting program.”

Source: Senvion Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Lincoln Gap Wind Farm

 

PROJECT BRIEFS
Development proposal for Esco Pacific’s planned 60 MW Mirani Solar Farm in northern Queensland rejected by Mackay Regional Council on the following grounds: “Due to concern regarding the loss of Good Quality Agricultural Land (GQAL) and the fact that an over-riding need to place the facility on GQAL land has not been demonstrated.”

Katherine Solar Pty Ltd filed an application for a generation license associated with its 25 MW AC solar photovoltaic facility (32MW DC) to be constructed at a site approximately 5 km of Katherine, near the Stuart Highway. All generation output from the facility will be exported via a direct connection to Power & Water Corporation’s 132 / 22kV Katherine Zone Substation. The project secured a development permit in February this year and is targeted for construction in 2018. Katherine Solar Pty Ltd is 50% owned by Epuron Projects Pty Ltd and 50% owned by IGP Solar PV Plant Number 3 Limited (Island GP).

 

Major milestone clears the way for Wild Cattle Hill windfarm construction
14 November
The Wild Cattle Hill windfarm has passed another major milestone today, with TasNetworks and the proponent, Goldwind Australia, signing the connection agreement that will underpin the project.

Part of our Tasmania First vision for energy is to develop more renewable generation here in Tasmania to help deliver lower prices, and this project is a key part of our vision for the State.

In the short-term, the project will see $300 million invested, create 150 jobs during construction and will see many local contractors and businesses benefit along the way.

In the long-term, the windfarm will generate 144 MW, enough energy to power over 60,000 homes and increase wind generation capacity in Tasmania by nearly 50 per cent.

The Hodgman Government is seizing every opportunity to boost renewable energy generation and we have set ambitious targets to make Tasmania not only powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2022, but also to have the cheapest power prices in the nation.

Source: Tasmania Government

 

Cattle Hill Wind Farm connection agreement finalised
14 November
TasNetworks and Goldwind have today signed the Connection Agreement for the Cattle Hill wind farm project in Tasmania’s central highlands.

The Connection Agreement sets out the terms and conditions through which the wind farm is able to successfully connect to TasNetworks’ transmission network and is another key step in paving the way for the construction of the 144MW wind farm.

The agreement represents a significant commitment from TasNetworks and Goldwind. In addition to delivering local benefits to business and the community, the construction of the large-scale wind farm will also contribute to Tasmania’s energy security and increases the State’s on-island renewable energy generation capacity by more than 5 per cent.

“This is a key milestone for the project and highlights the strong working relationship that exists between TasNetworks and Goldwind” said TasNetworks Chief Executive Officer, Lance Balcombe.

“We’re very excited to be involved which such a great project and look forward to working with Goldwind during the construction phase over the coming months” Mr Balcombe said.

“Goldwind is pleased to be partnering with TasNetworks to successfully achieve the Connection Agreement for Cattle Hill. We have found the TasNetworks team to be very professional and capable.” said Goldwind’s Managing Director, John Titchen.

“The project is located adjacent to TasNetworks’ large Waddamana Substation, it will deliver a significant addition to the Tasmanian power supply and provide significant opportunities for Tasmanian businesses and the community. We are aiming to complete construction in 2019” Mr Titchen said.

The construction of the wind farm, consisting of up to 49 turbines, is scheduled to commence in early 2018 and is expected to create 150 jobs during construction and employ up to 10 permanent maintenance staff when fully operational in 2019.

Source: Goldwind

Link to AltEnergy project database: Cattle Hill Wind Farm

 

Renewable energy auction to drive jobs and investment
14 November
The Andrews Labor Government is holding the largest-ever renewable energy auction to boost investment, create new jobs and drive down electricity prices.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today opened the competitive reverse auction that will deliver up to 650 megawatts (MW) of large-scale renewable energy for Victoria.

Companies with an existing planning permit to build a renewable energy facility can now bid for 15-year Support Agreements with the Victorian Government.

These long-term contracts will create investment certainty to build new energy generation projects and reduce wholesale electricity prices.

The auction is expected to drive up to $1.3 billion in new capital expenditure, create 1,250 construction jobs and 90 on-going roles.

Most of the new jobs will be created in regional Victoria where wind and solar projects are likely to be based.

The auction has been designed to bring forward projects that achieve the highest standards of community engagement, benefit local economies and represent value for money.

The Victorian Renewable Energy Targets will ensure 25 per cent of the state’s electricity generation comes from renewable sources by 2020, and increasing to 40 per cent by 2025.

Details of the tender process can be found at tenders.vic.gov.au.

Information sessions will be held from late November. To register, visit energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/victorian-renewable-energy-auction-scheme.

Source: Victoria Government

 

NEW PROJECTS
Gold Coast Solar Farm
Location: Ormeau, northern Gold Coast
Capacity: 5 MW
Developer: Ormed Investments
Description: To be constructed on 203ha site adjoining Gold Coast railway line with provision for battery storage in up to 40 X 12m shipping containers. Potential for up to 100 MW plant built in stages.
Contact:
Flan Morley
Partner
Urban Systems
Email: [email protected]

Batchelor Solar farm
Location: Batchelor, NT
Capacity: 10 MW
Expected cost: $16mil
Developer: Rimfire Group
Description: Plant to be built on 12ha of land and connected into the Darwin-Katherine grid.
Contact:
Michael Allen
Managing Director
Rimfire Group
Tel: (08) 8943 0650
Email: [email protected]

 

Tasmanian tech drives renewable Rottnest
16 November
Hydro Tasmania’s innovation and technology is again leading the way to a clean and reliable future.

Rottnest Island, off the Western Australian coast, is now almost half renewably-powered thanks to the Water and Renewable Energy Nexus Project (WREN).

The initiative was officially launched today. The partnership between Hydro Tasmania, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) significantly reduces the island’s dependence on diesel generation.

Hydro Tasmania’s Hybrid Energy Solutions team has installed a 600 kilowatt solar array to complement the island’s existing 600kW wind turbine. Its hybrid control system and enabling technology will manage the variable mix of wind, solar and diesel power.

The new power system will make Rottnest Island 45 per cent renewably-powered on average (factoring in the current wind power component), and up to 95 per cent renewably-powered at times of high wind and solar generation. By integrating solar and wind generation with the desalination plant and water storage facilities, spare energy can also be used to create clean drinking water.

An app called “Rottnest Island Water and renewable energy nexus” can be downloaded for both Apple and Android, providing real-time power usage and educational materials.

Hydro Tasmania’s Hybrid Energy Solutions team, led by manager Ray Massie, are international leaders in helping remote communities make the switch to reliable clean energy systems.

“This is ready-made Tasmanian technology making remote Australian communities more sustainable and affordable,” Mr Massie said.

“That’s obviously crucial for a beautiful place like Rottnest Island that’s very dependent of tourism. We’re proud to be making a difference, and confident there’s much more innovation and potential to come for this world-leading technology,” he said.

The King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project has already transformed that community from being 100 per cent reliant on diesel power to about 65 per cent renewably powered, on average. A similar project is nearing completion on Flinders Island.

Source: Hydro Tasmania

 

ReNu Energy signs Heads of Agreement for 7.4 MW DC solar farm
17 November
ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) is pleased to advise that it has signed a Heads of Agreement to develop a 7.4 MW DC (4.99 MW AC) solar farm.

Highlights:
• Heads of Agreements for the development of the Boggabilla solar farm and a long term site lease
• Exclusivity to complete due diligence and to negotiate and enter into a Development Agreement and a Lease Option Agreement
• Project capital cost estimated at $9 million to $10 million including development fees. Capital will not be committed until the project reaches financial close, including securing funding
• Target equity IRR of 11% after debt and target 10 year equity yield greater than 12%
• First of a number of near term projects being evaluated and a significant step towards positive operating cash flow
• VivoPower Alliance Agreement delivering assets to ReNu Energy

ReNu Energy has signed a Heads of Agreement (Development HoA) with Kinelli Pty Ltd (Kinelli) for the development of a 7.4 MW DC (4.99 MW AC) solar farm located near Boggabilla in northern NSW (the Project). The opportunity was introduced to ReNu Energy by VivoPower under the VivoPower Alliance Agreement.

The Development HoA provides ReNu Energy with an exclusivity period of 90 days to conduct due diligence and to negotiate and enter into definitive legal agreements. ReNu Energy has also signed a separate Heads of Agreement with the land owner for an option to lease the land for the Project for a period of 25 years with two 5 year options.

ReNu Energy CEO and Managing Director Mr Chris Murray said, “The proposed Boggabilla Solar Farm is an exciting opportunity for ReNu Energy to expand its portfolio of renewable energy projects from 5.4 MW DC to 12.8 MW DC and will be a significant step towards our stated objective of achieving positive EBITDA on a run rate basis in 2018. The opportunity demonstrates the VivoPower Alliance agreement at work and is one of a number of projects in the near term pipeline.

ReNu Energy is pleased to have the opportunity to develop the project with Kinelli which has been involved in the development of a number of solar PV projects in Australia. The expertise gained in these projects significantly de-risks the Boggabilla Project”.

The Project is expected to use approximately 27,000 solar panels in a fixed tilt configuration covering 10 ha. The solar panels will be linked to central inverter stations and the system will be designed to allow for the future installation of battery storage.

The Project is intended to connect to the Essential Energy network and export energy into the National Electricity Market at 22,000 V. It is projected to produce approximately 12,000 MWh per annum.

Kinelli has recently developed and commissioned the 4.7 MW DC Chillamurra solar farm and ReNu Energy has conducted technical due diligence on the Chillamurra project. The combination of Kinelli's recent experience on Chillamurra and ReNu Energy's diligence work is expected to materially de-risk the Boggabilla Project.

The Boggabilla Project capital cost including development fees is estimated to be $9 million to $10 million. Final capital cost will be determined throughout the due diligence period. Target equity IRR of 11% after debt and target 10 year equity yield greater than 12%.

Energy generated by the Boggabilla Project will be sold to the wholesale electricity market and / or under corporate power purchase agreements. Large Scale Generation Certificates generated will be sold on market or forward sold subject to prevailing market conditions.

ReNu Energy intends to fund the Project through a combination of debt and equity. ReNu Energy is working with specialist financier, Infradebt to finalise debt facilities for a number of its solar projects and ReNu Energy shareholders recently granted approval for a capital raise to fund its growing portfolio of energy projects.

Source: ReNu Energy

Link to AltEnergy project database: Boggabilla Solar Farm

 

Genex secures up to $5.0 million funding from ARENA
17 November
Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that it has secured further Federal Government funding of up to $5.0 million via a funding agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) (Funding Agreement) for the Kidston Stage 2 Project (K2) at Kidston, North Queensland. The K2 Project comprises the 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro), and the co-located 270MW solar PV Project (K2-Solar).

Under the terms of the Funding Agreement, the funding is to be applied toward specified pre-Financial Close activities to progress the K2 Project to Financial Close in 2018.

Genex Managing Director, Michael Addison said:
“Genex is pleased to continue its partnership with ARENA for the Kidston Stage 2 Project. The continued support from ARENA is testament to the innovative nature of the Project, and the growing importance of large-scale energy storage in the context of the increasing penetration of renewable energy in the National Electricity Market. It also represents a vote of confidence in the pathway Genex has outlined to financial close.

Following publication of our optimised technical feasibility study and the appointment of an ECI contractor for the K2-Hydro Project, the ARENA funding will be applied towards Genex’s project financing and EPC finalisation activities as the Company continues its engagement with EPC contractors, energy partners and debt and equity providers.

This additional funding serves to strengthen Genex’s financial position as the Company advances the Kidston Stage 2 Project to financial close in 2018.”

ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht said:
“Stage Two of the Kidston hydro and solar project is an important step in achieving a secure and reliable grid and increasing the value delivered by renewable energy.”

Source: Genex Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kidston Hydro Project

SolarReserve and Barngarla partner to protect and preserve Aboriginal heritage

1 November

Agreement establishes long-term relationship as part of development, construction and operation of the Aurora Solar Energy Project near Port Augusta

SolarReserve has taken the next step in the development of the Aurora Solar Energy Project, north of Port Augusta, by signing a Heritage Agreement with the native title holders represented by the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation. The agreement establishes a long-term relationship as part of the development, construction and operation of the Aurora Solar Energy Project.

“SolarReserve is excited to be working together with the Barngarla People to deliver our Aurora project with the least impact on Aboriginal heritage,” said Tom Georgis, SolarReserve’s Senior Vice President of Development. “We see this as the start of a strong ongoing partnership, which recognises the importance of Aboriginal heritage in developing large scale projects.”

Respecting Aboriginal Heritage

SolarReserve respects and is committed to protecting Aboriginal heritage and tradition, entering into a Heritage Agreement to strengthen the relationship with the Barngarla community as they develop the Aurora project, respecting their links to country and heritage. As part of this relationship, SolarReserve and the Barngarla will work together to protect and preserve Aboriginal heritage through all phases of the Aurora project. SolarReserve will also incorporate cultural awareness training as part of the induction program for its contractors, subcontractors and employees.

The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation Board are very supportive of the Aurora Solar Energy Project and working closely with SolarReserve to ensure the best possible outcomes for their culture and people. The project will bring clean renewable energy as well as jobs and other economic benefits to the community.

Jeanne Miller, a Port Augusta Barngarla woman who is part of the Barngarla heritage assessment team, expressed her satisfaction with working with SolarReserve to preserve Aboriginal heritage.

“It is really encouraging to see how SolarReserve has respected our Aboriginal heritage. Barngarla take the protection of our heritage very seriously and it has been great to work with a company which respects our connection to the land. It has been a valuable experience to work alongside SolarReserve in the heritage assessment process, and we look forward to the successful completion of the Aurora Solar Energy Project for the benefit of the Barngarla People and the entire Port Augusta region as a whole.”

Moving Forward with Aurora Project Development

In addition to this agreement with the Barngarla, SolarReserve has started hiring for their headquarters in Adelaide and field office in Port Augusta, and has submitted its Development Application for the Aurora Solar Energy Project to the South Australian Government, which is currently under assessment.

Source: SolarReserve

Link to AltEnergy project database: Aurora Solar Energy Project

 

New Energy Solar – Letter of invitation

2 November

Sydney-based New Energy Solar released a prospectus to raise funds before ASX listing planned for December. The following is an extract from the Letter of introduction in New Energy Solar’s offer document.

New Energy Solar seeks to acquire assets which, over their technical life, are expected to support gross portfolio returns2 of 7% to 10% per annum (before taxes, management expenses, administration costs and external corporate borrowing costs)3. The Business’ distributions may be less than the actual or target returns of its assets. Solar PV panels are durable and power plants typically have a lifespan of 30 years or more, with low operational costs once established. Combined with long term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with creditworthy offtakers, solar is viewed as offering attractive risk adjusted returns in the current low interest rate environment. While the Business’ mandate is a global one, the Investment Manager’s experienced investment and renewable energy teams located in the United States and Australia are currently focused on opportunities in those markets.

In less than two years, the Business has acquired substantial majority interests in four utility scale solar power plants in the United States, two in North Carolina and two in California (Existing Portfolio). Now fully operational, these four plants have a capacity of 225MWDC, and the electricity they generate is sold at agreed prices under long-term PPAs of between 10 and 25 years. These PPAs are with creditworthy energy purchasers, namely, Stanford University Power, LLC (Stanford Power), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (Stanford University), Turlock Irrigation District (TID) and Duke Energy Progress. The Business funded these acquisitions with two capital raisings in 2016 from private investors.

Consistent with its investment strategy, the Business, through a subsidiary of the Company, recently agreed to acquire a 130MWDC portfolio of 14 solar power plants (CCR Portfolio) to be developed in North Carolina and Oregon by Cypress Creek Renewables (CCR), a leading North American developer and operator of solar power plants. The Investment Manager has completed due diligence on the CCR Portfolio power plants, all of which are expected to sell electricity under 13 to 15 year PPAs with Offtakers expected to include subsidiaries of Duke Energy Corporation for the North Carolina plants and PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, for the Oregon plants. Subject to various conditions, construction of the CCR Portfolio plants is expected to commence before the end of 2017 and all 14 are expected to be completed and operational by the end of 2018.

Amongst other things, the proceeds from this Offer will assist in funding the CCR Portfolio as well as future opportunities including a pipeline of projects currently being reviewed or investigated, representing capacity of over 3,000MWDC in Australia and the United States. These future acquisitions may include investments covered by Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with two developers for over 750MWDC of solar power plants in the US (MoU Portfolio)4. Strong relationships with developers and with large energy purchasers position New Energy Solar well to continue the growth of its sustainable investment business.

  1. New Energy Solar is a stapled entity consisting of New Energy Solar Fund (Trust) and New Energy Solar Limited (Company) and their controlled entities (together New Energy Solar or the Business).
  2. Gross portfolio return is the expected internal rate of return on capital contributed by the Business before taxes, management expenses, administration costs and external corporate borrowing costs.
  3. The Business may target assets outside this range where market conditions and other circumstances suggest it may be beneficial.

The full offer document is available at http://www.newenergysolar.com.au/

Source: New Energy Solar

 

Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy expands portfolio with purchase of Biala Wind Farm

3 November

Beijing Jingneng Clean Energy (Australia) Holding Pty Ltd (BJCE Australia) has successfully completed its acquisition of the 31 turbine Biala Wind Farm, located 45 minutes from Goulburn.

Biala Wind Farm strengthens BJCE’s renewable energy portfolio in the area, which consists of a 75% interest in the 73 turbine Gullen Range Wind Farm and the 10MW Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) funded Gullen Solar Farm, which is now in the final stages of commissioning.

BJCE entered the Australian renewable energy market in 2014 and intends to grow a 1GW portfolio by the end of 2020. With an operating renewable energy portfolio of 3.3 GW in China BJCE is the leading supplier of wind power in China and brings this significant experience to the Australian market.

General Manager of BJCE Australia, Weiwei Shi said “This is an exciting time for BJCE in Australia. We look forward to constructing and operating the Biala Wind Farm, working closely with local stakeholders, providing clean electricity and job opportunities to the local community”.

Biala Wind Farm was purchased from Newtricity Developments Biala Pty Ltd, who originally developed the project. A submission for a Development Approval was made in 2015 and approval was granted in April 2017.

BJCE Australia intends to begin construction of the wind farm in mid 2018 with electricity being generated in the second quarter of 2019. The planned wind farm will have an installed capacity of approximately 100MW, producing enough electricity for approximately 40,000 homes on an average day of wind.

Source: BJCE Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Biala Wind Farm

 

Sterling and Wilson expands its solar EPC footprint in Australia

3 November

Sterling and Wilson, one of the dominant global forces in the solar-PV space, has further strengthened its global presence with the recent announcement of expansion into Australia market.

The company plans to construct 500 MW in the coming three years. These projects would attract an investment of AUD 600 million. The target is expected to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 750,000 tons annually. This would generate an employment for more than 750 personnel during course of project construction.

Sterling and Wilson, actively present in Australia since 2015, has been offering Diesel Generators and Cogeneration solutions through its office in Perth. It has recently opened an office in Brisbane, specifically to cater to the vast potential Solar market in Australia.

Bikesh Ogra, CEO – Renewable Energy, Sterling and Wilson, said, “Australia is witnessing a solar boom, as the country has had a phenomenal year with respect to large scale solar projects. The solar industry has also seen a sharp decline in costs, and is seen as a pivotal force to help the country achieve its renewable energy targets by 2020. We are definitely excited to be a part of this transformational journey and aid in realising its potential to transition to a future of sustainable and renewable energy. As a truly global solar EPC company with experience across geographies, we not only want to bring our best practices to the industry, but also learn alongside our peers to attain our target of 500 MW’s installations.”

Sterling and Wilson has now grown to be the world’s largest solar EPC player outside USA and China. It has to its credit more than 1930 MW of best performing solar power plants in various geographies including India, Philippines and South Africa. Currently it is constructing 1177 MW Solar PV plant in Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest single location plant, and a number of projects in Zambia, Niger and Morocco. It is a powerhouse of more than 4500 qualified engineers, project managers and designers. As the acceleration of growth in the energy sector has increased worldwide, Sterling and Wilson has ventured into the wind and energy storage sectors, covering the entire canvas in the renewable sector. Backed by its robust resources in Engineering, project management and strong global procurement network, the company is fully geared to deliver more than 2000 MW every year.

About Sterling and Wilson

Sterling and Wilson is an excellent example of how the Shapoorji Pallonji family has nurtured long term associations with its business partners. The Mistry and Daruvala families have been partners in Sterling and Wilson for 3 generations. This partnership will only grow stronger, as the 4th generations of both families have recently joined the business.

Over the past 5 years, Sterling and Wilson has shown exceptional growth; with operations all over the globe, as well as an expansion in its range of services. The company's turnover has shown an extremely positive growth. From a turnover of INR 1,760 crore in 2012, Sterling and Wilson group crossed a turnover of INR 6,000 crore last year as is likely to exceed INR 10,000 crore in the year ended March 2018. From being a predominantly India focussed company in 2010, Sterling and Wilson now operates across the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Europe. In the current year, the company is expanding to the USA and South America. From being a company that was mainly focussed on doing MEP projects in India, Sterling and Wilson over the past 5 years has set up global operations in manufacture of DG sets, Gas based power plants, Waste to Energy, Turnkey data centres, Transmission and Distribution and Solar EPC. With its recent forays into wind and energy storage, Sterling and Wilson is perfectly poised to play a pivotal role in the global trend of moving away from thermal plants to a future of renewable energy with storage.

Source: Sterling & Wilson

 

Enzen Group recognises SA’s renewables push could reap valuable exports

6 November

South Australia’s major commitment to renewable energy could reap strong returns from exporting its implementation experience around the world.

That’s the view of global energy and water strategic advisory and solutions business Enzen, which today officially opened its Australasian head office in Adelaide - partly on the recommendation of Adelaide expatriate and British energy leader, Mr Basil Scarsella.

Speaking at the opening of its new offices at 1 King William Street, Adelaide, Enzen’s Group CEO, Mr Kutty Prabakaran said there was a significant opportunity for South Australia to convert its position in renewable energy to become a world leader in transitioning to a low carbon economy, and to leverage global best practices to drive efficiencies in the energy and water sectors thereby reducing energy prices and ensuring reliability of supply.

“South Australia can be a global crucible for the transition from traditional energy sources to renewables – and that is one of the reasons we decided to make Adelaide our base,” Mr Kutty Prabakaran said.

“We found within the Government a very strong commitment to developing a technology and industrial base in low carbon solutions, leading to the creation of high-value jobs and the potential to export ‘know how’ to other markets around the world.”

“Given the high cost of energy in Australia, renewables and associated technology here will reach break-even point against traditional energy sources more quickly than in other developed nations. We are keen to work with the Government and the private sector to develop and deploy intellectual property around renewables across the globe, making Australia a knowledge hub giving us the ability to leverage Australian expertise across the globe. In building this platform to attract and train young Australian talent, we aim to create a knowledge leading, globally respected and mobile Australian work force. This is a natural complement to Enzen’s ability to integrate distributed generation sources into existing infrastructure.”

“In addition, with the world still currently relying on traditional power generation and distribution models, there’s going to be a lot of change in the way energy markets are organised and will operate into the future,” said Kutty Prabakaran. “On our observation, Australia is probably leading in the transition, with the solutions we develop here likely to be progressively applicable in every market around the world.”

Enzen Australia’s CEO and Co-founder, Mr Dileep Viswanath said, “a key area of focus is the disruption of the energy market as customers become producers through their own generation and network utilities having to transform their traditional regulated business models. Enzen is already actively partnering with the South Australian Government in undertaking energy audits of local businesses to understand their consumption and demand patterns and explore energy efficiency improvements.”

“On the basis of that information, we will explore local energy solutions such as solar, wind, hybrid options or other comprehensive options to create sustainable and cost competitive solutions with the potential that these businesses can become producers of energy and less reliant on grid power. Our prime focus in Australia will be to bring in niche engineering and automation solutions to address accelerated renewables implementation and manage the associated stress and cost on grid, combined with technology and engineering expertise to guarantee sustainability.”

Enzen has also specialised in partnering with over 200 energy and water network utilities globally in terms of making these utilities more efficient and in helping them improve customer service and reliability with experience.

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) who is the largest gas distributor in Australia was one of Enzen’s early clients. Ben Wilson CEO of AGIG said, “We chose Enzen over more globally recognisable System Integrators, because they had a strong track record of delivering for our sister companies Wales & West Utilities and Northern Gas Networks in the UK, and had excellent vision for the overall operation of the company, good understanding of our business, focus on innovation and a clear understanding of how the transformation changes would deliver their regulatory outcomes for the business”.

Other Australian customers serviced by Enzen’s 50-strong local team include the Macquarie Bank-led consortium which bought a controlling stake in NSW power distributor Endeavour Energy this year; Ausgrid electricity networks in NSW; the NT Power and Water Corporation, SA Power Networks.

CEO of UK Power Networks, Basil Scarsella, said, “I wish the very best to Enzen as they start their operations in Australia. I have found the Enzen team to be purpose driven with a commitment to always do the right thing by their client. Enzen’s track record of delivering complex change programmes in the energy and utility industry is impressive. Their focus exclusively in the sector has helped them build good business understanding, high relationship focus, best practice and understanding and a focus on innovation which in my view is essential in a partner to deliver the right outcomes for a progressive network utility.”

“Enzen had largely built its international success with its work in re-shaping the UK energy sector. The partnership we established with UK Power Networks and Basil’s subsequent recommendation is undoubtedly one of the reasons we chose Adelaide as the home for our Australian head office,” Mr Viswanath said. “Equally, we were drawn by the opportunity represented by the State’s renewable energy pathway, the support of Government, Adelaide’s central location, and the availability of talent through the State’s world-class universities.”

Source: Enzen Group

 

Kiata Wind Farm construction completed, connected to grid and generating power

6 November

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) today announced that the 31MW Kiata Wind Farm in western Victoria has completed construction, been connected to the electricity network and is producing both electricity and large scale generating certificates (LGCs). The project will finalise commissioning and performance testing in coming weeks, in advance of its scheduled commercial operation date at the beginning of December.

Kiata is located near Nhill, using 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 connected to the grid.

Windlab holds a 5+5-year asset management agreement with Kiata Wind Farm Pty Ltd. Under this agreement Windlab is responsible for construction oversight and the provision of owners’ engineering services as well as ongoing management of the operating facility. The project has been constructed on schedule and well within budget.

Windlab owns 25% of Kiata and will receive its share of early generation revenues as well as project distributions once the project is in full commercial operations.

“Following the on-time and under budget construction of Coonooer Bridge Wind farm in 2016, we very pleased to maintain the standard and repeat the performance on Kiata in 2017.” stated Roger Price, Executive Chairman and CEO of Windlab Limited. “We look forward to the project achieving full commercial operations before the end of the year.”

Source: Windlab Limited

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kiata Wind Farm

 

New review to address deteriorating frequency performance in the power system

7 November

The AEMC today published an issues paper for its review of the regulatory and market frameworks needed to support frequency control in the national electricity market (NEM).

The generation mix is changing. As newer types of generators like wind and solar come in, and conventional generators like coal retire, this is presenting challenges for the management of power system frequency. A decline in the provision of frequency response capability and an increase in connection of variable generating technologies has led to a recent deterioration in frequency performance. If frequency becomes unstable or changes too fast then the system is at risk of going black.

As well as exploring challenges facing frequency control in the power system – this review will explore opportunities to more effectively manage system security through new fast response technologies and distributed energy resources.

Areas for consideration include:

  • Primary frequency control drawing on AEMO investigations to assess whether mandatory generator governor response requirements should be introduced
  • Frequency control ancillary services in the transforming market and whether new technologies, like wind farms and batteries, offer the potential for frequency response services that act much faster than traditional services to more effectively control frequency
  • Distributed energy resources providing opportunities to support frequency control.

There are trade-offs to be made between the risks and costs of meeting system security requirements. The objective of the review is to recommend the combination of changes that are necessary to provide a secure power system at the lowest cost to consumers.

The AEMC encourages stakeholders to share their views on the paper. Submissions due by 5 December 2017.

The review is considering appropriate frequency control arrangements as the electricity system evolves. This work is part of the AEMC’s ongoing system security work program and progresses recommendations of the Finkel review into the future security of the NEM.

The review will also be informed by a technical working group, comprising network businesses, generators, retailers, energy service providers, consumer representatives, AEMO and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

The Commission will provide a progress report on the review to the COAG Energy Council by the end of 2017, with a final report due in mid 2018.

Source: AEMC

 

Albany Wave Energy Project activities underway

6 November

Carnegie Clean Energy (ASX:CCE) is pleased to advise that following the $15.75 million in funding from the Western Australian State Government, it has now commenced the Albany project design and development activities.

The first phase involves the detailed, localised measurement of the wave resource at the specific offshore site proposed for the installation of the CETO 6 unit. The measurement of metocean conditions is now underway via the installation of a wave buoy approximately 1.5 kilometres off the existing Albany wind farm. The data buoy was deployed in 30 meters of water depth by a local Albany-based offshore operator and technician and is now measuring wave height, period and energy spectra and is transmitting this data to Carnegie’s CETO project team.

The measured data will be used to validate the metocean modelling performed at the deployment site and will be fed into the detailed design phase of the CETO 6 unit and the common user infrastructure to maximise performance and survivability of the system and to minimise environmental impact.

The project aims to demonstrate Carnegie’s commercial prototype with the initial project phase including the delivery of an operating CETO 6 unit. Further details of the latest CETO 6 design will be released shortly. Project design and development activities now commenced include consideration of environment, Native Title, planning consent, grid connection studies and approvals. Further consultation will also be undertaken with the local community, industry and other stakeholder groups.

The Albany Wave Energy Project will be the first offshore demonstration of Carnegie’s CETO 6 technology. The Project will design, manufacture and install a CETO 6 unit in Carnegie’s existing licence area offshore from Torbay and Sandpatch in Albany during the 2019/2020 summer weather window.

In addition to demonstrating Carnegie’s world renowned WA developed and owned technology, the Project will also deliver common user infrastructure at the Albany site which Carnegie will make available for other wave energy industry developers once the CETO 6 project is complete.

Carnegie has previously announced that the Western Australian Government’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development awarded a $15.75m grant to the CETO technology and Albany Wave Energy Project following the completion of an internationally competitive tender process for wave energy developers that attracted submissions from around the globe. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has also approved Carnegie’s request to move ARENA’s CETO 6 Project funding from Garden Island to Albany, subject to the signing of the detailed documentation.

In addition, the WA Government awarded $3.75 million to the University of Western Australia to establish and manage an associated Wave Energy Research Centre in Albany, Western Australia. The Wave Energy Research Centre will elevate Western Australia to the forefront of offshore renewable energy research and technology and bring together more than 30 researchers to support Carnegie’s ongoing research into wave, tidal and offshore wind energy. Carnegie will continue to use its Garden Island site for its own wave energy research and prototype testing as well as working with other wave energy developers at the site.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

Link to AltEnergy project database: Albany Wave Energy Project

 

PROJECT BRIEF

The Department of Defence released tender for “Generation and supply of electricity from a solar photovoltaic power generation system” at each of the following Northern Territory defence bases:

(i) Robertson Barracks – 9.2 Megawatts

(ii) RAAF Base Darwin – 3.3 Megawatts

The power producer will own and operate the power generation systems, and will be responsible for their design, construction and ultimate decommissioning.” Tender submissions close on 19 December 2017 and more details are available here.

 

McGowan Labor Government to secure renewable future

8 November

  • ​Joint Synergy and private sector initiative to develop significant renewable energy projects at Warradarge Wind Farm and Greenough River Solar Farm
  • New renewable energy projects to meet 2020 target and create hundreds of new jobs
  • Focus on ensuring new projects are developed in line with Budget repair measures

The McGowan Labor Government has approved State-owned energy generator and retailer, Synergy, to enter into a joint venture with a private sector investor to build the new Warradarge Wind Farm, near Eneabba.

The final capacity size of the Warradarge Wind Farm, which can be developed up to 250MW and is recognised as one of the best renewable energy projects in Australia due to its location, will be determined on completion of the engineering, procurement and construction contract tendering process that is currently underway.

Synergy and its partner will also jointly develop Stage 2 of the Greenough River Solar Farm south of Geraldton to increase its capacity from 10MW to 40MW.

This joint initiative will ensure Synergy meets its Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) obligations through local projects and will create about 200 new construction jobs.

Under Commonwealth legislation, the LRET scheme requires 33,000 gigawatt hours of renewable energy to be produced nationally by 2020 and those levels maintained until 2030.

Comments attributed to Energy Minister Ben Wyatt:

"The McGowan Labor Government is committed to ensuring there is a sustainable plan for the State's transition to a cleaner energy future and in such a way that is fiscally responsible with minimal impact to electricity consumers and taxpayers.

"I am delighted to announce that the McGowan Government has delivered a plan to ensure that the State meets its 2020 renewable energy commitments - something the former government failed to achieve - and that we will do so in such a way that contributes to repairing the state of the Budget.

"We will also create about 200 new construction jobs in regional Western Australia through securing the development of Stage 2 of the Greenough River Solar Farm near Geraldton and Warradarge Wind Farm near Eneabba.

"The State has a great future in renewables and this is something everyone should be excited about."

Source: WA Government

 

DP Energy appoints contractors to build Australia’s largest hybrid renewable power station

9 November

International renewable energy company DP Energy has appointed preferred suppliers Vestas and Downer to develop Stage 1 of its Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park, which when complete will be Australia’s largest hybrid renewable power station.

The power station will be fuelled by a combination of wind and solar power, with wind-energy leader Vestas selected as the preferred supplier for the wind turbines and engineering firm Downer the solar energy component. Vestas will also be responsible for the control system to integrate the energy production of the solar and wind energy components.

The Energy Park is scheduled to be completed in two stages with the first stage delivering a 375 megawatt (MW) facility, comprising around 220MW of wind power and 150MW of solar power. Stage 2 includes additional solar capacity as well as battery storage capacity of nominally 300MW and 400MW respectively.

Once complete the power station will connect to the national electricity network via the nearby Davenport substation and is projected to produce 1,000 gigawatt hour (GWh) per annum, enough to power 200,000 South Australian households each year, with an emissions saving of approximately 470,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.

Established more than 20 years ago, Irish-based DP Energy has successfully completed 13 renewable energy projects around the world with another eight currently under development. The projects variously incorporate wind, solar and tidal energy technologies, with Port Augusta selected as the site for the first hybrid renewable facility due to the region’s unique wind profile and consistently strong solar resource.

The wind component of the Port Augusta power station will be largely driven by thermal winds, which result from temperature differences between land and sea. The significant advantage of thermal winds is wind strength increases throughout the day, which means energy production peaks early evening when demand for power is greatest. This effect is stronger during summer when seasonal demand is greatest. The power station will also be supported by solar energy.

Construction is expected to commence in the second quarter of next year, creating 250 jobs during the construction phase, peaking at 600 at the height of the development. DP Energy estimates the cost of the project at approximately $600m, with a significant proportion to be spent in the regional economy of Port Augusta.

DP Energy CEO Simon De Pietro said the company had been working on the project for several years. “Up until now we’ve been focussed on proving the viability of the concept. The appointment of our preferred key contractors, Vestas and Downer, represents a significant milestone in the progression of the project. We’ve also secured the support of a lead infrastructure investor, which is very encouraging and further ensures the development of the facility,” said Mr De Pietro.

“A critically important component of our power station is the thermal wind generation capacity. The wind farm will be producing at maximum strength at the peak of local electricity demand. This will be further complemented by high levels of solar power generation. Matching supply with demand ensures maximum efficiency and reliability.”

DP Energy Business Development Manager, Catherine Way, said the power station would deliver reliable 21st century clean energy. “Renewable energy projects have become mainstream now, with prices cheaper than new build gas and coal stations helped by lower operating costs as the resources are free,” said Ms Way.

“When the facility is fully complete the end result has the potential to be a game changer for energy production and provision in Australia.”

Stage 2 of the Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park includes the option for synchronous condensers; when coupled with the battery storage capacity of Stage 2 will ensure the facility can provide not only dispatchable renewable energy, but also fulfil many of the network stability functions normally associated with conventional coal and gas generation.

Source: DP Energy

Link to AltEnergy project database: Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park

 

RCR awarded limited notice to proceed for the $170m (approximately) Haughton Solar Farm

10 November

Diversified engineering and infrastructure company, RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract to commence work under a Limited Notice to Proceed (“LNTP”) for the 100MWac Haughton Solar Farm, being developed by Pacific Hydro Australia (“Pacific Hydro”).

The LNTP provides for development of essential site works, engineering and design, and the procurement of critical and long-lead items.

The project is subject to final investment decision (“FID”) by Pacific Hydro and other approvals. RCR and Pacific Hydro will finalise the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contract for the first stage (100MWac) of the Haughton Solar Farm, while engineering is based on Stage 1 and 2 totalling 300MWac. Stage 1 is expected to commence in March 2018 with commissioning expected to complete in January 2019.

The proposed Haughton Solar Farm has planning approval to extend capacity up to 500MWac and is located in south of Townsville in Queensland.

RCR Managing Director & CEO, Dr Paul Dalgleish said “We are very pleased to be working with Pacific Hydro to deliver this significant large-scale utility solar energy project generating an initial 100MWac of power.

RCR continues to lead the development and EPC delivery of large-scale solar and other renewable energy infrastructure. The award also reflects RCR’s application of Engineering Intelligence to renewable projects, which provides RCR with a significant competitive advantage.

Subject to finalisation of an EPC contract, this new renewable energy project will add to RCR’s order book and positions RCR for growth in FY18 and into FY19, said Dr Dalgleish.

Source: RCR Tomlinson

Link to AltEnergy project database: Haughton Solar Farm

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

Gregory Solar Farm

Referral submitted to the federal Department of the Environment & Energy for the proposed Gregory Solar Farm, to be located approximately 50km north-east of Emerald in Queensland. The proposal is for a PV plant with an upper capacity of 215 MW, covering an area of 872 hectares, and supplying electricity to the national electricity grid. The solar farm may include an energy storage system which would consist of batteries contained in enclosures the size of shipping containers. The inclusion of batteries will depend on future cost reductions and the solar farm project would not depend on them for viability. Battery storage could be retrofitted in the future. Construction would last for a period of up to 18 months. Up to 100 staff would be employed during the peak period. Powerlink’s Lilyvale Substation is located within 200m west of the site.

Contact:

Colin Liebmann

Director

Gregory Solar Farm Pty Ltd

Email: [email protected]

 

Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park

UPC Renewables’ submitted EPBC Act referral for proposed Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park on Robbins Island in far north-west Tasmania. The park is predominantly a wind energy project, with the potential for some supplemental solar photovoltaic generation also. The project is proposed to have a power generating capacity of 400 – 1000 MW, dependant on final design parameters.  The method of power transmission from Robbins Island to the NEM has not been finalised at this stage, with potential transmission pathways including a second interconnector cable between Tasmania and Victoria. The project includes the construction of a substation on Robbins Island, a switching station at West Montagu on mainland Tasmania, a transmission line from the Robbins Island substation to the network switching station, and a transmission line from the West Montagu network switching station to either the existing Smithton substation or a new substation associated with a new Bass Strait interconnector (which is proposed to be located east of Smithton).

The project will involve the installation of an array of up to 200 wind turbine towers over the western two-thirds of the island over a total area of approximately 6500 ha, with a potential disturbance footprint of 700-900 ha. The number of turbines constructed will vary depending on the generating capacity of wind turbine generator that is ultimately selected, along with environmental constraints and the wind resource on the island. Each wind turbine tower is proposed to have a power generating capacity of 4-7 MW, utilising the latest available technology. In addition to the wind turbines, there is also the potential to install up to 20 MW of solar PV and associated batteries on the site, which would require a cleared area of up to 60 ha.

Contact:

David Pollington

Chief Operating Officer

UPC Renewables

E-mail: [email protected]