Carnegie Clean Energy secures construction debt finance for 10MW Northam solar power station

9 October

  • $7.5 million construction debt finance secured for Northam 10MW solar project
  • $2.8m convertible note debt fully converted to equity and wound up as part of corporate debt finance restructure
  • Carnegie Clean Energy will refinance Northam solar project debt post construction period

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to announce that it has secured a 12‐month construction debt finance facility for $7.5 million for its Northam Solar power station. The debt finance will be provided by the Perth based private investment group Asymmetric Credit Partners Pty Ltd.

Upon completion of project construction and commissioning Carnegie plans to refinance the debt facility with a major Australian retail bank.

As part of securing the construction finance facility Carnegie undertook a corporate debt restructure and forced the wind up of its $2.8million unlisted convertible note, first previously announced to the ASX on 18 November 2013. Under the terms of the forced convertible note conversion and wind up, Carnegie will issue for zero consideration to the convertible note holders an additional 19.6 million ordinary shares and 35 million unlisted five‐year options with an exercise price of 6.0c.

First draw down of the debt finance for the Northam project is planned to occur on 15th December 2017.

About Northam Solar Project

Carnegie’s Build Own Operate 10 MW Solar Power Station in Northam, Western Australia, will consist of approximately 34,000 solar panels constructed on 25 Hectares of strategically located land to deliver approximately 24,000 MWh of electricity per annum for at least the next 25 years. The system will also be utility scale battery storage ready. This will be the first large scale solar project to be delivered as part of the joint venture between Carnegie’s wholly owned subsidiary Energy Made Clean and leading property and infrastructure company Lendlease.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

Link to AltEnergy database: Northam Solar Power Station

 

Labor’s energy plan: lower power prices, less pollution, more jobs

9 October

Today Labor is announcing new policies to boost renewable energy generation and storage, create new jobs, and put downward pressure on power prices.

A Shorten Labor Government will:

  • Modernise the energy market rules to give more power to consumers.
  • Create Renewable Energy Zones to drive investment and jobs in the sector.
  • Change the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s investment return benchmark so it can invest in more generation and storage projects.

While the Government fights with itself and blames everyone else, Labor is outlining a positive alternative to tackle out of control power prices, reduce pollution and create more jobs for Australians.

The National Energy Market rules were written in the mid 1990s. They are out of date and put too much power in the hands of the big generators at the expense of householders and consumers.

Labor will update the rules to reflect modern Australia – the growth in renewables and other technologies, our energy priorities, and the decisions that households and consumers are making every day.

Labor will also adopt the Chief Scientist’s recommendation to set up a series of Renewable Energy Zones – based on both existing generation and storage, and the potential for new development.

These Zones will help coordinate investment in generation and storage, make transmission more efficient, and signal to investors the future sites for job-creating projects.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation needs to be allowed to do its job – investing in successful generation and storage projects.

Under this government, the investment return benchmark has been set too high – holding back the crucial investment that Australia needs in new generation and storage.

Labor will return the benchmark to its original setting – the weighted average of the Australian government bond rate.

This is a sensible benchmark that will unlock more investment and create more jobs.

The Government’s failures on energy are resulting in higher power prices, higher pollution and uncertainty over future investment.

The Government is:

  • Failing to create certainty buy refusing to negotiate a fair-dinkum Clean Energy Target.
  • Failing to resolve the current gas price crisis by refusing the use the export controls available to them.
  • Failing to secure future gas supply at reasonable prices by refusing to introduce a National Interest Test.

Labor is ready to work with the Government on a credible energy plan for Australia.

But if the Turnbull Government can’t deliver an energy plan for lower power prices, less pollution and more jobs – a Shorten Labor Government will.

Source: Australian Labor Party

 

NEW PROJECT

St Clair Wind Farm

Project developer Synergy Wind is proposing to build a 10 - 15 turbine St Clair wind farm near Wattle Bank in Shire of Bass Coast, Victoria. With site selection under way, Synergy Wind has invited expressions of interest from landowners who would like to participate in the St Clair Wind Farm project, as well as feedback from the community of the Bass Coast Shire as to whether they would be supportive of the project.

Contact:

Christian Spitzner            

Project Manager             

Tel: (03) 8506 0371          

Email: [email protected]                

 

PROJECT UPDATES

Moorabool Wind Farm

Goldwind Australia submits referral to Federal Department of Environment & Energy for proposed construction of a 29km long overhead transmission line between Moorabool Wind Farm at Ballark and the existing substation at Elaine in central western Victoria. Approval granted by Moorabool Shire Council for Goldwind to construct and operate the Moorabool Wind Farm, a wind energy facility comprising 107 wind turbines (363.8 MW capacity), and associated infrastructure.

Contact:

Alastair Smith

Project Development Manager

Tel: (03) 9912 7829

Email: [email protected]

 

Coleambally Solar Farm

NSW Department of Environment & Planning approved development of Neoen Energy’s 150 MW Coleambally Solar Farm in the Riverina district of NSW.

Contact:

Ann Frederic

Managing Director

Email: [email protected]

 

Dysart 2 Solar Farm

Renewable Energy Developments (RED) applied for a generation authority for the proposed Dysart Solar Farm, to be located approximately 17 km north-east of the township of Dysart. The site area will be approximately 400 hectares and the generating plant will comprise of approximately 410,000 single-axis tracking solar photovoltaic panels, with a nameplate rating of 145.55 MW and a forecasted annual energy production of 325,000 MWh per annum. RED proposes that the project will connect to Powerlink’s Dysart substation via a 132 kilovolt (kV) overhead transmission line that will be owned and operated by Dysart Solar Farm. RED anticipates that construction of the Dysart Solar Farm will commence in early 2018 and reach connection stage in early 2019. Prior to construction, ownership is expected to be transferred to Hanwha Energy Corporation (HEC).

 

Further growth in Australia as BayWa r.e. acquires wind portfolio and development business of Future

11 October

BayWa r.e. has acquired the business and project pipeline of Victorian-based renewable energy developer, Future Energy.

The acquisition of Future Energy marks the first investment into the Australian onshore wind sector for BayWa r.e. and further cements the company’s position in the country’s growing renewable energy sector.

Matthias Taft, Board member of BayWa AG responsible for the energy business, commented on the investment: “The investment in our first pipeline of Australian wind and small-scale solar projects comes quickly after our growth in the utility-scale solar sector where we have established a 300 MW portfolio. The Future Energy acquisition provides an important platform for BayWa r.e.’s future growth and we are very pleased to welcome the team onboard. We look forward to building a long-term development business together and realising our first projects over the next 18 months.”

Since being established in 2004, Future Energy has successfully developed multiple wind projects. Existing employees will become part of BayWa r.e. and will be complemented by new hires as BayWa r.e.’s Australian business continues to expand.

Katy Hogg, Director of BayWa r.e. Australia Pty Ltd., added: “Our first investment in the onshore wind market in Australia is a really important step in consolidating our business model across Solar & Wind Projects, PV Trade and Operations Management Services. Greater scale and project diversity brings benefits for our investors, PPA customers and funding partners.

“We expect to be exporting electricity from the first few wind projects by the end of 2018, with a view to acquiring, developing and implementing additional projects across Australia in the coming years”.

BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH (BayWa r.e.):

As a full subsidiary of BayWa AG, BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH groups together the activities of the solar energy, wind energy, bioenergy and geothermal energy business units. With headquarters in Munich, BayWa r.e. is active worldwide. As a full service partner with around 1,200 employees and more than 25 years of market experience, BayWa r.e. provides consulting services and develops, implements and manages projects in the area of renewable energies. The company also covers plant operation and maintenance. Other business activities encompass photovoltaic component trade and the purchase and marketing of energy from renewable sources.

Its parent company, BayWa AG, is an international trade and services company with the core segments of agriculture, energy and building materials.

Future Energy

Future Energy was established by David Shapero in 2004 and since then has succeeded in realising multiple wind projects. One such project was the Hepburn Community Wind Park, the first community-owned wind farm in Australia.

Existing employees will become part of BayWa r.e.’s Australian business and will be complemented by new hires together with the wider global expertise of the BayWa r.e. group

Source: BayWa r.e.

Note: Future Energy’s portfolio of wind projects consists of Chepstowe, Ferguson, Hepburn, Maroona, Spring Hill, Timboon West, Winchelsea and Yawong

 

Foresight Solar Fund Limited enters binding contracts for the acquisition of three solar farms totalling 117MW in Queensland, Australia, from Canadian Solar

12 October

Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading independent infrastructure and private equity manager, is pleased to announce that it has entered into binding contracts to acquire interests in three solar farms in Queensland, Australia, from Canadian Solar with an aggregate 117 MW of capacity through Foresight Solar Fund Limited (“FSFL”), increasing FSFL’s portfolio to a net capacity to 622MW once installed.

The portfolio consists of Longreach Solar Farm (17 MW), Oakey 1 Solar Farm (30MW) and Oakey 2 Solar Farm (70 MW) with FSFL acquiring 49% interest in each of Longreach and Oakey 1, and a 100% interest in Oakey 2.

The acquisitions support FSFL’s international growth strategy and see FSFL’s portfolio expand by 18% in capacity to 23 assets, demonstrating FSFL’s ability to grow the fund in attractive new geographies.

Two of the three solar farms (Oakey 1 and Longreach) hold 20-year offtake agreements with the Queensland Government and are under construction with connection to the grid expected in March and September 2018 respectively. Oakey 2 solar farm is expected to connect to the grid in October 2018 and will benefit from the sale of power and large-scale generation certificates (“LGCs”) under the Renewable Energy Target regulatory framework.

Both Oakey 1 and Longreach have been funded to date by equity from Canadian Solar, grants from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (“ARENA”), and senior debt from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (“CEFC”) and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

The acquisitions are subject to certain conditions being met including consents from relevant stakeholders. FSFL, in line with its low risk strategy, will not take development risk for the projects.

This is the third Australian transaction for Foresight in 2017 following the acquisitions of Bannerton and Barcaldine, which increases Foresight’s Australian solar portfolio to 252MW across 5 sites. The transaction is further evidence of the success Foresight has had leveraging the extensive solar experience and track record of Foresight’s global Infrastructure team.

Ricardo Piñeiro, Partner, Foresight Group said: “We are delighted to have made this solar acquisition in Australia on behalf of FSFL. This is an important acquisition for FSFL’s international strategy providing a diversified mix between Queensland Government-backed contracted revenues and merchant revenues. We have enjoyed working closely with Canadian Solar, with whom we look forward to delivering a strong pipeline of future energy projects both in Australia and other international markets.”

“We are pleased to have worked with FSFL and their team to complete successfully this milestone transaction. Canadian Solar is very well positioned in Australia with an 800+MW pipeline of early to late-stage developments and these projects will directly contribute to the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target and State Government initiatives to generating affordable clean energy” commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar.

Foresight is seeing significant growth opportunities in renewable energy infrastructure, and is broadening its footprint beyond purely generation assets (solar, wind and bioenergy) into renewables enabling technologies, having recently acquired two utility scale battery storage assets, on top of expanding its portfolio of flexible generation assets in the UK.

Source: Foresight Group

Link to AltEnergy database: Longreach Solar Farm & Oakey Solar Farm

  

Cattle Hill Wind Farm program to employ local workers

13 October

The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to a “Tasmania-First” energy policy to ensure Tasmanians have access to renewable and reliable energy, and pay the lowest possible electricity prices.

Growing our renewable energy capacity is the best way to ensure Tasmania’s energy security is sound, and will also bring benefits to the economy through investment and job creation.

Today I welcome the announcement from Goldwind Australia, as the developer of the Cattle Hill Wind Farm, to launch a program to employ local workers for the construction of this significant renewable energy project.

The $300 million Cattle Hill Wind Farm is a massive investment for Tasmania, and construction is expected to commence in January next year.

The Local Business Participation Program will see Goldwind seek capable local sub-contractors and suppliers to work on the project, and with more than 150 jobs expected to be created during construction, this will be a major boost to employment in the region.

Construction will also provide a positive flow on effect to local businesses in the Derwent Valley, Southern Midlands and Central Highlands, including regional centres like New Norfolk, with the project expected to produce increased business activity.

The Hodgman Liberal Government has a Plan to Build Your Future, and we have set a target to make Tasmania energy self-sufficient with an additional 1000 gigawatt hours of on-island renewable energy generation by the end of 2022.

Once completed, the 49 turbine wind farm will generate 144 MW, enough to power over 60,000 homes and increase wind generation capacity in Tasmania by nearly 50 per cent.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is dedicated to providing Tasmanians with renewable, reliable and cheap energy.

Source: Tasmania Government

Link to AltEnergy database: Cattle Hill Wind Farm

 

NEW PROJECTS

Chewko Solar Farm

Tilt Renewables proposing development on site located eight kilometres south-west of Mareeba, Queensland. Proposed solar farm will consist of about 200,000 solar PV panels and will be capable of delivering up to 75 MW of renewable energy on 150ha land currently used for grazing cattle. The energy generated will be injected into the national electricity grid through an onsite connection that ties into the 132kv power line which runs between Turkinje and Yalkula. Construction will take about 12 months, with about 250 people employed during the construction period and one to two people during the farm’s 25 years of operation. A planning application for the project was expected to be lodged in September this year. Project investment of up to $100mil.

Snowtown North Solar Farm

Tilt Renewables proposing $100mil solar farm that will generate up to 50 MW of solar energy, 10 km west of Snowtown in South Australia. The solar farm will consist of up to 180,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and potential battery storage of up to 25 MW. It will be located on 100 ha of cleared farming land next to the existing Tilt Renewables’ Snowtown Stage 1 Wind Farm substation, which currently delivers around 100 MW from the wind farm. While the solar project will have an installed capacity of up to 50 MW, the combined maximum output will not result in any significant increase in peak generation from the wind farm. By combining wind energy (with an evening peak) and solar energy (with a daytime peak), the two farms can combine to better match daily demands. Up to 200 site staff will be employed during the roughly 8-month construction period, with around 2 permanent full-time employees after construction. A planning application was lodged in July 2017.

 

Contact:

Project Team

Tel: 1300 660 623

Email: [email protected]

[email protected]

Cimic’s UGL awarded $133m Bannerton Solar Park contract

2 October

CIMIC Group company, UGL has been awarded a contract by Foresight Solar Australia to design and build stage one of the Bannerton 110MWDC Solar Park, near Robinvale in Victoria.

The contract will generate revenue to UGL of approximately $133 million, over a three-year term.

UGL will undertake the engineering, procurement and construction of stage one of the solar park, including associated substation and Powercor Australia grid connection.

The contract is due to commence in late 2017, and is expected to be generating power to the grid from July 2018.

Once operational, UGL will provide operation and maintenance services for a two-year period.

CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer Adolfo Valderas said: “CIMIC and UGL are pleased to be delivering this significant solar project and supporting the growth of the renewable energy market in Victoria.”

UGL Managing Director Jason Spears said: “UGL has strong expertise in the renewable energy sector, with nine current and past solar projects around Australia. We are pleased to have this opportunity to contribute to the further expansion of the renewable energy market.”

UGL has delivered five solar projects and currently has four solar projects under construction: Emu Downs in Western Australia, Kidston and Collinsville in Queensland and White Rock in New South Wales.

Source: CIMIC Group

Link to AltEnergy project database: Bannerton Solar Farm

 

CEFC finances largest solar park in Victoria to power trams with cost competitive clean energy

3 October

CEFC finance for Victoria's largest solar farm will help bring stability and diversity to the state's energy supply, demonstrating solar's increasing cost competitiveness, while supporting a low emissions transport future.

Construction is about to begin on the 88 MW (AC) 110MW (DC) Bannerton Solar Park, at Almas Almonds in Victoria's Sunraysia district, following confirmation that the CEFC is committing approximately $98 million in debt finance towards the project.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said the CEFC had invested as the sole debt financier to accelerate the project which, due to the rapidly falling cost of constructing solar in Australia, is being developed without any grant support.

"Previously it wasn't viable to construct solar of this scale in Victoria, which has good insolation rates, but not as high as the northern states. We have witnessed rapidly improving economic conditions that now make this project commercially viable without the need for grant funding," Mr Learmonth said.

"What's more, through the recent agreement struck with the Victorian Government, Bannerton Solar Park will effectively help power Melbourne's iconic tram network, reducing the city's public transport emissions, making an important contribution to decarbonisation of the economy."

The project is being developed by a joint venture between independent global infrastructure and private equity investment manager Foresight Group and Syncline Energy, a Victoria-based developer.

Equity investment in the project will be provided by the UK-listed Foresight Solar Fund Limited (FSFL), Korean government-owned Korean Infrastructure Asset Management Company KIAMCO (each of whom are taking a 48.5 per cent stake) and Korea's Hanwha Energy (3 per cent).

Syncline Energy spokesperson Phil Galloway said the project was being built on almond orchard land that isn't suitable for planting. The almond farm benefits from leasing the land around its orchards, generating an additional revenue stream for its business.

Construction is expected to involve around 180 jobs and is targeting a connection date of July 2018.

The 320,000-panel plant is expected to generate enough power to supply around 30,000 homes with solar energy, and a significant proportion of its projected output has been contracted in separate agreements with Alinta Energy and the Victorian Government.

Ricardo Pineiro, Partner of Foresight Group, said: "We are pleased to have completed FSFL's first overseas acquisition in Australia, alongside the prestigious financial institutions and investors KDB KIAMCO and Hanwha, with support from the CEFC, growing the fund's portfolio to 20 assets with a net capacity of 528MW. We're particularly proud that Bannerton has been successful in the tender to provide clean power to the Melbourne Tram network, supporting the Victorian State's target of 40 per cent renewables by 2025."

The Bannerton project is helping build diversity in Victoria's evolving renewable energy mix, as the state embraces renewable energy alternatives to replace its aging coal-fired generators.

It will see the construction of new powerlines to connect the solar farm to the grid. The project's inverters, which convert the solar DC electricity to AC electricity for export to the network, will also help provide voltage support on the grid, so the project meets AEMO's continuous uninterrupted operations requirements in the event of grid faults.

Bannerton is the CEFC's second investment in a solar farm in Victoria. In March this year, the CEFC announced its first solar farm in Victoria, committing finance to Edify Energy's 50MW (AC) Gannawarra Solar Farm, west of Kerang. Earlier, the CEFC also committed $67 million in senior debt financing to the Ararat Wind Farm, as well as $73 million to finance the final stage of the Portland Wind Farm in south west Victoria.

About Foresight Solar Fund Limited

FSFL is the largest of the solar focused renewables infrastructure companies listed on the London Stock Exchange in terms of operational assets. Having raised £150 million at IPO in October 2013, FSFL has since raised a further £274.2 million from institutional investors and private investors, and continues to deliver its target dividend return which, for calendar year 2017, is 6.32p per share (inflation adjusted from 6.17p in 2016). The Company invests in ground-based predominantly UK solar power assets with the objective of delivering a sustainable and increasing index-linked dividend to shareholders with the potential for capital growth over the long-term. Of the Company's 528MW portfolio 475MW is operational and fully accredited, with the remaining capacity under construction.

Source: CEFC

Link to AltEnergy project database: Bannerton Solar Farm

 

Nectar Farms confirms site shift

3 October

The Northern Grampians Shire community will see the economic on-flow of the Nectar Farms development ahead of schedule, with the company announcing its intentions to shift its focus solely to the Bulgana Green Power Hub site.

Nectar Farms today announced plans to shift its full 40-hectare development to the Bulgana Green Power Hub site - which it will share with a 63-turbine wind farm set to be built by renewable power company, Neoen - and move its focus away from the original Phase One site in Leviathan Road.

CEO of Nectar Farms, Stephen Sasse, said the decision for the company to shift its focus to the Bulgana site has been driven by a number of factors, including a reduction in capital expenditure and operating expenses, with plans to maintain a hold on the Leviathan Road site until construction at the Bulgana Green Power Hub has sufficiently progressed.

“This decision will produce savings in capital expenditure and operating expenses, largely arising from establishing a single construction site (as opposed to two) simpler construction, no duplication of facilities and the ability to operate solely off the BGPH electricity supply, obviating the need for natural gas and grid energy,” Mr Sasse said.

“We propose to hold the Phase One site in reserve until such time as construction of the windfarm and the glasshouse is underway, and then dispose of the Phase One land.”

Mr Sasse said a masterplan for the Bulgana development is currently being completed, with construction set to begin in March 2018, pending planning approval.

Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Cr Tony Driscoll, welcomed Nectar Farms’ announcement, and the expedited delivery of employment and contractor opportunities for the NGSC community.

“We have worked closely with Nectar Farms on this major investment in our region, and we welcome the news that soon, our community will be able to reap the benefits of that hard work in the form of a number of employment opportunities,” Cr Driscoll said.

Representatives from NGSC and Nectar Farms yesterday conducted information sessions with neighbouring landholders and contractors yesterday in order to give a complete oversight of the change in plans.

“We are committed to keeping our community abreast of any and all changes to this major project, and together with Nectar Farms, we will continue to supply as much information as possible for the duration of the construction phase,” Cr Driscoll said.

Source: Northern Grampians Shore Council

Link to AltEnergy project database: Bulgana Green Power Hub

 

ElectraNet awards contract to build Yorke Peninsula battery

3 October

The construction of ElectraNet’s 30 MW large-scale battery at Dalrymple substation on the Yorke Peninsula has been awarded to Adelaide company Consolidated Power Projects (CPP).

CPP will work with international power company ABB and battery provider Samsung to deliver the project.

The battery, which will deliver both regulated network services and competitive market services, is part funded by up to $12 million from the Commonwealth Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). ElectraNet has been working on this project for the past three years.

ElectraNet Chief Executive, Steve Masters said the project demonstrates an exciting turning point for the company and industry.

“The South Australian energy mix and landscape has significantly changed in recent years and this project will help the State to adapt to this change,” Mr Masters said.

“The battery will demonstrate how energy storage can strengthen the grid and improve reliability for the lower Yorke Peninsula.

“It will work with AGL’s existing 90 MW Wattle Point Wind Farm and rooftop solar PV to provide back-up power in the event of any interruption to supply from the grid until the grid is restored. These learnings will be applicable in the future to other potential grid locations.

“In addition, the fast frequency response of the battery will improve power system security across the state by quickly injecting power into the grid following a disturbance,” Mr Masters said.

The battery will be constructed from this month and is expected to be ready for full operation in the National Electricity Market by May 2018.

Following construction, ElectraNet will lease operation of the battery to energy retail operator AGL who will use the battery to provide competitive market services.

CPP’s Regional Manager (SA/Vic), Lloyd Bentley welcomed the partnership.

“As an industry leader in integrating and constructing battery energy storage systems, we are delighted to have been selected to deliver this significant project,” Mr Bentley said.

Doug Jackson, AGL’s Executive General Manager, Group Operations said, “We’re pleased to be part of a project that will demonstrate how a battery of this scale can help firm renewables and provide more dispatchable power for South Australian energy consumers.”

Source: ElectraNet

 

New "Tasmania-first" energy vision

4 October

New Energy Minister Guy Barnett has today outlined his "Tasmania-first" vision for energy.

"Under my watch, our energy policy will be Tasmania-first", Mr Barnett said.

"This means secure supply for Tasmania, and the lowest possible electricity prices for Tasmanians will be my number one priority.

"Following the energy crisis, our energy supply is now the most secure in the nation, with storage reaching 47.5 percent this week, the highest level since December 2013.

"But I know that many people are worried that the errors of the former Labor-Green Government in draining our dams in order to make money from the carbon tax by exporting energy to the mainland, could be repeated.

"I understand this concern, and I want to make sure it never happens again.

"We will continue to pursue increases to our energy capacity, including the Battery of the Nation – firstly to ensure a secure, cheap and reliable supply for Tasmania, and secondly to deliver a return on any excess energy. However, the needs of Tasmanians will always come first.

"Tasmanians deserve to have the lowest possible power prices, and this must always come ahead of higher dividends, or the needs of the mainland."

Mr Barnett said that while he was still being briefed and working through the many complexities of the energy portfolio, he hoped to be able to make concrete announcements supporting the new "Tasmania-first" approach in coming months.

Source: Tasmania Government

 

CLARIFICATION: First Solar lodged recently a standard EPBC referral to fulfil its federal duty of care on environmental clearances in relation to threatened species for the up to 2000 MW solar farm Bulli Creek Solar Farm in Queensland.

 

Record year for renewables charges on

5 October

Another wave of large-scale renewable energy projects is resulting in record levels of investment in renewable energy in Australia, according to industry peak body the Clean Energy Council.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said 41 renewable energy projects have now been committed in 2017, creating an unprecedented wave of investment worth over $8 billion and creating approximately 4680 new direct jobs and massive economic benefits for local businesses across the country.

“These 41 projects will deliver over 4330MW of new capacity, which is crucial to increasing supply in the energy market, replacing old coal-fired generation that continues to close and ensuring downward pressure on power prices,” Mr Thornton said.

“Private investors have committed to 26 projects currently under construction, with another 14 securing finance and expected to commence construction in 2017. It is incredible to see the shift in conversation and action around and in the industry. In addition, there is strong uptake of rooftop solar systems from Australian homes and businesses, expected to deliver over 1000 MW of capacity worth over $2 billion during 2017. This combined investment will deliver an unprecedented level of private sector investment in power generation in this country’s history.

“Initiatives by many state and territory governments in support of these projects, combined with the strong role of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Clean Energy Finance Corporation now puts the 2020 Renewable Energy Target well within reach. In addition to the 4330 MW of committed projects, there are additional projects that have secured Power Purchase Agreements or are likely to be delivered through the Victorian and Queensland renewable energy programs.

“We have already seen six times the investment value in 2017 of what we saw in 2016, and the new capacity will also help with energy security. In 2016, the combined capacity from all projects completed stood at 264.1 MW. This year 2210.2 MW of projects have been committed and 1881.2 MW are in construction with a whole financial quarter still to go.

“States like Queensland and NSW are leading the charge, with $5403.5 million being invested in these parts of Australia alone.”

“This level of industry momentum risks slowing down without a long-term energy policy, such as a Clean Energy Target that will incentivise new investment far beyond 2020. It’s time to lock in a long-term policy and get on with the job.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Jim's Plain Renewable Energy Park

UPC Renewables submits EPBC Act referral for its Jim's Plain Renewable Energy Park, which will involve the construction and operation of a wind farm in north western Tasmania. The Project is to be developed to an estimated capacity of 160 MW, involving the installation of up to 40 wind turbine generators.

Provide an estimated start and estimated end date for the proposed action:

Start date 01/2020

End date 06/2021

Contact:

David Pollington

Chief Operations Officer

UPC Renewables

Tel: 0408 174 329

Email: [email protected]

 

Senator James Mcgrath officially launches the Century solar power generation project

5 October

  • Innovative modular solar system, fast deployment & pre-engineered for expansion
  • Initial solar facility the basis for roll out of large scale solar power generation
  • Initial facility to offset ~70,000 litres of diesel consumption per annum
  • Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon James McGrath, officially launched the Century Solar Power Generation Project
  • Solar facility to compliment base load gas power from existing grid connection

New Century Resources Limited (ASX: NCZ) is pleased to announce that the first stage of a planned roll out of renewable energy generation within the mix of energy supply for the Century Zinc Mine has begun, with the engagement of SunSHIFT to provide a modular Solar PV array.

The successful integration of this initial system will be used to form the basis for development and roll out of a substantial solar power facility on site.

The initial solar facility will offset approximately 70,000 litres of diesel per annum, reducing both operating costs and the site’s environmental impact.

Launching the Century Solar Power Generation Project at the Mine was Senator the Hon James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister. Senator McGrath said the Project illustrated New Century Resources’ commitment to improving its environmental footprint as well as sourcing reliable, sustainable and affordable sources of power to support the Mine’s restart of operations now with expansion into the future.

“It is great to see companies adopting new technology and looking for opportunities to establish long-term environmentally friendly power solutions.” Senator McGrath said.

Commenting on the project award, New Century Resources Utilities Manager, Michael Pitt stated: “The deployment of solar power into the energy generation mix at Century aligns perfectly with our company ethos of economic rehabilitation. The solar resource available at the Century Mine provides the opportunity to reduce the overall cost of power whilst supporting the environmental objectives of the Company.

Source: New Century Resources

 

CS Energy signs 10 year agreement with Kennedy Energy Park

5 October

Another page in Queensland’s renewable energy boom story has been turned with Queensland Government-Owned generator - CS Energy - entering a 10 year-agreement with the 60 megawatt Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden in North Queensland.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the agreement means CS Energy will purchase the electricity output and a proportion of the large scale generation certificates from the planned hybrid generation facility.

“The Kennedy Energy Park is an innovative grid connected wind, solar and storage hybrid project that will provide enough electricity to power more than 30,000 homes,” Mr Pitt said.

“This $150 million project is part of a wave of renewable energy investment occurring in North Queensland that will revitalise communities and create jobs for the future.

“Since January 2016, Queensland has seen an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment activity in North Queensland, with over 830 megawatts of large-scale projects commencing construction or finalising commercial arrangements.”

Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government had kick started the renewable energy boom after not one large scale renewable energy project was built under the previous LNP government.

“Tim Nicholls and the LNP are continuing to stick their head in the sand with their anti-renewables stance – choosing instead to back a dirty new coal-fired power station that will be bad for bills and bad for the environment,” he said.

“Under the Powering Queensland Plan and Powering North Queensland Plan, the Palaszczuk Government is committed to growing the state’s uptake of renewable energy,” Mr Bailey said.

“As at 30 August, 2017 – there are 20 financially committed large scale renewable projects in the pipeline state wide worth $3.4 billion, with a generating capacity of 1781 MW, supporting 2,773 construction jobs.

“Of those financially committed projects, 14 are in North Queensland and involve investment of nearly $2 billion. They have a generating capacity of 1001 MW and are supporting 1,873 construction jobs.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to achieving a 50 percent renewable energy target by 2030 which has the potential to deliver broad benefits to the economy, particularly in regional Queensland.”

Kennedy Energy Park will comprise a 15 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic plant, 43.5 MW wind plant and 2MW/4MWh of battery storage and is being developed by Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings. This innovative approach of combining world class wind and solar resources, which peak in their generation at different times of the day, with battery storage will allow the Kennedy Energy Park to supply energy to the grid even when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow.

CS Energy CEO Martin Moore said the agreement was part of CS Energy’s strategy to facilitate renewable energy development in Queensland while continuing to provide reliable baseload electricity through its existing portfolio of power stations.

“CS Energy is looking to the future and making strategic investments that will provide a sustainable future for the company and support Queensland’s transition to a clean energy future,” Mr Moore said.

Kennedy Energy Park Director Rob Fisher welcomed the agreement with CS Energy.

“The agreement with CS Energy means that this industry leading project can commence construction later this year and be generating in 2018,” he said.

“The project will prove up many key concepts and technologies necessary for the ongoing rollout of high penetration renewable energy around the world.”

The Kennedy Energy Park will connect to the national grid via existing transmission infrastructure, with a maximum export capacity of 50 MW.

The project expects to be fully operational in the second half of 2018 and is a catalyst project for the much larger Kennedy Wind Farm, which will form a key part of the Clean Energy Hub under the Powering North Queensland Plan.

Source: Queensland Government

Link to AltEnergy database: Kennedy Energy Park

 

Carnegie Clean Energy wins $16 million grant from WA Government for Albany Wave Energy Project

6 October

  • Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) wins $15,750,000 in Western Australian Government’s competitive tender to deliver a Wave Energy Project at Albany.
  • An additional $3.75m has been awarded to the University of Western Australia to establish an associated national Wave Energy Research Centre co located in Albany, WA
  • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Board has conditionally approved the transfer of Carnegie’s $11.7m undrawn CETO 6 Project funding from Garden Island to Albany subject to the signing of the detailed documentation.
  • Carnegie will commence work on the Project immediately with upcoming activities to include project design, wave buoy deployment, site surveys, community consultation and approvals.

The Western Australian Government’ s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has awarded $15.75m grant funding to Carnegie’s CETO technology and Albany Wave Energy Project following the completion of a globally competitive tender process for wave energy developers that attracted submissions from around the globe.

In addition, the WA Government has 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’s Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano, commented:

“Carnegie is delighted to be chosen as the recipient of the WA government grant to establish the Albany Wave Energy Project. With wave energy, we have the potential to take advantage of our local technology and resource advantage to build an industry we can commercialise and export globally. Having a globally recognised Wave Energy Research Centre in Western Australia will also attract national and international interest from research and industry participants.”

In parallel, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Board has conditionally 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. Accordingly, the remaining $11.7m grant funding from ARENA’s CETO 6 Project funding will also be available to deliver the Albany Wave Energy Project. 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.

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

In addition to demonstrating Carnegie’s 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.

The Albany Wave Energy Project

Carnegie has been working on plans for a wave farm in Albany for over 5 years with activities including site studies, surveys, wave resource mapping, licensing and site design. Now that the Albany Wave Energy Project has secured WA State funding, and conditionally transferred the existing ARENA CETO 6 Project funding, Carnegie will immediately commence the project design and development process, including consideration of environment, Native Title, planning consent and grid connection studies and approvals. As part of the Project, further consultation will be undertaken with the local community, industry and other stakeholder groups.

The project aims to demonstrate Carnegie’s commercial prototype, the CETO 6 unit, as well as the potential for WA and Australia to tap into a highly consistent renewable resource; delivering 24/7 clean power into the electrical grid at a time when recognition of the importance of reliable, clean energy in Australia has never been higher. The initial project phase involves delivery of a 1MW CETO 6 unit. Carnegie plans to follow this initial stage with a 20MW expansion which in could in turn lead to a 100MW CETO wave farm at the site. Further details of the latest CETO 6 design will be released in the coming weeks.

The Albany Project also represents an opportunity for Australia to develop world leading industrial capacity in the design and development of wave projects. Carnegie’s wave energy team and its CETO wave technology are already recognised as a world leading.

Wave Energy Research Centre

Associated with Carnegie’s Albany Wave Project is the establishment of the national Wave Energy Research Centre to be run by the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute and UWA’s Albany Campus. The local Western Australian investment will apply WA’s existing unique offshore energy capability to the development of a wave energy industry, creating domestic and export opportunities.

Carnegie will play a significant role in the Wave Energy Research Centre through close collaboration with UWA and all of the Research Centre partners. This will include sharing the Project’s site-specific surveys and common user data. In addition, Carnegie intends to transfer the common user infrastructure to the State following the completion of the Project’s operational period. Carnegie will

also be working with the Research Centre to facilitate access for industry partners to Carnegie’s wave energy research facility in North Fremantle and Carnegie’s Garden Island demonstration site.

Carnegie will also provide value to the Research Centre through its existing research project portfolio representing over $11 million of wave energy research projects with leading local and global research institutions; including the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Murdoch University, the CSIRO, Swinburne University, University of Adelaide and international institutions including Wave Energy Scotland, University of Edinburgh, Plymouth University in the UK and University College Cork in Ireland.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

Link to AltEnergy project database: Albany Wave Energy Project

Redeveloping and expanding Tasmania’s hydro system

22 September

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced feasibility studies to expand two hydro-electric power stations and explore the potential to develop significant pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) in Tasmania currently underway.

On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA has committed up to $2.5 million, to be matched by Hydro Tasmania, towards Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation feasibility studies.

Two studies will assess the feasibility of expanding and redeveloping two existing hydro-electric power stations and identify 15 high potential PHES sites across Tasmania. A third study focusing on expanding Tasmania’s role in supporting the National Electricity Market, through increased pumped hydro energy storage and wind power, is being scoped.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer Ivor Frischknecht said these studies would examine how pumped hydro could play an expanded role in Australia’s energy mix, and help accelerate the nation’s transition to renewable energy. ARENA is already supporting detailed feasibility studies for Snowy Hydro 2.0, and pumped hydro projects in Spencer Gulf and Kidston.

“These feasibility studies are the first step towards significantly upgrading or replacing some of Tasmania’s existing power stations and introducing pumped hydro energy storage.”

“With these projects, we could more than double Tasmania’s hydro capacity and power an additional 500,000 households. Tasmania could play a crucial role in helping to provide secure, reliable – and renewable – electricity for the National Energy Market,” he said.

The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said Tasmania is uniquely placed to help lead Australia through its challenging energy transition.

“At the moment, about 80 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from coal-fired plants that will eventually close. Tasmania currently provides about five per cent of Australia’s electricity.

“By boosting our hydropower system, further developing our world-class wind power, and increasing interconnection, we could grow our contribution significantly,” he said.

“As Australia’s largest generator of renewable energy, Hydro has the skills and experience to drive an energy future that’s clean, reliable and affordable.

Expanding pumped hydro potential in Tasmania

This two-stage concept study is exploring the potential for pumped hydro energy storage across Tasmania, which could increase generation capacity by 2.5 gigawatts.

This initial stage – jointly funded with $300,000 from ARENA – has identified high potential pumped hydro sites across Tasmania. Approximately 30 sites are being considered based on technical feasibility and topography, environmental sensitivity, land use constraints, road access and access to grid, proximity to existing renewable energy assets, construction risks and capital costs.

The next stage will involve a full pre-feasibility assessment of 10-15 shortlisted pumped hydro sites across Tasmania.

Tarraleah and Gordon Power Stations

With the support of ARENA, Hydro Tasmania is conducting pre-feasibility studies into the redevelopment of the Tarraleah Power Scheme and the augmentation of the Gordon Power Station.

The iconic Tarraleah Power Station in the Derwent Valley is more than 80 years old.

The Tarraleah redevelopment would involve building a new power station, which would cost up to $650 million and increase the energy output by up to 200 gigawatt hours a year.

The augmentation of the 432 MW Gordon Power Station would involve building a new turbine at Tasmania’s largest power station. To manage environmental water flows, one of the largest turbines is currently being run at very low efficiency. This augmentation would allow more efficient generation from existing environmental water flows to the Gordon River.

The initial stages of these studies, jointly funded by ARENA and Hydro Tasmania at a cost of $1 million, will be completed by the end of the year. Based on the outcomes of the studies, construction on augmentation of the Gordon Power Station could commence in 2018.

For further information, visit hydro.com.au/energy/battery-nation/

Source: ARENA

 

NEW PROJECT - Lakeland Wind Farm

The proposed Lakeland Wind Farm project will be developed by Lakeland Wind Farm Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Windlab Limited. The project proposes the construction and operation of 35 wind turbines and associated infrastructure at a site near the town of Lakeland in far north Queensland.

The proposed project will involve a number of components, including:

  • 35 wind turbines (with blade swept area no less than 30m and no greater than 240m above ground level);
  • Hardstand associated with turbines (each ~70 x 100 m in dimension; 0.7 ha)
  • Overhead powerlines (approx. 11 km) connecting to the sub-station located south of Lakeland;
  • Substation;
  • Access roads (20 km) and carpark;
  • Site office;
  • Water storage facility;
  • Underground reticulation (10 km);
  • Monitoring masts (1 permanent; 3 temporary);
  • Concrete batching plant (temporary); and
  • Construction laydown areas (2 temporary).

The proposed wind turbine alignment will comprise of two adjacent lines approximately 1.5 – 2 km apart running approximately 4 to 5 km in length. The alignment to the west will consist of 17 wind turbines along a ridgeline of mostly rhythmically interbedded fine to medium grain arenite and mudstone, the alignment to the east will consist of 18 wind turbines along a lower ridgeline of mostly basalt. Proposed tracks will allow access to the wind turbines from the Peninsular Developmental Road in the south, with tracks in the north and south of the alignment to connect the two lines. Powerlines will traverse south-east through properties and along Peninsular Developmental Road Reserve to connect the wind turbines to Ergon’s existing Lakeland Substation.

Contact:

Joshua Petrass 

Project Manager

Windlab

Tel: (02) 6175 4600

Email: [email protected]

 

Federal approvals sought for Bulli Creek Solar Farm

Bulli Creek Solar Farm Pty Ltd submitted its plans for a large-scale, up to 2000 MW solar farm over multiple stages within 13,340 acres (5,398 ha) of freehold land at Bulli Creek, 34km west of the township of Millmerran in southern Queensland.

The proposed works will be constructed in stages across three adjoining properties (across four titles) that are currently, and have been historically, cleared and used for grazing cattle and growing fodder crops. The solar farm will be built within this cleared land, with only individual or small stands of non-threatened shade trees for cattle being removed within this footprint.

The proposed site is optimal for a large-scale solar farm due to its proximity to the major 330kV Bulli Creek substation on the arterial power interconnector between NSW and Queensland. To connect the solar farm to Queensland’s transmission network, the project requires an easement along an existing 330kV transmission line owned and operated by Powerlink. The widening of this existing easement corridor is approximately 4.5 km in length to the northern most corner of the participating freehold, then a further 7km to centrally located proposed substation within the freehold.

The development will comprise a ground-mounted solar farm, deployed in stages across the properties. The solar arrays will be erected on a metal-framed supporting structure, likely to be pile driven, with the individual solar panels framed in a tempered glass panel.

Bulli Creek Solar Farm Pty Ltd obtained planning approval for the project from Toowoomba Regional Council In February 2015.

Contact:

Tom Best

Senior Manager

First Solar

Tel: (02) 9002 7700

Email: [email protected]

Link to AltEnergy database: Bulli Creek Solar Farm

 

Adani receives approval for solar plant at Whyalla

27 September

Diversified infrastructure company, Adani, has received planning consent for its $200 million solar energy farm just outside Whyalla.

The plant will generate 100MW, with potential capacity of up to 140MW, making it one of the larger solar farms in South Australia. Construction is planned to commence in 2018 with operation potentially from early 2019, subject to the outcome of ongoing commercial discussions.

Adani, the largest solar energy generator in India, is planning a number of solar projects in Australia with a total capacity of 1,500MW within the next five years.

Chief Executive Officer of Adani Australia Renewable Energy, Jennifer Purdie, said the workforce on the Whyalla solar project would peak at 150 employees during construction, with up to five full time operation staff.

“Opportunities exist for South Australia based electricians, technicians, engineers, and project managers,” Dr Purdie said. “In addition to those jobs for locals, the indirect employment benefits will flow from Adani’s policy to buy from local suppliers first.”

Dr Purdie said it was proposed that the solar farm would inject its power into the 132kv network between the Whyalla Central and Cultana substations.

Adani had undertaken stakeholder engagement to understand and work with expectations regarding the project.

“This was a very positive process for us and, I believe, all stakeholders,” Dr Purdie said.

“The Whyalla Solar Farm provides an opportunity to diversify the local economy, as well as provide the potential for community members and industry to gain new skills in a growth industry. In addition, the project will provide the region with an environmentally sustainable power plant that will help to reinforce the local supply.”

Dr Purdie said the support provided by Investment Attraction South Australia throughout this process had helped Adani navigate through government approvals more quickly.

Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer said she was “very pleased at prospect of Adani coming here”.

"This would build on other potential projects planned for here,” Mayor Breuer said.

“We would welcome Adani, the jobs it will create and the opportunity to strengthen our economy.”

South Australian Member for Giles Eddie Hughes thanked Adani for their planned investment and said the project aligned with the objectives of the State Government’s Energy Plan in making the State’s energy grid more secure.

“With our abundant renewable energy resource and commitment to a low carbon economy, South Australia has positioned itself as a world-leader in renewable energy technology,” Mr Hughes said.

“Adani is the latest in a long line of high-profile companies to invest in South Australia’s renewables sector, and importantly they are creating new jobs for future generations of South Australians.

“South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf in particular is quickly becoming a renewable energy hub with SolarReserve building a ground-breaking solar thermal project at Port Augusta.

“Adani’s expansion into this State also complements our South Australia – India Engagement Strategy, which aims to grow strategic partnerships and enhance long-term economic ties with India.”

The project will also help Adani realise its ambition to become the world’s largest renewable energy generator with more than 10,000MW globally by 2022.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey welcomed the commitment from Adani. “It’s interesting,” Mr Ramsey said. “Many have been attacking Adani over its coal investment in the Galilee Basin, but this announcement shows they are far from single dimensional.

“In fact they are an example of the Federal Government’s principles which are an ‘all of the above’ attitude to supplying cheap, reliable energy while making sure we reach our international commitments on CO2 reduction.

“While I welcome the extra generation capacity I have raised the all-important issue of energy storage with Adani, because the lack of dispatchability is the biggest issue facing the South Australian electricity grid at the moment.

“My preference is that storage should be part of every new renewable generating platform, whether it be alongside the generator or further away. There are a range of options and certainly some real opportunities surrounding pumped hydro facilities in the region.”

Source: Adani Australia

Link to AltEnergy database: Whyalla Solar Farm

  

NEW PROJECT – Mareeba Solar Farm

Plans for a major solar energy farm south-west of Mareeba have been given the green light by Mareeba Shire Council.

Council this week approved an application from Cleangen Projects Pty Ltd to construct a 60-megawatt solar farm on Lockwood Road, Mareeba.

It is expected that energy collected from the solar farm will be fed back into the grid network via the Ergon Energy Turkinje Substation, situated 2 kilometres west of the site.

Mayor Tom Gilmore said Council welcomes the proposed development. “Mareeba prides itself on having 300 sunny days a year so we ought to take advantage of that. Renewable energy is becoming more in demand and we are certainly excited about this potential investment,” Cr Gilmore said.

Infrastructure associated with the proposed solar farm will include 196,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, covering an area of approximately 110 hectares.

Source: Mareeba Shire Council

 

Mareeba secures planning permit

Mareeba Shire Council has approved the CleanGen Projects Pty Ltd planning application for the 60MW Mareeba Solar Farm southwest of Mareeba. The proposal will have numerous benefits for the community and local economy including job creation (200 construction jobs and up to 10 full-time operational roles) and increasing revenue in ancillary services such as tourism and hospitality.

The solar farm is expected to start construction in 2018. It will produce over 147GWh of solar power which is equivalent to offsetting 121,171 carbon emissions from the atmosphere or powering at least 18,723 homes or removing 27,984 cars off the road.

Source: Cleangen

Contact:

Koovashni Reddy            

Managing Director

Cleangen Power

Email: [email protected]

 

Coppabella Wind Farm local business participation program launched

27 September

Goldwind Australia has launched the Local Business Participation Program for Coppabella Wind Farm. The Program will be a key initiative to identify capability and capacity in the local community and maximise opportunities for local subcontractors and suppliers to participate in the project.

It is structured around three stages:

  1. Under the first stage of the Program, Coppabella Wind Farm is seeking Expressions of Interest for over 30 different work packages ranging from fencing to civil construction of on-site roads and local accommodation providers. The project has been listed on Industry Capability Network (ICN) Gateway and companies with an ABN are encouraged to register their interest via the ICN Gateway website.
  2. Stage Two of will be an Industry Briefing to be held in the local area following the appointment of the major subcontractors - the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and Balance of Plant (BoP) contractors. The Industry Briefing will provide local businesses with additional information about the available work packages and the process of bidding for subcontracting or supply opportunities.
  3. Stage Three, is the engagement stage where the main contractors for the project, will engage subcontractors and suppliers. Stage three spans the phases of construction and the transition into the operations phase.

Tom Nielsen, Development Manager for the Coppabella Wind Farm said the project was pleased to launch the first stage of the Program.

‘We’ve already received a lot of interest regarding potential subcontracting and supply opportunities in relation to the project and we are committed to local sourcing where feasible. A dedicated project page on the ICN Gateway has now been established, specifying the available work packages. I encourage local businesses with an ABN to submit Expressions of Interest for relevant work packages listed on the project page.’

The ICN Gateway is an independent business network providing an online tool to connect subcontractors and suppliers with projects. In stage three of the Program, a database will be provided to the main contractor and major subcontractors of all businesses that submitted an Expression of Interest. Planning for construction of the Coppabella Wind Farm project has commenced. The project is expected to employ approximately 150-200 staff during construction and approximately 10-15 permanent staff when fully operational.

Source: Goldwind Australia

Link to AltEnergy database: Coppabella Wind Farm

 

Excerpt from AGL Energy’s AGM presentation

We believe the bulk of the 8 terawatt hours of energy needed to match Liddell’s output can come from new renewables projects, as we believe this is the most cost-effective option. That would include our Coopers Gap and Silverton projects already under construction, other projects from within our pipeline, and other companies’ projects as well.

 

Lilyvale Solar Farm to bring jobs and renewable energy to regional Queensland

28 September

Another 100 megawatt large-scale Queensland solar project has reached financial close and will soon begin construction near Emerald, creating 200 construction jobs for the region.

Energy Minister Mark Bailey said Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ Lilyvale Solar Farm is one of many renewable energy projects which will soon help power Queensland.

“This important milestone means that FRV now has the much-needed credit approval to secure funding and proceed with construction of its Lilyvale solar farm, located 50km north-east of Emerald in the Queensland Central Highlands region,” Mr Bailey said.

“The financial close for Lilyvale Solar Farm follow’s FRVs 100 megawatt Clare Solar Farm in North Queensland, and follows the company securing a power purchase agreement for the Lilyvale project with Ergon Energy in January this year.

“I congratulate FRV for reaching yet another Queensland milestone, this is yet another project which will bring Queensland closer to reaching the Government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.

“Construction of the Lilyvale Solar Farm is set to begin shortly, with the farm expected to be grid-connected and fully operational by late 2018. Once operational, the solar farm will generate enough electricity to power around 45,000 Queensland homes.

“It is one of 20 renewable projects totalling 1781 megawatts committed to or under construction in Queensland.

“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to have kick-started the renewable energy boom in Queensland and this is just another page in that exciting story.”

The pipeline of Queensland renewable projects includes:

Clare Solar Farm (100 MW), Collinsville Power Station (42 MW), Hamilton Solar Farm (57.5 MW), Hughenden Solar Farm (14.2 MW), Kidston solar project (50 MW), Lakeland Solar Farm (10.8 MW), Mount Emerald Wind Farm (180 MW), Normanton Solar Farm (5MW), Ross River Solar Farm (135 MW), Sun Metals Solar Farm (125 MW), Tablelands Sugar Mill stage 2 (24 MW), Whitsunday Solar Farm (57.5 MW), Daydream Solar Farm (150MW), Hayman Solar Farm (50MW), Lilyvale Solar Farm (100MW), Coopers Gap Wind Farm (460MW), Darling Downs Solar Farm (110MW), Longreach Solar Farm (15MW), Oakey Solar Farm (25MW), and Emerald Solar Farm (70MW).

Mr Bailey said FRVs financial close was more proof that the Queensland Government had created the right renewable investment climate.

“Under the recently launched Powering Queensland Plan the Government re-affirmed its commitment to a 50 percent renewable target by 2030,” Mr Bailey said.

“I thank FRVs continued commitment to our state, and I congratulate it for reaching yet another major milestone.

“We’re turning the sunshine state into the solar state!”

Powerlink will undertake works to connect what will be Central Queensland’s largest solar farm to its transmission network.

Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York said the transmission network played an important role in facilitating the growth of renewable energy in Queensland, helping to deliver a lower carbon future.

“Powerlink currently has 11 new large-scale generators committed to connect to the Queensland transmission network, representing more than 1,600 MW of solar and wind generation,” Ms York said.

“We look forward to the opportunity to work on FRV’s second solar farm connection in Queensland.

“Powerlink will construct a new substation and build a short transmission line connection as part of the connection works.”

Source: Queensland Government

Link to AltEnergy database: Lilyvale Solar Farm

 

Scaling up concentrated solar PV technology in Victoria

28 September

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $4.8 million in support for Victorian company RayGen to continue commercialisation of RayGen’s solar power  system PV Ultra, including construction of a 0.5MW concentrated solar PV demonstration  project of the Australian developed technology.

The site near Newbridge near Bendigo in Victoria will showcase the grid‐connected concentrated solar PV system which consists of two linked 250kW fields that will be used  to power a local mushroom farm.

Concentrated solar PV involves converting concentrated light directly into electricity. RayGen’s solar collector consists of a field of wireless mirrors that track the sun, delivering a concentrated light beam to the array of high efficiency solar PV modules in a  tower‐mounted receiver.

RayGen’s technology requires just 4 square metres of photovoltaic material and 2500 meters of mirrors per megawatt, compared to 5000 square metres of photovoltaic material needed for traditional silicon PV per megawatt.

ARENA’s funding will go towards the 0.5 MW expansion of the Newbridge pilot site. A scaleable manufacturing plant will also be upgraded to support deployment of RayGen’s technology in two initial projects in China with a combined 11 MW capacity.

The Newbridge demonstration will allow RayGen to collect performance data, including efficiency, power and energy to provide ‘bankable data’ required to support the further  take up of concentrated solar PV by suppliers, investors and customers.

Founded in 2010, RayGen has a manufacturing line in Blackburn, Melbourne and previously set the world record for solar efficiency with the UNSW in 2014. ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the demonstration was an important step for the  technology in Australia.

“This is an exciting opportunity for ARENA to invest in RayGen, an Australian‐based solar technology business, that is really leading the world in concentrated solar PV and making it commercially viable, Mr Frischknecht said.

“ARENA is committed to helping Australian companies create new renewable energy technology and export it to the world which RayGen is doing in China.”

RayGen founder Dr John Lasich said ARENA’s funding will allow RayGen plans to bring its concentrated solar PV technology, PV Ultra, to the marketplace.

“We’re excited to be manufacturing concentrated solar PV in Australia and deploying this technology into the Australian and global marketplace at precisely the time where there is huge demand for large scale solar power.

“With proven high efficiency and ultra‐low manufacturing cost, we see this as having huge potential, as we are on track to delivering the lowest cost solar power,” said Dr Lasich. RayGen Executive Chairman David Sutton said this support would help to create local jobs in Victoria.

“Automated manufacture of our small but ultra‐powerful PV module underpins a capital light business model which sidesteps the normal constraints of high capital and overhead costs. This will create local high‐tech jobs while producing a competitive product for export,” he said.

Source: ARENA

 

Cultana seawater pumped hydro plant looks promising

28 September

A coastal pumped hydro plant proposed for South Australia’s Spencer Gulf could generate 225 megawatts of electricity with eight hours of storage using seawater, according to the findings of an initial feasibility study released by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA in February announced $453,000 in funding to Energy Australia to conduct the initial feasibility study into its proposed seawater pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) facility in Cultana. The study, totalling $1.1 million was led by a consortium of Energy Australia, Arup and the Melbourne Energy Institute. The knowledge sharing report was produced by Energy Australia for ARENA.

The study found that the project would be technically viable with an optimal capacity of 225MW with storage capacity of 1,770MWh with eight hours of storage – the equivalent of more than 126,000 home batteries. The study found the facility would cost $477 million, and would be economically viable based on several revenue streams. Subject to further engineering design, economical modelling and planning approvals, the project could be operational by 2023.

If it were built, the Cultana facility would be the largest seawater pumped hydro facility in the world, and the first in Australia. A 30 MW plant was built in Okinawa in Japan in 1999, and operated for 17 years.

PHES involves pumping water uphill to a storage reservoir and releasing it through a turbine to provide additional energy into the electricity grid when it is needed.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said pumped hydro had an important role to play in ensuring flexible capacity in Australia’s energy system. Along with Cultana, ARENA is supporting Snowy Hydro 2.0 and PHES feasibility studies in Tasmania and Kidston.

“Pumped hydro is the most established and common form of grid-scale storage which can capture and harness electricity produced by solar and wind so it is available when needed,” he said.

“We are exploring the potential for pumped hydro across Australia, and the findings of this study are promising for a seawater plant at Cultana,” he said.

Source: ARENA

Link to AltEnergy project database: Spencer Gulf Pumped Hydro

 

Foresight Solar Fund Limited enters binding contract for the acquisition of 110MW Bannerton Solar Farm in Victoria, Australia

28 September

  • First overseas acquisition for Foresight Solar Fund Limited
  • Increases Foresight Group’s global solar portfolio under management to over 1GW and portfolio of Australian solar assets to 135MW
  • Foresight Group’s largest solar project under management

Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading independent infrastructure and private equity manager, is pleased to announce the acquisition of the 110MW (DC) Bannerton Solar Project (“the Project”) near Robinvale, Victoria on behalf of Foresight Solar Fund Limited (“FSFL”), KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management Co. Ltd (“KIAMCO”) and Hanwha Energy Corporation (“Hanwha”). FSFL is taking a 48.5% stake in the project.

The acquisition heralds the development of FSFL’s international growth strategy as the first overseas acquisition and sees FSFL’s portfolio expand by 11% in capacity to 20 assets of aggregate net 528MW demonstrating FSFL’s ability to grow the fund in attractive new geographies.

The Project is expected to connect to the grid in July 2018 and will receive regulatory support in the form of Large-Scale Generation Certificates (“LGCs”) under the Renewable Energy Target regulatory framework. The Project benefits from a 10 year contract with the Victorian Government for the sale of a proportion of the LGCs produced and a 17 year fixed-price PPA with Alinta Energy, an Australian retailer, for a proportion of the electricity generated. In addition, the Project will benefit from an Australian Dollar denominated debt facility provided by the CEFC during the construction and operational phase.

The acquisition is subject to certain conditions being met. FSFL, in line with its low risk strategy, will not take development risk on the Project.

The transaction is Foresight’s second solar acquisition in Australia following the acquisition of Barcaldine Solar Farm in early 2017, leveraging the extensive experience and track record of Foresight’s 70 strong global Infrastructure team including the local expertise of the Australian team based in Sydney.

Ricardo Piñeiro, Partner, Foresight Group said: “We are pleased to have completed FSFL’s first overseas acquisition in Australia alongside the prestigious financial institutions and investors KDB KIAMCO and Hanwha, growing the fund’s portfolio to 20 assets with a capacity of 528MW. The transaction launches FSFL’s international growth strategy into the fast developing Australian solar market which offers investors attractive risk adjusted returns. We’re particularly proud that Bannerton was successful in the tender to provide clean power to the Melbourne Tram network, supporting Victoria State’s target of 40% renewable energy by 2025.”

Jay Shin of KIAMCO added: “We are delighted to have collaborated once again with Foresight on the acquisition of the Bannerton project. This is the second Australian solar asset transaction where KIAMCO has partnered with Foresight and Hanwha, following the acquisition of the 25MW Barcaldine project in Queensland in February of this year. It has been a pleasure to work alongside the experienced team at Foresight and together we expect to explore further renewable opportunities in Australia and globally as we grow our portfolio of overseas infrastructure assets.”

Source: Foresight Solar Fund

Link to AltEnergy project database: Bannerton Solar Farm

Ross River Solar Farm - site preparation underway

18 September

Initial site preparation works are starting at the $225 million Ross River Solar Farm site, Townsville’s newest large scale solar plant.

Construction of the 148 megawatt (MW) solar farm, located 20 kilometres south of Townsville, is expected to begin in September.

Project Director, Lyndon Frearson, said priority tasks before construction commences were the creation of a new site road entry, installation of perimeter fencing and set up of a site office and facilities for the construction team.

Construction of the solar farm is expected to be completed within 12 months. At peak construction, a workforce of around 250 contractors and laborers will be required on-site and every effort will be made to employ local labour where it makes sense to do so.

“Recruitment is happening now to ensure we have a pool of appropriately skilled local workers to work alongside our specialist project team and operations staff. Individuals or companies that would like to understand the opportunities for Australian Industry can contact us via the website,” Mr Frearson said.

Neighbours adjacent to the project have also been notified with the project team posting its first ‘Community Update’ to over 3000 homes and businesses last month. The project also has a website, www.rossriversolarfarm.com.au

“We’re putting in place a number of strategies to prevent or reduce some of the less desirable consequences of major construction works like traffic delays, noise and dust,” Mr Frearson said.

“We’re not taking shortcuts when it comes to resident engagement, this will be a priority to ensure those living closest to the site experience minimal impact.”

The project has also set up a telephone hotline to respond to community enquiries during construction – 0475 802 063.

A total of 417,600 polycrystalline solar panels are being procured for the project and will be delivered via containers in stages to the Port of Townsville.

The solar panels will be attached to a ground-mounted single axis tracking system that will slowly track the daily movement of the sun, maximising the amount of energy the solar farm generates. The solar farm will produce enough clean electricity to power approximately 54,000 homes.

Australian-based solar developer, ESCO Pacific, and specialist independent infrastructure manager, Palisade Investment Partners, are working in partnership to deliver the Ross River Solar project.

Downer Utilities has been appointed as the Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) contractor.

Source: Ross River Solar Farm

Link to AltEnergy database: Ross River Solar Farm

 

Sun shines on ninth solar farm for the Western Downs

18 September

Well and truly on its way to becoming the Energy Capital of Australia, the Western Downs is set to welcome its ninth solar farm to the region with Council approving a 240MW renewable energy development 42km west of Dalby.

  • The APA Group Beelbee Solar Farm project, located on Beelbee Road, will complement the Darling Downs Solar Farm, currently under construction along Grahams Road, Kogan;
  • It’s expected to produce between 150MW and 240MW of power into the national electricity grid and has the potential for battery storage of up to 100MW;
  • The project is expected to employ up to 450 workers during peak construction, and support up to six full time operational staff.

Western Downs Regional Council Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith said the Beelbee Solar Farm project marks the third renewable energy development approved by Council in less than two months.

“What a month it’s been, and I’m told there’s even more development applications in the pipeline!” he said.

“We’re pleased to once again be working with APA Group to bring their second solar farm to the Western Downs.

“Complementing their Darling Downs Solar Farm, their commitment to bring another renewable energy project to our region highlights the Western Downs’ economic strength and impressive portfolio on the solar energy scene.

“This return investment is a win for our communities with the project set to bring a further 450 jobs to the Western Downs during construction, and APA have already expressed desire to work with local contractors and businesses where ever possible.

“Our Planning and Development Assessment Team have established a reputation for fast application turnaround times, approving this latest development in less than six weeks. This responsive approach shows everyone that the Western Downs is well and truly open for business.”

Source: Western Downs Regional Council

Link to AltEnergy database: Beelbee Solar Farm

 

Australia's largest rooftop solar system set to slash BNE's energy needs

19 September

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) is investing in a major renewable energy Solar PV project capable of generating more than 9,315,000 kilowatt hours a year.

The 6MW system, consisting of 22,000 panels spanning an area of 36,000 meters squared or more than twice the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), will be installed across six sites at Brisbane Airport (BNE).

Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal alone will support 1.98MW with 7,133 panels covering more than 11,675 square metres, making it the largest single roof top solar panel installation at an Australian airport and BNE and the largest commercial roof top solar system in the Southern Hemisphere.

More than 200kms of cabling will be used for the install, equivalent to driving from Brisbane to the Gold Coast and back.

Krishan Tangri, BAC General Manager Assets, said electricity is one of the biggest expenses to running Brisbane Airport with dozens of large buildings requiring cool, lighting and heating 24 hours a days, 365 days a year.

“We are acutely aware of the increasing energy needs of running a major airport and since 2012 we’ve had an extensive energy reduction program in place resulting in the completion of 40 projects which collectively save more than 8 GWh per year.

“We are in the enviable position of having thousands of square metre of un-impeded roof space ideal for solar harvesting and, with systems becoming more efficient and more affordable to install, it makes financial sense to invest in this readily available supply of renewable energy to save costs and decrease our carbon footprint.

“Once fully operational, the new system will account for 18 per cent of BAC’s direct electricity consumption, or 6 per cent of our total consumption, further complementing the savings we’re making through air conditioning control optimisation, lighting control upgrades and LED technology within BAC buildings, car parks and street lighting,” Mr Tangri said.

The solar energy generated per year is equivalent to powering over 1,700 Australian homes for a year, with carbon offset equal to planting over 50,000 trees or taking 1,500 cars off the road each year.

Epho, an Australian commercial solar company specialising in serving Australian businesses with solar energy solutions, collaborated with Sam Khalil Managing Director of Shakra Energy.

Shakra Energy is the developer of commercial and large scale solar plants and the party that assembled the team for the bid. Sam Khalil will be on the steering committee to ensure an efficient and effective development of the solar development.

Oliver Hartley, Epho Managing Director, said the BAC project is not only the biggest commercial solar installation in the Southern Hemisphere, it is also one of the more complex given the live environment of the airport.

“To win this project, Epho had to demonstrate superiority in project management, stakeholder management, engineering, operations and work health and safety.

“The introduction of such a significant solar system is a prime example of how BAC is adopting world-leading technologies in harmony with its sustainability focus,” Mr Hartley said.

Design of the system is currently underway with installation commencing from December 2017 and completion expected in August 2018.

Source: Brisbane Airport Corporation

 

Advisian hires global director for new energy

20 September

Advisian, the consulting arm of WorleyParsons, has appointed Tony Frencham as global director for new energy as it announces plans to scale significantly within the next five years.

Frencham joins from Dow Chemical, where he served 28 years in a number of senior leadership roles in Asia Pacific, North America and the Middle East, most recently heading up commercial operations in South-East Asia.

Based in Melbourne but with a global remit, Frencham leads the strategy for new energy, which will include structuring a global team to capitalise on market opportunities relating to renewable energy sources and their distribution.

Dennis Finn, CEO of Advisian and group director of global sales and marketing, says: “Tony’s impressive track record of building businesses on a regional and global scale made him a natural fit for the role. His appointment underlines our continued commitment to a sector that we recognise as a strategic priority both now and for the future. There has arguably never been a more exciting time for new energy and we look forward to continuing this journey under Tony’s leadership.”

Together, Advisian and WorleyParsons have completed over 600 new energy projects to date including hydropower, solar and wind, as well as energy storage, smart grid and transmission.

Frencham adds: “Advisian and WorleyParsons have been part of the new energy conversation for many years and I’m excited to build on the great successes the company has achieved to date. The way the world produces and consumes energy is changing dramatically and, as renewable resources become a larger part of the energy mix, we are working with our customers to ensure they can achieve their affordability, reliability and sustainability objectives. With its 130-year track record in energy and power, the company is perfectly placed to help clients make that new energy transition.”

Advisian works with customers to identify new energy solutions through its comprehensive suite of technical, project and business services. Underpinned by WorleyParsons’ technical expertise, it helps companies globally make the best decisions about new energy – where to invest, what technologies to implement, and how to integrate, deploy and operate them.

Source: WorleyParsons

 

NEW PROJECT

Horsham Solar Farm

Developer: ESCO Pacific

Capacity: Up to 100 MW

Technology: Horizontal tracking

Modules: ~340,000 solar panels

Cost: $200mil

Location: !4km east of Horsham in western Victoria

Connection: Existing Horsham terminal substation

Status: DA submitted with council decision expected in Q4 this year

Contact:

Allison Hawke

Head of Development

ESCO Pacific

Tel: (03) 8595 2406

Email: [email protected]

 

Moorabool Wind Farm update

Main contractor soon to be appointed to engineer, procure and construct (EPC) the Moorabool Wind Farm in Ballan, Victoria.  

Expressions of Interest are currently being sought from suppliers and contractors for work packages including:

  • Logistics
  • Wind Turbine Erection
  • 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 is available at icngateway: https://gateway.icn.org.au/project/3914/moorabool-wind-farm-project?st=projects&psid=1494376540

Moorabool North

Moorabool North consists of 50 permitted turbines running south from Mt Egerton Road to Hamills Lane. Pre-construction plans have now been submitted to the Minister for Planning for his approval.

All geotechnical investigations for the turbine, access track and cable locations have been completed and some detailed design work is underway.

Construction is expected to begin later this year.

Moorabool South

Moorabool South consists of 57 permitted turbines running south from Hamills Lane to Elaine. Goldwind is continuing to work through the requirements of the planning permit conditions to ensure a suitable turbine layout design. Pre-construction plans for submission to the minister are now being prepared.

There has been a delay in submitting the development plans to the Minister which is now due in September/October 2017. It is anticipated that construction of Moorabool South will begin late 2017.

Contact:

Helen Kennedy

Goldwind Australia

Tel: 0472 832 552

Email: [email protected]

Link to AltEnergy database: Moorabool Wind Farm

 

Wind farm freight sails into Cairns Port

20 September

The first shipment of project freight for Ratch Australia Corporation’s Mount Emerald Wind Farm has arrived in Cairns (on Wednesday 20 September).

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the vessel Oldendorff Erna arrived at the Port carrying tower sections for the exciting Tablelands project.

“There will be back-to-back shipments of tower sections and blades being shipped directly into the Port of Cairns,” Mr Pitt said.

“They are the first wind farm components and will be followed by many more elements with an estimated 185,000 revenue tonnes of cargo to be delivered over the life of the project.

“The second shipment of blades is scheduled to arrive on September 27.

“With the potential for further wind farm projects on the Atherton Tablelands and near Lakelands, these first shipments will establish the Port of Cairns as the new project hub for the North.

“The project will see the creation of around 150 jobs during the construction phase and represents a significant boost to our local economy, especially for the contractors, suppliers, transport and logistics companies involved.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring the Port of Cairns continues to develop to facilitate projects such as Mount Emerald Wind Farm, which bring jobs and economic growth to the Far North Queensland Region.”

Unloading and transporting the blades will be an impressive sight as each blade has a length of 57 metres and weighs 16 tonnes each.

The unloading or the cargo is expected to take three days with the blades being transported directly from the wharf to the newly constructed project cargo laydown area in Tingira Street Portsmith.

Ports North chair Russell Beer said the four-hectare Tingira Street site had been purpose-built by Ports North to accommodate the wind farm components in Cairns before being transported by road to the windfarm site on the Atherton Tablelands.

“Ports North has been actively working to increase project freight opportunitiesthrough the port and the shipping of the Mount Emerald Wind Farm project cargo confirms the capabilities of Cairns as a project shipping port,” Mr Beer said.

Powerlink has already commenced construction works to connect the 180 megawatt (MW) Mt Emerald Wind Farm near Mareeba in Far North Queensland to its transmission network.

As part of the construction works, Powerlink will build a dedicated 275kV substation to connect the wind farm to the network.

Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York said the Mt Emerald Wind Farm would connect to the existing transmission network via the Woree to Chalumbin transmission line.

“This project is another example of the important role the transmission network will play in facilitating large-scale renewable generation and achieving a lower carbon future for Queensland,” Ms York said.

“We look forward to delivering the Mt Emerald Wind Farm connection for Ratch and continuing to partner with other renewable energy customers across Queensland.”

Ratch spokesperson Neil Weston said it was great to have Powerlink mobilised on site now that all the detailed design and grid connection analysis had been completed.

“The grid connection is a critical part of the overall project, and we look forward to working with them to get the project finished and energised in 2018,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government had kick-started a renewable energy boom in Queensland.

“Mt Emerald Wind Farm is one of 20 renewable projects totaling 1,800 megawatts committed to or under construction in Queensland, delivering $3.4 billion of investment and over 2,800 direct construction jobs, mostly in regional Queensland,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is compared to the renewable energy blackout we saw under the LNP, not one large-scale renewable project was commissioned during their term and 1,300 renewable industry jobs were lost

“Now Tim Nicholl’s only energy policy is to build an expensive, unnecessary coal fired power station.

“Renewable energy now the cheapest and quickest way to deliver new generation, which is why we’re focusing on securing the next wave of large-scale renewable energy projects in Queensland through Renewables 400, our 400 megawatt (MW) reverse auction.”

Source: Powerlink

Link to AltEnergy database: Mount Emerald Wind Farm

 

GFG Alliance invests in ZEN Energy to create a new Australian National Energy Champion

 20 September

Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance, though its energy division, SIMEC Energy, today (20th Sept 2017) reached an agreement with ZEN Energy to establish a strategic partnership and acquire a majority stake in ZEN, a prominent emerging Australian energy company providing businesses and households with affordable, reliable and tailor-made solutions.

 

Having last month acquired Arrium, Australia’s largest integrated steel and mining business, GFG Alliance has now taken a major step towards realising its Australian energy ambitions. The opportunity to invest in large-scale power projects to meet its own industrial requirements and support the domestic economy was a key driver for GFG’s strategic entry into Australia.

ZEN has an experienced management team looking to develop and improve the national energy market through partnerships with governments, industries and households. Building on their experience in designing and installing solar and battery storage solutions for residential and commercial customers, ZEN now offers power supply solutions to large industrial customers. ZEN works closely with some of Australia’s largest energy users to reduce costs, increase reliability, and increase the amount of low-emissions energy used in industry.

ZEN uses a combination of energy sourced from new and existing power plants, demand management technologies and energy storage to deliver energy supply solutions at a competitive price. ZEN also manages the development of new renewable energy projects.

The strategic partnership and acquisition of a majority stake in ZEN Energy is an early win in GFG’s 100-day plan following its acquisition of the former Arrium business on August 31. These businesses, including SIMEC Mining Australia, SIMEC Infrastructure Australia and Liberty OneSteel (formerly Arrium), are substantial consumers of energy.

SIMEC ZEN Energy, the new name for the joint venture, will work to improve energy security and reduce the cost of power for GFG Alliance and other businesses in Australia.

SIMEC ZEN Energy will become a member of the GFG Alliance and will work closely with SIMEC Energy’s existing global energy team which already has 600 MW of power generating assets in the UK with another 400 MW under development, ranging from solid biomass and liquid bio fuels, to hydro and tidal, to wind and solar, and also cutting-edge waste-to-energy projects.

ZEN Energy will partner with SIMEC to deliver cheaper, more reliable and environmentally sustainable energy for SIMEC’s mining operations in South Australia and Liberty OneSteel’s operations in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia.

SIMEC ZEN Energy will also project-manage the development of SIMEC Energy Australia’s new large scale energy projects, including solar PV, battery storage and pumped hydro facilities.

Sanjeev Gupta, GFG Alliance’s Executive Chairman, said:

“The high cost of energy for Australian consumers is debilitating for the economy and a crying shame for a country so rich in resources. We clearly see a need for industrial groups and energy generators to work together. Long-term sustainable energy solutions need to be founded on both economic and environmental principles in order to work properly. With our partners, we can deliver a step change in the power industry, bringing innovative solutions and new projects to dramatically reduce the cost of dispatchable power.

GFG Alliance is already one of the biggest users of industrial energy in Australia. Given the issues here, it has been a priority for us to take decisive remedial steps. Combining our power expertise developed in the UK, and ZEN’s local knowledge in Australia, is a natural partnership.

ZEN Energy is proudly Australian and brings unparalleled market and technological knowledge to address the challenges faced by the Australian power sector. We’re delighted to partner with them on projects and look to invest for further growth.

Our main focus, as in the UK, will be renewable energy.

This is an important milestone for GFG Alliance in Australia; I am excited about this joint venture and the role it will play in transforming the Australian power industry.”

Ross Garnaut, Chairman of ZEN Energy, said:

“ZEN has spent many years building the strategy, business models and management and technological capacities to introduce new solutions to Australia’s energy problems of weak competition, high costs, low reliability and unnecessary pollution. We have been looking for the right capital investor and strategic partner to help realise our plans, and have found the perfect match in Sanjeev and the SIMEC Energy team. Their understanding of the energy dilemma this country faces, which is making much of our industry uncommercial and environmentally unsustainable, means we see the market need and opportunity in the same way. We are excited about the future, as this will yield benefits for Australian jobs, investors, communities and the environment.”

Source: Zen Energy

 

ANU finds 22,000 potential pumped hydro sites in Australia

21 September

The Australian National University (ANU) has completed an audit of 22,000 potential sites across Australia for pumped hydro energy storage, which can be used to support a secure and cheap national electricity grid with 100 per cent renewable energy.

The zero-emissions grid would mainly rely on wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, with support from pumped hydro storage, and would eliminate Australia's need for coal and gas-fired power.

Lead researcher Professor Andrew Blakers said the short-term off-river pumped hydro energy storage (STORES) sites combined had a potential storage capacity of 67,000 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) - much more than the capacity required for a zero-emissions grid.

"Australia needs only a tiny fraction of these sites for pumped hydro storage - about 450 GWh of storage - to support a 100 per cent renewable electricity system," said Professor Blakers from the ANU Research School of Engineering.

"Fast tracking the development of a few of the best sites by 2022 could balance the grid when Liddell and other coal power stations close.

"Pumped hydro storage, including Snowy 2.0, can be developed fast enough to balance the grid with any quantity of variable wind and solar PV power generation, including 100 per cent renewable energy.

"We found so many good potential sites that only the best 0.1 per cent will be needed. We can afford to be choosy."

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) provided $449,000 to support the ANU-led study.

Maps showing the locations of potential STORE sites and a report on the findings are available at <http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/research/phes/>.

STORES sites require pairs of reservoirs at different altitudes, typically ranging from 10 hectares to 100 hectares, in hilly terrain and joined by a pipe with a pump and turbine. Water is pumped uphill when wind and solar energy is plentiful, and electricity is available on demand by releasing the stored water through a turbine.

Co-researcher Dr Matthew Stocks said that off-river pumped hydro storage typically delivered maximum power for five to 25 hours, depending on the size of the reservoirs.

"Like all hydro power, it can go from zero to full power in about one minute," said Dr Stocks from the ANU Research School of Engineering.

"Annual water requirements would be much less than half that of the current fossil fuel system because wind and PV do not require cooling water."

Co-researcher Mr Bin Lu said all of the potential STORES sites were outside national parks and urban areas, and each site had a storage potential range of 1-300 GWh.

"Pumped hydro - which accounts for 97 percent of energy storage worldwide - has a lifetime of 50 years, and is the lowest cost large-scale energy storage technology."

Source: ANU

 

The environmental impact statement for ESCO Pacific’s Finley Solar Farm proposal is now on public exhibition until 22 October as part of the process to gain development approval from the NSW Department of Planning & Environment. The Finley Solar Farm is a solar photovoltaic plant capable of generating up to 170 MW of renewable energy located west of the township of Finley in the Berrigan Shire Council. The $170 million dollar project will comprise of approximately 500,000 solar panels generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of 59,000 homes.

Link to AltEnergy database: Finley Solar Farm

 

Coppabella Wind Farm - latest news

Project modification

Coppabella Wind Farm has recently submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, an application to modify the Development Consent SSD-6698. This modification is required to enable optimum development, efficient operation and, competitively priced power to be provided into the National Electricity Market.

The key modifications being sought include:

  • Internal access roads

A variation to the internal access road and earthworks design is required as the original design that was used for the Development Consent does not sufficiently account for the complexity of terrain on and around the Coppabella Hills. A detailed road and earthworks design has since been completed and this forms the basis for a realistic earthworks footprint. As a result, the vegetation impact allowance is required to be increased and an increased biodiversity offset provision specified. The impact footprint is predominantly made up of grasslands and includes areas that will be temporarily impacted and then rehabilitated after construction.

  • Increased tip height

Due to the lengthy development review process since the original Yass Valley Wind Farm was submitted for approval in 2009, wind turbine technology has advanced substantially and the modification is required to ensure the project can provide competitively priced power to the National Electricity Market. The proposed variation in turbine dimensions leads to an increase in the maximum blade tip height from 150 metres to 171 metres.

Additionally, a number of minor modifications are being sought to allow for the optimal construction of the project. The modified design has been developed in parallel with further environmental assessments to minimise any increase in environmental impacts.

The associated application documents can be found online at the NSW DPE major project register, see here. Hard copies of the documentation will be available at the following locations:

  • Hilltops Council: 3 East Street, Harden;
  • Harden Library: East Street, Harden;
  • Yass Valley Council: 209 Comur Street, Yass;
  • Yass Valley Library: 88 Comur Street, Yass;
  • Binalong Post Office: 28 Fitzroy Street, Binalong; and
  • Nature Conservation Council: Level 14, 338 Pitt Street, Sydney.

Feedback on the modification application can be submitted to the NSW DPE during the public exhibition period: Friday, 22 September 2017, to Monday, 23 October 2017.

Upcoming Community Consultative Committee Meeting

The first Community Consultative Committee (CCC) for the Coppabella Wind Farm project will be held on Thursday 5th October 5pm-7pm in Binalong, NSW. If you wish to attend the meeting as an observer, please contact Nic Carmody, Independent Chairperson for the CCC: [email protected]

Link to AltEnergy database: Coppabella Wind Farm

 

Sun Metals applies for electricity generation authority

Sun Metals Corporation Pty Ltd (Sun Metals) has applied to the Regulator for a generation authority under the Electricity Act 1994 (the Act). Under the Act, the Regulator is the Director-General of the Department of Energy and Water Supply, being the Chief Executive of the Department that administers the Act.

The application for a generation authority is in respect of a proposed solar farm (the Sun Metals Solar Farm), to be located adjacent to the existing Zinc Refinery, around 10 kilometres (km) south of Townsville.

The generating plant will comprise approximately 1,264,200 solar modules (First Solar / Series 4 / Cd Te Thin Film) with a 124 megawatt (MW) indicative nominal alternating current (AC) capacity and a nameplate rating of 151MW direct current (DC), located over approximately 200 hectares.

Sun Metals propose to connect the Sun Metals Solar Farm to Powerlink’s transmission grid via an existing 132kV substation owned and maintained by Sun Metals. Electricity generated is proposed to be used to supply Solar Metal’s Zinc Refinery and/or be sent into the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The generation authority, if issued, will authorise:

  • connection of the solar farm to Powerlink’s transmission grid and
  • operation of the solar farm.

Subject to receipt of all necessary approvals (including this generation authority) and finalisation of commercial arrangements, Sun Metals anticipates the Sun Metals Solar Farm will reach connection stage in January 2018, with project completion anticipated in April 2018.

Source: Queensland Government

Link to AltEnergy database: Sun Metals Solar Farm

 

Bluff Solar Farm – further detail

Infigen Energy’s proposed Bluff Solar Farm in northern Queensland will involve the construction of a large-scale solar farm over part of Lot 79 on SP238443 with access across Lot 723 (rail corridor). The solar farm is likely to be constructed in two (2) stages, with shared access and on-site infrastructure, including battery storage and switching yards connecting to the grid network.

The detailed design, specific layout and electricity generating capacity have not been confirmed at this stage. However, it is envisaged the Project will involve a typical solar farm of up to 250MW with arrays, switch yards, substation, battery storage, control building, and car park area to facilitate the operation of the solar farm, as shown on the proposal plans provided as Annex A and as set out below.

Ultimately, the final design work will be undertaken by an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor who will be engaged by Bluff Solar Farm Pty Limited following the receipt of the Development Permit for Material Change of Use and Reconfiguring a Lot which is the subject of this Development Application. However, for the purposes of this assessment, the PV modules area proposed to be setback approximately 150-200m from the road corridor to the north, and will not encroach on electricity transmission easements. An approximate 10m setback is proposed to the eastern and western side boundaries to allow access, with a 20-30m buffer to the waterway also proposed to preserve the ecological values of the waterway.

Project Staging

Should the Project be completed in stages, it is envisaged the stages will consist of the following:

Stage 1 is likely to involve the construction of approximately 80 – 130 MW in the northern/central portion of the Project area, and is subject to detailed design. This would include part of the lease area to the south of the high voltage line traversing the site. The PV modules will be split into two (2) stages, with the existing waterway/ buffer area and transmission line providing separation between the sections. The site office including control building, switchyard and other associated operational infrastructure will be positioned in proximity to the existing electricity substation, obscuring the view from the road/rail corridor, with inverter buildings and battery storage containers spread throughout the lease area.

Stage 2 of the Project will likely involve an expansion of the Project to the southern portion of the lease area and may accommodate approximately 100 – 130MW. A separate switchyard and grid connection is proposed for this stage.

Source: Infigen

Link to AltEnergy database: Bluff Solar Farm

 

Queensland renewable energy boom continues

21 September

Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to visit some of Queensland’s state of the art wind, solar and hydro renewable energy projects during his blow in visit this week.

Mr Pitt said the PM's visit seemed to have been planned only to muddy the waters of the national energy debate and continue to blame Queensland for his failure to come up with real reform to the national energy market.

“It would be good if the Prime Minister acknowledged that Queensland is leading the nation in renewables investment and energy pricing outcomes,” Mr Pitt said.

 “The Prime Minister, on his visit to Queensland, is continuing to offer no real solutions to end the policy uncertainty and high electricity prices plaguing the nation.

“Mr Turnbull should at least get a sound understanding of the renewable energy boom happening in Queensland, and that we’re moving towards having the right mix of electricity generation to provide an affordable, secure and sustainable supply of electricity.”

Mr Pitt said a new Green Energy Markets’ Renewable Energy Index report released today showed renewable energy jobs in Queensland surpassed those in New South Wales for the first time.

“The Palaszczuk Government welcomes the report and it also welcomes any jobs that come as a result of Queensland’s renewable energy boom,” he said.

“This level of investment is unprecedented and I’m proud to be part of a government that kick-started the industry in Queensland after not one large scale renewable energy project was built during the previous LNP government.

“As at 30 August, 2017 – there are 20 financially committed large scale renewable projects in the pipeline worth $3.4 billion, with a generating capacity of 1781 MW and supporting 2,773 construction jobs, however the broader pipeline of proposed projects is 40 projects ,worth $5 billion, with a generating capacity of 5297 MW and 9,245 jobs.”

Mr Pitt said the report showed Queenslanders continued to embrace solar on their rooftops.

“In May this year we announced that Queensland had officially become the solar state with figures confirming that combined solar rooftops are now Queensland’s largest power station – surpassing the 1,680 megawatt Gladstone Power Station,” he said.

“As at August 2017, there are over 450,000 residential customers with solar PV in Queensland. There is 1799 megawatts of total solar PV installed on the network.

“We’re well on our way to meeting our target for one million Queensland rooftops with solar or 3,000 megawatts of total solar by 2020.

“Solar PV costs are continuing to decline which is a likely contributor in the continual uptake of solar.

“I’d say Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls is regretting the day he ever called those who adopted solar champagne sippers and the latte set.”

Mr Pitt said the Electricity Statement of Opportunities recently released by AEMO confirmed that Queensland’s electricity supply remains secure and is predicted to meet peak demand in all forecast scenarios.

“Queensland has the youngest, least emission-intensive fleet of coal-fired generation in the country which is well placed to continue to supply reliable electricity for North Queensland as we make the transition to a clean energy future,” he said.

“If the market saw a new coal-fired power plant as viable, they would have built one already and they haven’t.

“Even the Prime Minister last month rejected funding a NQ coal-fired plant saying: ‘We have no plans to build a coal-fired power station…’

His Treasurer, Scott Morrison, also said: “New cheap coal is a bit of a myth… And [High Efficiency Low Emission coal-fired power station] takes seven years to turn up, so if we that is all of a sudden going to make your power bills cheap next month, it won’t.’

“Renewable energy is undeniably the cheapest form of new energy infrastructure to build in Australia over a new coal-fired power station. In fact assessment of the modelling prepared for the Finkel Review showed that the capital cost of a new ultra-supercritical coal-fired power station is at least 34% more than an equivalent solar farm.

“The Finkel Review modelling also clearly showed a CET would deliver lower electricity prices, more investment and lower emissions compared to a business as usual approach and that households would be around $90 better off per year over the next decade under a CET.

“The Palaszczuk Government is 100% committed to adopting the cheapest and most efficient forms of energy generation to lower power bills and to continuing to use public ownership to back consumers.”

“The LNP and Tim Nicholls don’t care about electricity prices paid by Queenslanders. That’s why power bills increased by 43% under the LNP’s time in office, compared to an average of 1.9% per year under Labor.”

Source: Queensland Government

 

ARENA pumps funding into Battery of the Nation vision

22 September

A plan to double Tasmania’s energy capacity and make it the renewable Battery of the Nation has moved a step closer.

A shortlist of about 30 potential pumped hydro energy storage sites has been identified in four regional areas. Funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will help narrow that list to between 10 and 15 possible development sites.

When it’s fully realised, pumped hydro could generate up to 2,500 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which would double Tasmania’s current hydro capacity and provide flexible, dispatchable energy when it’s needed by customers.

It could also create up to $5 billion of infrastructure investment and up to 3,000 jobs across a 10 to 15 year construction period.

The shortlist includes four existing power stations with potential for pumped hydro conversion. The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, and CEO of ARENA, Ivor Frischknecht, today inspected one of those stations – Cethana Power Station in north-west Tasmania.

In an exciting development for the north-west, Lake Cethana has already been assessed as having some of the best pumped hydro potential in Tasmania – with up to 1,000MW at one site.

Mr Davy said Tasmania is uniquely placed to help lead Australia through its challenging energy transition.

“The Battery of the Nation is about energy security and affordable prices,” Mr Davy said.

“Doubling Tasmania’s renewable energy capacity addresses three big challenges at once.

“It will lock in full energy security for Tasmania, help give Tasmanians some of the nation’s cheapest power prices, and give us plenty of spare energy to support mainland Australia.

“At a time when Australia badly needs flexible and storable energy to replace the coal power it’s phasing out, the Battery of the Nation offers a future that’s clean, reliable and affordable,” he said.

ARENA has committed up to $2.5 million for Battery of the Nation project studies, with funding to be matched by Hydro Tasmania.

The ARENA funding includes $300,000 for the initial study to assess and prioritise potential pumped hydro sites, and $500,000 to support feasibility studies into the Tarraleah and Gordon Power Station projects - which will boost efficiency and reliability.

ARENA CEO, Ivor Frischknecht, said the Battery of the Nation studies, along with feasibility studies into Snowy Hydro 2.0, would examine how pumped hydro energy storage could play an expanded role in Australia’s energy mix, and help accelerate the transition to renewable energy.

“These feasibility studies are the first step towards significantly upgrading or replacing some of Tasmania’s existing power stations and introducing pumped hydro energy storage,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“With these projects, we could double Tasmania’s pumped hydro capacity and help power an additional 500,000 households. Tasmania could play a crucial role in helping to provide secure, reliable - and renewable - electricity for the National Energy Market,” he said.

Hydro Tasmania has ruled-out developing any pumped hydro sites in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, and is not investigating new on-river dams. As Australia’s leading renewable energy business, Hydro Tasmania is strongly committed to values of sustainability, and has started close stakeholder consultation on the Battery of the Nation project.

Pumped hydro storage works by pumping water uphill (when surplus energy is available) so it can be re-used to generate electricity later.

There’s more information about pumped hydro energy storage and the Battery of the Nation project more broadly on Hydro Tasmania’s website.

Source: Hydro Tasmania

 

Windlab secures off-take for Kennedy Energy Park

11 September

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) today announced that it has secured a 10-year agreement with Queensland government owned corporation, CS Energy, to purchase the renewable energy and some of the large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) produced from Kennedy Energy Park Phase I, a 60.5MW hybrid renewable energy project.

Kennedy Energy Park Phase I is an innovative 43.5MW Wind, 15MW Solar and 2MW Li Ion battery storage hybrid project located near Hughenden in far North Queensland. The site was identified and developed by Windlab Limited and is now owned by Kennedy Energy Park Pty Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture between Windlab with Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation of Japan.

The agreement with CS Energy is subject to a number of conditions precedent, including ministerial approval and the project reaching financial close.

“Finalising an off-take arrangement for the project is an important milestone in securing financing and advancing the project to financial close and construction.” said Roger Price, Windlab’s Executive Chairman.

Windlab and CS Energy have also entered into a priority offer arrangement which affords CS Energy a first right of offer to negotiate a contract to purchase some or all of the electricity, LGCs or other green benefits generated by Kennedy Phase II. Kennedy Phase II is a large wind energy project wholly owned and developed by Windlab, located some 80Kms north of Kennedy Energy Park. It has the potential to provide more than 1,200MW of capacity.

“Coupled with the Queensland Government’s Powering North Queensland Plan, announced in June 2017, which includes the proposed construction of a high capacity transmission line through Kennedy Phase II, this agreement with CS Energy significantly advances the project by providing a path to an off-take arrangement.” added Roger Price.

Source: Windlab

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Kennedy Energy Park

 

ReNu signs Sale and Purchase Agreement for Amaroo Solar PV Project

11 September

Highlights

  • Sale and Purchase Agreement entered into with Amaroo Solar Pty Ltd (part of the VivoPower group) for the acquisition of Amaroo Solar PV Project
  • Amaroo is an operational solar project comprising 600kW capacity underpinned by a 20 year ACT Government Feed-in Tariff scheme
  • Purchase price is $2.38 million with a $1 million refundable deposit paid, and completion is subject to typical closing conditions

Renewable energy company, ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) is pleased to advise that it has satisfactorily completed confirmatory due diligence on the Amaroo Solar PV Project and a definitive Sale and Purchase Agreement has been entered into to acquire the project assets.

CEO & Managing Director of ReNu Energy, Mr Chris Murray commented, “The Amaroo Solar PV Project will be ReNu Energy’s first operational solar asset, and is the largest solar PV rooftop project in the Australian Capital Territory.

Operating since 2015, the Project receives a long term premium rate for electricity under an ACT Government Feed-in Tariff Scheme, and is expected to deliver an average annual cash yield of approximately 12% per annum, delivering positive cash flow to ReNu Energy and making this an ideal project from which to build a portfolio of renewable energy assets. We are pleased to have successfully signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement with VivoPower, and look forward to further transactions together.”

“We are very pleased to have executed the Sale and Purchase Agreement with ReNu Energy for the transfer of the Amaroo Solar Project,” said Dr. Philip Comberg, Chief Executive Officer of VivoPower. “For VivoPower, this is the first of what we expect to be many successful transactions with ReNu Energy in Australia, and further establishes a successful track record for VivoPower’s build, transfer and operate model.”

The total purchase price is $2.38 million and a refundable deposit of $1 million has been paid, with the intention of debt funding the balance. Subject to completion, ReNu will be entitled to receive the Project profits for the period from signing to completion.

The agreements with VivoPower and more recently SCA Property Group (announced to the market on 2 June 2017) form the cornerstone of ReNu Energy’s solar PV business. From this base, the Company is building a portfolio of projects which utilise proven technologies such as solar PV, typically operating under long term contracts generating sustainable cash flows and creating shareholder value. The projects either generate electricity at customer’s premises and deliver directly to the customer behind the meter, or export electricity under long term power purchase agreements, feed in tariffs or for sale to the National Electricity Market.

Source: ReNu Energy

 

AGL injecting $2 billion to improve energy affordability and reliability

11 September

AGL is currently investing more than any other company to build new energy supply to help drive down power prices, and taking more action than any other energy retailer to help customers access better deals, said AGL’s MD & CEO Andy Vesey.

“The best way to address pricing challenges in the market is to increase supply. We’re investing more than anyone else in building new supply to drive down prices and stand ready to invest more when there is certainty on carbon policy,” said Mr Vesey.

“While more AGL customers are accessing discounts than ever before, AGL was the first retailer to proactively contact its concession customers on standing offers to encourage them onto a better rate. It has not been our practice to move customers at the end of discount periods to higher standing offers.

“Our customers have told us they find energy offers confusing so we are working with Government and industry to help standardise how energy offers are presented – this will enable customers to more easily choose the best energy plan for them.”

Meeting outcomes

“Following today’s meeting with the Prime Minister, we have committed to deliver a plan in 90 days of the actions AGL will take to avoid a market shortfall once the Liddell coal-fired power station retires in 2022.

“I was asked to take to the AGL Board the Government’s request to continue the operation of Liddell post 2022 for five years and/or sell Liddell, which I agreed to do,” Mr Vesey said.

AGL has previously advised the market that replacement of capacity will likely be provided by a mix of load shaping and firming from gas peaking plant, demand response, pumped hydro and batteries.

“Short term, new development will continue to favour renewables supported by gas peaking. Longer term, we see this trend continuing with large scale battery deployment enhancing the value of renewable technology. In this environment, we just don’t see new development of coal as economically rational, even before factoring in a carbon cost,1” Mr Vesey said.

By giving advanced notice of closure of its coal-fired power plants, AGL is meeting one of the 49 recommendations in the Finkel Report that have been accepted by the Commonwealth Government.

“The long notice period we have given reflects our commitment to managing carbon risk for shareholders and avoiding the volatility created by recent sudden withdrawal of capacity,” Mr Vesey said.

Since AGL acquired Liddell from the NSW Government in 2015, AGL has invested $123 million in the plant to improve reliability. Despite this investment, during the February 2017 heatwave, two units from Liddell were out of the market due to unforeseeable boiler tube leaks. As a result, there was not enough energy in the system and NSW experienced blackouts in parts of the State.

“As Liddell approaches the end of its life in 2022, it will likely experience more unanticipated outages, which is why we will spend a further $159 million to improve reliability at Liddell before it closes,” Mr Vesey said.

As outlined at its FY17 Results last month, AGL is currently investing $2 billion directly and indirectly in new supply to help provide the capacity and energy the system needs.

The four Liddell coal-fired generation units were commissioned between 1971 and 1973. Liddell currently has 1,680 MW of effective capacity. It supplies approximately 8,000 GWh of electricity a year, which is enough to power more than 1 million homes.

In April 2015 as part of its Greenhouse Gas Policy, AGL committed to the closure of its coal-fired power stations at the end of their operating life, to support the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to work towards a global agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Following an independent expert review of AGL’s rehabilitation obligations, the cost of rehabilitating both Liddell and Bayswater power stations was calculated to be $898 million. AGL advised the market last month that it has increased its rehabilitation provisions to meet this obligation.

Source: AGL Energy

 

Retreat from Clean Energy Target not the answer

13 September

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton today expressed concern over reports the Turnbull Government is considering stepping away from the Clean Energy Target.

“A Clean Energy Target (CET) was recommended by the Finkel Review as a crucial part of a considered roadmap towards ensuring a clean, affordable and reliable energy system for Australia, and walking away from that policy would be a clear step in the wrong direction,” Mr Thornton said.

Mr Thornton said there are a range of technologies that can replace power stations like Liddell, including large-scale wind and solar combined with storage, as well as demand-side solutions such as rooftop solar and batteries.

“These solutions are here now and commercially feasible. Substantial cost reductions this decade show these solutions can be delivered to Australian power consumers while minimising costs. The 49 recommendations of the Finkel Review that are now being implemented can ensure these technologies can be utilised in a way to ensure energy security long into the future.

“Investors have made it clear that the future lies in these clean energy solutions rather than outdated and high-emissions coal-fired power which is becoming increasingly unreliable and expensive to operate.

“International and local investors are currently committing more than $8 billion to Australia’s clean energy sector this year alone as a result of the bipartisan support for the 2020 Renewable Energy Target. But with no long-term policy in place beyond 2020, investors are becoming nervous and this uncertainty will stifle the advances Australia needs to create a clean, affordable energy system.

“The blame for Australia’s high-cost energy system lies in decades of policy uncertainty, not the introduction of low-emissions technology.

He said improving the affordability and reliability of Australia’s energy sector could only be secured with a bipartisan, long-term and market-based policy solution.

“Ad-hoc policy and regulatory change only leads to under investment in new generation,” Mr Thornton said.

He said Australia needed policy leadership rather than endless tinkering at the edges.

“The CET was a critical part of the reforms recommended by Dr Finkel and it would be foolhardy to step away from the careful recommendations of the Chief Scientist.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Interested in exporting hydrogen? Tell us what you think

13 September

It’s an idea that many think could provide Australia’s next great export industry and one that ARENA is determined to explore.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is launching a Request For Information seeking input from industry, research institutions and governments to assess how Australia might develop export capabilities based around renewable energy and hydrogen.

“There is a global interest in clean renewable energy and a number of markets have identified hydrogen and its associated materials as key supply,” ARENA chief executive officer Ivor Frischknecht said.

“Australia is expected to have a competitive advantage in the supply of renewable commodities – thanks to our abundant solar and wind resources as well as Australia’s proximity and key trading relationships with major consumer countries, such as Japan.”

The request follows the South Australian Government’s recent call for tenders for hydrogen infrastructure proposals as part of a move to build a “hydrogen economy”.

Further details available from: https://arena.gov.au/blog/hydrogen-rfi/

 

Work to start on Moranbah Solar Plant

12 September

The central western Queensland coal mining town of Moranbah will soon boast one of Australia’s largest and most technologically advanced solar energy plants.

Adani Renewables CEO, Jennifer Purdie, today announced that work would start on the first stage of the solar plant, anticipated to cost in excess of $100M, by the end of the year following the recent approval of a Development Approval by Isaac Regional Council.

Preparatory work, including Cultural Heritage surveys and engineering design, has commenced with orders for critical equipment now being secured.

“This is an exciting project in terms of its size, location, and the technology we are using,” Dr Purdie said.

“This will be Adani Renewables’ first project – the first of many – and we thank the Isaac Regional Council, in particular Mayor Anne Baker and her officers for their assistance and encouragement.”

The 65 MW first stage of Rugby Run Solar Farm – to be built on a 600-hectare block that was part of the Rugby Run grazing property – is expected to use the latest mono-PERC technology and single axis tracking systems developed to improve efficiency and output. Further stages are planned to take the generation capacity up to 170MW.

Adani, the largest solar energy generator in India, is planning to have a number of solar projects in Australia with a total capacity of 1,500MW within the next five years.

The solar projects are in addition to Adani’s $16.5 billion investment in the planned Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin a well as rail and port infrastructure.

Construction of Rugby Run Solar Farm will be completed in approximately 12 months from start of work.

The workforce is likely to peak at up to 150 employees during construction, with full time operation staff to number up to six.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said Council supported responsible industry development which genuinely engages with all stakeholders.

“We are excited to welcome Rugby Run Solar Farm as the first renewable energy project in the region,” she said.

“This project continues to diversify our local economy, and will contribute towards a sustainable future for both Isaac and the state.

“We look forward to the employment opportunities and long-term benefits that Rugby Run will deliver to our communities.”

Adani Renewables has executed the initial stage of works to expedite a network connection application with Powerlink to feed into their existing network supplying the State.

Adani has constructed 793 MW of solar plant in India to date, including the world’s largest single site plant at Tamil Nadu in southern India which has a capacity of 648MW. Adani has a further 1,225 MW in construction or late development phase in India.

Source: Adani

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Rugby Run Solar Farm

 

GE Renewable Energy unveils its largest onshore wind turbine

12 September

  • GE’s 4.8 MW turbine with 158m rotor diameter designed to reach onshore industry’s highest Annual Energy Production rate
  • Brand new machine targeted for low to medium wind speed sites, providing power for the equivalent of 5.000 European residential homes
  • GE’s first onshore entry in the 4MW segment features longer blades and tall tower

GE Renewable Energy today unveiled its brand-new 4.8–158 onshore wind turbine, GE’s largest high efficiency turbine to date. Featuring the largest rotor in the segment and innovative blade design, the 4.8-158 offers a significant improvement in Annual Energy Production (AEP), reducing the cost of energy for customers with low to medium wind speed sites.

Pete McCabe, President & CEO of GE’s Onshore Wind Business said, “The 4.8–158 design is an important next step in turbine technology and efficiency, and we’re excited to introduce this turbine at this moment in time. It is well suited for low to medium wind speed regions around the world—examples include Germany, Turkey and Australia—as well as for mechanisms like auctions, as countries around the world are putting an increased emphasis on lowering the cost of energy.”

The new 4.8MW wind turbine, GE’s first onshore entry in the 4MW space, is equipped with a 158 meter rotor and a range of tip heights up to 240 meters. The combination of a larger rotor and tall towers enables the turbine to take advantage of higher wind speeds and produce more energy.

GE’s latest turbine features high tech blades, improved loads and controls, and taller, more cost-effective towers. These new innovative features have been developed thanks to close partnerships with LM Wind Power, Blade Dynamics and GE’s Global Research Center.

The 77-meter-long carbon blades leverage the strong track record and material innovations of LM Wind Power, and are their longest onshore blades to date. The rotor can be adapted to a variety of conditions with customized carbon blades, depending on specific customer and site requirements. This unrivaled flexibility allows GE to offer its customers a high efficiency product offering while continuing to drive down LCOE. The blades also feature one of the industry’s smallest Bolt Circle Diameters, keeping manufacturing and logistical costs to a minimum.

“This turbine is a great example of what we can achieve through the GE Store, combining technology and development with innovative design and expertise from the Global Research Center, LM Wind Power and Blade Dynamics,” continued Pete McCabe. “We collected input from more than 30 customers around the world to ensure we are meeting their specific turbine needs with this product as they work to provide lower-cost renewable energy.”

The 4.8-158 leverages the best of GE’s 2MW and 3MW platforms, including the proven DFIG–doubly-fed induction generator—and a robust drivetrain architecture. The turbine meets a lower standard of noise emission levels, achieving a 104-dB level during normal operations. The newly-designed machine head reduces the needs for a larger crane while facilitating up-tower repairs and troubleshooting with its up-tower electrical system.

GE’s most powerful onshore turbine is purpose-built to leverage the intelligence gathered from across the company’s 30,000+ fleet of wind turbines. Data analyzed from this large installed base powers the 4.8-158 with GE’s next generation control system. By utilizing GE’s Predix core applications including Asset Performance Management (APM), Cybersecurity and Business Optimization (BO) solutions, our customers realize business outcomes, including lifecycle extension of the customers’ windfarms and improvement of farm economics.

Source: GE

 

WIRSOL acquires additional 110MWp solar project for construction in Australia

14 September

WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd heading the Australian strategy and operations within international WIRCON group has started yet another new utility scale solar project in Australia. The company plans to start construction during Q4 2017, delivering an overall DC installed capacity of approx. 110-megawatt peak (MWp). The project, known as Wemen Sun Farm is located in Victoria, relatively close to Mildura. The solar park will occupy an area of around 770 acres and is scheduled to be connected to the grid mid-2018. It will give rise to regional value creation in excess of AU$200 million dollars.

‘By the end of the year we will have 5 solar parks in construction in Queensland and Victoria with a total solar generation capacity of circa 400MWp, all are scheduled to be connected to the grid by mid-2018. We have already secured for WIRSOL additional projects totalling circa 670MWp, with the aim of reaching our target-providing one gigawatt peak of solar energy by 2020,’ stated Mark Hogan, Managing Director of WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd.

‘The Australian market plays an exceedingly important role for our international growth strategy. In coming years, we will be making a significant contribution to the expansion of renewables and setting up important power production facilities with our solar parks. The new park is a further decisive step on our path as one of the market leaders in Australia. So we will be realising this project speedily, while also aiming to take advantage of further development opportunities,’ said WIRSOL Managing Director Dr. Peter Vest.

Source: WIRSOL Energy

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Wemen Sun Farm

 

First land sale at Gillman industrial precinct

14 September

Global resource management company, Veolia Group, has been chosen as the successful tenderer to develop the Gillman industrial precinct following the expressions of interest process.

Veolia’s proposal will see it initially purchase 20 hectares of land at Gillman, with future options to purchase a further 182 hectares over a five year period.

The sale price equates to $5 million for the 20 hectares, with Veolia’s offer of $7 million contingent on Renewal SA funding $2 million of infrastructure works.

The Veolia proposal will see the development of an environmentally efficient logistics and employment precinct at Gillman including Veolia’s new South Australian head office, a nation leading Energy from Waste facility and metropolitan Adelaide’s largest solar farm.

Veolia group was chosen based on a number of factors including strongest development vision, strongest experience, expertise and financial capacity.

Background

Veolia has more than 40 years of experience in building and operating waste, energy and water infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand.

It has invested more than $150 million in the State over the past two decades and employs 450 people across 13 sites in SA.

Renewal SA owns approximately 407 hectares of land within an area across the suburbs of Gillman and Dry Creek.

In December 2013, the State Government entered into an arrangement with Adelaide Capital Partners (ACP) to acquire up to 407 hectares of industrial land with an initial purchase of 150 hectares.

In 2016 the State Government was informed by ACP that it is unable to meet the terms agreed under the Deed of Settlement which required it to settle a 150ha land sale contract.

As a result, the land was put out to the market with the State Government requesting new development proposals.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Stephen Mullighan said:

The Gillman land is a strategically important site which has the potential to generate significant investment and employment due to its size, proximity to Port Adelaide and nearby industries, and its ability to accommodate 24-hour industries.

Veolia’s vision to transform the Gillman land into a showcase site for waste management and renewable energy production and sustainable cities is a great opportunity for South Australia.

It has the potential to generate hundreds of jobs during construction and thousands of ongoing jobs.

Veolia’s proposal was chosen after an extensive expressions of interest process.

Its proposal is good for jobs, for renewable energy and for waste management and a win for South Australia as we continue leading the way in sustainable resource management and energy generation.

Veolia Australia and New Zealand Executive General Manager (Western Central Australia and New Zealand) Laurie Kozlovic said:

This project is a further commitment to our ongoing investment in South Australia and to helping make this State a global leader in environmental best practice.

We are looking to consolidate and modernise our operations into one efficient and centrally located headquarters, close to transport hubs and near our waste recovery facility at Wingfield, run with our subsidiary, Integrated Waste Services.

Veolia has built more than 70 waste-to-energy plants around the world and the combustion process we will use for our plant at Gillman is efficient and clean, providing a reliable source of renewable energy.

Our ability to fill the land at Gillman through our own resources means we have a cost-effective resolution to one of the land’s biggest development challenges.

This will enable us to make parcels of land more attractive to third parties in the proposed industrial park as there will be a lower development risk for them.

We have already received strong indications of interest from businesses that require sizeable parcels of land near transport and energy hubs, including those involved in transport, landscape supplies, food processing and food distribution.

Source: SA Government

Solar eclipses coal at council waste centre

1 September

A 5MW solar farm at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre will increase Newcastle City Council's renewable energy generation capacity tenfold.

The proposed solar farm will cover an area of around five football fields on a capped landfill site that was once part of the Wallsend Borehole Colliery.

Made up of around 16,000 photovoltaic solar arrays, it will help reduce the city's $4m annual electricity costs after the yearly bill doubled in the past two years.

The project will also help council achieve its 30 per cent renewable energy target -- under its 2020 Carbon and Water Management Action Plan -- and follows recent climate action pledges made as part of the Cities Power Partnership.

"With energy costs soaring and the cost of solar photovoltaic technology falling, the business case is now clear for councils to increase renewable energy use and take control of their energy costs," said Newcastle City Council Interim CEO Jeremy Bath.

"We are seeing a boom in construction of solar farms across Australia and local councils will be one of the key beneficiaries from the experience the solar sector has developed.

"It's also important for our community that we build sustainability into the way we do things, which is why we have moved quickly to increase renewable energy capability and find smarter, more energy-efficient solutions for our city's needs. With the recent adoption of Council's Smart City strategy, this latest project continues to chart the course for Newcastle as a smart, liveable and sustainable city."

A tender will be issued to eight shortlisted respondents for the design, construction and operation of the solar farm after a feasibility study and expression of interest process last year.

Following the tender, the project will be reported to council for approval and funding.

The solar farm continues development of one of the most advanced renewable energy setups at a waste facility -- with a 2.2MW landfill gas generator and a small wind turbine already located at Summerhill -- and paves the way for battery storage and electric garbage trucks.

Electricity generated will flow into the nearby Ausgrid substation and help offset usage at other Council facilities, providing predictable electricity costs and millions of dollars in savings, even with construction and operating costs factored in.

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

Summerhill's solar farm and eight existing solar installations - on the rooftops of public buildings including the art gallery, museum, works depot and libraries - form part of the actions endorsed by Council.

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

Source: Newcastle Council

 

Kidston solar project (phase one 50MW) update

5 September

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to provide shareholders with this latest update regarding the construction program for the Company’s Phase One 50MW Kidston Solar Project (KSP1 or Project).

Genex is pleased to report that the construction of KSP1 continues to remain on-budget, for anticipated first generation in Q4 2017 and Practical Completion in Q1 2018. Key activities since the last update (refer ASX announcement 03 August 2017) include:

  • Continued installation of solar modules across the KSP1 site;
  • Continued installation of solar pilings;
  • Continued installation of trackers; and
  • Successful hand-over of transferrable assets to Ergon allowing cutover works for the 132kV line into the newly constructed Ergon-Kidston substation.

Commenting on this month’s progress of the Company’s 50MW Solar Project, Managing Director of Genex, Michael Addison said:

“Genex’s project team continues to deliver construction milestones, enabling the Project to remain on budget for first cash flow in Q4 2017. Key milestones during the reporting period include completion of the Ergon-Kidston substation connection work and an acceleration of panel installation and cabling.

Genex’s focus on delivering KSP1 brings the Project another step closer to Practical Completion in Q1 2018. Importantly, success to date on the delivery of Phase One provides an important project track record as the Company progresses financing and partnering discussions for Phase Two (270MW Solar and 250MW Pumped Hydro).”

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided $8.9 million of funding to support the construction of Genex’s $126 million Phase One 50MW Kidston Solar Project.

Source: Genex Power

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Kidston Solar Farm

 

Submissions invited on a market mechanism for inertia

5 September

The Australian Energy Market Commission today published a consultation paper seeking stakeholder feedback on a proposed approach for introducing a market mechanism for inertia. This mechanism is being considered through a rule change request from AGL for an inertia ancillary services market.

The changing generation mix, with a higher share of wind and solar, means the power system has less inertia. Less system inertia means frequency may become volatile. If frequency changes too fast then the system is at high risk of going black.

Today’s paper builds on our recent draft rule to place an obligation on Transmission Network Service Providers to procure the minimum levels of inertia, or alternative frequency control services, needed to maintain system security in all regions of the national electricity market.

While this draft rule provides for a minimum level of inertia, the AEMC considers that the introduction of a market to obtain and pay for inertia above this minimum level would provide additional benefits. For example, additional inertia could allow for higher interconnector flows between regions, which could improve reliability and reduce overall costs.

The introduction of a market based mechanism to realise the benefits of inertia was one of the key recommendations in our final report on the System security market frameworks review, published in July 2017. A market-based mechanism would offer an open and transparent approach that would best facilitate competition in the provision of inertia. It would also be flexible in that it would allow the level of the service to vary over time to adapt to changing market conditions.

The mechanism outlined in our consultation paper features an inertia price paid to inertia providers based on the value they provide in relieving rate of change of frequency (RoCoF) constraints between regions.

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on the proposed mechanism, including the various funding options for paying providers of inertia. Submissions are due by Tuesday 3 October 2017.

Source: AEMC

 

Aligning dispatch and settlement – draft rule to move to five minute settlement

5 September

The Australian Energy Market Commission today made a draft rule to change the settlement period for the electricity spot price from 30 minutes to five minutes.

AEMC Chairman John Pierce said moving to five minute settlement would 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.”

More accurate price signals also encourage more efficient investment in flexible technologies such as aggregating distributed storage, new generation gas peaker plants and rapid demand response. These technologies, which can back up the system in real time when the wind stops blowing and the sun stops shining, are becoming increasingly important as more wind and solar generation enters the market and thermal generators retire.

The draft determination proposes a transition period of three-and-a-half years.

“Moving to five minute settlement would be a fundamental change to the way the wholesale electricity market operates in Australia, including the hedge market that operates alongside the spot market,” said Mr Pierce.

“Three-and-a-half years is the shortest possible timeframe to capture the benefits of five minute settlement without posing unacceptable risks to system security or the operation of the spot market.”

The transition period allows time for most existing hedging contracts to roll off, while enabling new contracts to accommodate a future with five minute settlement.

The market also needs time to make major upgrades to IT systems and metering. The Australian Energy Market Operator has developed a high-level implementation plan, also published today, setting out the technical changes which AEMO and the industry would need to make.

The need for a staged transition to new settlement arrangements in the wholesale electricity market over multiple years is consistent with the approach taken internationally.

For example, changes to settlement arrangements in the New Zealand electricity market have been under consideration by the NZ Electricity Authority since 2013. The Authority recently proposed an implementation period of four years.

Submissions on the Five Minute Settlement draft determination close on 17 October 2017.

Source: AEMC

 

Unprecedented renewables investment powering North Queensland

5 September

North Queensland's renewable energy sector is booming with $5 billion in projects currently in the pipeline to create more than 5,000 Megawatts of electricity and support 3,200 jobs.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this morning told Queensland Parliament that the Australian Solar Council and Battery Storage Council estimates represented a vote of confidence in Queensland and her government's policies, which are facilitating unprecedented renewable investment in Queensland.

"From the 5 Megawatt Scouller Energy solar farm near Normanton, to the 180 Megawatt Mt Emerald Wind Farm and the 250 Megawatt Genex Kidston Pumped Hydro project, these projects represent an extraordinary amount of investment in an industry that barely existed two and a half years ago," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"They also represent an extraordinary vote of confidence in my government’s policies, including our commitment to a 50% renewable energy target by 2030.

"Through our $386 million Powering North Queensland Plan, we are also committed to working closely with industry to develop new projects that mean more jobs, more energy production and more downward pressure on electricity bills.

"The Plan will reinvest $150 million in dividends from our electricity assets – which we own – to build the transmission infrastructure necessary to connect these renewable projects to the grid."

The Premier said the Powering North Queensland Plan also included:

  • a $100 million reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro-electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam, supporting up to 200 jobs; and
  • a further $100 million equity injection and reinvestment of dividends to ensure that the Burdekin Falls Dam continues to meet design standards, also supporting the proposed hydro-electric power station.

"The injection of investment and jobs in renewable energy across this state is almost exclusively devoted to regional and rural areas where additional economic activity is amplified," the Premier said.

"The investment ensures we can offer secure and affordable electricity for Queensland homes and Queensland businesses far into the future."

Source: Queensland Government

 

AGL Energy statement on Liddell Power Station

6 September 2017

AGL Energy (AGL) notes speculation in relation to a potential sale of the Liddell Power Station, or extension of the operating life of the power station, following comments made by the Prime Minister yesterday.

AGL has committed to the closure of the Liddell Power Station in 2022, which is the end of its operating life. AGL provided this advance notice in April 2015 to avoid the volatility created by the sudden exit from the National Electricity Market of other coal-fired power stations.

AGL recognises community and government concerns in relation to energy security, as highlighted in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2017 Electricity Statement of Opportunities published yesterday, and continues to assess the capacity that will be needed post 2022 to replace Liddell.

AGL will continue to engage with governments, regulators and other stakeholders to deliver appropriate outcomes but notes that the company has made no commitment to sell the Liddell Power Station nor to extend its life beyond 2022.

Source: AGL Energy

 

Long-term energy policy essential to underpin new investment

6 September

New investment in Australia’s electricity system can keep costs down and improve reliability but bipartisan national energy policy is increasingly urgent, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said prolonged under-investment in the electricity system over the last decade had resulted in reduced supply, higher wholesale power prices and increasing risks to energy security.

“A decade-long political debate has created a policy vacuum and spooked investors. We need to accept that the energy system is in transition and long-term policy is now essential to ensure private investment in the most efficient new energy technology and solutions,” Mr Thornton said.

“It is time to accept all 50 of the Chief Scientist’s recommendations to improve energy security. The recommendations from the Finkel Review provide a coordinated approach to delivering an affordable, reliable and cleaner energy system.

“This will involve a suite of new technologies and solutions, including more wind, solar, bioenergy and battery storage. Australia’s existing hydro has an important role, complemented by new pumped hydro as well as potential to use existing generation more flexibly,” he said.

Mr Thornton said all but one of the Finkel Review’s recommendations are in the process of being implemented, with market reform finally accelerating the modernization of the entire system and enhancing its ability to better manage a suite of renewable energy and storage solutions.

“AEMO is taking a range of important and practical steps to ensure our energy security as the power system transitions to clean energy. The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is in the process of working to build a resilient market that no longer leans on ageing coal for synchronous services, something which is essential to ensure we continue to work toward a clean energy future," he said.

“The AEMO report yesterday revealed that the new projects added to the system under the Renewable Energy Target will help to improve reliability over the next few years. More than $8 billion of new clean energy projects are underway in 2017, creating thousands of jobs and building critical infrastructure to keep the lights on and reduce power prices over the next few years.

“Last summer’s heatwaves highlighted the contribution of renewable energy, which essentially saved New South Wales from a blackout when some thermal gas and coal generators went missing in action on 10 February this year.

“The shining light over the past year has been the new investment driven by the 2020 Renewable Energy Target. But without the long-term policy confidence driven by a mechanism such as a Clean Energy Target, we are unlikely to see sufficient new generation from private investors to meet our future energy needs.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Renewable deal cuts power prices in half

6 September

Today marks the announcement of Australia’s first ever large-scale Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA); a deal that secures long-term, low-cost renewable energy for Australian businesses.

A landmark deal has been struck between the country’s fastest growing electricity retailer, Flow Power and Australia’s third largest wind farm, Ararat Wind Farm

Renewable PPAs are already at the heart of many corporate energy strategies in Europe and North America, with companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook recognising the fact that they offer both long term price security and are one of the fastest ways to reach sustainability goals. As a disrupter in the local energy market, Flow Power is the first retailer to offer large energy users in Australia these same benefits within a volatile power market that has seen energy prices increase by up to 300%.

The introduction of Renewable Corporate PPAs allows local businesses to tap into a global trend that will bring costs down and benefit both the environment and the economy.

Renewable Corporate PPAs contribute to meeting the Renewable Energy Target of a 25% reduction in emissions by 2020, but also make economic sense by providing Australian businesses with direct access to secure, low-cost energy supply at rates up to half the current retail rates, saving businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs. Ultimately, that means more jobs and investment in Australia for the long term.

Matthew van der Linden, Founder of Flow Power, will be discussing the deal at ‘Disruption & The Energy Industry’ in Sydney on Thursday. He comments: “The power market is changing, and this agreement with Ararat Wind Farm marks a line in the sand for the energy sector in Australia. Renewable Corporate PPAs are the key to keeping business power costs down, and our aim is to be able to offer these savings to all large energy users across the country.”

“Corporate PPAs have proven successful internationally over the past decade, and we are proud to bring the model to Australia in partnership with Ararat Wind Farm. We are actively working with customers to get agreements signed in the coming months,” Mr van der Linden said.

Stuart Liddell, General Manager of Ararat Wind Farm adds, “As the third largest wind farm in Australia, Ararat Wind Farm continues to play a major role in producing carbon-free electricity. Ararat Wind Farm is pleased to announce this PPA with Flow Power that will directly benefit the local and regional economy by helping businesses keep costs down while procuring secure, reliable and green power”.

For more information on our Renewable Corporate PPA deals visit flowpower.com.au/renewables/

Source: Flow Power

 

NEW PROJECT

Brewongle Solar Farm

Photon Energy planning 146 MW Brewongle Solar Farm in NSW and have begun community consultation. The project will be built on a 203 hectare site with construction scheduled to start in Q4 2018.

 

AEMO reports prove our energy plan is working

6 September

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis today said that two reports by Australia’s national energy market operator prove the State Government’s energy plan is working.

AEMO’s Electricity Statement of Opportunities, released late yesterday, found that without the energy plan there would be heightened risk of a power supply shortfall this summer.

The report states that “The South Australian Energy Plan will help alleviate risks to consumer supply in South Australia by acting to provide additional supplies to consumers at times of identified USE risks.”

A second report, commissioned by Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, recommended that the Federal Government implement 1000MW of ‘strategic reserve’ prior to this summer – exactly what the State Government is doing in South Australia by procuring a state-owned power plant and grid-scale battery, to be in place by December 1.

That report also outlined the problem of a lack of new investment in the National Electricity Market, which is causing tight supply and potential load-shedding across the country.

Source South Australia Government

 

WA State Budget

The Western Australian Government’s 2017-18 State Budget released this week “includes a focus on projects that will assist in diversifying the economy and creating jobs in the Goldfields, including: Funding to commence a feasibility study for a major solar project to secure the Goldfields as a renewable energy centre in the future” and “$19.5 million investment in the Albany Renewable Energy Project”.

 

NSW sunshine to power 94,000 more homes

7 September

NSW continues to lead the way in harnessing sun to power the state, with the approval of the 250 megawatt Limondale Solar Farm just south of Balranald in the Riverina.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the Limondale Solar Farm could power 94,000 homes and would provide a boost to the local economy.

“Our focus on developing clean energy sources is supporting state and national environmental targets and generating employment and benefits to families and businesses in our regional communities,” said Mr Roberts.

“During peak construction Limondale will employ about 200 workers, the flow on effects to business in Balranald and surrounding communities will be significant.

“Limondale is NSW’s sixth solar farm approval this year and will help us achieve the national renewable energy target of 23.5 per cent by 2020. This is a $150 million investment in NSW renewable energy development – we are truly leading the way in building clean energy solutions for our state,” Mr Roberts said.

Minister for Energy and Utilities, Don Harwin, said the Limondale Solar Farm will be next to the recently approved Sunraysia Solar Farm. “We are getting on with the job of providing the supply needed in the future to power NSW,” Mr Harwin said.

“Together these two new solar farms in the State’s south-west will have the capacity to supply 450 megawatts of energy to the grid, the potential to power 170,000 homes. These solar farms represent a $425 million investment in renewable energy in an area fast becoming one of the solar power generation hubs of Australia.”

The Department of Planning and Environment has applied strict conditions to ensure economic, environmental and social impacts are carefully managed.

This includes a requirement for the proponent to work with Balranald Shire Council to maximise the employment of local workers and use of local accommodation, and to develop a strategy to manage the accommodation of the construction workforce.

Source: NSW Government

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Limondale Solar Farm

 

Haughton Solar Farm referral

Pacific Hydro submitted an EPBC referral for its planned 500 MW capacity Haughton Solar Farm, including battery storage, to the federal Department of the Environment & Energy. The project’s development area is located approximately 17km from the township of Clare in North Queensland and falls within the Burdekin Shire Council area. The selected development area for the Project is an area of approximately 1181ha of currently vacant / grazing rural land.

The north-eastern corner of the development area directly adjoins the existing 275kV Ross to Strathmore ETL, which is managed by Powerlink.

The project has allowed for potential for battery storage capabilities to be installed on site.

Contact

Kim Derriman

Environment Manager

Pacific Hydro Australia Developments Pty Ltd

Tel: (03) 8621 60000

Email: [email protected]

Source: Pacific Hydro

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Haughton Solar Farm

 

Australia’s first Renewable Energy Index launched

28 August

The new Australian Renewable Energy Index, launched on Monday by market analysts Green Energy Markets and advocacy group GetUp, will track each month the amount of renewable energy Australia relies on, the jobs it creates and the environmental benefits.

Key findings from the 2016-17 Report

Renewable energy is on the way to producing as much power as Australian households consume. In fact, between July 2016 to June 2017:

  • Australia produced enough renewable energy to power 7.1 million homes, or 70% of all households in the country;
  • Renewables made up 17.2% of the electricity generated in Australia (in the National Electricity Market and Western Australian Electricity Market);
  • The amount of renewable energy used last financial year avoided an amount of carbon pollution equal to removing 8.1 million cars from the road. This is more than half of all the cars in Australia. The recent boom in construction of large-scale renewables is employing thousands of people:
  • 46 large-scale renewable energy projects were under construction at the end of 2016-17;
  • These projects are estimated to create enough jobs to employ 8,868 people full-time for a year (in other words, 8,868 job-years of employment);
  • NSW is in the lead, gaining the largest number at 3,018, mostly from the construction of new wind farms;
  • Queensland is in second place with 2,625 job years, with 70% flowing from solar farm construction and the remainder from wind farms. Rooftop solar is making a big impact:
  • Almost 150,000 small-scale rooftop solar systems were installed in the year to June 2017;
  • These systems generated enough energy to power over 226,000 homes;
  • The systems installed last year will deliver around $1.6 billion in power bill savings over the next 10 years to the households and businesses that installed them — almost $10,000 per system ;
  • Installing these solar systems supported 3,769 full-time jobs (across installation, design and sales).

Source: Green Energy Markets

 

NEW PROJECT

Hay Solar Farm

OVERVIEW

OVERLAND Sun Farming is proposing to develop the Hay Sun Farm, a large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) generation facility near Hay. The Hay Sun Farm will be located on land close to the Essential Energy electrical substation and will connect to the 132 kV electricity distribution network. The sun farm will be made up of approximately 300,000 panels and cover an area of up to 660 hectares which is similar in size to around 920 football fields.

Description: Development of a large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) generation facility and associated infrastructure with an estimated capacity of 110 megawatts (MW).

Capital Investment Value: $129,000,000.00

Construction jobs: 100

Operational jobs: 5

Contact:

Brett Thomas

CEO & Managing Director

Overland Sun Farming

Tel: (03) 9889 2023

Email: [email protected]

 

Queensland Premier publicly supports the Townsville Lithium-ion Gigafactory

28 August

  • Strong support from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, along with ongoing assistance from Local and State governments
  • Funding discussions ongoing with both government bodies and the private sector
  • Pleasing progress being made on the technical development of the project, including budget pricing
  • Land valuation complete

Magnis Resources Limited (“Magnis” or the “Company”) (ASX: MNS) is pleased to provide this update on the Townsville Lithium-ion battery Gigafactory.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has publicly expressed support for the project following the submission of a scoping study that demonstrates the project’s positive economic impact. The consortium also continues to receive strong support and assistance from local government and State Members of Parliament.

Pleasing progress is being made in funding discussions with relevant State and Federal government bodies, along with private enterprise including local and overseas groups within the energy sector.

As part of the funding discussion process, land valuation work has been completed on the 400-hectare site in Woodstock, Queensland that has been selected as the location for the Townsville Gigafactory.

In parallel, strong progress is being made on the technical development of the project, including qualification of manufacturing input materials and budget pricing. Engagement with major equipment vendors is ongoing and budget costs received to date have been consistent with scoping study estimates.

Pilot testing of manufacturing processes and production of prototype battery products for potential customers has begun. This work is part of a process package that is being developed for the next phase of the feasibility study.

The Townsville Battery plant consortium consists of Imperium3, Eastman Kodak Company and C&D Assembly. The global consortium Imperium3 is comprised of Boston Energy and Innovation, Charge CCCV and Magnis.

All parties are committed to transforming Australia’s energy security by pledging the new batteries will be cost competitive, better performing, a sustainable supply chain, environmentally friendly and an alternative to current major energy suppliers.

Chairman of Magnis Resources Frank Poullas commented: “We are thankful for the strong support we have received from Premier Palaszczuk, the Queensland State Government, Townsville City Council and other government agencies in getting this vital project underway.

“We are continuing to make very strong progress across a number of fronts in advancing this major project, both in terms of securing funding and technical development. This work is crucial in laying the foundations for the Townsville Lithium-ion Gigafactory.

“The Townville Lithium-ion Gigafactory will be a vitally important piece of economic infrastructure for the Queensland economy, which will secure Townsville as a leading international hub for technology and innovation.”

Source: Magnis Resources

 

Snowy Hydro 2.0 powering ahead

28 August

Snowy Hydro 2.0 is already employing 350 people and will create more than 5000 new jobs during the construction phase of the development.

The game changing project, will have enough capacity to provide 350,000 MW/h of power for a week, enough to meet peak demand continuously for 500,000 homes.

Snowy Hydro 2.0 will help safeguard the energy security of the eastern seaboard, particularly on hot summer days and cold winter nights, while providing a jobs bonanza during the construction phase.

The Turnbull Government today confirmed a new $8 million accelerated agreement between the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Snowy Hydro had been reached to drive planning for the construction of the project and insight for future pumped hydro projects into the future.

ARENA is finalising details on the injection of funding with Snowy Hydro Ltd.

The total spend on the planning phase will be $29 million and be completed before the end of the year.

Extensive drilling and analysis is already underway on the western side of the mountains around Tumut.

In its first stage of construction, the project will see a 2000MW of underground generation and 29 km of tunnels between existing reservoirs in the Snowy Mountains region.

Under the agreement with ARENA, Snowy will provide information on future trends for pumped hydro and energy demand, as well as the latest information on technology such as reversible pumps or variable load generation.

This information will help the potential next wave of pumped hydro projects, such as the nine pumped projects being examined in Tasmania.

The Australian Government’s support for pumped hydro is part of our commitment to ensure reliability and affordability in the energy system and to build an energy network we can rely upon while reducing emissions.

Source: Federal Government

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Snowy Mountains Scheme 2.0

 

‘Renewables 400’ program charging ahead with huge interest

28 August

 The Palaszczuk Government is bringing the next wave of renewable energy investment to Queensland through its ‘Renewables 400’ program, with over 200 businesses registering their interest so far.

Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said the 400 megawatt (MW) large-scale renewable energy reverse auction was part of the Government’s commitment to continuing the unprecedented momentum in new renewable energy investment in Queensland.

“There has already been significant interest in our Renewables 400 program, with 201 businesses registered so far including project developers, investors and local small businesses,” Mr Pitt said.

“Under this new initiative, we will support companies wanting to build the next generation of large-scale renewable and energy storage projects in Queensland.

“Industry have until 5pm today to register their interest and be a part of the continued renewable energy boom.

“An expression of interest process will open this week, on Thursday 31 August.”

Mr Pitt said the program included a focus on energy storage.

“As part of the Renewables 400 process, and to support the accelerated deployment of this technology, the Queensland Government is undertaking a specific process to secure up to 100 megawatts of energy storage prior to 2020,” he said.

“We all agree that energy storage technology will play an important role in the transition to higher levels of renewable energy and we are keen to see the benefits of this new investment flow into the Queensland economy.

“Not only are we encouraging investment in Queensland, but we’re also supporting diversity in renewable generation supply which is an important for our future energy security.

“Renewables 400 is one of the initiatives of the Palaszczuk Government’s $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan and a natural follow on from the success of our Solar 150 program.

“The first large-scale solar projects in Queensland have now come on-line and there are another 20 projects either commencing construction or finalising commercial arrangements.

“These projects will have an installed capacity of almost 1800 megawatts and importantly, will create around 2800 direct construction jobs in regional Queensland and boost investment by $3.4 billion.

Mr Pitt said that under the reverse auction process, companies would bid for Queensland Government support for both renewable generation and storage projects – most of which will be situated in the regions.

“Successful bidders will be awarded financial contracts with the Government for some or all of the electricity they generate which will provide them with long-term certainty allowing them to secure the financing required to deliver their project,” he said.

“The ‘reverse’ nature of the auction process means that companies are encouraged to bid for the lowest price necessary to support their project.

“The criteria to select successful bidders will include not only price but also support for local businesses and jobs and with a view to creating a diverse mix of renewable energy generation and storage to support a secure, reliable and affordable supply of electricity into the future.”

Expressions of Interest for the Renewables 400MW process open on Thursday 31 August. For more information on the or to submit an EOI visit www.dews.qld.gov.au

Source: Queensland Government

 

ESCOSA received an application from Bungala Two Operations Pty Ltd for an electricity generation licence. The applicant is seeking to operate a generation plant consisting of solar photovoltaic cells with a total maximum capacity of 110 megawatts (MW).

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Bungala Solar Farm

 

South Australia takes next step as world leader in renewable energy technology

28 August

The State Government has issued three calls for the next generation of renewable energy projects as part of the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund.

Investment Guidelines have been released and calls are now open for projects that will deliver clean, reliable and affordable power in the following categories:

  • Firming renewable generation - e.g. incorporating storage or other equipment into existing or pending wind or solar developments for increased inertia and system stability
  • Bulk energy storage - e.g. pumped hydro, compressed air, thermal storage or virtual power plants
  • Bioenergy - e.g. energy produced from agricultural wastes or by-products

Applications are open until 5pm on Thursday 28 September 2017, with successful applicants expected to be advised before summer.

The Investment Guidelines and call documents are available at ourenergyplan.sa.gov.au/opportunities

Background

In March, the State Government announced its $150 million Renewable Technology Fund as part of the energy plan South Australian Power for South Australians.

The fund comprises $75 million in grant funding and $75 million in loans or other forms of investment or assistance for eligible projects, to support private innovative companies and entrepreneurs.

A portion of the fund has already been allocated towards the grid-scale battery storage project currently being built by Tesla and Neoen near Jamestown.

Source: SA Government

 

Exporting Pilbara sunlight to the world

29 August

  • Pre-Feasibility Study finds exporting solar energy from the Pilbara to the ASEAN region is technically viable
  • A large-scale solar export project could create up to 2,000 jobs in the Pilbara, helping to diversify the region's economy

Sending solar power from the Pilbara to the ASEAN region could be the next big energy export for Western Australia, with a Pre-Feasibility Study finding a project would be technically viable.

The Pilbara has one of the highest levels of direct solar irradiance on the planet and was identified by the International Energy Agency's Task 8 Committee as one of the top six locations in the world to develop large-scale solar farms.

The Pilbara's other competitive advantages, such as land availability, industrial infrastructure, proximity to Asia and existing investment links, see the region well-placed to supply an efficient and reliable power source to meet rapidly growing demand from South-East Asia.

The Pre-Feasibility Study develops a scenario detailing the cost to build a three-gigawatt solar farm and transmission subsea cable from the Pilbara to Indonesia.

The scenario found a solar export project of this scale could potentially create up to 2,000 permanent jobs in the Pilbara, and more than 12,000 across Western Australia.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan launched the release of the study at the New Pilbara Economic Development Conference in Perth today.

For more information, visit http://www.pdc.wa.gov.au/Pilbarasolar

Source: WA Government

 

Genex secures generation authority for Kidston Solar Stage 1

29 August

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to advise that Queensland’s Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS) has issued Genex’s wholly owned subsidiary, Genex (Solar) Pty Ltd, a Generation Authority for the 50 MW Kidston Solar Stage 1 (KS1). The Generation Authority is a critical regulatory requirement to enable any new power station to connect to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Commenting on the issuing of the Generation Authority, Genex’s Managing Director Michael Addison said: “Genex continues to work constructively with Queensland’s Department of Energy and Water Supply to develop KS1. The Generation Authority is a critical regulatory requirement and Genex is pleased to have secured this milestone. By securing the Generation Authority, Genex is now one step closer to energisation and first revenue in December 2017 with Practical Completion in Q1 2018.”

Source: Genex Power

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Kidston Solar Project 1

 

NEW PROJECTS

Suntop Solar Farm

29 August

Photon Energy has announced details on a further large-scale solar power plant under development in Australia. The 253 MWp (220 MW AC) project in Suntop, New South Wales, is part of the previously announced 1 GWp development pipeline, for which Photon Energy has mandated advisory firm Pottinger to advise on the raising of development capital. The project is being co-developed with a local joint venture partner.

Through its 51%-owned project company Photon Energy AUS SPV 8 Pty Ltd. the company has secured options on approximately 400 ha of land and is progressing with the New South Wales government State Significant Development process. Photon Energy has also signed a grid connection process agreement with Transgrid, the operator of the major high voltage transmission network in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, for the design of a substation for approximately 220 MW AC (253 MWp) to be connected to Transgrid’s 330 KV network.

Photon Energy expects to complete the project development process to the ready-to-build stage and to commence construction in 2019. Once connected, the Suntop project is estimated to produce 453 GWh of clean energy each year, contributing significantly to Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.

Carrick Solar Farm

Photon Energy is proposing to construct the 166 MW Carrick Solar Farm on 143 hectares of land in Marulan, NSW. Construction is expected to start in Q4 2018.

Contact:

Nick Guzowski

Project Development Manager

Photon Energy Australia

Tel: (02) 8021 3383

Email: [email protected]

 

Delta Electricity engages Entura to support Vales Point solar farm

29 August

Specialist power and water consulting firm Entura has been appointed by Delta Electricity to provide engineering services to support the development of the proposed Vales Point power station solar farm.

Located near the Vales Point coal power station, on the southern shores of Lake Macquarie, in New South Wales’ Central Coast, the solar photovoltaic facility is expected to be established on approximately 70 hectares of rehabilitated land. An initial solar capacity assessment indicates the potential for up to 45 MW of renewable energy to be generated by 170,000 solar panels.

Entura will deliver specialist consulting services related to functional design, EPC specifications and grid connection studies to advance the developmental work undertaken so far, and support Delta Electricity with progressing towards achieving financial closure for the project.

“Entura’s renewable energy credentials and expertise makes them the ideal partner to help us with advancing the development of the Vales Point solar farm and preparing it for financial closure,” said Delta Electricity Company Secretary Steve Gurney.

“This is an exciting project for Delta Electricity in terms of its scale and the potential for expansion down the track providing a significant contribution to state and federal government renewable energy targets.”

The proposed solar project is expected to involve a capital investment in excess of $30 million and generate 100 construction jobs over 18 months. Once environmental and development approvals are obtained, a final investment decision will be made and construction could commence in 2018.

Commenting on the appointment, Entura’s Director Customer Strategy and Market Development Dale Bryce said: “We’re pleased to be selected to work on this exciting project that will contribute to the transition of regional New South Wales to a cleaner, renewable energy generation future.”

Entura has significant renewable energy development experience from pre-feasibility right through to commissioning, optimising operations and asset management of utility-scale solar farms and wind farms.

Partnering with clients in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region, the firm has built a strong understanding of solar layout design optimisation, detailed electrical design, power system studies and grid connection issues, storage and the integration of hybrid renewable energy projects.

Source: Entura

 

Strategic review of Australian hydro generation assets

30 August

Trustpower announces strategic review of Australian hydro generation assets

Following the successful demerger of Tilt Renewables from Trustpower in October 2016, Trustpower’s Board has focussed its strategy on the core New Zealand business, whilst ensuring New Zealand and Australian assets are efficient, cost effective, and fit for purpose.

In light of the New Zealand focus, Trustpower has decided to begin a strategic review of its Australian hydro generation acquired in 2014. Trustpower has appointed Forsyth Barr to assist with the review process.

We will update the market with any material results of the strategic review, and currently expect any decisions regarding the assets to be finalised by the end of the 2017 calendar year.

Source: Trustpower

 

Review of Queensland’s state-based energy legislation

31 August

What are we doing?

The Department of Energy and Water Supply is undertaking a review of the Electricity Act, Gas Supply Act,andEnergy and Water Ombudsman Actand associated regulations. The purpose of the review is to assess how well our state-based energy legislation serves our expectations, needs and interests as they relate to energy today and into the foreseeable future.

Queensland’s state-based energy legislation regulates the state’s electricity and gas supply industries. It covers matters including:

  • who can generate and import electricity into the grid
  • who can supply electricity and gas
  • rights to install and maintain work on private and public lands
  • technical requirements and standards
  • dispute resolution arrangements
  • emergency powers.

Why we are reviewing the legislation?

Since the legislation was introduced, the energy sector has undergone, and will likely continue to undergo, rapid and disruptive change. New products such as energy storage systems (e.g. home batteries), digital metering and smart appliances are becoming more prevalent with advances in technology and falling costs. This has also resulted in new energy services and innovative business models such as power purchase agreements, solar leases, off-grid arrangements, and remote control and management of home energy.

Changes that have taken place were not contemplated at the time the state-based energy legislation was first introduced and they are challenging how the electricity and gas supply industries should be regulated. A key concern is whether the state-based energy legislation has kept up with these changes that have occurred in the electricity and gas supply industries.

Milestones and events

The review will be undertaken over 3 stages.

Stage 1: Consultation

Key milestone: Release of issues paper for public comment and targeted workshops.

Timing (anticipated): September to October 2017

Stage 2: Options development

Key milestone: Release for public comment a consultation regulatory impact statement (RIS), which outlines the options for reform based on outcomes of Stage 1.

Timing (anticipated): June 2018

Stage 3: Decision

Key milestone: Release a decision RIS outlining the government’s decision and rationale for implementing a preferred option.

Timing (anticipated): November 2018

Have your say

This review is an opportunity for consumers, industry and government to work together to ensure the right regulatory framework is in place to best support the contemporary expectations, needs and interests of Queenslanders as they relate to energy.

Contact us

For more information, email: [email protected]

Source: Queensland Government

 

Limondale Solar Farm approved

31 August

Overland Sun Farming’s planned 250 MW Limondale Solar Farm in Balranald NSW approved by Department of Planning & Environment. The project site is 2,049 hectares (ha) and is located off Yanga Way, approximately 14 kilometres south of the town of Balranald, which is approximately 230 km west of Griffith.

The development footprint within the project site is 1,025 ha. It is relatively flat in nature and consists mostly of cleared agricultural land that has been used for cropping and grazing over several decades.

There are very few landowners in close proximity to the site. The nearest residence is located approximately 2.9 km north of the site (see Figure 2), while a further 5 residences are located up to 6 km from the site.

The project adjoins the recently approved Sunraysia Solar Farm to the south. The Department has assessed the potential cumulative impacts of both projects if construction occurred at the same time, including traffic, accommodation and employment considerations.

Balranald has recently been identified as a ‘region of interest’ for renewable energy projects because it has good solar resources and spare capacity on the electricity network.

Key data

  • Approximately 868,000 solar panels mounted on single axis‐tracker frames (up to 2 m in height);
  • Up to 100 inverter stations (up to 2.3 m in height), each containing an inverter and a 33 kilovolt (kV) transformer, and an onsite substation containing a transformer and associated switchgear;
  • Internal access tracks, staff amenities, offices, car parking, laydown areas, security fencing; and
  • A 220 kV underground power line connecting to the existing Balranald substation (500 m east).
  • Approximately 90 full time equivalent workers would be required during construction, rising to 200 during the peak construction period.
  • The project would provide 4 to 7 full time equivalent operational jobs.
  • Capital investment value of $150 million

Source: NSW Department of Planning & Environment

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Limondale Solar Farm

Western Downs attracts multi-national energy giant

22 August

Western Downs Regional Council announced on Friday that Shell Australia, subsidiary of multi-national oil giant Royal Dutch Shell, has set its sights on our region for the development of a 250MW solar farm at Woleebee, near Wandoan.

  • Council has approved the development of ‘Delga Solar Farm’, located 25 kilometres south-west of Wandoan, making it the eighth solar project approved in the Western Downs;
  • The project is expected to employ anywhere between 500 and 800 staff during construction, with an operational workforce of up to 10 fulltime staff; and
  • Covering 400 hectares of land, once constructed the solar farm will be able to connect into the nearby Powerlink Wandoan South substation allowing the energy generated to connect into the national energy grid.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said Shell Australia’s solar farm project is further cementing the Western Downs as a leader in renewable energy production in Australia and internationally.

“We’ve fully embraced the future of renewables and energy production in our region, and we welcome the proposal of Shell Australia onto the solar energy scene in the Western Downs,” he said.

“This interest from a leading multi-national energy company to invest in renewable energy in our region is a great boost to the Western Downs’ already impressive energy portfolio.

“The Shell Australia solar farm project will bring many benefits to our communities and has the potential to value-add to our existing resource industries and experienced network of supply chain businesses in the region.

“This project marks the eighth solar farm approved by Council, demonstrating our goal to become the Energy Capital of Australia.

The project will now wait to receive final financial approval by Shell Australia.

Source: Western Downs Regional Council

 

Victorian Renewable Energy Target puts state in pole position for jobs, investment

23 August

The Victorian Government’s renewable energy auction announcement today is a major step forward for communities, businesses and the state’s renewable energy industry, the Clean Energy Council said.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said more power generation is required following the retirement of the Hazelwood coal-fired power plant, and today’s announcement will turbo charge significant private investment in low cost renewable energy to fill the gap and bring power prices down.

“The state government is showing strong leadership through its Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) scheme, which will boost investment and jobs,” Mr Thornton said.

“Victoria is realising an immense opportunity to grow its economy and preserve its future energy security through the establishment of a strong and long-term VRET scheme, which will ensure the roll-out of renewable energy projects well beyond 2020.

“The renewable energy projects committed in Victoria this year add up to 685 MW of capacity, more than 530 jobs and $1.2 billion worth of investment. Today’s announcement means these figures will grow exponentially and put Victoria in a leading position to accelerate investment and job creation, at a time when interstate competition for projects is steadily increasing,” he said.

The VRET scheme has set targets to source 25 per cent of Victoria’s power from renewable energy by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025. The government will introduce legislation committing to these future targets, providing confidence for the renewable energy industry to invest in the jobs and supply chain over the long term.

Mr Thornton said the auction round announced today is the largest renewable reverse energy auction program to date in Australia, building on the success of the ACT Government’s program.

“This is a significant addition to the Victorian Government’s clean energy commitments to date, which include solar trams, solar schools, an energy storage initiative and a renewable energy certificate purchasing initiative,” he said.

“Today’s announcement will help Australia move away from high-emissions power generation to cleaner renewable energy, which is in line with our emissions reduction commitments under the global climate agreement negotiated in Paris several years ago.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Windlab to receive $10 million milestone success payment in respect of the Coopers Gap Wind Farm

23 August

Windlab Limited (Windlab) (ASX Code: WND) advises that it has become entitled to receive a milestone success payment of just over $10 million in respect of the Coopers Gap Wind Farm in South East Queensland operated by AGL Energy Limited (AGL) and the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF).

The 453 MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm in South East Queensland which is Australia’s largest wind energy project was identified and initially developed by Windlab using its industry leading wind energy prediction and assessment technology, WindScape™.

Windlab Limited (Windlab) congratulates AGL Energy Limited (AGL) and the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) on reaching financial close which is a significant milestone for the project partners.

Windlab’s WindScape Institute originally identified Coopers Gap in 2005 from its headquarters in Canberra. Identified from its hi-resolution WindScape generated wind map it was clear from the beginning that it was a highly competitive and large-scale wind resource. Of particular interest was its location. Located in Queensland it is one of very few high-quality wind resources in close proximity to the electricity network in that State.

Windlab completed a series of virtual wind farm designs (VWF) before securing land tenure over the project. Windlab undertook many of the early stage development activities for the project before the project was acquired by AGL in 2010. Since that time Windlab has continued to play a role, supporting AGL in the completion of the project by providing wind monitoring, analysis and assessment services.

“We are delighted to see Coopers Gap reach financial close. Whilst continued market uncertainty has resulted in the project taking longer to complete than initially expected, it will now play a critical role in reducing electricity prices in Queensland.”

Stated Roger Price, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Windlab Limited. He continued “Market competitive wind resources, close to the transmission network are rare in Queensland yet critically important to balance the surge in solar generation expected to occur over the next decade. At nearly half a gigawatt, Coopers Gap along with projects like Windlab’s Kennedy Energy Park will make a vital contribution to delivering a low cost, reliable and clean electricity network for Queensland.” Under the terms of the original sale and implementation agreement for Coopers Gap Windlab will receive a final milestone success payment for the project of a little over $10million.

Source: Windlab

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

 

Boosting energy security in South Australia

23 August

The Turnbull Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing up to $12 million in funding for a 30MW large-scale battery that delivers both regulated network services and competitive market services - unlocking the full potential of a battery.

Expected to cost around $30 million, the battery is the first large-scale battery to be designed, built and commercially operated in Australia and backed by private investment from energy providers.

Transmission network provider ElectraNet will design, build and own the battery at Dalrymple substation on the Yorke Peninsula and lease out the commercial operation to a major energy retailer.

It is expected to be constructed and operational by February 2018.

The development is the second phase of the Energy Storage for Commercial Renewable Integration (ESCRI) project.

Phase one consisted of a study into the potential for energy storage to benefit the South Australian network, including key aspects of a utility scale battery.

Phase two will not only supply Fast Frequency Response to help balance the electricity network and reduce operating constraints on the Heywood interconnector with Victoria, but also keep the lights on in the Dalrymple service area during a loss of supply by working together with the existing 90MW Wattle Point wind farm and rooftop solar PV systems in a microgrid.

The Turnbull Government's investment in innovative technologies, such as this large-scale battery, will help to deliver affordable and reliable energy as we transition to a lower emissions future.

Source: Federal Government

 

LNP to waste $4.2 billion on another unviable power project

23 August

Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister, Curtis Pitt, says the LNP has tonight fully committed to spending up to $4.2 billion on the unviable Tully Millstream hydro-electric project.

“The LNP tonight backed a motion in State Parliament calling for the project to be constructed, even though there is no funding for it and the project is unsound both financially and environmentally,” Mr Pitt said.

“Until now, all we heard was the LNP asking for a feasibility study into the potential project.

“But by voting for this project they have made a commitment to bypass the feasibility study and spend up to $4.2 billion on the project.

“This comes on top of their commitment to a new and unnecessary coal-fired power plant in North Queensland costing up to $3 billion according to the LNP’s own former Northern Australia Minister, Senator Matt Canavan.

“These are just two of the many unfunded promises the LNP has been making.

“The Palaszczuk Government supports hydro-electric power, as we have shown in our Powering North Queensland Plan. But it needs to be affordable.

“But after being floated 20 years ago the Tully Millstream project has never been initiated because it just doesn’t stack up financially and would flood 1,000 hectares of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

“The last study undertaken by Stanwell in 2012 concluded it would cost between $3 billion and $4.2 billion and would only be viable if power prices hit more than $200 per megawatt hour compared with average wholesale prices of $76 so far this financial year.”

Mr Pitt said the government’s Powering North Queensland Plan included a statewide hydro study to pinpoint appropriate locations for potential new projects.

“Our plan also takes advantage of current assets like the Burdekin Dam and the Kidston hydro project,” he said.

“We have a clear plan for our energy infrastructure, but the LNP has only thought bubbles that would place added financial costs and risks on Queenslanders while inflicting significant environmental damage.”

Source: Queensland Government

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Tully Millstream Hydroelectric Scheme

 

 Renewable energy a jobs boom for Victoria

23 August

The Andrews Labor Government is harnessing the power of renewable energy to drive down prices, attract billions of dollars of investment and create thousands of local jobs.

Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today to announce the introduction of legislation for Victorian Renewable Energy Targets (VRET), the largest renewable energy auction in Australia and the awarding of contracts for two large-scale solar plants to power Melbourne’s tram network.

Legislation to be introduced into the Parliament this week will set ambitious new renewable energy targets for Victoria of 25 per cent by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.

It’s the first time such ambitious renewable energy targets have been enshrined in state legislation anywhere in Australia.

Importantly, the VRET will cut the average cost of power for Victorians by around $30 a year for households, $2,500 a year for medium businesses and $140,000 a year for large companies, while driving a 16 per cent reduction in Victoria’s electricity sector greenhouse gas emissions by 2034-35.

The competitive VRET auction for up to 650 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity will provide enough electricity to power 389,000 households – or enough energy to power Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and the Latrobe Valley combined.

This first auction is expected to bring forward up to $1.3 billion of investment and create 1,250 construction jobs over two years and 90 ongoing jobs.

The Labor Government also announced the winners of a tender to help build around 138 MW of new large scale solar projects to power Melbourne’s tram network.

Bannerton Solar Park near Robinvale in the Sunraysia district is expected to provide 100 MW of solar powered electricity, while the Numurkah Solar Farm near Shepparton is expected to generate 38 MW.

This will bring forward an additional investment of $198 million and generate around 325 jobs in regional Victoria during construction.

Source: Victoria Government

 

NEW PROJECT

Sapphire Solar and Storage

The company behind the 270 MW Sapphire wind farm have outlined plans to develop a c. 200 MW solar + storage project and with it the next big wave of renewable energy investment in the New England region.

The Sapphire solar and storage project is proposed to be located on five freehold properties within and adjacent to the wind farm. An outline of the project and a preliminary environmental assessment has been prepared and submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, marking the first phase of the development process.

Construction of the 270 MW Sapphire wind farm commenced in January 2017 and remains ahead of schedule. The first shipment of wind turbine component arrived in to the Port of Newcastle in July ready to be brought to site in the coming weeks.

Source: CWP Renewables

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Sapphire Wind Farm

 

Meridian puts two NZ wind farm projects on hold

During FY17 we ensured that our portfolio of renewable options was appropriately sized. Our view that demand growth will likely be moderate, combined with the cost of maintaining land access agreements, led us to discontinue Poutō wind farm, an option close to the Kaipara Harbour that was in the pre-consent phase, and put on hold Hurunui wind farm, a consented option in North Canterbury, both of which were less attractive than others in our portfolio.

Two consented North Island wind farm projects, Central Wind (Taihape) and Maungaharuru (Hawke’s Bay) remain the most attractive options. Combined, they would result in approximately 280MW of additional renewable electricity generation, providing about 800GWh of electricity per annum (equivalent to demand growth of 2%).

Source: Meridian Energy 2017 annual results

 

Solar thermal project for Port Augusta

24 August

The Turnbull Government has today written to SolarReserve Australia Pty Ltd about its proposal to construct a 150MW concentrated solar thermal power plant at Port Augusta, South Australia.

In the 2017/18 Budget the Turnbull Government committed to invest up to $110 million to secure the delivery of a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta.

SolarReserve was recently awarded a power supply contract by the South Australian Government, which includes the construction of the new power plant. The announcement was welcomed by the Federal Government.

Solar thermal plants operate in a similar way to traditional fossil fuel power plants with steam spinning a conventional turbine, which means they can contribute to network stability and reliability when coupled with built-in storage.

The Federal Government has asked SolarReserve to provide all the project details. The Government will ask the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to work with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), in consultation with the Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency (IPFA), to provide the Government with advice on the project.

ARENA and the CEFC have a strong track record in supporting the commercialisation of emerging technologies and will use that expertise to take solar thermal to the next level in Australia.

The IPFA advises the Federal Government on funding and financing solutions for nationally significant infrastructure across all sectors, including energy.

The Turnbull Government's investment in low emission technologies will help to deliver reliable and affordable energy as we move to a lower emissions future.

Source: Federal Government

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

Port Augusta Solar Thermal to boost competition and create jobs

14 August

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

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

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

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

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

Background

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SolarReserve

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

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

Source: South Australia Government

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

 

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

Source: Windlab

 

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

11 August

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: First Solar

 

Mount Emerald Wind Farm reaches major construction milestone

14 August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Ratch Australia

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

 

Tesla battery project to create local jobs in South Australia

15 August

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

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

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

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

Background

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

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

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

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

Click here to go to online datasheet: Hornsdale Wind Farm

 

AGL and PARF achieve financial close on Coopers Gap Wind Farm

17 August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: AGL Energy

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

 

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

17 August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: GE Power

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

 

Genex signs Binding Heads of Agreement with Powerlink Queensland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Genex

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

Queensland recharges efforts to boost local energy security and jobs

7 August

The Palaszczuk Government’s focus on boosting energy security and jobs for Queenslanders is stepping up, with progress on a key plank of its Powering Queensland Plan announced today.

Launching ‘Renewables 400’, Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to continuing the unprecedented momentum in new renewable energy investment and energy storage in Queensland.

“Renewables 400 is one of the initiatives of my Government’s $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan and a natural follow on from the success of our Solar 150 program,” the Premier said.

“Under this new initiative, we will support companies wanting to build the next generation of large-scale renewable and battery storage projects in Queensland, with priority given to projects that support local jobs and businesses.

Visiting Century Batteries’ factory in Carole Park today, the Premier said the Government’s focus was on a diversified energy mix, and attracting new investment and technologies to delivery long-term energy security and put downward pressure on electricity prices.

“As part of the Renewables 400 program, the Palaszczuk Government will undertake a specific process to secure up to 100 megawatts of energy storage prior to 2020.

“Energy storage will play an important role in the transition to higher levels of renewable energy and this process will support the accelerated deployment of this important technology.”

Treasurer and Acting Energy Minister Curtis Pitt said that under the reverse auction process, companies would bid for Queensland Government support for both renewable generation and storage projects – most of which will be situated in the regions.

“Successful bidders will be awarded financial contracts with the Government for some or all of the electricity they generate which will provide them with long-term certainty allowing them to secure the financing required to deliver their project,” he said.

“The ‘reverse’ nature of the auction process means that companies are encouraged to bid for the lowest price necessary to support their project.

“The criteria to select successful bidders will include not only price but also support for local businesses and jobs and with a view to creating a diverse mix of renewable energy generation and storage to support a secure, reliable and affordable supply of electricity into the future.”

Companies wanting to be considered need to register via the DEWS website www.dews.qld.gov.au.

“This early registration provides adequate time to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running when the process opens,” Minister Pitt said.

“When the Palaszczuk Government was elected, there was not one large scale renewable energy project commissioned in Queensland.

“In just 18 months, we’ve kick-started the renewable energy boom and there are now 17 projects financially committed in Queensland bringing strong benefits to regional Queensland, including $2.3 billion of investment and 2,200 construction jobs, with many more on the way.

“Energy is undergoing a transformational change in the way it is generated, transported and used and as a government you have to plan for that and not stick your head in the sand and pretend our only option is expensive coal-fired power stations anymore.

“We’re committed to transitioning to a clean energy future in a responsible, achievable and sustainable way – with affordability always front and centre.”

For more information on the 400MW Reverse Auction, or to access the register of interest visit www.dews.qld.gov.au

Source: Queensland Government

 

Equis to Develop 1,000 MW Solar Project in Queensland, Australia

7 August

Equis Energy (Equis), Asia‐Pacific’s largest renewable energy IPP, has received approval from the Western Downs Regional Council in Queensland, Australia to develop the 1,000 MW Wandoan South Solar Project (WSSP), one of the largest solar projects in Australia and the world.

WSSP will involve a capital investment of approximately A$1.5 billion, with a significant amount to be spent locally. Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2018, and to begin delivering power in 2019.

The project, covering 1,424 hectares of land, will be connected to Powerlink’s Wandoan South substation, and will have the ability to add battery storage when commercially feasible. This will allow energy to be stored and will facilitate the generation of power into the evening.

David Russell, Equis Chairman, said, “As Asia‐Pacific’s largest renewable energy IPP, Equis is excited about leveraging its economies of scale in the growing Australian market to deliver low‐cost renewable energy. Equis is committed to developing large‐scale solar generation in rural areas to provide employment opportunities and support economic growth in local communities.”

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said, “We are serious about cementing the Western Downs as the Energy Capital of Australia and securing the enormous economic and community benefits that will bring to our region. Equis has expressed their desire to be proactive in their consultation with neighbours of this project site, and that aligns with the business model we are promoting for renewable energy projects. The timeframe in which Council has processed this application highlights the message we are open for business, and I think it is important to reiterate that although our approval process is rigorous, it is efficient.”

WSSP brings to 1,276 MW the total generation capacity for which Equis has received approval in Australia, involving an aggregate investment cost of A$1.9 billion, positioning Equis as one of the country’s largest and lowest cost solar developers.

The WSSP project will incorporate up to 3 million solar PV panels and have a generation output of approximately 1,800,000 megawatt hours per year (MWh/year), collectively supplying power equivalent to the annual needs of 255,000 homes, and saving over 1. 7 million tonnes of CO2 annually compared to same generation from coal‐fired power.

Source: Equis

 

Impact Investment Group funds new 19MW Solar Farm in Swan Hill, Victoria

8 August

This project will be our largest investment in a single solar farm, and is expected to be one of the highest capacity solar farms in Victoria on completion.

The Swan Hill Solar Farm is expected to produce 37,700 MWh in its first year of operation, enough to power the equivalent of approximately 6,300 Australian homes.

Over its 25-year expected lifetime, the solar farm will avoid approximately 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions and save approximately 14,300 Australians from pollution related diseases, according to modelling by IIG. It will have more than 50,000 solar panels operating on a single axis tracking system.

The project has a total expected cost of approximately $32 million and to directly create 60 jobs during construction, and the same number again through indirect employment in the supply chain and through managing Australia’s transition towards renewable energy.

Regional Victoria is set to experience a boom in the development of renewable energy generation, with more than eleven large-scale solar farms currently committed or proposed for the state.

"It is great to be a prominent part of this new wave of construction and investment in Victoria's solar energy economy," says IIG CEO Chris Lock.

“This project demonstrates that IIG can create investment opportunities in solar assets even during times of policy uncertainty for Australian energy markets. Many sophisticated investors recognise that the world is shifting to renewable power such as wind and solar.

“Investing in solar power stations can deliver investor returns, create jobs and provide cleaner, safer, healthier energy options.”

The Swan Hill Rural City Council has strongly encouraged the project through the early phases.

Mayor of Swan Hill Rural City Council, Cr Les McPhee said north west Victoria was primed to be a centre for clean energy generation.

“Investments like this one from the Impact Investment Group are game-changers for our move to a renewable energy economy, and Swan Hill is proud to have secured one of the first large-scale solar farms in Victoria. Council has been an early supporter of solar energy and has enjoyed a great relationship with the developers and investors of this solar farm at what is locally known as Blackwire Reserve.”

The developer for this project is Australian Solar Group, with RCR Tomlinson Ltd being awarded the engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance contract. Construction for this project is expected to commence in late August 2017.

RCR’s scope of work includes engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning including associated substations and grid connection works. Once commissioned, RCR will undertake maintenance services for an initial period of two years.

On completion of this project the Swan Hill Solar Farm is expected to become one of the seed assets in a new IIG solar fund, the details of which will be released in due course.

Source: Impact Investment Group

 

Work underway to make Tasmania the renewable energy battery of the nation

8 August

Work is well underway to revitalise Tasmania’s iconic hydro generation system and cement Tasmania’s place as the renewable energy battery of the nation.

Today I visited Hydro Tasmania’s Cambridge workshop and saw what Tasmanian ingenuity and hard work can achieve, with the refurbishment of components of the Cluny Power Station.

Hydro Tasmania’s Cambridge workshop is a vital part of our Plan to make Tasmania the renewable energy battery of the nation. Employing 12 staff, including two apprentices – with that number likely to grow in the near future - the workshop is vital to Hydro Tasmania’s future as a leader in energy and developing and retaining important technical skills in Tasmania.

Hydro Tasmania is investing $275 million upgrading the entire Derwent system, which includes a $28.5 million investment in the Cluny Power Station. Currently, one of the turbine runners is being modernised to make it more efficient, increase energy output from the Station and reduce environmental risks.

Following the completion of work on the Cluny Power Station, Hydro Tasmania will then begin upgrades to the Repulse Power Station.

This work underpins our Plan to make Tasmania the renewable energy battery of the nation.

Hydro Tasmania is currently identifying a shortlist of sites for pumped hydro that have the potential to generate up to an extra 2,500 MW of power – enough to power 500,000 homes right around the nation. Last week, the Australian National University announced that it had identified over 2,000 potential pumped hydro sites in Tasmania.  The research indicated that Tasmania has: “…a combined (pumped) energy storage potential that is about ten times larger than required to support a 100% renewable electricity grid for the whole of Australia.”*  This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Tasmania and the Hodgman and Turnbull Governments are working closely to ensure we make the most of the opportunity.

Work is also underway to improve two of our major power generators - the Tarraleah and Gordon Power Stations. We are working hard to breathe new life into these stations and make them a significant part of our plan for the future.

Tasmania is one of the few places on Earth that is almost entirely powered by renewable baseload energy. We do it better than anyone else, anywhere else and the Hodgman Government is committed to making Tasmania the nation’s renewable energy battery.

Source: Tasmania Government

 

Uleybury Landfill Solar Farm

The Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority (NAWMA), in partnership with Joule Energy Pty Ltd, is pleased to announce the development of a 1.15MW solar farm at the Uleybury Landfill. This exciting new project, an Australian first, will generate approximately 2000 mega-watt hours of renewable electricity each year, enough to power more than 345 homes in the local community.

As landfills have very little use once closed due to issues of land settlement and landfill gas, they are ideal locations for solar development. Solar generation systems on landfills, and neighbouring buffer zones, provide an economically viable reuse for sites that may have significant clean-up costs and little potential for commercial or residential development. Considering this, NAWMA took the opportunity to partner with Joule Energy, an Australian owned, Adelaide based company whom specializes in solar on landfills, to develop the solar generation facility to be situated on the Uleybury Landfill.

The 1.15MW solar farm will consist of 11,000 solar PV panels and utilize local technology and manufacturing as well as local labour during the construction process. The solar frames to be used in the project for example have been manufactured by Salisbury based company, IXL Solar.

The location of the solar farm has been selected to ensure there is minimal disturbance to the visual amenity of the local area and extensive research has been undertaken to ensure there are no negative environmental impacts.

The solar farm is designed to integrate with the landfill gas renewable energy facility situated at the Uleybury Landfill and supplement its output. Therefore combining base-load and solar PV technologies that will produce renewable energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The collective electricity generated from both energy sources will be over 11,000 mega-watt hours per annum, which is enough to power more than 1,800 homes. A project of this scale has never been undertaken on an Australian landfill and will be the first of its kind in the country.

This ambitious project underlines NAWMA’s commitment to sustainable practices and will deliver significant environmental benefits. When compared to a traditional coal-fired power station generating the same amount of electricity, the NAWMA renewable energy facility will save approximately 24million litres of water each year and prevent 63,500 tonnes of carbon (CO2-e) from being emitted into the atmosphere annually.

Source: NAWMA

 

Work to start soon on new Queensland solar farm after Origin PPA

10 August

Construction on what will be one of Queensland’s largest solar projects will be underpinned by a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Origin.

The 150 MW Daydream Solar Farm will be located on a 1,070-acre site north of Collinsville in northern Queensland and will generate approximately 380,000 MWh of electricity a year – enough to power more than 53,000 homes with clean energy.

Origin has signed a PPA to buy all the output and renewable energy certificates from Daydream solar farm until 2030. Daydream forms part of the 1,200 MW of new renewable generation Origin has committed to since March 2016.

Origin CEO, Frank Calabria said, “We are accelerating our transition to renewables with more than 25 per cent of Origin’s generation mix to come from renewables by 2020, up from 10 per cent today.

“Australia has abundant solar resources which are strongest in Queensland and Origin is proud to be playing our part helping the nation to better tap this renewable energy source.

“Daydream will be the latest solar farm to get the go-ahead after being backed by a PPA with Origin, following similar agreements with Australia’s largest solar development, Bungala in South Australia, as well as Moree in New South Wales and Darling Downs solar farm in Queensland.

“Renewables are now the lowest cost new generation and with the rapid increase in renewable supply not just by Origin but the broader market, we expect to see this start to put downwards pressure on prices for customers,” Mr Calabria said.

Daydream solar farm is being developed by leading Australian renewables company Edify Energy and will utilise a single-axis tracking system with panels that track the sun to maximise generation capacity throughout the day.

Construction on Daydream is expected to commence shortly and is expected to start generating electricity in mid-2018.

Edify Energy chief executive John Cole said the Origin PPA was a milestone for Edify’s growing business.

“Supported by the PPA with Origin, Daydream Solar Farm will be another step forward in the decarbonisation of Australia’s energy sector. We look forward to making the project a reality and working closely with Origin.”

Source: Origin Energy

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Daydream Solar Farm

 

RCR awarded $315m for Daydream and Hayman Solar Farm projects

11 August

Diversified engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce that it has been awarded two contracts, totalling approximately $315 million for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) and Operation and Maintenance (“O&M”) for the 150MWac Daydream Solar Farm and the 50MWac Hayman Solar Farm, developed and maintained by Edify Energy Pty Ltd.

RCR’s scope of work includes engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the Solar Farms, including interface works to the project substations. Once commissioned RCR will provide O&M services for both Solar Farms for an initial period of 10 years, with an option for a further 5 year term.

The projects will start immediately, with construction scheduled to commence in Q3 2017.

The Daydream and Hayman Solar Farms are both located in Collinsville in Northern Queensland.

RCR Managing Director & CEO, Dr Paul Dalgleish said “We are very pleased to continue our strong relationship with Edify Energy to deliver these two large-scale solar energy projects generating a combined 200MWac.

RCR now has over half a Gigawatt of large-scale solar projects in our order book and more than a Gigawatt currently being developed or progressed under early contractor involvement processes.

RCR has firmly positioned itself as one of Australia’s leading developers and EPC providers of large-scale solar and other renewable energy infrastructure. Our experience and application of Engineering Intelligence to renewable projects provides RCR with a significant competitive advantage.

RCR is currently preferred on a number of additional renewable energy projects that will support our further growth in FY18 and into FY19. Over the mid to long-term we expect to see the large-scale solar market continue to grow”, said Dr Dalgleish.

Source: RCR Tomlinson

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Daydream Solar Farm

 

EOI open for NQ Clean Energy Hub

11 August

A key part of the $386 million Powering North Queensland Plan will commence today with an Expression of Interest (EOI) process for the proposed 2,000MW North Queensland Clean Energy Hub feasibility study.

Treasurer and Acting Minister for Energy Curtis Pitt said the Palaszczuk Government had allocated $150 million towards the development of strategic electricity transmission infrastructure as part of the North Queensland Clean Energy Hub, subject to a feasibility study.

“This is all part of our plan to unlock a wave of energy projects to power the North Queensland economy and support 5000 jobs,” Mr Pitt said.

“Our plan will not only deliver investment and jobs to North Queensland but will also help to secure energy supply and drive down energy costs for consumers.”

Mr Pitt said Powerlink was conducting the EOI from today on behalf of the Queensland Government.

“The four week EOI process will seek market information on a range of aspects, including potential generation interest, storage options and significant load requirements and will be open from 11 August until the 8 September,” Mr Pitt said.

“We encourage all companies with an interest in the North Queensland Clean Energy Hub to flag their potential involvement and provide us with the latest market information via the EOI process.

“The information received as part of this process will be treated confidentially and will inform the options for potential routes for the transmission infrastructure and project timing.

“This is an important project which will drive cost savings by generating economies of scale through multiple generators and loads sharing transmission infrastructure rather than seeking individual network connections.”

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said the Clean Energy Hub would play a key role in diversifying North Queensland’s energy supply and supporting the 50 per cent by 2030 renewable energy target.

“We know people in the North are really concerned about power prices. An important part in stabilising prices is making sure we invest in local, North Queensland infrastructure,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“Excitingly, the transmission line will support an Energy Hub that will generate North Queensland energy for North Queensland businesses and families.”

Queensland’s Energy Security Taskforce Chair Terry Effeney said this infrastructure was another part of the strategy to guide the state’s robust energy security for both the short and long-term.

“The Clean Energy Hub has the potential to unlock more of this region’s renewable resources by providing high voltage transmission infrastructure to allow existing projects to expand, as well as providing more infrastructure for more renewable projects.” Mr Effeney said.

“Powerlink’s EOI process will provide the essential research to identify the optimal form of the Clean Energy Hub.”

Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York said the EOI was part of a feasibility study into the North Queensland Clean Energy Hub due for completion by December 2017.

“The feasibility study will involve a number of technical assessments including economic, environmental, social and regional considerations,” Ms York said.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart and Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper welcomed the announcement.

Mr Stewart said: “The $386 million Powering North Queensland Plan is a vital, economy-growing investment and underlines the Palaszczuk Government’s ongoing commitment to North Queensland, renewable energy and jobs.”

Mr Harper said: “This plan will power North Queensland’s communities and its industries with energy and jobs for the future and it will help further stabilise electricity prices.”

Information about the EOI will be available on Powerlink’s website (external site) at www.powerlink.com.au (external site).

Source: Queensland Government

 

First NT community to reach 50 % renewable energy

11 August

Nauiyu (Daly River) will be the first remote Aboriginal community in the Northern Territory to reach the Territory Labor Government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target - powered by solar and battery.

Minister for Essential Services Gerry McCarthy today inspected the solar and battery site and said Government was acting on climate change to protect our unique natural environment, economy, lifestyle and quality of life.

“We are investing in renewable energy to do what’s best for the Territory now and for future generations – it will see fewer emissions and more jobs,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Today is another step towards achieving our target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. We made this promise and we are acting on it.”

Mr McCarthy said good environmental policy is smart economic policy and will result in more jobs for Territorians and greater power reliability.

The Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) will be completed in Daly River next month (September) and will provide 100 per cent of the community’s daytime electricity needs, enabling the community’s diesel engines to be turned off.

The Daly River site will deliver cutting edge technology that will guide the installation of future renewable energy in the bush.

The battery will be charged by 3200 solar panels, which will save 400,000 litres of fuel every year, meaning half as many fuel trucks on the road.

“Once the site is commissioned, the diesel generators will only operate at night, leading to improved local air quality and a cleaner, greener community,” Mr McCarthy said.

“As battery costs rapidly reduce over the next few years, we expect solar and battery technology to become more economically viable – which is great news for the Territory environment.

“I congratulate the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for their investment in small-scale renewable energy innovation and thank them for their critical contributions to renewable energy in the Territory.”

The Energy Storage System comprises Samsung 2MWh lithium-ion battery, inverters for converting battery DC energy to AC, a cooling system and a control system to allow integration with the existing diesel power station.

SETuP is a $55 million program equally funded by the ARENA and the Territory Government, managed by Power and Water. The Daly River project investment will be approximately $6.2 million upon completion.

Under SETuP, another 10 remote Aboriginal communities in the Territory recently had 3.325 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants commissioned, reducing the reliance on diesel by 15 per cent.

Source: NT Government

Funding for new electricity grid technology development

31 July

The Turnbull Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $5 million to NOJA Power, a Brisbane-based energy technology company, to develop smart switchgear that will help maintain stability of the electricity grid.

NOJA's new switchgear technology will be deployed at 100 locations across the distribution network to maintain frequency at 50 hertz which is critical for system strength and security. It will provide detailed, real-time snapshots of electrical flows and enable a significantly better power system data than is currently available.

The data captured by these devices will be shared with ARENA, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and energy network businesses to facilitate better-informed system planning and real-time operations.

Once developed, the switchgear will be trialled in areas of high renewable penetration in Queensland and Victoria. This is part of the Turnbull Government's commitment to supporting the energy transition while ensuring affordable, reliable and secure energy for Australian industry and households.

NOJA Power is working with AEMO, Deakin University, the University of Queensland, Energy Queensland and AusNet on this project. This project is a good example of government, industry and universities collaborating to develop solutions for Australia's distribution network.

Source: Federal Government

 

Fast-tracking renewable energy into the grid

31 July

The Andrews Labor Government is investing in smart solutions to fast-track the rollout of large-scale renewable energy projects in Victoria.

Solar engineering company Clean Technology Partners has received $142,000 to develop an

‘e-cube’ under the second round of the Labor Government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund.

The $570,000 project will see the company work with energy giant Siemens to develop a standardised grid connection solution which will facilitate quicker and more cost-efficient connections to Victoria’s power grid.

The e-cube will allow solar and wind projects to easily connect to the distribution network and will suit a range of system sizes, connection types, and network requirements

This project will create up to 10 ongoing full-time jobs and up to a further 20 indirect employment opportunities.

The Fund offers grants of between $20,000 and $1 million to support projects that increase the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and assist community groups to develop their own project.

Round two of the New Energy Jobs Fund saw 21 successful projects receive more than $6.7 million in grants.

For more information on the Fund visit http://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/future-industries/new-energy-technologies

Source: Victorian Government

 

Carnegie breaks ground on Garden Island microgrid project

1 August

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX:CCE) is pleased to advise it has commenced construction of the Garden Island Microgrid Project marking the occasion with a sod-turning ceremony attended by Hon. Joshua Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy, on behalf of the Prime Minister.

Construction has commenced on the 2MW solar Photovoltaic (PV) and 2MW/0.5MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) components of the Garden Island Microgrid (GIMG) Project which is the world’s first demonstration of a solar, battery, wave and desalination microgrid. The GIMG Project will be the largest embedded, grid-connected solar and battery microgrid in Australia. Carnegie has recently signed supply agreements with the Department of Defence for the power and water produced by the Project to be used by HMAS Stirling, Australia’s largest naval base.

The Project will also integrate with the existing Department of Defence diesel generators and the Western Power grid to demonstrate both off-grid and on-grid functionality of a microgrid and ‘bumpless’ transfer between these two operating modes.

Minister Frydenberg officially broke ground on the Project after a tour of the site of the 2MW solar PV array and the building housing the 2MW/0.5MWh battery energy storage system and control system.

Carnegie’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Michael Ottaviano said:

“We are delighted to have Minister Frydenberg present today to officially break ground on the Garden Island Microgrid. Carnegie Clean Energy is at the forefront in the design and delivery of renewable microgrid solutions that are revolutionary.”

“Carnegie and Energy Made Clean have a strong track record in renewable and microgrid solutions like the Garden Island Microgrid at HMAS Stirling, the recently won microgrid at the Delamere weapons range base in the Northern Territory and previously for the Department of Defence on Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory. Renewable microgrids can deliver improved security of supply with clean, reliable power and water.”

The Garden Island Microgrid is owned and operated by Carnegie. Carnegie’s 100% owned subsidiary, Energy Made Clean, is responsible for the design, construction and ongoing maintenance of the Project. The desalination plant is already operational at the site. Construction of the solar and battery project is due to complete before the end of 2017. The $7.5 million projects is supported by the Federal Government with $2.5m of ARENA funding.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

Click here to go to online project profile: Garden Island Microgrid

 

Generation licence applications

The Commission has received an application from Hornsdale Power Reserve Pty Ltd for an electricity generation licence in accordance with the Electricity Act 1996 (Electricity Act). The applicant is seeking to operate a series of Tesla batteries up to a total maximum capacity of 100 megawatts. Hornsdale Power Reserve will be located at the Hornsdale Wind Farm, north of Jamestown. The application submitted by Hornsdale Power Reserve Pty Ltd is subject to a public consultation period closing on 25 August 2017. Interested parties wishing to make a submission on this licence application should prepare a submission which addresses the criteria noted above.

The Commission has received an application from Bungala One Operations Pty Ltd for an electricity generation licence in accordance with Section 15(2)(a) of the Electricity Act 1996 (Electricity Act). The applicant is seeking to operate a generation plant consisting of 72 solar photovoltaic cells with a total maximum capacity of 110 megawatts. The location of this generation plant will be 15 km north east of Port Augusta in South Australia.

Source: ESCOSA

Click here to go to online project profiles: Hornsdale Wind Farm and Bungala Solar Farm

 

Tender called for Albany wave energy project

31 July

  • Tender for wave energy technology development project released today
  • Release a significant step forward for the wave energy project, which will drive employment in new industries in the Great Southern

A cutting-edge wave energy project in Albany is one step closer, with a request for proposals from industry released today on Tenders WA.

This represents a significant step forward for the State Government's $19.5 million commitment to developing the Albany wave energy project and investing in renewable energy projects in Western Australia.

The wave energy project includes a technology development project as well as the establishment of a Wave Energy Research Centre in Albany. These two elements combined will bring together State Government agencies, universities and industry to ensure that Albany's natural suitability for renewable energy is fully utilised.

The project will put Western Australia at the leading edge of the emerging wave energy technology sector and create exciting job prospects for the local community.

The request for proposal will be available on Tenders WA for three weeks, and can be accessed at http://www.tenders.wa.gov.au

Source: WA Government

 

Developing solar battery storage kits and creating jobs

1 August

The Andrews Labor Government will provide $825,000 towards a pilot project to develop solar battery storage kits and create local jobs.

A consortium of five companies, led by innovation company ARVIO, will receive funding under the second round of the Labor Government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund.

This project will manufacture a solar storage control system and software technology kit in Victoria, rather than using imported equipment and create 20 full-time jobs.

The $6.17 million pilot project will see 200 solar storage energy kits installed in residences, buildings and community facilities across Victoria to provide electricity during power outages.

Each kit will feature predictive weather control capabilities, allowing it to charge the battery before storms to ensure residences have adequate power for extended outages.

Solar Station Alpha, Selectronic Australia, Imark Communication and Diamond Energy are the other four companies involved in this project, with work expected to begin this September.

The Fund offers grants of between $20,000 and $1 million to support projects that will increase the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and assist community groups to develop their own projects.

More than 50 applications were received in round two of the New Energy Jobs Fund, resulting in 21 successful projects receiving a total of more than $6.7 million in grants.

For more information on the Fund visit http://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/future-industries/new-energy-technologies.

Source: Victorian Government

 

Two new large-scale solar farm projects for RCR

2 August

Swan Hill Solar Farm

Diversified engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $28 million contract with Solar Powerstations Victoria for the 19MWdc Swan Hill Solar Farm in Victoria. Leading Australian funds manager, Impact Investment Group (“IIG”), will fund the solar farm’s construction. On completion, it will be one of the seed assets in a new IIG solar fund.

RCR’s scope of work includes engineering, procurement, construction (“EPC”) and commissioning of the Solar Farm, including associated substations and grid connection works. Construction is expected to commence in September 2017. Once commissioned, RCR will undertake maintenance services of the Solar Farm for an initial period of two years.

Emerald Solar Farm

In addition, RCR is also pleased to announce that it has signed an Early Works Letter with RES Australia Pty Limited to work together to develop an EPC contract to deliver an 80MW solar farm near Emerald in Queensland.

RCR Managing Director & CEO, Dr Paul Dalgleish said “these large-scale solar projects add to RCR’s substantial order book and preferred contractor status of renewable energy projects, clearly positioning RCR as the market leader and therefore first choice for this sector. Our growing capability, resources and equipment gives RCR even greater leverage to remain the foremost contractor in the solar market.

The market for large-scale renewable energy projects in Australia continues to grow and the pipeline of new projects is expanding rapidly. We see renewable energy as a long-term major sector for the Australian market and one which we will always play a significant role” said Dr Dalgleish.

Source: RCR Tomlinson

 

Kidston solar project update

2 August

Genex has now turned its attention to the development of Phase Two of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, with detailed discussions progressing with potential energy partners, debt financing entities and equity infrastructure firms. Genex has received first-round board approval from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) for potential debt funding for the Phase Two Projects. NAIF will now commence full due-diligence.

Source: Genex Power

Click here to go to online project profile: Kidston Solar Farm

 

ANU identifies 5,000 possible pumped hydro sites

3 August

Researchers at ANU have identified about 5,000 sites in Queensland, Tasmania, the Canberra district and in and around Alice Springs as potentially suitable for pumped hydro storage.

The ANU team has considered the possible benefits of using hydro power energy storage, where water is pumped uphill and stored to generate electricity on demand.

Professor Andrew Blakers said the sites had storage potential ranging from 0.9 to more than 100 Gigawatt-hours (GWh).

"Each site has seven to 1,000 times larger storage potential than the 0.13 GWh Tesla battery to be installed in South Australia," said Professor Blakers, the study's lead researcher from the ANU Research School of Engineering.

"Additionally, pumped hydro has a lifetime of 50 years compared with eight to 15 years for batteries.

"Our work shows that there are many sites in Australia that may be suitable for establishing pumped hydro storage, to help build a sustainable, secure and affordable electricity grid.

"This assessment is based on very appealing physical characteristics. But the potential upper reservoir sites identified would require detailed due diligence involving land ownership, engineering, hydrological, environmental and other considerations."

Maps and a report on the findings are available at <http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/research/phes/>.

Professor Blakers said pumped hydro energy storage - which accounts for 97 per cent of energy storage worldwide - can be increased across the country to support high levels of renewable energy, primarily solar photovoltaics and wind.

He said the sites identified so far in the study have a combined energy storage potential of 15,000 GWh, which is 35 times larger than required to support a 100 per cent renewable electricity grid in Australia.

"Further site searching is underway in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and will add greatly to this total," Professor Blakers said.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $449,000 support for an ANU-led study, aiming to develop a nation-wide atlas of potential off-river pumped hydro storage sites.

Off-river pumped hydro storage requires pairs of reservoirs, typically ranging from 10 to 100 hectares, in hilly terrain and joined by a pipe with a pump and turbine. Water is circulated between the upper and lower reservoirs to store and generate power.

"All the potential sites we have found are outside national parks and urban areas, and like all hydro power can go from zero to full power very quickly," Professor Blakers said.

The reservoirs are separated by an altitude difference of at least 300 metres.

The water would be stored in an upper reservoir and run through a turbine to a lower reservoir when electricity is needed - such as when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing. The water can then be pumped back uphill when electricity from renewables and other sources is abundant and cheaper.

Co-researcher Dr Matthew Stocks said pumped hydro storage, depending on the size of the reservoirs, would be capable of delivering maximum power from hours to more than a day.

"Our earlier work demonstrated the feasibility of 100 per cent renewable electricity for Australia supported by pumped hydro storage," said Dr Stocks from the ANU Research School of Engineering.

"About 3,600 hectares of reservoir is required to support a 100 per cent renewable energy grid for Australia, which is five parts per million of Australia's land mass. Annual water requirements would be less than one per cent of annual extraction from the Murray River."

Co-researcher Mr Bin Lu said pumped hydro and batteries were both likely to have prominent storage roles.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project was part of ARENA's focus on supporting flexible capacity solutions to ensure a smooth transition to a renewable energy future.

"Storage is becoming more important and valuable as we move towards higher levels of renewable energy in our grids," Mr Frischknecht said.

"Pumped hydro is the most mature form of energy storage, and studies like these are helping to determine whether it could play an even greater role in increasing grid stability."

ANU is partnering with ElectraNet and VTara Energy Group to conduct the Atlas of Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Study and develop a cost model for short-term off-river pumped hydro energy storage.

Source: ANU

 

Conergy acquisition guarantees funding for Australian projects

3 August

Investment in Australian renewable energy projects continue to surge, with Tennenbaum Capital Partners (TCP) and Goldman Sachs BDC, Inc. (GSBD), a business development company managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) signing a definitive agreement to acquire Conergy Asia & ME Pte. Ltd. and its subsidiaries (Conergy) from Kawa Solar Holdings.

Conergy’s Australian arm has developed Australia’s first utility-scale solar and battery project – the Lakeland Solar & Storage Project – in Far North Queensland.

Conergy Australia’s Managing Director Christopher West said the company’s acquisition would ensure it had additional capital to grow substantially and further expand on its existing pipeline of large-scale solar projects.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in renewables in Australia. Unsubsidised large-scale solar is beginning to beat not only wind but also coal and natural gas and you have state governments like Queensland’s announcing really ambitious renewable targets, mirroring growing community sentiment toward a lower carbon future,” Mr West said.

“Given the political uncertainty in the sector in the last few years, many companies have struggled to find reliable sources of funds. There is a real transformation taking place in the local market and Conergy are now pitched to play a large part in it.

“The backing of our new investors who have a keen interest in renewable energy really validates our business model and expertise in solar development, guaranteeing funding to continue our plans for expediential growth in Australia.”

Conergy is currently working on a further expansion of its Lakeland Solar & Storage project, which is poised to deliver 13MW of solar generation and storage.

“We’re looking at adding up to 100MW of generation in far North Queensland as well as subsequent developments within the Lakeland project,” said Mr West.

“This project has already provided more than 60 jobs for communities in the north of Queensland, and our plans will add hundreds of construction and maintenance jobs in the future, not to mention up to 100MW of clean energy.”

Rajneesh Vig, Managing Partner of Tennenbaum Capital Partners, said that this acquisition offered a unique opportunity to work closely with one of the industry’s most experienced solar firms and to participate in the Asia Pacific market.

“The Asia Pacific is one of the most attractive solar markets in the world today,” said Mr Vig.

“We look forward to the company’s continued success.”

Conergy APAC’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Lenz said this transaction brought tremendous value to their business, employees and customers.

“Over the past few years, Conergy has built leading positions in the Asia Pacific market, creating a formidable and highly competitive organisation with excellent growth prospects,” said Mr Lenz.

“TCP’s and GSBD’s extensive experience and access to capital will strengthen Conergy’s financial position, enhance our capabilities, and allow us to pursue new business opportunities and execute our plans for growth in Australia, the emerging markets of Southeast Asia and Japan.”

Source: Conergy

Click here to go to online project profile: Lakeland Solar Farm

 

NEW PROJECTS

Burdekin Solar Farm

The proposed action involves the development of a large scale, grid connected, solar power (photovoltaic) farm. The proposed action will be a 75-90 MW solar farm using solar photovoltaic (PV) tracking technology. The project will be connected into one of two local 132/66 kV terminal stations within 7km of the proposed site. The proposed action will be located within the Burdekin Shire Local Government Area, on Lot 22 on GS1042, Woodhouse Road, Mulgrave.

The proposed action is located in the northern section of Lot 22 on GS1042, Woodhouse Road, Mulgrave, Burdekin Shire Council Local Government Area, QLD. Mulgrave is a small agricultural community within the dry tropics, approximately 100km south-east of Townsville.

Current land use for the proposed action is light to moderate cattle grazing of native vegetation. Existing infrastructure on the proposed action site includes fencing, unsealed roads and internal access tracks, farm dams and a significant artificial watercourse.

Contact:

Koovashni Reddy

Director

CleanGen

Email: [email protected]

 

Mt Fyans Wind Farm

Located in south west Victoria, approximately 140km west of Geelong, on the northern outskirts of the town of Mortlake. The Hamilton Highway, which runs between Geelong and Hamilton, forms part of the southern boundary of the project location. The 500kV South Australian/Victorian transmission line runs through the project site. The project will coprise of a maximum of 81 Class II/III wind turbines with a maximum height of 165m to the tip of the turbine blade in vertical position.

Contact David Mounter

Manager, Renewable Asset Development

Hydro Tasmania

Email: [email protected]

 

Willogoleche Wind Farm construction under way

4 August

ENGIE in Australia has begun pre-construction work of the 119 MW Willogoleche Wind Farm near Hallett in South Australia’s Mid North.

The $AUD 250 million project, to be built on Willogoleche Hill about 160 km north of Adelaide and 5 km west of the Hallett township, will comprise 32 turbines that each produce between 3.4 MW and 3.83 MW.

ENGIE in Australia acting Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Donaldson, said: “Preliminary works have begun onsite, including installation of an adjacent substation to feed into the National Electricity Market. Once operational, the Willogoleche Wind Farm will produce enough electricity to power about 80,000 homes in South Australia. “The Willogoleche Wind Farm contributes to ENGIE’s global commitment to increase its share in renewable energy and provides further energy security for South Australia and the NEM.”

Installation of the turbines is scheduled to start by the end of the year, with a completion foreseen by mid-2018.

The project is underpinned by a Power Purchase Agreement to support ENGIE in Australia’s retail business Simply Energy. Simply Energy has more than 80,000 customer accounts in South Australia.

Source: Engie

Sunshine Coast Solar Farm goes live in Australian first

24 July

The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm is now live and feeding electricity into the power grid, making Sunshine Coast Council the first local government in Australia to offset 100% of its electricity consumption with energy from a renewable source.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the 15 megawatt (MW) solar farm at Valdora allowed council to take control of its own electricity supply, combating rising electricity costs and achieving an important sustainability milestone.

“All power consumed at all of council’s facilities, including our administration buildings, aquatic centres, community and performance venues, as well as holiday parks, libraries, art galleries and sporting facilities, will be offset with energy from a renewable source thanks to this nation-leading project,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This is an exciting day for our region and for the residents of the Sunshine Coast.

“We are the first council in Australia to build and operate a 15MW utility scale solar farm which will deliver $22 million in savings, after all costs, for our ratepayers over the next 30 years.

“Our solar farm is the first, and will be the largest, to connect to the electricity grid in South East Queensland. It is also the first solar farm in Australia to operate at 1500 volts DC which enables it to operate more efficiently.

“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.

“What’s more, is that this project has been developed and delivered solely by our council, without any assistance from either the Federal or State governments, unlike many other solar farms being developed in Australia.

“Both the State and Federal governments talk about achieving renewable energy targets – our council is getting on with and achieving ours – and well ahead of anyone else.

“Our vision is to be the most sustainable region in Australia – healthy, smart, creative.

“This leap forward in the clean energy sector helps our council to deliver on that promise.”

Downer Utilities Executive Director Trevor Cohen said Downer was pleased to partner with Sunshine Coast Council on its journey towards becoming Australia’s most sustainable region.

“Downer is looking forward to the operation and maintenance phase of this project and to continue growing our relationship with council and the local community,” Mr Cohen said.

Diamond Energy’s Managing Director Tony Sennitt said it was a great pleasure working with such a forward thinking council and to see this ground-breaking project become a reality.

“Over the past three years, Diamond Energy has supported council’s enthusiastic staff, through planning, implementation and now operation,” Mr Sennitt said.

“This project is an excellent example of how – working together – projects like this generate change in the Australian energy market.

”Energex Asset Manager Northern Steven Lynch congratulated Sunshine Coast Council for its vision and determination to deliver this clean green initiative.

“We have been very pleased to work with the Council to see this project come to reality,” Mr Lynch said.

“Energex sees grid scale projects like this as a key part of our low-carbon future.

Sunshine Coast Council’s Development and Innovation Portfolio Councillor Stephen Robinson said the solar farm would further help the region transition to a clean and low carbon economy.

“Already, 40,000-plus Sunshine Coast households have rooftop solar and with our own solar farm now generating, this is equivalent to a 140MW renewable energy power station on the Sunshine Coast,” Cr Robinson said.

“At any one time during construction, up to 100 people were employed on site by the lead contractor, Downer Utilities, and 10 local companies were sub-contracted to complete on-site work – from earthworks to drilling, fencing and construction.

“I’d like to thank Downer, Energex and Diamond for delivering the project with council and thank the community for their support during construction.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the council staff who have been passionately committed to seeing this innovative project through to completion.”

FAST FACTS:

  • The Sunshine Coast Solar Farm is the second largest in Queensland and the sixth largest Australia wide.
  • At its peak, the solar farm will generate 15,000 kilowatts of electricity, which will go straight into the Energex network.
  • The electricity generated over one year will be enough to power the equivalent of 5000 homes.
  • Aluminium tables held up on screw piles are used to hold the 57,000 panels above the flood plain.
  • About 36,000 tree and shrub seedlings will be planted around the solar farm’s boundaries -one of the largest revegetation projects to be undertaken on the Sunshine Coast.

Source: Sunshine Coast Council

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Sunshine Coast Solar Farm

 

Australia leading the charge in developing ground-breaking battery technology

24 July

The Turnbull Government is helping Australian innovators develop cutting-edge technology that could help revolutionise battery storage and lead to a new generation of innovative products.

Ultra-thin flexible printed batteries being developed by Brisbane-based company Printed Energy Pty Ltd will have applications in new products, including Internet of Things devices, wearable electronics, healthcare products and industrial scale solar energy storage.

Printed Energy received funding under the Government’s latest round of CRC Projects (CRC-P) grants to accelerate work on the technology.

Printed Energy’s $12 million project received a $2 million CRC-P grant that will allow the partners to continue developing the ground-breaking technology.

Today I visited the University of Queensland, one of Printed Energy’s project partners, to officially announce the grant.

Printed Energy’s work means that ultra-thin, flexible batteries for cheap portable devices and renewable energy are one step closer to reality.

Once developed, the technology could revolutionise battery storage and reduce manufacturing costs by using abundant, non-toxic materials.

Improving collaboration between researchers and industry to cultivate a more innovative and entrepreneurial economy is a key pillar of the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

The CRC Project stream assists in encouraging SME participation in collaborative research, solving problems and delivering tangible outcomes for industry.

In this particular project, Printed Energy worked with the University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, Sunset Power International Pty Ltd and Sonovia Holdings LLC.

I congratulate the principals of Printed Energy, Trevor St Baker and Mr Brian Flannery, for their initiative in securing the printed batteries technology and helping bring it to Australia for development and commercialisation.

By facilitating business involvement in collaborative research, the CRC Projects strongly align with the Australian Government’s commitment to improve the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of Australian industries as a source of new growth and new jobs.

Source: Federal Government

 

Reduced emissions from new solar sites: a move towards renewable targets

24 July

The Territory Government today took another step to act on climate change and reduce the huge potential impacts for the Territory by announcing the commissioning of 3.325 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in ten remote Aboriginal communities.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner today met the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP) team at the Ramingining facility to see the completed project.

“Investing in renewables means we are protecting our economy, our lifestyle, our quality of life and our unique and spectacular natural environment,” Mr Gunner said.

Greenhouse gas emissions from over one million litres of diesel fuel will be saved each year following the integration of the SETuP into the power supply of each community.

Mr Gunner said the SETuP sites would contribute to the Territory Labor Government’s renewable target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, by reducing emissions and creating a platform for greater use of solar in the future.

“The Territory’s natural environments are some of the most spectacular in the world and it is important we do our part to act on climate change and work towards our renewable target,” Mr Gunner said.

“Major economies around the world are increasing the use of renewable energy sources to avoid the economic, social and environmental implications associated with the use of fossil fuels – this is an exciting milestone to achieve for remote Aboriginal communities across the Territory.

“Smart communities realise that investing in renewable energy is good for the environment and for jobs – we are restoring trust in Government and creating jobs.”

Minister for Essential Services Gerry McCarthy said SETuP will benefit the environment and community.

“SETuP facilities reduce the reliance on diesel by 15 per cent, which requires fewer fuel trucks on the road and provides a more secure energy supply,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Local jobs were created for Aboriginal rangers to conduct flora and fauna surveys and weed management, as well as land clearing and construction – we are boosting jobs to build safer, fairer and stronger communities – right across the Territory,” Mr McCarthy said.

Over 10,610 solar panels were installed to provide an average of 5,000 kWh/h per day to power over 570 households across the ten communities of Arlparra , Kintore, Nyirripi (Waite Creek), Kaltukatjara (Docker River), Mt Liebig, Areyonga, Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Maningrida and Ramingining.

SETuP is a $55 million program jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Territory Government, managed by Power and Water, with around $27 million from the NT Government.

Source: Northern Territory Government

 

Sale of first solar project to Lighthouse just the start of BayWa r.e.’s growth in Australia

25 July

BayWa r.e., a global renewable energy developer, wholesaler and energy solutions provider, has sold the 20MWp Hughenden solar plant to Australian infrastructure investment specialists, Lighthouse Infrastructure.

The plant, located in Hughenden, Queensland, is one of BayWa r.e.’s first solar projects in Australia. With construction now underway, the installation is being funded through a 13-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with one of the leading Australian energy retailers.

Matthias Taft, Board member of BayWa AG responsible for the energy business, commented on the sale: “The sale of our first Australian solar project, so soon after entering the market, is testament to our growing success in the region and the strength of Australia’s rapidly expanding solar sector and desire to reduce high electricity prices through renewables.

“We are very pleased to be working with Lighthouse Infrastructure. The company has a clear mission to increase solar generation in Australia, which we very much share. We will continue to operate and manage the Hughenden plant following its completion and look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Lighthouse Infrastructure to deliver cleaner energy for Australia.”

This will be the second utility scale solar PV investment made by Lighthouse Infrastructure, who were advised in this transaction by Planum Partners, Herbert Smith Freehills, and WSP.

For BayWa r.e, this was one of its most efficient sales and an extremely positive sign for the company’s expansion in Australia. The plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of October 2017.

Daniel Gäfke, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Solar Pte Ltd. added: “Australia is a really exciting market for us. Given its high levels of sunlight, it’s the ideal home for photovoltaic energy. We first entered the market last year, opening offices in Perth and subsequently in Melbourne.

Since then, we’ve been working closely with the industry and government to help unlock the huge potential of renewable energy in Australia.

“We are currently investing in a further three large projects in Northern Victoria and Queensland. These projects, once operational, will have a combined output of just under 280 MW. All three are set to be generating electricity before the end of 2018 and are just the first steps in our expansion into Australia”.

Source: BayWa r.e. Solar

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Hughenden Solar Farm

 

Four new solar projects approved in NSW

26 July

NSW continues to lead the nation in clean energy development, with the Department of Planning and Environment approving four new solar projects in western NSW that could power more than 100,000 homes.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, announced that clean energy projects at Nevertire, Walgett, Gilgandra and Metz would boost local employment with up to 645 construction jobs.

“NSW’s four new solar farms will have capacity to supply 275 megawatts of energy to the grid for NSW communities, businesses and services.

“NSW continues to lead Australia in large-scale solar. We are committed to our country’s Renewable Energy Target and the State’s Renewable Energy Action Plan, and we are well on the way toward the 20 per cent target for renewable energy by 2020,” Mr Roberts said.

"Our focus is on ensuring energy security and affordability for our communities, businesses and services.”

In assessing the merits of each of these projects, the Department consulted extensively with the community, landowners and local councils.

Strict conditions are in place to control the construction impacts of the projects, and ensure there are no adverse visual impacts on surrounding residences.

“North-west NSW is fast becoming one of the solar power generation hubs of the state, and our solar investment is making a huge contribution to our clean, renewable energy targets,” said Mr Roberts.

With the addition of these four new solar farms, the Department has now approved 16 new large-scale solar projects across NSW.

“When the four new farms begin operation, NSW’s 16 large-scale solar farms will generate sustainable power for 423,000 households, with a combined capacity for 1,131 megawatts of renewable energy,” he said.

Source: NSW Government

 

Bungala Solar PV project

26 July

Reach Solar energy (Reach) today announced financial close on the second phase of the 300MWac Bungala Solar Photovoltaic (PV) project near Port Augusta.

The Bungala Solar project will be built on land leased from the Bungala Aboriginal Corporation, about 12km from Port Augusta. On full completion it will produce enough electricity for around 130,000 homes, is able to assist the grid with certain ancillary services, and is 'energy storage ready' for the future.

The financial close milestone for Bungala Two uses debt and equity commitments that were secured at the first financial close of Bungala One on 7 April 2017.

The 2 x 110MWac solar PV projects will be delivered without financial support from government. The equity providers are ENEL EGP and the Dutch infrastructure fund.

Origin Energy will purchase all electricity and renewable certificates produced by both solar projects under a Power Purchase Agreement signed in late 2016. The renewable solar energy is firmed up using Origin's generation and gas supply portfolio in South Australia and the national electricity market.

Professional services firm PwC continue to support Reach develop Bungala (balance 80MWAC for the 300MWAC site), and other solar projects in Australia including integrated legal, tax, capital advisory, debt advisory, due diligence and financial model audit services.

Source: Reach Solar

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Bungala Solar Farm

 

Federal Department of the Environment & Heritage declares WestWind’s proposed Golden Plains Wind Farm in Victoria a controlled action, requiring assessment and approval under the EPBC Act before it can proceed due to impacts on listed threatened species and communities.

 

Protean and KEPCO Plant Service and Engineering enter strategic relationship for renewable energy projects

27 July

  • Protean and KEPCO Plant Service and Engineering Co Ltd have signed a project co operation agreement to jointly pursue renewable energy projects in Australia, Korea and across the Asia Pacific region.
  • Protean will identify and take the lead on renewable energy projects in Australia and KPS will identify and take the lead on projects in Korea. Elsewhere the companies will lead according to the strength of the customer relationships on a particular project.
  • The two companies will cooperate on projects involving wave energy, solar photovoltaic, other renewable energy sources and commercial and industrial energy storage systems in the growing renewable energy and microgrid market across the Asia Pacific region.
  • Cooperation under the agreement has the potential to leverage Protean’s core technologies in wave energy and energy storage systems combined with the financial strength, world class technical and maintenance capability of KPS.
  • Asia Pacific represents over 45% of the world renewable market valued at approximately US$165 billion last year and has a forecast CAGR of over 12% in the region for the next ten years. Over A$7 billion of renewable projects have been committed in Australia alone this calendar year.

Protean Energy Ltd (Protean or the Company) is pleased to announce that it has signed a project cooperation agreement (PCA) with KEPCO Plant Service and Engineering Co Ltd (KPS) a leading provider of power plant build and maintenance services in Korea and across the world to jointly pursue renewable energy projects in Australia, Korea and across the Asia Pacific region.

KPS has grown to be one of the most comprehensive plant service companies in the world built from its accumulated experience in servicing and maintaining Korea’s power plants. KPS is now delivering against its vision to be active in the build, finance and operation of a spread of renewable energy projects.

Protean CEO Stephen Rogers said this relationship provided a unique opportunity to leverage its proprietary technologies by working in conjunction with a world class organisation of the size, technical capability and financial strength of KPS.

“This is a significant milestone in the development of Protean Energy where our core technologies have been recognised by a leading international group in the power sector. Using the market networks of both organisations we can now target local and regional projects taking advantage of the rapid growth in the renewable energy sector stimulated by strong international and regional commitments.”

The PCA has been established to facilitate the companies identifying and working on renewable energy opportunities together. Bringing an improved financial and technical capacity, Protean can now target projects both in Australia and across the region. Opportunities have been identified in the region for energy storage, solar photovoltaic and wave energy systems. Korea plans to generate 20% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030 and KPS is targeting this market by sourcing key technologies such as wave energy and storage. This target has been reinforced in recent weeks after the election of Moon Jae in as South Korea’s new President. Added to this the companies will target renewable energy projects across the Asia Pacific region using the KPS existing business networks.

It is intended that the companies will pursue targeted projects by tendering, securing, developing and operating projects in joint venture with scope responsibilities to be agreed on a project by project basis. Several projects have been identified in Australia which would benefit from a joint approach by the parties under the PCA which will be tendered in the coming months.

Source: Protean Energy

 

WBHO to deliver largest utility-scale solar farm in WA

27 July

Perth-based business WBHO Infrastructure, in Joint Venture with Singapore based Phoenix Solar, has secured the EPC (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) contract to deliver WA’s largest solar project, Byford Solar Farm.

The project will be located just 35km southeast of Perth CBD, making Byford Solar Farm the first utility scale solar farm to be built within a metropolitan area in Australia. WBHO will work with the developer WestGen, with completion and commissioning expected in mid-2018.

Upon completion, the 30MW Solar Farm will span over 75 hectares and generate around 80,000MWh of electricity per year for the south-west integrated system (SWIS).

The project extends WBHO’s track record of delivering renewable energy projects. The company previously built Australia’s largest solar project, the 100MW Nyngan Solar Farm (New South Wales), and was also involved in the construction of Greenough River Solar Farm, WA’s first utility-scale solar project.

Commenting, WBHO’s Western Region Executive General Manager Will Grobler said:

“WBHO is excited about the opportunity to deliver Byford Solar Farm.

“It’s an important project. Not only will it set a new benchmark for solar projects in WA, but will also provide benefits for the local economy, with opportunities for our workforce, as well as for subcontractors and suppliers.

 

“We’re proud to be helping provide clean energy for Western Australia, and are looking forward to delivering this landmark project.”

Source: WBHO Engineering

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Byford Solar Farm

 

NEW PROJECT - Wellington Solar Farm

The Wellington Solar Farm will occupy 490 Ha of land approximately two kilometres northeast of the town of Wellington in New South Wales. The project will further diversify New South Wales’ energy portfolio and create 100 jobs at construction peak.

The 180 MW project will be powered by more than 511,630 First Solar advanced thin film PV modules, producing enough solar energy to power 55,000 homes in NSW and displace the equivalent of more than 369,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year – equivalent to taking 98,000 cars off the road.

Planning Updates and Activities

First Solar is currently preparing an application for the Secretaries Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) to the Department of Planning. Following this, the Department of Planning will assess our application and issue SEARs for the project. The submission of the formal Development Application will then be the next step in the planning process.

 Project Benefits

  • Enough to power 55,000 average homes
  • Displaces 369,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually—equivalent to taking 98,000 cars off the road
  • Lowest environmental impact of any PV technology
  • No water used for electricity generation
  • Significant economic and environmental benefits for regional NSW

Source: First Solar

Contact:

Anna Cain

Manager, Project Development

First Solar

Tel: (02) 9002 7700

Email: [email protected]