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

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