Sun Brilliance Cunderdin Solar Farm signs access agreements with Western Power

1 December

Sun Brilliance Power Pty Ltd is pleased to announce that it has now signed access arrangements with Western Power to allow us to deliver renewable energy from our solar farm to be built in Cunderdin.

The Sun Brilliance Cunderdin Solar Farm project will be built in 2 phases, with an initial construction of single-axis tracking array with a capacity of 85 MWdc, with phase 2 adding a further 43 MWdc to a total of 128 MWdc.

Sun Brilliance Power has signed two contracts with Western Power - an interconnecting works (IWC) contract which allows the solar farm to connect to the Western Power grid, and a second agreement - an electricity transfer access contract (ETAC) - that allows the solar farm to send solar-sourced electricity into the electricity network.

Sun Brilliance would like to acknowledge the hard work and support of Western Power to facilitate this process to reach a successful conclusion.

Sun Brilliance is expecting construction to commence in Q1 2018 and operational by the end of Q3. When completed, the $150mn Cunderdin Solar Farm will be the largest solar power plant in Western Australia.

Bringing new jobs and new investment in the regions, this announcement is great news for Western Australia, as well as an important milestone for Sun Brilliance on its ambitious journey to become one of Australia’s leading energy developers.

Source: Sun Brilliance

 

Admission to official list

4 December

New Energy Solar Limited and New Energy Solar Fund were admitted to the Official List of ASX Limited today, Monday 4 December 2017.

Official quotation of the following securities will commence at 12.00pm AEDT today, Monday 4 December 2017, on a conditional and deferred settlement basis.

Source: ASX

 

Genex achieves first revenue for Kidston Solar Stage 1

4 December

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that, following successful transformer energisation of the Kidston Solar Stage 1 Project (KS1 or Project) (refer ASX announcement 24 November 2017), Genex has now generated its first revenue from KS1.

Electricity produced from the Project is now being transmitted into the National Electricity Market (NEM). As commissioning for the Project is completed over the coming months, electricity generation will be ramped-up until full capacity has been reached, at which point the 20-year Revenue Support Deed with the Queensland State Government will be initiated (refer ASX announcement 22 December 2016).

Commenting on today’s milestone of first revenue generation, Genex’s Managing Director Michael Addison stated:

“The Project has now transitioned from being technically operational to commercially active. This ground-breaking milestone marks the first earnings for the Project and for Genex as a company.

This transition from a development company to generating operational cash flows will serve to strengthen our financial position as we seek to reach financial close for our Kidston Stage Two Projects in 2018.”

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has provided $8.9 million in funding to support the construction of KS1, in addition to providing up to $9 million in funding to support the development of the Kidston Stage Two Projects.

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

Source: Genex Power

 

Bombora Wave Power Albany Project – Q&A

  1. Albany has now been added to the Bombora Wave Power mWaveTM project pipeline. What is the predicted timeline for the installation of this project in Albany?

The Carnegie program is roughly 2.5 years and at that stage the ‘common user facility’ becomes available for other users, including Bombora.

  1. Testing of the mWaveTM is due to start in Europe. Will the success of this determine how the Albany project is rolled out?

Yes, Albany is one of a number of sites we have in our mid-term pipeline for our commercial rollout.

  1. What makes Albany ideal for wave energy? The wave climate?

The Albany site is ideal as it has a consistent and high wave energy resource. Wave energy compliments wind and solar renewable options in providing consistent power to the grid.

As an emerging industry it is important to have good government and local support, which Albany clearly has.

The other major driver for location is the commerciality of each project. This is dependent on numerous factors which are yet to be determined at Albany. We are optimistic that these will be clarified in time for the commercial roll out of a wave farm in Albany.

  1. How will the project work? Carnegie will finish installing the common user wave energy infrastructure and then Bombora will be able to use the infrastructure?

Carnegie will install the ‘common user facility’ and then install and test their CETO 6 device for 12 months. At the conclusion of Carnegie’s testing program the ‘common user facility’ will be made available to other users.

  1. How many mWaveTM’s will Bombora deploy? How will Bombora work alongside Carnegie?

Bombora plan to install a small scale commercial array of 1.5MW mWaveTM’s at Albany. This could be anywhere between one and ten mWaveTM’s.

Carnegie has indicated they would also like to install a small commercial array in Albany.

The site can accommodate both Bombora and Carnegie arrays.

  1. How has Bombora cooperated on the wave energy project with Carnegie?

Carnegie and Bombora have agreed to share the data gathered from the test site, which will include wave energy resource patterns, geological surveys and environmental studies. This cooperation has been set up to ensure a smooth transition to the installation of a Bombora mWaveTM at the ‘common user facility’.

  1. How much power can the mWaveTM generate?

Each mWaveTM can generate up to 1.5MegaWatts of electricity so a wave ‘farm’, of say 40 mWave’sTM on an average day would generate enough power to supply 14,000 homes – so a city the size of Albany.

On a rougher day, the wave farm could supply power for 85,000 homes – 10% of Western Australia’s domestic needs. The mWaveTM is designed to produce electricity for the mass market and is complimentary to solar and wind to power your home.

  1. What is Bombora’s long term plan for Albany wave energy? How much energy do you hope to create?

Bombora would like to be part of Albany’s vision of becoming a fully renewable energy city. A Bombora wave farm, providing clean energy to the city of Albany and the creation of local employment in the installation, operation and maintenance of the wave farm is part of our vision.

  1. How does the mWaveTM differ from Carnegie’s proposed wave energy units?

They harness the power from waves differently.

Carnegie's CETO 6 is a large buoy just beneath the surface of the wave. The buoy is tethered to the sea floor and uses the surge and heave motion of the wave to drive a generator.

Bombora’s mWaveTM rests on the seafloor like a submerged reef and is covered with large flexible membranes. As waves pass over the mWaveTM the height of water above the device changes resulting in an increased pressure on the membranes. This pressure squeezes the air out of the membranes to drive an air turbine.

  1. What makes wave energy more viable than other renewables?

Wave energy has huge potential. Waves are very powerful and occur at all times of the day and night.

The industry is currently in its early stages and consequently the energy costs are high compared to other renewables. As the technology matures in the coming years the costs will drop significantly and wave farms will become a normal part of the renewable economy.

Source: Bombora Wave Power

 

Adelaide Brighton strengthens energy supply portfolio

Adelaide Brighton Ltd (ASX:ABC) advises further strengthening of its energy supply portfolio with the signing of new gas and electricity contracts in South Australia.

Adelaide Brighton has entered into an agreement with Beach Energy Limited (ASX: BPT, “Beach”) for the supply of gas to its South Australian operations.

Adelaide Brighton has also entered into an agreement with Infigen Energy Limited (ASX: IFN) for the supply of its electricity requirements to the Birkenhead and Angaston cement manufacturing plants and Klein Point Quarry on the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.

The supply agreements allow Adelaide Brighton to continue its focus on energy efficient and sustainable operations in South Australia. Adelaide Brighton has a proactive strategy designed to manage energy costs and operating risks through measures that include:

- A portfolio approach to energy supply and procurement benefits;

- Consumption management and operational efficiency;

- The aim of obtaining 30% of energy supply from alternative fuels in the medium term;

- Use of alternative cementitious materials in place of more energy intensive products;

- Cost recovery through vertical integration and long term customer relationships; and

- Financial strategies, where they add value for shareholders.

Adelaide Brighton CEO and Managing Director, Martin Brydon, said “The new agreements with Beach and Infigen provide our South Australian operations continued certainty of energy supply at competitive prices and underpin our leading position in this important market”.

Source: Adelaide Brighton

Editor’s note: Infigen Energy understood to be providing electricity to Adelaide Brighton Cement from its Lake Bonney Wind Farm

 

MOU for Solar PV project In New South Wales

- Decmil and Maoneng Australia enter into an exclusive MOU to design and construct a 250MW solar PV project in Balranald, NSW

- The ~$275 million EPC solar PV project is due to commence in March 2018 and will be one of the largest solar projects in NSW

Decmil Group Limited (ASX: DCG) (“Decmil” or “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Maoneng Australia (“Maoneng”) for its 250MW Sunraysia Solar PV project located near Balranald in New South Wales.

The exclusive MOU will see Decmil and Maoneng work together on early engineering design and finalisation of an Engineer Procure Construct (“EPC”) contract valued at approximately ~$275 million.

Subject to agreement on commercial terms and the project successfully achieving financial close, the EPC contract will be awarded by the end of March 2018.

Expected to commence shortly after award, the project is set to be one of Australia’s largest utility scale Solar PV power plants and represents a significant expansion of Decmil’s presence in the renewable energy market as an EPC contractor.

Sunraysia will be one of the first solar farms in NSW to use batteries to store energy. This will provide greater energy reliability and allow the solar farm to produce electricity during periods of peak demand rather than only during sunlight hours.

Decmil Managing Director and Group CEO, Scott Criddle, commented:

“Decmil is looking forward to partnering with Maoneng on the Sunraysia project. Both organisations bring together complimentary skills to successfully deliver this project to the Australian renewable energy market.

Decmil has been building its capability in renewable energy in recent years, based on nearly 40 years of experience and expertise in regional engineering construction”.

The Sunraysia project is Maoneng’s second significant project in the Australian market, the first being the Mugga Lane Solar Park developed and built under the ACT Government’s Reverse Solar Auction.

Source: Decmil

 

Flyers Creek modifications approved

Modifications approved to Infigen Energy’s proposed Flyers Creek Wind Farm, approximately 20km south of Orange in NSW. The wind farm was approved by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission on 14 March 2014, allowing for Infigen to install 42 turbines up to 150 metres in height and build a range of associated infrastructure. The wind farm would generate around 130 MW, enough to power around 63,000 homes, and Infigen proposed to start construction in early to mid-2018. The wind farm covers an area of approximately 6000 hectares, and includes land from 19 different owners. Three owners that were treated as “associated” land owners in the original assessment of the merits of the wind farm have indicated they do not wish to be part of the wind farm. Infigen sought to modify the approval primarily to reflect this change. Approval was granted to remove 3 properties and associated residences from the project area and delete 4 turbines. Two turbines will be moved to reduce the visual impacts on impacted residences, and the approved 33 kV power line relocated to avoid these properties.

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

Airport Development Group seeking generation licences by the end of this year for a number of its PV projects, including:

- Ground-mounted PV arrays at Darwin International Airport with 45.5 MW capacity plus additional rooftop installations of 560 kW (with plans to expand rooftop capacity by 7 MW for total of 52.5 MW)

- Ground-mounted solar capacity of 10.235 MW, plus 650 kW on car park covers, at the Alice Springs Airport

- Proposed ground-mounted solar capacity of 5 MW within the Tennant Creek Airport lease, along with the existing rooftop installation of 6 kW on the terminal roof

Contact

Mike Little

Director of Operations

Airport Development Group

Tel: (08) 8920 1832

Email: [email protected]

 

ReNu Energy secures two further opportunities for 1.14 MW of solar PV projects

Highlights:

  • ReNu Energy has executed two term sheets, securing exclusivity on the acquisition of projects with a combined solar PV installed capacity of 1.14 MW DC, comprising:
  1. a portfolio of recently constructed projects located throughout the National Electricity Market with a total solar PV installed capacity of 340 kW DC, each having existing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in place, at a cost of approximately $580,000; and
  2. an 800 kW DC solar PV development project in western New South Wales, underpinned by a 25-year PPA for approximately 40% of generation capacity. It is anticipated that this project could be completed in the second half of 2018 at a cost of approximately $1.4 million.
  • Both term sheets remain subject to completion of detailed due diligence and financing.

ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) is pleased to announce the signing of two term sheets for the acquisition of solar PV projects totalling 1.14 MW.

The first non-binding term sheet relates to the acquisition of a portfolio of five solar PV projects, offered to ReNu Energy by VivoPower Pty Ltd under the VivoPower Alliance Agreement. The portfolio totals approximately 340 kW and includes several power purchase agreements with small to medium enterprises located throughout the National Electricity Market. ReNu Energy and VivoPower have agreed on a period of exclusivity to the end of February 2018 to allow ReNu Energy to complete due diligence and for the parties to finalise the detailed terms and conditions. ReNu Energy’s investment in the assets would be approximately $580,000.

The second non-binding term sheet is for the acquisition of an 800 kW solar PV project to be constructed on an agricultural property in the Riverina district of western New South Wales, underpinned by a 25 year PPA for approximately 40% of generation capacity. The term sheet provides ReNu Energy exclusivity to the end of February 2018 to complete due diligence, finalise and execute a project development agreement with the developer and to obtain finance.

Subject to satisfying several conditions, including connection and development approvals and project financing, it is anticipated that the project could be completed in the second half of 2018 at a cost of approximately $1.4 million.

Mr Steve McLean, ReNu Energy Chairman said, “We are delighted with the continued growth of our portfolio of renewable energy assets, through our alliance agreement with VivoPower, engagement with developers and our own project origination. Both opportunities announced today fit nicely within our business streams of behind the meter and grid connected projects, and promise to deliver stable, long term returns of greater than 12% (pre-tax) to our shareholders.”

Over the past 6 months ReNu Energy has built a strong pipeline of projects, with the first of four Solar PV embedded network projects set to commence production this month, settlement of the Amaroo facility expected within weeks and due diligence on the proposed 7.4 MW Boggabilla solar farm well underway.

“By February next year, we expect to be generating 3.7 MW of electricity for our customers from our portfolio of committed assets, and this will increase to 5.5 MW by June. If Boggabilla and these two new opportunities can be brought online as scheduled, we could be generating 14 MW by the end of 2018, with an ever-expanding list of opportunities in the business development pipeline.

I am really pleased with the progress we have made in building our portfolio. We are well positioned to achieve positive EBITDA in 2018, and we look forward to converting these agreements next year.” Mr McLean said.

Source: ReNu Energy

 

First tower goes up at Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm

6 December

The first tower has gone up at ACCIONA’s Mt Gellibrand wind farm in Victoria, representing a major construction milestone for the project.

Comprising three base sections lifted by a 500-tonne crane and then bolted together, the 61-metre tower was erected on a single day by a team of skilled personnel with extensive expertise.

Over the next seven months, 44 steel towers in total will be installed at the site. After each one is erected a separate crew adds the 26-metre top section and the nacelle, which houses the gear box, drive train and generator.

The final steps involve attaching the hub to the nacelle, and then the three 60-metre blades to the hub. At their highest point the blades will reach almost 150 metres into the air.

Each blade weighs approximately 17.5 tonnes, while the four tower sections collectively tip the scales at 220 tonnes. Over the complete installation process, more than 18,000 tonnes of turbine infrastructure will be moved into place.

Over 150 people have been involved in construction at the site, including several local contractors. Around $10 million will be spent directly in the local area over the course of the project.

ACCIONA Energy Australia Managing Director Brett Wickham said: “Building a wind farm is a significant undertaking, and after so much preparation we’re pleased to see the towers going up. Our team is working hard, and our local subcontractors continue to contribute their valuable skills to this project – we couldn’t do it without them, and we thank the community for their ongoing support.”

Source: ACCIONA

 

NSW Planning Assessment Commission determination - Beryl Solar Farm

6 December

The Planning Assessment Commission has decided to grant consent to the State significant development application by First Solar Pty Ltd to construct and operate the Beryl Solar Farm. The decision follows the Commission’s public meeting at the Gulgong RSL on 21 November 2017.

The approved solar farm, to be located on agricultural land about 5 kilometres west of the mid western town of Gulgong, will have an installed capacity of about 74 megawatts of electricity.

In reaching its decision, the Commission considered carefully First Solar’s proposal, the concerns raised by the community, as well as the Department’s assessment report and recommendations. The Commission was persuaded by the depth of concern expressed by the community to investigate the extent and nature of potential visual and noise impacts of the proposal, in particular.

The Commission found need to impose consent conditions that require First Solar to appoint an independent auditor and commission an audit report within six months of the start of construction to ensure efforts to plant vegetation will be sufficient to provide appropriate visual screening in both the short and long term.

The Commission also found reason to impose consent conditions that require First Solar to implement a complaint handling and recording protocol for the life of the development, particularly in respect of the potential for unexpected noise impacts. Complaints, and First Solar’s response to those complaints, must be published publicly on First Solar’s website in the first instance and may be followed up by the Department of Planning and Environment if this becomes necessary.

Though addressing particular issues, these conditions have wider benefits and will assist in giving the local community confidence about the environmental performance of the whole development.

The Commission considered carefully the arguments for and against the location of solar infrastructure on land within the project site zoned R5 – Large-lot Residential. The Commission found that there were compelling strategic and policy reasons to delete solar infrastructure from the R5 land. These arguments relate to the planning instruments that apply to the land, the availability of R5 land and the community’s concern for the encroachment of solar infrastructure on residential land.

On balance, the Commission found that the renewable energy benefits of the proposal, excluding the R5 land, correspond to National and State renewable energy objectives, while also furthering the aims, objectives and matters to consider in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and relevant Environmental Planning Instruments including the Mid-Western Regional Local Environmental Plan 2012.

Source: NSW Government

 

ACCIONA supports Australian manufacturing as Mt Gellibrand transformer deliveries begin

7 December

- Imminent delivery of critical components for Mt Gellibrand wind farm

- $7 million contract for Victorian manufacturer Wilson Transformer Company

Acciona Energy is about to take delivery of critical components for its 132 MW under-construction wind farm at Mt Gellibrand in Victoria – supporting local manufacturing and helping sustain jobs.

Earlier this year, the company contracted Victorian-based Wilson Transformer Company to provide two main power transformers and 44 kiosk transformers under a $7 million deal.

Deliveries to the site will begin in the next few days following a 25-week manufacturing process. The two main transformers will arrive first, followed by a staggered delivery of the kiosks over the next few months. The transformers are vital links in connecting the wind farm’s turbines to the grid.

“Wilson Transformer Company has an excellent reputation as a Victorian manufacturer with high quality products,” said Brett Wickham, ACCIONA Energy’s Managing Director in Australia. “This was a tough competition with international companies very interested too, but Wilson Transformer Company delivered a great offer backed by strong local commitment”.

“We are firm believers in maximising our engagement with local industry wherever we can. Companies like Wilson Transformer Company show that increasing numbers of businesses see long-term sustainable growth opportunities in the renewable energy sector, and that should be encouraged as the industry expands.”

Ed Wilson, Wilson Transformer Company’s Managing Director, said: “We are very pleased to enhance our relationship with ACCIONA through this contract, and are proud of our growing role in the renewable sector. Local manufacturing such as this is vital for our economy, and we have a highly-skilled team that our customers can rely on to deliver reliable products that stand the test of time.”

The Mt Gellibrand wind farm is 25 km east of Colac and 17km west of Winchelsea. The $258 million project is bringing significant economic activity and benefits to the region, with over 100 construction jobs and approximately 10 ongoing full-time equivalent positions on site.

Established in 1933, Wilson Transformer Company is a leading specialist in the delivery of transformer solutions. From their manufacturing base in Australia, they deliver solutions to a wide variety of industries and customers around the world. These include electricity generators, transmission and distribution organisations, heavy and light industrial users, as well as mining, oil and gas businesses.

Source: ACCIONA

 

Government a shining light in solar deal

8 December

The NSW Government has signed a contract with Neoen Australia Pty Ltd to support construction of the Dubbo Solar Hub in the state’s Central West.

The project will generate enough clean energy to power around 10,000 homes a year, put downward pressure on electricity prices and further improve NSW’s energy security. It will also create new jobs.

Minister for Energy and Utilities Don Harwin said the Government’s first move into large-scale renewable energy procurement will provide huge benefits for the community.

“The NSW Government is showing leadership by using our significant purchasing power to deliver more renewable energy in NSW,” Mr Harwin said.

“This deal will support jobs in regional NSW, boost our energy security and help the State Government meet our obligations under the Renewable Energy Target as a large energy user.

“This lays the foundation for more renewable energy procurement, which will deliver more power supply for the state and put more downward pressure on prices.”

The contract, which commences on 1 July 2019 and expires 31 December 2030, will meet 15.6 per cent of the Government’s obligations under the Renewable Energy Target.

The 24-megawatt solar hub will consist of farms in Narromine and South Keswick. The project is one of five in NSW to secure a share of $34.9 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) large-scale solar funding round last year.

“ARENA’s funding for projects like this one and others in Glen Innes, Griffith, Parkes and Manildra highlights the growing importance of the NSW solar industry’s role in ensuring we have secure, sustainable and affordable energy,” Minister Harwin said.

Member for Dubbo Troy Grant welcomed the investment in the region.

“This project brings with it 175 jobs throughout the construction phase here in Dubbo, a fantastic boost for our local economy,” Mr Grant said.

NSW leads Australia in large-scale solar, with three of the country’s largest operating solar farms and a further seven under construction.

The largest solar project in the Southern Hemisphere is expected to commence construction at Balranald, in the state’s Riverina region early next year.

Source: NSW Government

First Solar Panels installed at White Rock Solar Farm

27 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Goldwind Australia

 

Roadmap to Renewables report released: major election commitment delivered

27 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: NT Government

 

10 MW Northam Solar Farm update

28 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

New deal for fast energy – five minute settlement

28 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: AEMC

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

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

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

 

Green light for new energy project in South Australia

29 November

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

- First project of its kind in Australia

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Work is expected to commence early in 2018.

Source: Schneider Electric

 

Next wave of energy storage projects announced

29 November

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

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

Planet Ark Power – Schneider Electric

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

UniSA

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

1414 Degrees

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

SunSHIFT

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

Background

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

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

Source: SA Government

 

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

29 November

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

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

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

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

The AREH Project

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

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

The Background

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

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

The Team

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

1 December

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background

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

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

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

Source: SA Government

 

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Offshore Energy

 

Lyon Group’s Riverland Solar Storage receives development approval

1 December

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The projects are in three states:

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

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

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

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

 

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

1 December

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

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

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

The projects are in three states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Lyon Group

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

17 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Albany Project

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

Source: Bombora Wave Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Albany Wave Power

 

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

17 November

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

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

What Are The Funds For?

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

How Will It Work?

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

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

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

What Role Will The Partners Play?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Is Power Ledger Involved?

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

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

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

Source: Power Ledger

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

 

First turbine erected at Mount Emerald Wind Farm

20 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Ratch Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Mount Emerald Wind Farm

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

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

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

 

PROJECT BRIEF

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

Contact

Jade Feinberg

Project Manager

Renew Power Group

Tel: 042 665 3372

E-mail: [email protected]

 

Bright future for Australian energy storage despite public uncertainty

20 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After 11.am on Monday 20 November:

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

Source: ACOLA

 

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

20 November

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

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

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

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

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

Source: ACCIONA

Link to AltEnergy project database: Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm

 

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

21 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: SA Government

 

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

21 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

Endorsed by:

 Australian Aluminium Council

 Australian Council of Social Services

 Australian Council of Trade Unions

 Australian Energy Council

 Australian Industry Group

 Australian Steel Institute

 Brotherhood of St Laurence

 Cement Industry Federation

 Clean Energy Council

 Energy Efficiency Council

 Energy Networks Australia

 Energy Users Association of Australia

 Investor Group on Climate Change

 National Farmers' Federation

 St Vincent de Paul Society

 WWF Australia

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Australian first – Melbourne powers ahead with wind farm

23 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: City of Melbourne

Link to AltEnergy project database: Crowlands Wind Farm

 

New renewable energy will lower power bills: Government analysis

23 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

World’s biggest lithium ion battery set to be energised

23 November

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

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

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

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

Background

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

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

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

Source: SA Government

Link to AltEnergy project database: Hornsdale Wind Farm

 

Genex achieves first energisation for Kidston Solar stage 1

24 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Genex Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kidston Solar Project

 

PROJECT BRIEF

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

 

Energy Guarantee must now address critical concerns for renewables industry

24 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Building the case for a second interconnector for Bass Strait

24 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: ARENA

 

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

24 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Federal Government

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Industry Queensland

Link to AltEnergy project database: Tableland Sugar Mill Power Station

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Top Energy

 

RCR preferred contractor for the Clermont and Wemen Solar Farm projects with combined value 0f $260m
13 November
Diversified engineering and infrastructure company, RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the Preferred EPC Contractor for two major contracts, totalling approximately $260 million for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) and Operation and Maintenance (“O&M”) for the 75MWac Clermont Solar Farm and the 88MWac Wemen Solar Farm, being developed by International renewable energy company, Wirsol Energy Ltd (part of the WIRCON Group).

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

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

The Clermont Solar Farm is located in Rockhampton, Northern Queensland and the Wemen Solar Farm is located in Wemen, Victoria.

RCR Managing Director & CEO, Dr Paul Dalgleish said “We are very pleased to continue our strong relationship with Wirsol to deliver these two large-scale solar energy projects. We are now supporting Wirsol in the development of over 200MWac of renewable energy solar projects.

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

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

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

Source: RCR Tomlinson

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

 

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

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

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

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

Source: Queensland Labor Party

 

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

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

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

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

Link to full announcement here.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

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

The CEFC has committed $150 million in debt finance to stage one of the Lincoln Gap wind farm, in South Australia's Port Augusta region. The CEFC financing facility includes finance towards a 10MW battery energy storage system, capable of producing up to 10MWh of fast response storage capacity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: CEFC

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Nexif Energy

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Senvion Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Lincoln Gap Wind Farm

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Tasmania Government

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Goldwind

Link to AltEnergy project database: Cattle Hill Wind Farm

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Victoria Government

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Hydro Tasmania

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: ReNu Energy

Link to AltEnergy project database: Boggabilla Solar Farm

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Genex Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kidston Hydro Project

SolarReserve and Barngarla partner to protect and preserve Aboriginal heritage

1 November

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

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

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

Respecting Aboriginal Heritage

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

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

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

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

Moving Forward with Aurora Project Development

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

Source: SolarReserve

Link to AltEnergy project database: Aurora Solar Energy Project

 

New Energy Solar – Letter of invitation

2 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: New Energy Solar

 

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

3 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: BJCE Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Biala Wind Farm

 

Sterling and Wilson expands its solar EPC footprint in Australia

3 November

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

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

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

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

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

About Sterling and Wilson

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

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

Source: Sterling & Wilson

 

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

6 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Enzen Group

 

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

6 November

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

Kiata is located near Nhill, using Vestas V126, 3.45MW wind turbines at a hub height of 117M. It is the first project supported by the Victorian Government’s LGC procurement scheme to be connected to the grid.

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

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

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

Source: Windlab Limited

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kiata Wind Farm

 

New review to address deteriorating frequency performance in the power system

7 November

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

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

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

Areas for consideration include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: AEMC

 

Albany Wave Energy Project activities underway

6 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

Link to AltEnergy project database: Albany Wave Energy Project

 

PROJECT BRIEF

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

(i) Robertson Barracks – 9.2 Megawatts

(ii) RAAF Base Darwin – 3.3 Megawatts

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

 

McGowan Labor Government to secure renewable future

8 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments attributed to Energy Minister Ben Wyatt:

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

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

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

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

Source: WA Government

 

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

9 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: DP Energy

Link to AltEnergy project database: Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park

 

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

10 November

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: RCR Tomlinson

Link to AltEnergy project database: Haughton Solar Farm

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

Gregory Solar Farm

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

Contact:

Colin Liebmann

Director

Gregory Solar Farm Pty Ltd

Email: [email protected]

 

Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park

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

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

Contact:

David Pollington

Chief Operating Officer

UPC Renewables

E-mail: [email protected]

New ZEN Energy launches gigawatt program to support SA industry

30 October

The Board of ZEN Energy has today approved a strategic plan for establishing 1GW of additional dispatchable renewable generation assets to support long-term electricity supply contracts with South Australia’s large industrial users, including the Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks, to provide access to lower cost, reliable and low emission energy.

ZEN Energy held its first Board meeting in Adelaide this morning, after Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance purchased a 50.1% share in the company. Sanjeev assumed the role of Chairman. Outgoing Chairman Ross Garnaut is retaining an active role on the Board as President of the company, and Raymond Spencer will remain on the Board.

The projects ready for early development endorsed by the Board today include:

  • 200MW of solar PV, comprising 80MW in the Whyalla Council industrial area, expanded by 120MW on adjacent land owned by Liberty OneSteel;
  • 100MW/100MWh battery at Port Augusta;
  • a 100MW of demand response at the Whyalla Steelworks and other SA sites;
  • 120MW/600MWh pumped hydro storage facility at a disused iron ore mine pit in the Middleback Ranges.

An additional 480 MW of solar capacity will be installed in due course to support the expansion of industrial capacity in Whyalla and industrial loads elsewhere in South Australia.

“I am delighted ZEN Energy is able to hit the ground running”, Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said.

“These first steps in SA will improve reliability and greatly reduce costs of electricity in our own steelworks at Whyalla, and provide competitive sources of power for other industrial and commercial users. This will be followed by early steps to lower Liberty OneSteel’s electricity costs in NSW and Victoria, and to provide power at lower cost to other industrial enterprises in these states and Queensland.

“I have been asked whether today’s decision is contingent on how current uncertainty in national electricity policy is resolved. Naturally we are watching developments in policy closely. In the meantime, we are proceeding with the first 520MW of capacity based on positive interactions with relevant stakeholders.

“I believe there is a great future for energy-intensive industries in Australia. I look forward to helping build ZEN Energy to become a major player in the Australian energy transition.”

Source: Zen Energy

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

Solar Choice/First Solar’s proposed 2000 MW Bulli Creek Solar Farm near Toowoomba in South-east Queensland was given the federal green-light and declared not a controlled action by the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy, including for the full 13,000 acres of participating freehold under planning approval since 2015, as well as the connection easement. This decision means “that the proposed action does not require further assessment and approval under the EPBC Act before it can proceed”.

Gympie Regional Shire to recommend approval of SolarQ’s application for Lower Wonga Solar Farm subject to the imposition of appropriate conditions. The application was for a 350 MW solar farm on land at Lower Wonga, comprising eight lots over a total area of 572 hectares. Approximately two million PV panels will cover approximately 240ha of the 572ha site with direct connection to the National Electricity Grid at the Powerlink Woolooga Substation. Panel clusters are to be connected to approximately 140 invertors, each with a 2.5MW capacity.

The development application for Solar Reserve’s Aurora solar thermal project in Port Augusta is under consideration by South Australia’s State Commission Assessment Panel, with the submission period now closed. The proposed development will have a generating capacity of 150MW with the ability to store up to 1,100MWh per day. The project includes up to 13,000 heliostats (tracking mirrors), a central receiving tower, electricity generation plant, associated ancillary infrastructure and a transmission line for connection to the grid.

 

National Energy Guarantee no guarantee for renewable energy industry

31 October

Big questions remain over the ability of the Federal Government’s new National Energy Guarantee (NEG) to deliver the confidence required for new investment in clean energy, the Clean Energy Council says in a new position paper on the policy.

While the industry remains open-minded and prepared to engage constructively on the NEG, new analysis by the Clean Energy Council suggests that investment in new renewable energy could hit a wall after the Renewable Energy Target (RET) stops encouraging new large-scale projects in 2020.

“Put simply, more renewable energy is under construction this year than what the NEG is expected to deliver over the entire next decade,” said Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton.

“The information currently available suggests that between 250 to 670 MW of large scale renewable projects will be deployed per annum throughout 2020-2030,” Mr Thornton said.

“Compare that to the 4300 MW of projects currently committed or under construction and you can probably understand why the industry has some serious concerns. If the emissions abatement under the scheme is pushed out closer to 2030 as some have suggested, this would make the prospects for renewable energy bleak early in the decade.”

The analysis is based on preliminary information released by the Energy Security Board, and the renewable energy industry is keen to see more detail on the policy.

Currently the focus for the industry is on understanding the risks and benefits of the NEG and informing the design of the core policy architecture.

A national energy policy needs to drive investment in new renewable energy and the lower power prices that all Australians want, but a range of key design questions remain. Currently the lack of guarantee for investors on either an appropriate price signals or long-term confidence, investors are unlikely to outlay the new investment which would place downward pressure on power prices.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Canadian Solar shows how renewables can create a brighter future for regional communities

1 November

Three solar projects currently being built in rural Queensland highlight the fantastic benefits that renewable energy can bring to regional communities.

Canadian Solar Australia is currently constructing three separate solar projects in the rural Queensland towns of Oakey, Normanton and Longreach. The projects, which range in size from 5 MW to 80 MW, will create more than 200 jobs during construction as well as a number of ongoing maintenance jobs once work is complete.

A key feature of the three solar farms is Canadian Solar’s strong desire to work closely with local communities to ensure that local businesses and residents benefit from the projects.

In Oakey, the company conducted a number of community consultation events with residents, businesses and the local university, which generated positive feedback from community stakeholders and resulted in significant interest from residents and businesses in how they could become involved in the project.

In Longreach, Canadian Solar developed a comprehensive community consultation plan to ensure that all relevant stakeholders were informed and had a chance to give input and ask questions about the project. This multi-staged plan allowed for deeper connections to be fostered with the local community and built community interest and excitement in an area that had been adversely affected by a long period of drought.

In addition to the jobs created by the projects, Canadian Solar has looked to engage with the local community wherever possible by utilising local labour, resources and business services. The company has also supported the communities through initiatives such as its sponsorship of the ‘International Legends of League’ NRL tournament in Oakey.

The projects are also putting a new spin on traditional farming in Australia by creating alternative opportunities for present and future generations on the land. Toowoomba Regional Councillor Carol Taylor praised the Oakey Solar Farm as an opportunity to “inspire young people to continue on the land” by providing new ways to utilise farm land and creating new jobs.

This view is echoed by Ian Speed, the owner of the land where the Oakey Solar Farm will be located, who identified the positive impact and opportunities that solar energy can present for local farmers by securing a stable source of income for land and a more productive use for unproductive soil. “We have essentially been farming the sun since we have been here, just turning it into protein or fibre; now we’re turning it into electricity”, Mr Speed said.

Canadian Solar’s three projects in Queensland highlight the potential for solar energy to provide security for communities. Through close partnerships with local residents, businesses and stakeholders, solar farms can bring fresh opportunities and growth to regional areas and foster a brighter future.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Council approves Burdekin Solar Farm

1 November

Burdekin Shire Council has approved CleanGen Projects’ plan to develop the $280 million Burdekin Solar Farm at Clare.

The 140MW solar farm, to be developed on a 227ha site at Ayr Dalbeg Rd, is expected to create up to 400 construction jobs and 10 operational roles.

Burdekin Shire Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the CleanGen Projects solar farm represented a major investment in the shire and in the Burdekin’s potential as a solar energy powerhouse.

“The Burdekin, with its abundant sunshine and available land, is very well positioned to accommodate this type of new and exciting industry,” she said.

“Our Council is all for growing the Burdekin and diversification will ensure growth in employment and a sustainable economy into the future.”

It is the fifth large-scale solar farm to gain approval in the Burdekin Shire.

CleanGen Projects managing director Koovashni Reddy said the solar farm included battery storage and would connect to the local grid.

“The battery storage will help produce power when the sun doesn’t shine and assist with grid stability services,” Ms Reddy said.

She said the project would offer apprenticeships to train local youth and would also be encouraging employment opportunities for women during the construction and operational phases.

Construction is expected in 2018.

The approval comes just a month after Mareeba Shire Council approved a CleanGen Projects planning application for the 60MW Mareeba Solar Farm south-west of Mareeba, also expected to start construction next year.

CleanGen says that proposal will have numerous benefits for the community and local economy including the creation of 200 construction jobs and up to 10 full-time operational roles.

Source: Industry Queensland

Link to AltEnergy project database: Burdekin Solar Farm

 

Comments sought on exposure draft amendment regulations

1 November

The Department of the Environment and Energy (the Department) has released an exposure draft of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendments (Exemptions and Other Measures) Regulations 2017. The Department is seeking views on the proposed changes to the regulations from Renewable Energy Target scheme participants and businesses undertaking Emissions Intensity Trade Exposed (EITE) activities.

The period for submissions will run until Friday, 17 November 2017. If you have any questions please call the Department 1800 057 590.

The proposed changes include:

  • a new method for calculating 100% exemptions for EITE activities
  • removal of the 60-day limit to the installation of hot water systems
  • closing option for owners of solar (photovoltaic) systems with a capacity of 10 kW to 100 kW (inclusive) and that generate from 25 MWh to 250 MWh (inclusive) to opt out of the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme and elect to participate in the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target scheme and create large-scale generation certificates.
  • clarification of the requirements for determining whether an electricity grid meets or exceeds the 100 megawatt capacity threshold for liability, in accordance with subsection 31 (3) of the Act.
  • other minor and technical amendments to the Renewable Energy Target.

If you would like to make a submission please use the submission template and send your submission to [email protected] or mail to:

EITE Submission

Renewable Energy Policy Team

Clean Energy Branch

Department of the Environment and Energy

GPO Box 787

Canberra ACT 2601

Source: Clean Energy Regulator

 

Accelerating clean energy investment - CEFC Annual Report 2016-17

2 November

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation Annual Report for 2016-17 has been tabled in the Australian Senate, fulfilling an important part of the CEFC's transparency, information sharing and regulatory obligations.

The CEFC achieved a substantial increase in activity in 2016-17, delivering more than $2 billion in new commitments to 35 individual transactions. The increased value and scale of this activity eclipsed prior year commitments, with the breadth and depth of CEFC investments signalling strong business and investor appetite for clean energy assets.

In his Chair's Report, Chair Steven Skala AO commented: "The CEFC has delivered a strong performance in its fourth full year of operation, achieving new highs in the number, impact and value of commitments across the clean energy sector.

"The CEFC was created with a clear charter to stimulate change in Australa's investment in clean energy, as a key pathway to the decarbonisation of the Australian economy. CEFC investments are delivering positive returns to taxpayers, while catalysing or leading to additional private sector finance in the sector and helping reduce Australia's emissions.

"As a specialist and active financier in the clean energy sector, the CEFC is also well placed to work with expert review panels, policy makers, the industry and other investors in understanding the market, as well as the key drivers of carbon emissions and priority areas for investment. During the past year, this has seen the CEFC work closely with the Australian Government and other agencies, including AEMO, ARENA and the Clean Energy Regulator. Our hands-on experience as financiers in the energy market and a range of industry sectors provides the CEFC with an intimate view of market expectations and preferences, allowing us to bring an additional perspective to policy forums which continues to be well received."

In his CEO report on the 2016-17 year, CEO Ian Learmonth said: "Within the year we finalised 35 individual transactions, exceeding the combined transactions of the previous three years. We committed more than $2 billion in CEFC capital, to projects valued at $6.5 billion. Cumulative leverage across the portfolio was more than $2.10 at 30 June 2017, with each $1.00 of CEFC investment since 2013 helping catalyse an additional $2.10 from the private sector. Equally important, our current investments, upon financial close will fund projects that are estimated to achieve annual abatement of almost 7.3 million tonnes CO2-e, or more than 121 million tonnes CO2-e over their lifetimes.

"The CEFC Act makes clear that these investments are to deliver a positive return to the taxpayer. We are pleased to report that, at 30 June 2017, our $3.4 billion portfolio of investment commitments had a forecast lifetime investment yield of more than five per cent."

CEFC commitments in 2016-17 focused on industry sectors with strong potential for decarbonisation, including low carbon electricity, such as solar, wind, battery storage and bioenergy; ambitious energy efficiency, such as property, infrastructure, manufacturing and agribusiness; and electrification and fuel switching, such as vehicles and biofuels.

Changes to the Investment Mandate during the year also saw the CEFC direct investment activities to the following areas:

  • Clean Energy Innovation Fund: $30 million invested across four transactions, with each dollar of CEFC finance attracting an additional $2.16 in private sector investment. The investments have an estimated lifetime abatement of 14,000 tCO2-e.
  • Sustainable Cities Investment Program: $800 million investment in projects with a combined project value of $1.8 billion. The investments have an estimated lifetime abatement of 17 million tCO2-e.
  • Reef Funding Program: $150 million investment in more than 240 large and small-scale projects in the Great Barrier Reef catchment area. The investments have an estimated lifetime abatement of 11 million tCO2-e.  

Mr Learmonth added: "The CEFC is now well established, with a clear investment focus and a substantial and growing portfolio. Our own days as a 'start up' organisation are behind us, as we deepen our exposure across the economy, and seek to apply CEFC capital to areas where we can have the greatest impact on decarbonisation - whether in supporting cleaner electricity, ambitious energy efficiency or electrification and fuel switching of our transport sector in particular. We continue to also seek the best financial return possible for the taxpayer whilst ensuring our portfolio risk is appropriate and continues to be well managed.

"For the future, the organisation will continue to match commercial rigour with our public policy purpose. We anticipate working in even more diverse areas of the energy space. Distributed energy, energy storage, improved grid transmission, network security and demand response management are all areas that require greater investment. They also have a central role to play in reducing carbon emissions, by ensuring the benefits of cleaner generation are delivered across the economy, alongside a much stronger focus on reduced energy consumption."

Mr Skala and Mr Learmonth recognised the contribution of founding board members, Chair Jillian Broadbent AO, Ian Moore, Anna Skarbek and Andrew Stock, whose terms concluded in August 2017.They also acknowledged founding CEO Oliver Yates who resigned from the organisation during the year.

Source: CEFC

 

Development of the proposed Penshurst Wind Farm site to be discontinued

2 November

RES Australia today announced that following a comprehensive review of the proposed site for a wind farm outside the township of Penshurst, south west Victoria, the project will no longer be considered an ongoing development opportunity and that further work would be discontinued.

A spokesperson for RES said “Since 2008, RES has a invested significant amount of effort, time and money in the Penshurst project and supported various local community events and groups over a number of years.

After a detailed review of the site we no longer consider this project to be an ongoing development opportunity and we intend to focus on other sites in our expanding portfolio. We have a number of exciting development sites in Victoria, including the 420MW Murra Warra Wind Farm in north west Victoria.

We have had very many supporters in the Penshurst area and a loyal group of landowners. We would like to wholeheartedly thank these members of the local community for supporting us.”

About RES Australia: Established in 2004, RES Australia is an industry leading renewable energy developer specialising in wind, solar and battery storage development and asset management across Australia.

With a talented and experienced team, the company has successfully developed over 400MW of new renewable energy projects in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. RES has a development pipeline of over 2500MW of new wind, solar and energy storage projects across a number of states.

The Murra Warra Wind Farm was approved in November 2016 and when constructed this project is expected to become one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere supplying low carbon energy to nearly 250,000 Victorian households.

Source: RES Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Penshurst Wind Farm

 

Infradebt closes new senior debt facility for Swan Hill Solar Farm

3 November

Infradebt and Impact Investment Group are pleased to announce the close of a A$16.5 million senior debt facility for IIG’s Swan Hill Solar Farm. The project is a 19.3MWdc utility scale solar facility currently under construction south of Swan Hill in Victoria. The project, will deliver around 37,700 MWh of electricity or enough power for around 6,300 homes.

The loan represents the first investment for the Infradebt Ethical Fund since its first close in September, with further transactions expected to close prior to year-end.

Quote attributable to Lane Crockett, Head of Renewable Infrastructure, Impact Investment Group:

“It’s great to have this additional piece of financing in place. Construction is now well underway, and is expected to complete in the second quarter of next year. Swan Hill is another excellent solar asset that will complement our existing portfolio, with a number of other projects expected to complete through calendar 2018.”

Quote attributable to Alexander Austin, CEO, Infradebt:

“Infradebt is pleased to finalise its part in financing Swan Hill, we have worked closely with IIG to provide a highly customised facility that complements the unique attributes of the project. We look forward to working with IIG in the future and assisting them with their future development pipeline.”

Source: Infradebt

Link to AltEnergy project database: Swan Hill Solar Farm

Coalition's strong record on renewables exposes Labor's desperate tactics

20 October

Recommended by Australia’s preeminent energy experts from the Energy Security Board, the National Energy Guarantee is a credible, workable, technology neutral policy that will create a more affordable and reliable energy system and deliver much-needed investor certainty by integrating climate and energy policy.

That is why leading industry groups, energy users and manufacturers representing millions of Australian workers and power companies themselves have welcomed the Guarantee. But the Labor Party is grasping at straws, uncertain from one day to the next whether they would support or oppose it.

Labor’s latest desperate tactic is to claim that the Guarantee will undermine renewables. The Energy Security Board, however, has advised that the Guarantee is expected to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix to between 28 and 36 per cent by 2030.

The inconvenient truth for Labor is that the Coalition’s strong record on renewable energy couldn’t be clearer:

  • In 2016 there was a five-fold increase in investment in renewables compared to 2015.
  • 2017 is seeing an unprecedented wave of investment in renewable energy worth over $8 billion and over 4,000 MW of capacity.
  • $4.3 billion in investment commitments have been made by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, more than $3.5 billion of which has been made under the Coalition.
  • More than $1 billion of grants through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, around half of which has been made under the Coalition.
  • Investing in Snowy Hydro 2.0 which will be the biggest battery in the Southern Hemisphere and help to make wind and solar more reliable.
  • More than one in five Australian households now have solar panels installed on their roof – the highest rate per capita in the world.
  • Around 95 per cent of the estimated renewable capacity to meet the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target is either operating or underway through firmly announced investment commitments. These investments have been based on the existing Renewable Energy Target, which remains unchanged.

With the costs of renewable energy continuing to fall and further opportunities flowing from the investment certainty, the National Energy Guarantee levels the playing field for all technologies going forward.

Labor frontbenchers themselves admit that renewables are now cost competitive and do not need to be subsidised any longer. Labor should now put politics aside and support the Government’s National Energy Guarantee.

The Guarantee will save households up to $115 a year based on the Energy Security Board’s advice. This is not an insignificant amount for families under pressure from energy bills, especially as it builds on the Turnbull Government’s existing actions such as securing agreement from the retailers to offer consumers a better deal, stopping the networks gaming the system and delivering more gas for Australians before it's shipped offshore.

The Coalition’s energy plan will bring about a more affordable and reliably energy system with savings flowing through to Australian households and businesses. Labor should get on board rather than play politics.

Source: Federal Government

 

Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro - McConnell Dowell/Downer JV selected as preferred EPC contractor

23 October

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to provide an update in relation to the development of the 250MW Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro (K2-Hydro) project at Kidston, North Queensland. The K2-Hydro project is part of the overall Kidston Stage 2 (K2) project, which includes a co-located 270MW solar PV project (K2-Solar).

Following engagement with a number of leading EPC contractors, Genex has selected a Joint Venture between McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd (McConnell Dowell) and Downer EDI Limited (Downer) as Preferred EPC Contractor. Leading hydro and electrical consultants Norconsult and GHD Australia are technical advisers to the joint venture.

McConnell Dowell has an extensive global EPC track record in respect of hydro projects, especially those involving tunnelling and underground excavation, including the most recent major hydro power development in Australia and other remote hydro projects in the Asia Pacific region.

Downer has been selected jointly by Genex and McConnell Dowell as the JV partner, on the basis of its strong balance sheet and complementary strengths in mechanical/electrical/civil engineering and grid connection, and operations and maintenance capabilities.

Genex will now work with the Preferred EPC Contractor as part of the early contractor involvement (ECI) process (announced on 20 October 2017) to complete final design optimisation and the full EPC and O&M contracting process for the K2-Hydro project. This will include a competitive tender process to secure the electro-mechanical equipment package (including Francis reversible pump /generator turbine machines), which will be held in November 2017 with invitations extended to a number of Tier 1 hydro turbine suppliers.

Genex has determined that an ECI process is the most appropriate means to ensure the timely development of the K2 project while minimising costs associated with a full EPC tender process.

Genex Managing Director Michael Addison said:

“The McConnell Dowell / Downer JV is a very strong partner to deliver the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project. As a combined force, the JV has a complementary skill set and a long track record of delivering hydro projects around the world, a strong balance sheet and proven project delivery capabilities – factors which are likely to materially contribute to the bankability and successful implementation of the project.”

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has continued to support the K2-Hydro project. To date, Genex has drawn down a total of approximately $2.85 million of its $4.0 million ARENA funding facility in relation to the project.

Source: Genex Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kidston Hydro Project

 

RCR awarded $110m contract for 68MW Emerald Solar Farm project

23 October

Diversified engineering and infrastructure company RCR Tomlinson Ltd (ASX: RCR), is pleased to announce that we have been awarded an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contract and Operation and Maintenance (“O&M”) contract with a combined valued at approximately $110 million for the 68MWac Emerald Solar Farm, being developed by International renewable energy developer, Renewable Energy System Pty Ltd (“RES”).

RCR’s scope of work includes engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of the Emerald Solar Farm. Once commissioned, RCR will provide O&M services for the Solar Farm for an initial period of 2 years, with various options terms for up to a further 10 years.

The Solar Farm is located in Emerald, Central Queensland and will supply power under a ground-breaking long term corporate power purchase agreement with RES.

RCR Managing Director & CEO, Dr Paul Dalgleish said “We are very pleased to be working alongside RES, one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies, who have been actively supporting investment in sustainable energy projects in Australia since 2004.

RCR has firmly positioned itself as one of Australia’s leading EPC providers of large-scale solar and other renewable energy infrastructure. RCR now has over 650MWac of large-scale solar projects in its order book and more than a Gigawatt is currently being developed or progressed under early contractor involvement processes.

We look forward to working with the local community in Emerald to realise the jobs and economic benefit opportunities that this project will create”, said Dr Dalgleish.

Source: RCR Tomlinson

Link to AltEnergy project database: Emerald Solar Farm

 

Oops, we missed…

ACCIONA and Gransolar (GRS) to construct one of Australia’s largest photovoltaic plants

12 October

The Lilyvale photovoltaic plant will be constructed as a turnkey project for Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, with a capacity of 100 MWac.

A joint venture between ACCIONA Industrial and Gransolar (GRS), led by GRS, is set to construct one of Australia’s largest photovoltaic plants.

The Lilyvale Solar Farm will have a capacity of 100 MWac, and the project will be carried out as a turnkey or EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contract for global solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV). The works have already begun and the project should be completed by the end of 2018.

The new plant is located in Lilyvale, 50 km north east of Emerald in the state of Queensland. The plant will cover approximately 396 hectares and will consist of 379,260 photovoltaic modules with single-axis tracking systems and 25 transformer centres. Approximately 200 workers will be involved in its construction and, once operational, the plant will supply clean energy to more than 45,000 households in the region, preventing the emission of 175.000 tons of CO2 every year.

Cameron Garnsworthy, Managing Director of FRV Australia, highlighted the importance that the project has for the generation of clean energy in the country. “Lilyvale Solar Farm – along with FRV’s other large-scale solar developments installed or under construction, will contribute around 280 MWac of clean energy capacity and brings the total value of FRV’s solar investments in the Australian renewable energy sector to around A$ 700 million (US$ 550 million)”.

“We are proud to be working with Australian companies and authorities to drive forward a competitive renewable sector,” he added.

“ACCIONA has a significant presence in Australia, and this project represents another step in our commitment to developing sustainable and innovative infrastructure in the country. As part of this strategy, at the start of this year ACCIONA acquired Geotech Group, which is also working on Lilyvale through its John Beever Australia business.” said Ramón Jiménez, Managing Director of ACCIONA Industrial.

“GRS continues to expand internationally, launching its first project in Australia having developed and constructed plants in Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East. Australia marks an important qualitative step, because it’s a very important market for us with major investment expected in photovoltaic solar energy in the coming years”, explained Domingo Vegas, Chairman of Gransolar.

ACCIONA and Gransolar (GRS) have extensive experience of constructing large-scale photovoltaic plants, both proprietary and for third-party clients.Recently awarded projects include construction of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (Phase III) in Dubai in a consortium with Ghella, which will be the world’s largest photovoltaic plant once completed with a peak capacity of 1,054 MW.

Source: ACCIONA

Link to AltEnergy project database: Lilyvale Solar Farm

 

Nordex Group opens branch office in Australia

24 October

The Nordex Group has established a national representative office for Australia in Melbourne in order to do justice to the growing demand from the region. At present, the manufacturer is installing its second-largest wind farm on the continent. The project comprises 44 turbines, generating a capacity of 132 MW. Moreover, the market is witnessing high and growing demand. The decisive factor in this regard is the Victorian government’s aim to boost the share of renewable energies 25% by 2020 to 40% by 2025.

The branch office will deal in particular with the commissioning and subsequent servicing of the wind turbines. "Efficient products are of key importance to a provider like Nordex. Moreover, what is mission-critical for the success of our customers is to have a strong and experienced team in place on site," says Patxi Landa, Chief Sales Officer of the Nordex Group. For this reason, the team based in Melbourne primarily comprises experts in the fields of project management and service.

So far the Nordex Group has installed or is building wind farms with a capacity of 370 MW on the fifth continent. These predominantly were turbines of the 3-MW series. Landa: "Current projects show that we are suitably meeting demand with our highly efficient and newer wind turbines with 3.9 and 4.0 to 4.5 MW capacity. In addition, the manufacturer is working on a further reduction of the cost of energy. In the process, regional suppliers are assuming an increasingly important role.

Profile of the Nordex Group

The Group has installed some 21 GW of wind energy output in over 25 markets and generated EUR 3.4 billion in revenue in 2016. The company currently has a workforce of approx. 5,000 employees. The manufacturing group has factories in Germany, Spain, Brazil, the US and India. The product programme focuses on onshore turbines of the 1.5 to 4.5-MW class, designed for market requirements in the developed and emerging market countries.

Source: Nordex

 

Emerald Solar Park reaches financial close

24 October

RES Australia is proud to announce that yesterday it reached financial close for both equity and debt, and that the construction of the Emerald Solar Park will commence immediately, making a significant contribution to the Queensland Government’s target of 50% renewable energy by 2030.

Lighthouse Infrastructure has acquired 100% of the project, through its Lighthouse Solar Fund.

RES Australia will undertake both Construction Management and Asset Management services on behalf of Lighthouse and has appointed RCR O’Donnell Griffin to construct the project.

The project will create 150-200 direct jobs and 320 indirect positions in Queensland’s Central Highlands region during the construction phase, with up 275,000 solar panels being installed as part of the project located west of the town of Emerald.

It is expected that construction of the project will take less than 12 months to complete and when fully constructed, the solar park will provide up to 68 MWac of generation capacity into the Queensland grid and will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of up to 35,000 households.

The project is supported by an innovative long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with Telstra. RES has been able to apply its global market leadership in the corporate PPA sector to tailor this deal around Telstra’s strategic requirements.

Norton Rose Fulbright were lead advisors on the deal for RES with financial advisory provided by Ironstone Capital. Lighthouse Infrastructure was advised by RBC Capital Markets and King & Wood Mallesons.

RES Australia Chief Operating Officer, Matt Rebbeck, commented “Emerald Solar Park is the result of phenomenal teamwork within RES globally and our broader team of partners on the project. I’d like to extend particular thanks to the team at Ergon Energy, to the Queensland Government and, of course, to Telstra for showing great foresight, insight and market leadership in issuing Australia’s first large-scale offsite renewables corporate PPA.”

“We are delighted to announce the project will now proceed into construction immediately and are looking forward to a long term partnership with the experienced team at Lighthouse Infrastructure.”

“We are grateful to the local Council and broader community in Emerald for the warm welcome and support they have shown our team over the past year and look forward to working closely with the community over the coming 12 months.”

RES Australia CEO, Marco Perona, said, “this project is not only another big step forward for RES’ activities in Australia, but it is also ours, and our business partners’, contribution to the integration of more renewable energy into the energy mix through innovative schemes.”

Source: RES Australia

Link to AltEnergy project database: Emerald Solar Farm

 

National Energy Guarantee raises more questions than it answers

24 October

As the dust settles on last week's proposal for a National Energy Guarantee (NEG), it is clear that there are many more questions than answers at this stage.

The CEC campaigned for many months on a Clean Energy Target (CET) as proposed by the Chief Scientist, and we will continue to make it clear that a CET (along with the other 49 Finkel review recommendations that would ensure reform of the energy market to address any reliability or security issues) was our preferred policy approach.

Of course, we are open-minded about the NEG and will engage fully with the Energy Security Board and the government on the merits and potential design of the policy. But from the scant detail that has been released, it remains unclear how the NEG will ensure investor confidence in a strong pipeline of new clean energy projects.

While we can comprehend how the NEG could ensure incentives for reliability (including from existing fossil fuel generation) and delivering emissions abatement, there isn’t any guarantee that investors will see a price signal or the long-term confidence necessary to underpin new investment.

The "modelling" that was done to support the NEG proposal is very light on and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but it did reveal disappointingly low levels of new investment in clean energy under the policy.

While future higher levels of ambition on emissions reductions would deliver different outcomes for clean energy, it is crucial that we focus on understanding and informing the design of the core policy architecture at this stage.

Some of the other big design questions to fully consider include assessing the impact of international carbon abatement certificates on the scheme, the implications for the contracts market and interaction with the broader energy market and how these will affect retail competition and liquidity. The design of these elements will also have a material impact on the implications of the NEG for investor confidence in new clean energy projects.

If this policy is going to fly, we will need strong support from major political parties right across the country. But first we need to ensure that we have a policy that will deliver the new clean energy investment and lower power prices that all Australians want.

That’s likely to take several months of detailed analysis and consultation, something the CEC will be doing as a matter of high priority.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

PROJECT BRIEFS

NSW Department of Planning & Environment referred development application for First Solar’s proposed Beryl Solar Farm to the NSW Planning Assessment Commission for determination after 27 objections received while the project EIS was in the public exhibition stage.

Neoen is seeking registrations of interest for various work packages associated with its 100 MW Numurkah Solar Farm consisting of approximately 350,000 solar panels installed on 500 hectares of land 6km south of Numurkah in Victoria. Neoen is committed to support local industry participation. Following EPC contractor award, Neoen in partnership with the EPC contractor will run an industry briefing session to present project opportunities. For now companies can register interest through the ICN Gateway Numurkah Solar Farm EOI. The project is scheduled to start in February 2018. For more information go to: https://gateway.icn.org.au/project/4007/numurkah-solar-farm?st=projects&psid=1508819388

ESCOSA South Australia received applications for generation licences from SSE Australia Whyalla Solar Pty Ltd seeking to operate a solar array with a total maximum capacity of 4.9MW, and Engie to operate Willogoleche Wind Farm of 32 wind turbines up to a total maximum capacity of 123 MW.

NSW Department of Planning & Environment approved Overland Solar’s proposed Hillston Sun Farm solar photovoltaic generation facility and associated infrastructure development in central NSW with an estimated capacity of 85 MW.

 

New project

Name: Grey Box Energy Field

Location: Horfield, northern Victoria

Type: Solar

Capacity: 35 MW DC

Overview: Located 9km south of Cohuna adjacent to the Cohuna zone substation.

Status: Development application submitted to Gannawarra Shire Council in early July 2017 & approved in October 2017. Construction scheduled to start in March 2018.

Estimated cost: $45.5mil

Contact:

Tel: 1300 887 007

Email: [email protected]

 

Bioenergy project update and receipt of milestone payment

25 October

Renewable energy company, ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) is pleased to report the completion of Milestone 1 and receipt of $700,000 under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Advancing Renewables funding agreement for the Goulburn Bioenergy Project.

The milestone payment relates to the completion of earthworks and installation of the liner for the anaerobic lagoon, as well as the execution and commencement of the engine packaging contract. The construction of an anaerobic lagoon, biogas processing and power generation facility at the Southern Meats sheep abattoir in Goulburn NSW continues to progress on schedule. The cover of the lagoon was installed earlier this month, with generators anticipated on site mid-November and commercial operations in early 2018.

ReNu Energy acknowledges the critical role ARENA plays in assisting businesses to successfully demonstrate and commercialise emerging renewable energy technologies.

Source: ReNu Energy

Link to AltEnergy’s project database: Goulburn Bioenergy Project

 

Off-grid power systems delivered for remote infrastructure project

25 October

  • Two of 10 remote renewable systems have been delivered
  • Sophisticated design features solar PV arrays, battery energy storage and control systems
  • Strong relationship with Jemena being developed

MPower announced today that it has commenced delivery of the first of several sophisticated off-grid DC power systems for the Northern Gas Pipeline, which runs between Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to Mount Isa in Queensland. The pipeline is being constructed by Jemena.

MPower’s bespoke renewable power systems integrate a mix of solar PV arrays, battery energy storage and a sophisticated control system designed to provide cathodic protection along the length of the 623km pipeline. By integrating the various aspects of the system, MPower is facilitating pipeline protection against corrosion. The remote location and the requirement for reliable and continuous power where there is no access to network power present challenges that fall within MPower’s core expertise.

MPower has been engaged to design and construct ten autonomous remote power systems to be delivered in stages between now and early 2018. The high specification renewable systems, to be installed at remote stations along the pipeline, incorporate inbuilt redundancy and will support the ongoing operation of the critical infrastructure project.

“We’re delighted to be delivering a world-class solution to this important infrastructure project” commented Nathan Wise, CEO of MPower’s ASX-listed parent, Tag Pacific. “MPower is known for its capability in providing high-reliability power solutions for critical applications. We have drawn on our vast experience in remote renewable power systems and integrated battery energy storage to design a sophisticated solution that meets the demanding requirements of the Northern Gas Pipeline.”

Source: Tag Pacific

 

Global Infrastructure Partners acquires Equis Energy for USD5.0 billion in record renewable energy generation acquisition

25 October

Equis Pte. Ltd (Equis) and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) announced today the execution of binding documentation for the sale of 100% of Equis Energy for USD5.0 billion (including assumed liabilities of USD1.3bn) in cash to GIP and co‐investors. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.

Headquartered in Singapore, Equis Energy is the largest renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) in the Asia‐Pacific region, with over 180 assets comprising 11,135MW in operation, construction and development across Australia, Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The transaction is the largest renewable energy generation acquisition in history and positions GIP as a dominant renewable energy developer in the key OECD growth markets of Australia and Japan, as well as across India and South‐East Asia.

David Russell, CEO of Equis and Chairman of Equis Energy said, “The investment by GIP and its partners is exciting news for the development of renewable energy in the Asia‐Pacific. GIP has a strong track record of managing and growing utility‐scale infrastructure businesses, and the combination of experience and knowledge across GIP and the existing management team will allow Equis Energy to continue expanding competitively across its target markets.”

Adebayo Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner of Global Infrastructure Partners said, “We are excited by the new investment in Equis Energy, which is a strong fit with GIP’s global renewable investment strategy. Equis Energy is a unique success story in the APAC region as it has systematically executed its growth strategy since its founding 5 years ago. In that period, Equis Energy has become one of the leading renewable energy platforms in the region, with a best‐in‐class business model, a highquality asset portfolio and an outstanding management team. We look forward to continuing the Equis Energy success story in the years to come and to supporting new growth opportunities in one of the most promising renewable energy markets in the world.”

Source: Equis Energy

 

Proposal to conduct offshore wind farm exploration activities

The Australian Government is considering a request from Offshore Energy Pty Ltd (OEPL) for permission to conduct a feasibility study for an offshore wind farm. The Department of the Environment and Energy is coordinating consideration of the request on behalf of the Australian government.

The proposed exploration area comprises 574 km2 situated in Commonwealth waters off the coast of south-eastern Victoria, near Gippsland. OEPL proposes to undertake activities to assess wind resources, sea bed conditions (potentially involving seismic activities) and environmental conditions (including impacts on sea life) in the area.

This request is only in relation to exploration activities, and does not include permission to construct the project.

http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/government/renewable-energy/proposal-conduct-offshore-wind-farm-activities

Source: Federal Government

Link to AltEnergy project database: Star of the South Energy Project

 

3,000 renewable energy jobs make Qld shine as energy investment leader

26 October

Queensland is in the midst of a renewable energy investment boom and the Palaszczuk Government is delivering a suite of initiatives aimed at delivering a clear future direction for energy, Energy Minister Mark Bailey said today.

Speaking to 200 delegates at the Australian Solar Council’s Powering Queensland Summit in Brisbane, Mr Bailey said the emergence of Queensland’s large-scale industry since the Palaszczuk Government was elected was nothing short of remarkable.

“No other state has more renewable projects under development than Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.

“Right now, there are 18 large scale renewable energy projects under construction, with a further four projects starting work soon.

“We expect these projects will boost investment by $3.7 billion and employ almost 3,000 workers during the construction phase – the great majority in regional centres.

“They will provide a more diversified mix of energy for Queensland, increasing the percentage of energy generated by renewables in Queensland to almost 17 per cent – more than doubling our current generation."

Mr Bailey said rooftop solar had been the driving force behind Queensland’s renewable energy industry over the past decade with a nation-leading 30 percent of homes having solar systems installed.

“We’ve turned the Sunshine State into the Solar State," Mr Bailey said.

“We currently have around 1800MW of solar installed across 464,000 rooftops in Queensland – combined, they are now the State’s largest power station, surpassing the 1,680MW Gladstone Power Station.

Mr Bailey also said the Palaszczuk Government is investing $21 million to improve access to solar panels and household storage batteries.

“Solar panels and batteries are a great way for households and small businesses to cut their electricity bills, but for some the upfront cost can be a challenge,” Minister Bailey said.

“We will be offering no-interest loans to help those Queenslanders who don’t have access to the upfront capital required to invest in solar and battery to help reduce their bills and be part of a clean energy future.

“Households will be able to apply for a rebate of up to $2000 on battery systems – for those taking up a no interest loan.

“Queenslanders will be able to apply from March 2018, with savings of up to $700 per year expected for those who take up solar and up to $1,600 per year off for a large family once the loan is paid off.

“Ultimately, this scheme will allow up to 20,000 households and small businesses the ability to directly take control of their own electricity consumption and address electricity affordability – with batteries extending the benefits of solar to households and businesses.

“This is also supporting the battery manufacturing industry here in Queensland – with local success stories like Redback Technologies, Redflow and Century Batteries, right here in our backyard, supporting jobs and growth."

Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government was also implementing a program aimed at removing the barriers of adopting solar in the rental market.

“In the past, rental tenants have usually been unable to access the benefits solar PV because the incentive for a landlord to invest in solar was limited,” he said.

“We will conduct a $4 million trial to assist landlords and tenants share the value of installing solar systems.

“This trial, which will be offered to 1000 houses, will provide landlords with incentives such as a no interest loans, a rebate off the upfront cost, and system monitoring equipment.

“We expect this will provide important savings, both to the landlord and tenant and help break down the current barriers.”

More information regarding the terms and conditions on the No Interest Loans Scheme and the Renter Trial will be available in the new year with applications opening in March 2018.

Source: Queensland Government

 

Regional Victoria leading the way to a renewable future

26 October 2017

North East Victoria is set to become a leader in solar energy production thanks to several local solar farm projects.

Speaking at the Northern Victoria New Energy Technology Roundtable in Shepparton today, Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said regional Victoria had an essential role to play in helping the state transition to a renewable future.

The roundtable, the second of its kind this year, brings together around 250 renewable energy project operators, technology providers, financiers and investors, local industry, community groups and other relevant stakeholders to identify projects, and promote new energy opportunities, jobs and economic growth in the region.

The Numurkah Solar Farm, which was chosen as a recipient of the Andrews Labor Government’s solar tender, is expected to generate 38 MW of solar energy as part of this project, and will help fuel not only Victoria’s electricity network, but also Melbourne’s tram network.

This solar boom will also benefit local businesses, with opportunities for commercial roof solar installation for hospitals and processing industries.

A number of local businesses also presented today who have either successfully completed renewable energy projects, or are developing new renewable energy projects and seeking project partners such as investors, customers, and supply chain partners.

Waste to energy projects and opportunities available in collaboration with local agricultural and food processing industries are also being explored.

Source: Victoria Government

Cattle Hill Wind Farm local business participation program launched

13 October

Goldwind Australia has launched the Local Business Participation Program for Cattle Hill 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.

Developer for the project, Goldwind Australia Managing Director John Titchen, said the partnership with Aurora Energy secured the construction of the Cattle Hill Wind Farm project.

‘We’re pleased to partner with Aurora Energy who is clearly supportive of renewable energy development in Tasmania and strengthening Tasmania’s energy security,’ said John.

Under the agreement, Aurora Energy will purchase Tasmanian generated renewable energy certificates produced by the wind farm to assist in meeting its obligations, extending to 2030, under national renewable energy legislation.

Project Development Manager, Laura Jeffery said planning for the construction of up to 49 wind turbines is well underway with the launch of Local Business Participation Program.

‘We are committed to local sourcing for the project where feasible. We’ll be working closely with the main contractors and major subcontractors, once appointed, to facilitate opportunities for local subcontractors and suppliers to participate in the project,’ said Laura.

Cattle Hill Wind Farm is now listed as a project on the Industry Capability Network (ICN) Gateway. This is an independent business network providing an online tool to connect subcontractors and suppliers with projects. Businesses with an ABN can submit Expressions of Interest for over 30 different work packages ranging from fencing to civil construction of on-site roads and local accommodation providers.

Following the appointment of the main contractor, an information forum will be held to provide local businesses with additional information about the available work packages and the process of bidding for subcontracting or supply opportunities.

Construction of the project is planned to commence in January 2018, with the wind farm anticipated to create 150 people during construction and have up to 10 permanent maintenance staff when fully operational in 2019.

Source: Goldwind Australia

Link to AltEnergy database: Cattle Hill Wind Farm

 

Government blows golden opportunity by walking away from Clean Energy Target

17 October

The Federal Government’s decision to walk away from a Clean Energy Target (CET) is likely to result in a substantial slowdown in new clean energy investment, meaning power prices will keep rising and voters will continue switching off, the Clean Energy Council said today.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the industry was disappointed by the decision to drop the CET.

“The Clean Energy Target was the best opportunity in years to lock in the long-term bipartisan energy policy needed to encourage investment in cleaner energy while improving system reliability and pushing down power prices,” Mr Thornton said.

“We are obviously waiting to see more detail on the policy later today, but media reports today suggest the new policy would result in a substantial slowdown in levels of investment in clean energy.

Mr Thornton said any new policy must have long-term bipartisanship support to underpin investment confidence. This had remained an elusive but essential ingredient to underpin new investment in energy generation, he said.

“The effectiveness of the Renewable Energy Target is due to the broad political support it has managed to attract and retain over a long period of time,” he said.

“A company which is thinking about investing in a project worth hundreds of millions of dollars needs to have confidence the goal posts won’t be moved halfway through the game. The support of both major parties continues to be an important factor for any new policy.

“As the NSW Government has noted, the state’s old coal and gas power stations struggled to deal with the heatwaves at the beginning of the year and the focus on reliability is welcome. We believe energy storage and demand management can provide much-improved reliability at times of high stress compared to the current system, but many people will be watching the final policy settings very closely.

“As an industry we will continue to push for the effective energy policy most Australians agree is urgently needed.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

BMD delivers key solar infrastructure in Indigenous community

17 October

BMD, together with Conergy Australia, has successfully completed the construction of a solar facility in the remote Indigenous community of Nauiyu (Daly River) located 220 kilometres south-west of Darwin.

The Solar Energy Transformation (SETuP) program is managed by Power and Water and jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Northern Territory Government. The program aims to transform the way power is delivered to remote Indigenous communities throughout the Northern Territory by incorporating solar power to reduce reliance on diesel.

The project, which has allowed for production of clean energy to meet 50% of the community’s annual electricity needs, was completed on time, on budget and with zero lost time or recordable injuries.

BMD is experienced working in regional and remote areas, and within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and during construction the team engaged and maintained an Indigenous workforce of 50%.

Cultural awareness training was also implemented and undertaken by 100% of project employees, demonstrating BMD’s commitment to moving towards reconciliation as outlined in our Reconciliation Action Plan released earlier this year.

Source: BMD

 

Sapphire Wind Farm community investment

Sapphire Wind Farm is the first large-scale commercial energy project looking to have a public share offer for the community to invest in a portion of the wind farm.

Community co-investment is when a community investment vehicle buys rights to a portion of the earnings of the renewable energy project but has no decision-making power or control over the operation of the asset.

Co-investment is a common method for large-scale renewables globally, including Denmark where it is legislated that every wind project must open up for local community investment.

  • the investment vehicle would likely be an unlisted public company limited by shares
  • it would be linked to the performance of the Sapphire Wind Farm as a whole (rather than an individual turbine or turbines)
  • CWP is considering a fixed floor rate of return of 5-6% for the floor and variable cap (to be determined)
  • minimum investment of $5,000, maximum has not been established
  • minimum commitment of $3M needed to proceed
  • seeking guidance on catchment area for investment (the community), prioritisation for investment will likely be based on locality
  • length of term likely to be <10 years
  • liquidity: shares would be marketed to existing members, new members, or via a share vendor site
  • the community investment vehicle could go on to invest in/own other projects in the future
  • the investment would not be linked to electricity products or prices

Expressions of interest are open until 31 October.

Source: CWP Renewables

Link to AltEnergy project database: Sapphire Wind Farm

 

New Project

University of New England Solar Farm

The University of New England has applied to the Armidale Regional Council to develop a solar farm and associated infrastructure with capital investment value of $14,200,000

The University plans to source up to half of its electricity from solar through the installation of a solar PV farm on land adjacent to the Armidale campus. It was originally announced in April 2016 as a $6.6mil, 10,000-panel project to be funded by the university and designed and constructed by Melbourne-based engineering company Aurecon.

 

National Energy Guarantee to deliver affordable, reliable electricity

17 October

The Turnbull Government will accept the recommendation of the Energy Security Board (ESB) for a new National Energy Guarantee to deliver more affordable and reliable electricity while meeting our international commitments.

As our energy system transitions, we must ensure households and businesses have access to affordable and reliable power.

The independent Energy Security Board advises the Guarantee will give certainty to investors and therefore encourage investment in all forms of power. This means electricity bills will be lower than currently forecast and lower than they would have been under a Clean Energy Target.

The Energy Security Board estimates typical household bills will fall by an average of $110-$115 per year over the 2020-2030 period.

The Guarantee is made up of two parts that will require energy retailers across the National Electricity Market to deliver reliable and lower emissions generation each year.

  • A reliability guarantee will be set to deliver the right level of dispatchable energy (from ready-to-use sources such as coal, gas, pumped hydro and batteries) needed in each state. It will be set by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
  • An emissions guarantee will be set to contribute to Australia’s international commitments. The level of the guarantee will be determined by the Commonwealth and enforced by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

Past energy plans have subsidised some industries, punished others and slugged consumers. The Turnbull Government will take a different approach.

The National Energy Guarantee will lower electricity prices, make the system more reliable, encourage the right investment and reduce emissions without subsidies, taxes or trading schemes. It is truly technology-neutral, offering a future for investment in whatever technology the market needs - solar, wind, coal, gas, batteries or pumped storage.

Unlike previous approaches, we are not picking winners, we are levelling the playing field. Coal, gas, hydro and biomass will be rewarded for their dispatchability while wind, solar and hydro will be recognised as lower emissions technologies but will no longer be subsidised.

Importantly, this plan builds on the Finkel Review, which recommended the creation of the ESB that has now recommended the National Energy Guarantee.

The Government will now work with the ESB and the states through COAG to implement the National Energy Guarantee.

As well as delivering a better deal for households, the plan will support business, particularly emissions intensive, trade exposed firms.

The Guarantee builds on our existing energy policy which involves the retailers offering consumers a better deal, stopping the networks gaming the system, delivering more gas for Australians before it's shipped offshore and the commencement of Snowy Hydro 2.0 to stabilise the system.

We now have an opportunity to break from the climate wars of the past and forge a sensible, sustainable path forward.

Source: Federal Government

 

Kidston Solar Project (Phase One 50MW) update

18 October

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-time and on-budget, for anticipated first generation in Q4 2017. Key activities since the last update (refer ASX announcement 05 September 2017) include:

  • Continued installation of solar modules across the KSP1 site;
  • Continued installation of solar pilings;
  • Continued installation of trackers;
  • Delivery and installation of main transformer;
  • Delivery and installation of inverter modules; and
  • Delivery and installation of control room.

Commenting on 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-target for first cash flow in Q4 2017. Key milestones during the reporting period include installation of the transformer, inverter modules, control room and an acceleration of panel installation and cabling.”

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

Source Genex Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kidston Solar Farm

 

 

Windlab’s Kennedy Energy Park reaches financial close

18 October

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) today announced that Kennedy Energy Park Phase I has achieved financial close and is set for construction to begin. In achieving this milestone Windlab will receive a development fee of A$5.4 million and earn construction management fees of approximately $600,000 over the course of the construction period. Upon the project reaching commercial operations Windlab will also become entitled to asset management and site operating fees of approximately $900,000 per annum under a 20-year agreement.

Kennedy Energy Park Phase I is an innovative 43.2MW 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 Holdings Pty Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture between Windlab with Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation of Japan. Windlab will re-invest its development fee along with approximately $23.5 million in IPO proceeds to maintain its current 50% equity interest in the project.

The project will use twelve Vestas V136 3.6MW turbines at a hub height of 132metres and 56,000 Jinko solar panels on a single axis tracking mount. The Li Ion storage will be provided by Tesla. The project will be constructed under a joint construction contract managed by Vestas and Quanta.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will provide $93.5 million of debt finance to the project on a long tenor basis which will be non-recourse to Windlab. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will also provide $18 million in the form of a sub-ordinated refundable grant.

The project will take a little over 12 months to construct and is expected to be fully operational before the end of 2018.

“With the achievement of this important project milestone we will comfortably meet our prospectus revenue forecast for calendar year 2017.” stated Roger Price, Windlab’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We now look forward to working with all our project partners to complete the construction of this industry leading hybrid project and see it serve as a catalyst for the much larger Kennedy Phase II.”

Source: Windlab

 

Merredin Solar Farm generation licence application

18 October

An application has been made for a electricity generation licence for the planned 100MW Merredin Solar Farm south of the town of Merredin, 260km east of Perth in WA.

The licence applicant is Merredin Solar Farm Nominee Pty Limited, owned 50% by Ingenious Australian Solar Ltd (IASL), 25% by Muick Pty Ltd atf Santen Family Trust (Muick) and 25% by Nomad Renewable Energy Ltd (NRE).

The site has been selected due to its proximity to the network Point of Connection (POC) at Merredin Terminal Substation and does not require 3rd party wayleaves/easements to connect to the SWIS. The existing Western Power substation is located North-West of the site, allowing for a direct and dedicated connection onto the transmission network at a connection voltage of 220kV. The site is relatively flat, rural land and receives strong consistent solar irradiance, making it an ideal location. The project has a minimum life of 25 years; however, an Option/Lease Agreement has been entered into for 30 years.

The MSF will consist of approximately 406,000 solar PV modules (325Wp polysilicon) covering an area of 360 hectares, with an expected output of approximately 278GWh of electricity per annum.

The overall capital expenditure includes both the work to build and commission the solar farm governed by the EPC contract, and the grid connection works governed under the ETAC/IWC contract with Western Power. The total expected capital expenditure is circa $160m.

Planning permission for the project was granted in June 2017 with the ETAC/IWC anticipated to be signed during the course of Q4 2017. MSFN will appoint an EPC Contractor to carry out the construction works.

Currently an ECI contract is in place with RCR O’Donnell Griffin to support the design of the solar farm and the connection to the SWIS. Construction is forecast to commence on site in June 2018 and is anticipated to take 9 months. MSF is intended to be operational by the end of March 2019.

MSF will be a renewable electricity generator in the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) supplying electricity under a combination of commercial Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with Western Australian electricity suppliers and if required dispatch power into the WEM balancing market.

Source: Merredin Solar Farm Nominee

Link to AltEnergy project database: Merredin Solar Farm

 

Windlab and Vestas partner on the world’s first utility-scale hybrid integrating wind, solar and storage

19 Oct

A partnership between renewable energy industry leaders has announced the final details of a project that will help accelerate the transition to an energy mix led by renewable energy and aim to provide even more reliable and consistent renewable energy production adapted to energy demand and grid requirements.

Developed by Australia’s international renewable energy company, Windlab, with support from Vestas, the global leader in sustainable energy solutions, the innovative 60.2 MW Kennedy Energy Park phase I is the world’s first utility-scale, on-grid wind, solar and battery energy storage project. Designed to supply consistent and reliable renewable electricity that can help meet power demand in Australia, Kennedy Phase I can also shape a path forward for how Australia and other countries can integrate more renewable energy into their energy mix and address grid stability challenges that have been a traditional restraint to greater uptake of renewable energy.

The project is located in Flinders Shire in central north Queensland, Australia, which is blessed with world-class wind and solar resources. Kennedy Phase I will feature 43.2 MW of Vestas’ V136-3.6 MW wind turbines, 15 MW of solar and 2 MW/4 MWh Li Ion battery storage, all managed by a Vestas customised control system that will operate the hybrid power plant.

In order to support further hybrid projects in Australia, Windlab, with Vestas, will share the knowledge and experience from building and operating Kennedy Phase I through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

“Kennedy Phase I is a first of its kind of project in Australia and it will lead the nation in the deployment of innovative, high reliability renewable energy capable of closely matching network power demand,” Windlab CEO Roger Price said. “We have a great working relationship with Vestas, whose products and service capabilities were instrumental in managing challenging grid connections and compliance, and develop a competitive cost of energy.”

Through the complimentary combination of wind and solar energy, Kennedy Phase I can deliver a more constant and demand-driven energy production and increased capacity factor. The Vestas control system will provide the capability for wind and solar to work together as an integrated power plant and comply with grid requirements.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to join Windlab on this project, which places Vestas at the forefront of sustainable energy solutions and is a testament to how we are providing solutions that make renewable energy more cost-competitive and grid compliant. With 35 years of experience in meeting complex grid requirements and developing advanced power plant controllers, Vestas has the foundation to also lead the way in hybrid solutions,” said Johnny Thomsen, Senior Vice President, Product Management for Vestas.

“Hybrid solutions combining wind, solar and storage hold a huge potential for Australia. Kennedy Phase I has the potential to leverage Australia’s abundant renewable energy resources and be a giant leap forward for the country in reaping those resources while ensuring a consistent and reliable electricity supply. Kennedy shows that Vestas, together with visionary partners like Windlab, can provide the solutions,” said Clive Turton, President of Vestas Asia Pacific.

Vestas will also provide a 15-year Active Output Management 4000 (AOM 4000) service agreement, which includes a full-scope service package for the wind turbines as well as scheduled maintenance for the solar panels, battery storage and electrical systems.

A consortium between Vestas and Quanta Services will deliver the engineering, procurement and construction of the project, which is expected to be in operation by the end of 2018.

This project is planned to be the first phase of Windlab’s larger 1,200 MW Kennedy Energy Park, which seeks to deliver significant benefits to north Queensland and Australia in reduced emissions and sustainable energy generation.

Source: Vestas

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kennedy Energy Park

 

Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro – technical feasibility study optimisation

20 October

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Completion of optimisation study for K2-Hydro project
  • Optimised for 8 hours of continuous generation capability at 250MW for over 2,000MWh of energy storage (+25%)
  • Adoption of variable speed turbines for significant operational and ancillary market benefits
  • Construction timeframe reduced by up to 6 months
  • Clear pathway to Financial Close in 2018

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to provide an update in relation to the 250MW Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Storage Hydro (K2-Hydro) project at Kidston, North Queensland. The K2-Hydro project is part of the overall Kidston Stage 2 (K2) project, which includes a co-located 270MW solar PV project (K2-Solar).

Genex completed a technical feasibility study for the K2-Hydro project in November 2016 (TFS) which was managed by specialist power and water consulting firm, Entura, in conjunction with project partner, HydroChina. The TFS concluded that the K2-Hydro project was technically feasible, and that all the key risks identified would be appropriately addressed through detailed design augmentation and optimisation.

Genex has recently been working with Mott MacDonald, a global engineering firm which has specialist skills in hydropower including pumped storage hydro projects, on the optimisation of the K2-Hydro project design (TFS Optimisation). The optimisation process focused on taking into account recent shifts in the energy market dynamics as well as feedback from potential energy offtake parties.

TFS Optimisation Design Changes

Following a detailed review of the studies undertaken to date, it was concluded that an augmented design utilising the two existing mine pits as the upper (Wises pit) and lower (Eldridge pit) reservoirs, was the optimal choice for 250MW of installed capacity, in place of the Turkey’s Nest design under the TFS. The rationale for the deletion of the Turkey’s Nest design was as follows:

  • The Turkey’s Nest design proposed as part of the TFS was premised upon a larger storage requirement, given the initial preferred project configuration of 450MW for 5 hours;
  • Given the optimised design of 250MW, the Wises pit can now be utilised as the upper reservoir for lower capital cost; and
  • With minor excavation and dam works, the TFS Optimisation design provides for a channel connecting the modified Wises pit to the existing proposed location for the underground power station cavern, which was subject to detailed drilling and geotechnical studies as part of the original TFS.

In addition to the deletion of the Turkey’s Nest design, the TFS Optimisation determined several other key changes to the original TFS design as follows:

  • Increased upper reservoir volume from 6 hours to over 8 hours of continuous generation;
  • Proposed adoption of variable speed pump-generator turbines which provide significant operational flexibility, including:

o Fast generation ramping via speed adjustment;

o The ability to better match the hydro pumping profile to generation from the co-located K2-Solar project;

o Better pumping efficiency across the head range; and

o Overall suitability in the ancillary service market with increased operation flexibility;

  • Reduced excavation and civil works requirements; and
  • Construction estimated to take less than 3 years.

The TFS Optimisation concluded that the K2-Hydro project was feasible based on a capital cost estimate of approximately $330 million (including contingency). Following completion of the TFS Optimisation, Genex is now focused on confirming the final capital cost estimates for the K2-Hydro project via an early contractor involvement (ECI) process. This process will involve the appointment of a preferred EPC contractor, who will work with Genex and its advisers to complete the final design optimisation and the full EPC and O&M contracting process for the K2-Hydro project. Genex will provide further updates on the ECI selection process in due course.

Project Financing and Energy Partner Update

The K2-Hydro scheme was optimised based on an assessment of future energy market price forecasts, capacity requirements and direct engagement with potential energy partners.

It is clear that the National Electricity Market is undergoing a rapid shift from a traditional baseload dominant market to a new dynamic where dispatchability and storage of renewable energy will underpin future generation. In such a system, the role of large-scale economic energy storage becomes increasingly relevant. The updated design will enable energy off-takers to take full advantage of the flexibility offered by the integrated project and, in doing so, allow Genex to extract maximum value from the offtake arrangements.

Based on positive engagement with energy offtake and project finance parties to date, including the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (refer to ASX Announcement dated 12 July 2017), Genex believes it has a clear pathway to Financial Close in 2018.

Genex Power Managing Director Michael Addison said:

“We are pleased to provide an update on the K2-Hydro optimisation, which is the culmination of months of work alongside our advisers. The optimisation study outcomes have been developed in response to direct feedback from potential energy partners amid the ongoing backdrop of the national debate on Energy Policy, and the importance of ensuring dispatchability of renewable energy via energy storage.

The Kidston renewable energy hub is currently the most advanced, lowest cost, large-scale energy storage project in the country. Energy storage is likely to play a critical role in future energy development and Genex is well placed to benefit from these dynamics.

We look forward to providing further updates to the market as we advance the K2 project toward financial close, targeted in 2018.”

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency has continued to support the K2-Hydro project through the TFS and TFS Optimisation programs. To date, Genex has drawn down a total of approximately $2.85 million of its $4.0 million ARENA funding facility in relation to the project.

Source: Genex Power

Link to AltEnergy project database: Kidston Hydro

 

Burdekin Hydro plans powering ahead

20 October

A hydro-electric power station on the state’s largest dam – Burdekin Falls Dam – to secure energy and support jobs for North Queensland moved a step closer today.

Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey said a prefeasibility study had now been completed by Stanwell.

“The study confirmed there are no fatal flaws in the concept and that the proposed project would be commercial and deliver a positive contribution to the State,” Mr Bailey said.

“It also confirmed that a Burdekin Falls Hydro Power Station could be built on the existing dam without impacting the water releases from the dam and with minimal environmental impact.

“Stanwell, which owns and operates several hydro-electric power stations across Queensland, will now prepare a detailed business case for the construction and operation of the hydro-electric power station to be completed by July 2018.

“Subject to outcomes of the business case, construction would commence in 2020.”

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the announcement would be warmly welcomed by many in North Queensland, and followed on from the release of the Powering North Queensland Plan in June.

“Actions under the plan include $100 million reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro-electric power station subject to feasibility investigations,” Mrs O’Rourke said.

“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.

“Hydro-electric generation has an important part to play in Queensland’s future energy mix and the project has the potential to contribute to the security of Queensland’s electricity supply, while also helping to transition to a lower carbon energy market.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the Palaszczuk Government’s contribution to funding a hydro-electric power station on Burdekin Falls Dam is evidence of our ongoing investment in the energy future of North Queensland.

“We’re 100 per cent committed to investing in regional communities, renewable energy and jobs,” Mr Stewart said.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said through our powering North Queensland Plan, we 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.

“Hydro-electric power stations not only produce much needed clean, green energy, but they also have twice the life span of coal fired power stations,” Mr Harper said.

Mr Bailey said $386 million had been set aside to strengthen and diversify power and water assets in North Queensland under the Powering North Queensland Plan.

Actions include:

  • $150 million reinvestment of Powerlink dividends for the development of strategic transmission infrastructure to support a clean energy hub, with up to 1000 jobs for Powerlink construction of infrastructure, in addition to the approximately 3600 jobs that will be created in the development of the three proposed renewable energy projects along the transmission line;
  • $100 million reinvestment of Stanwell dividends to help fund the proposed hydro-electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam. Subject to feasibility investigations and other dam construction works, project construction will be targeted to commence from 2020, and support up to 200 jobs;
  • $100 million equity injection and reinvestment of dividends towards improvement works to ensure that the Burdekin Falls Dam continues to meet design standards, which is estimated to support around 250 jobs, and will support the proposed hydro-electric power station; and
  • commissioning a hydro-electric study to assess options for deploying new hydro in the state, including North Queensland.

“Pending a feasibility study, we will be investing $150 million to establish a Clean Energy Hub to develop strategic transmission infrastructure in North and North-west Queensland to potentially connect multi-faceted renewable projects,” he said.

“We are pumping $100 million into the improvement of works at the Burdekin Falls Dam and another $100 million to help fund a hydro facility at the dam subject to a business case.

“This investment of dividends is part of Queensland’s Powering Queensland Plan to drive down energy costs and secure electricity and water supply.

“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 and that is through renewables, not a new old-tech coal-fired power station like the LNP want to build.”

Source: Queensland Government

Link to AltEnergy project database: Burdekin Falls Hydro

 

Victorian Government hits the mark for jobs and investment with renewable energy target

20 October

The Clean Energy Council has congratulated the Victorian Government on successfully introducing its state renewable energy target in Parliament today, a policy which will provide major regional job and economic opportunities.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) legislation will provide major investment opportunities for the state into the next decade.

“The Victorian Government has clearly demonstrated its commitment to unlocking the jobs of the future for residents of the state. The VRET provides a green light for our industry to deliver cheap, clean and reliable energy for all Victorians," Mr Thornton said.

“The easiest way to reduce power prices is through clear policy and more power generation. The VRET delivers on both these fronts and the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme will kick off in just a few weeks to deliver up to 650 MW of new renewable energy projects.

“The VRET promises to deliver 25 per cent of the state’s power from renewable energy by 2020, rising to 40 per cent by 2025.

“This is the culmination of a massive amount of work by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and many Ministers, stakeholders and public servants. It is my pleasure to offer my congratulations on this significant achievement.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

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