Expression of Interest renewable offtakes

25 May

Snowy Hydro is seeking expressions of interest for the supply of long term offtake arrangements from renewable energy sources. Through Snowy Hydro’s retail businesses, Red Energy and Lumo Energy, we supply electricity and gas to over one million customers.

As the electricity consumed by our growing customer base continues to increase, we are looking to contract more energy generation. Snowy Hydro is inviting potential energy suppliers to participate in our program to procure up to 400 megawatts of wind and 400 megawatts of solar offtakes.

Snowy Hydro is already one of the largest suppliers of renewable energy in Australia. This program will allow Snowy Hydro to expand its portfolio of renewable energy generation and meet the growing energy demands from our customers.

Snowy Hydro has released an expression of interest (EOI) to the energy market and will evaluate the responses received to produce a shortlist. Proponents on the shortlist will be asked to submit a binding Request for Proposal (RFP) and further information.

It’s important to note that the EOI offer is not binding and is intended to give Snowy Hydro sufficient information to shortlist proponents to the next stage of this tender process.

All communications regarding this EOI must be through TenderLink. For access, go to www.tenderlink.com/snowyhydro/ and click on 'All Current Tenders'

Source: Snowy Hydro

 

CWP Renewables and Partners Group announce the establishment of 1.3GW Australian renewable energy platform

28 May

The partnership behind NSW’s largest wind farm, CWP Renewables ("CWP") and global private markets investment manager Partners Group, today announces the commencement of a second large wind farm together in the State, the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, which will be located 45km south of Mudgee.

With Sapphire Wind Farm and Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, CWP and Partners Group have over 400MW currently under construction in NSW. Moreover, the two companies have committed to work together to deliver CWP's entire renewable energy project portfolio, which encompasses large-scale wind, solar and battery projects in NSW with a combined capacity of over 1,300MW. The annual generation from this portfolio is equivalent to approximately 50% of the coal-powered Liddell Power Station.

The portfolio, which will be known as Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform ("Grassroots"), will be constructed progressively over the next four years and will create many high-value jobs in regional areas. Partners Group will invest $700m into Grassroots on behalf of its clients. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Westpac and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) have provided debt funding for the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm.

“These projects will help with the transition away from fossil-fuelled electricity in the State”, said CWP Renewables’ CEO, Mr Alex Hewitt. “Significantly, our portfolio combines the benefits of wind and solar generation with large scale batteries, allowing morning and evening wind generation to be combined with daytime solar generation and battery energy storage. This is the future of large scale generation in Australia. We can, from this large portfolio, produce 24/7 baseload renewable power at very competitive prices”.

Mr Benjamin Haan, Partner, Head Private Infrastructure Asia-Pacific, Partners Group, stated: "When we invested in Sapphire Wind Farm, one of the key attractions for us was the project’s potential to anchor an Australian renewable energy platform. Partners Group and CWP have a project pipeline of 1.3GW of wind and solar generation capacity, offering the scope for us to be selective and to develop Grassroots into a quality renewables platform of significant scale. We look forward to working with the CWP team to further support the generation of clean energy in Australia."

Once operational, Crudine Ridge will generate 400GWh of energy annually, which is enough to serve 55,000 homes. Meridian Energy Australia has purchased 50% of this energy under a long term power purchase agreement to support the growth of its retail business Powershop, which is Australia’s greenest energy retailer.

“There is also a lot of interest from large energy users who are seeking competitively priced clean energy that can be shaped to their specific electricity requirements”, said Mr Hewitt.

Key facts:

The 135MW Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, located 45km south of Mudgee in NSW, will be constructed by GE Renewable Energy and Zenviron, who will install 37 x GE 3.63MW wind turbines. The transmission grid connection will be constructed, owned and operated by Transgrid. Once operational, Crudine Ridge Wind Farm will provide enough power for around 55,000 homes. The project was advised by ANZ, Deloitte and Norton Rose Fulbright. Partners Group was advised by KPMG and Clifford Chance. Lenders were advised by Aurecon and King & Wood Mallesons.

Sapphire Wind Farm between Glenn Innes and Inverell is the largest and tallest wind farm in NSW. This 270MW, $600m project is developed and owned by CWP and Partners Group. Construction commenced 18 months ago. The project is now generating and is due for completion later this year. Once complete, Sapphire Wind Farm will generate enough energy to power 110,000 Australian households and offset over 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions during every year of operation.

Source: CWP Renewables

 

Partners Group to invest AUD 700 million in Australian renewable energy platform; announces imminent construction of Crudine Ridge Wind Farm

28 May

Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager, has agreed to invest a total of AUD 700 million in the development of a large-scale renewable energy platform in Australia on behalf of its clients. The platform, which will be known locally as Grassroots Renewable Energy Platform ("Grassroots"), will be seeded with the 270MW Sapphire Wind Farm project and will in addition construct over 1,300MW of new wind power, solar power and battery storage assets across Australia within the next four years. To realize the Grassroots platform, Partners Group has teamed with local developer CWP Renewables ("CWP"), also an investor in the project.

Partners Group first joined forces with CWP in 2016 when it announced an AUD 250 million investment into Sapphire Wind Farm, a 270MW development project located in the state of New South Wales. Sapphire Wind Farm, which is due to be completed by October 2018, will generate enough energy to power 110,000 Australian households and offset over 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions during every year of operation. There are also plans to launch a community co-investment project at Sapphire Wind Farm in late 2018, which will enable members of the neighboring community to participate in the financial benefits from the sale of renewable electricity.

The second project under the Grassroots platform will be Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, a 135MW construction-ready wind farm near Mudgee in New South Wales. Construction will begin in May 2018 and will be completed by September 2019. Crudine Ridge Wind Farm will consist of 37 GE 3.63MW turbines and, once operational, will provide a further 400GWhrs of annual power output to the grid, enough to serve 55,000 homes. Half of this energy has been sold to Powershop, an Australian electricity provider that provides 100% green energy to its retail customers. In addition to Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, there are a number of other pipeline projects for Grassroots, which comprise a combination of wind, solar and battery storage assets.

Benjamin Haan, Partner, Head Private Infrastructure Asia-Pacific, Partners Group, states: "When we invested in Sapphire Wind Farm, one of the key attractions for us was the project's potential to anchor an Australian renewable energy platform. Partners Group and CWP have a project pipeline of 1.3GW in generation capacity across wind and solar power, offering the scope to be selective and develop Grassroots into a quality renewables platform of significant scale. We look forward to working with the CWP team to further support the generation of clean energy in Australia."

To-date, Partners Group has developed around 2GW of solar and wind energy capacity on behalf of its clients across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia. Previous investments include a 550MW Taiwanese solar power development platform and the 240MW Ararat Wind Farm development in Australia, which Partners Group invested into in August 2016 and June 2015, respectively. Most recently, Partners Group announced the sale of its stake in Japan Solar, a 610MW platform of Japanese Solar power assets, which the firm had invested into in 2013.

About Partners Group Partners Group is a global private markets investment management firm with over EUR 62 billion (USD 74 billion) in investment programs under management in private equity, private real estate, private infrastructure and private debt. The firm manages a broad range of customized portfolios for an international clientele of institutional investors. Partners Group is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland and has offices in Denver, Houston, New York, São Paulo, London, Guernsey, Paris, Luxembourg, Milan, Munich, Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Manila, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney. The firm employs over 1,000 people and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (symbol: PGHN) with a major ownership by its partners and employees.

Source: Partners Group

 

Zenviron secures Crudine Ridge Wind Farm contract

28 May 

Highlights

- Zenviron secures new balance-of-plant contract, and its first transport and erection contract, on NSW windfarm

A consortium of Zenviron Pty Ltd (“Zenviron”), full service balance-of-plant (BoP) specialists, and GE Renewable Energy (“GE”), global leader in advanced technology focusing on wind, hydro and solar power generation, has been awarded a $200 million contract for the delivery of the 135MW Crudine Ridge Wind Farm in New South Wales.

Zenviron will design and construct the civil and electrical BoP works and carry out the transport and erection on the 37 wind turbine project, while GE will manufacture the turbines, deliver them to port and provide commissioning and technical assistance to the project.

Crudine Ridge Wind Farm is located approximately 45kms south of Mudgee in NSW. Once complete, the wind farm will provide enough electricity to power 55,000 homes per year. The project will contribute over $160,000 annually to the local region, through a community fund initiative, and bring up to 75 new jobs to the area.

Commenting on the contract win, Zenviron General Manager, Carl Keating, said:

“For Zenviron, the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm contract represents key strategic progress, further developing our position as a leader in balance-of-plant works and expanding our service offering with the award of the transport and erection component of the project.”

The project is being developed by CWP Renewables, on behalf of Crudine Ridge Wind Farm Pty Ltd.

CWP Renewables’ Chief Executive Officer, Alex Hewitt said:

“With Zenviron’s strong performance on our Sapphire Wind Farm project, they were a natural selection for us to deliver Crudine Ridge, with GE.”

With early engineering works now complete, the project moves into the construction phase with practical completion expected in October 2019.

Source: Monadelphous

 

CEFC marks renewables milestone, topping $700 million in commitments to regional and rural wind projects

29 May

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has reached a new milestone in its renewable energy portfolio, announcing its 10th investment in a large-scale wind project.

The latest investment, in New South Wales, will see the CEFC’s overall commitment to wind top $700 million since it began investing in 2013. CEFC wind commitments have catalysed an additional $3.1 billion in private sector capital, driving significant investment to accelerate the development of more than 1.65 GW of additional renewable energy capacity.

This includes the CEFC’s latest $38 million commitment to the 135 MW Crudine Ridge Wind Farm near Mudgee in NSW. The project will provide enough electricity to power around 55,000 homes each year. It is expected to deliver more than eight million tonnes of carbon emissions abatement over its lifetime.

CEFC Wind Investment lead Andrew Gardner said: “CEFC finance has helped deliver almost 30 per cent of new wind capacity in Australia since 2013, contributing to a robust ecosystem of local and international project developers, contractors, advisors and financial institutions.

“We are proud to have worked alongside project developers and other financiers to deliver significant growth in this important clean energy source, which is critical to reducing emissions from our energy-intensive electricity sector.

“Large-scale wind projects such as the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm continue to deliver new sources of revenue and jobs to regional and rural communities, enabling them to tap into the benefits of abundant and low cost clean energy resources.”

The $250 million Crudine Ridge Wind Farm is being developed by CWP Renewables and Partners Group, with the CEFC participating in a $113 million senior debt facility alongside Westpac and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. The wind farm has a partial energy offtake agreement with Meridian Energy Australia, owners of retailer Powershop.

The project will contribute more than $168,000 per year to Community Enhancement Funds established with the Mid-Western and Bathurst Regional Councils, as well as support upgrades to more than 20 kilometres of local council roads. In addition, 19 host landowners will benefit from rental income throughout the life of the project, with neighbour agreements helping distribute funds to others in the local community.

The wind farm is expected to support 75 full time equivalent jobs during construction, stimulating further investment in local businesses and services.

CWP Renewables CEO, Alex Hewitt said: “It is great to be starting our third wind farm in NSW and the second project with the CEFC. Half of the project’s generation is being sold to green energy retailer, Meridian Energy and the remainder is being purchased progressively by corporate customers. We are very impressed by the level of interest from large energy users, who are seeking competitively priced clean energy that can be shaped to their specific electricity requirements.”

The 10 wind projects directly financed by the CEFC are in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. The CEFC has also indirectly invested in wind projects via its commitments to green bonds and equity funds.

Since the CEFC began investing in 2013, a total of 44 wind projects have been built or reached financial close in Australia. Those projects amount to just over 6GW of new capacity and represent around AU$13 billion of new investment.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth added: “Every CEFC dollar of direct investment in wind projects has been matched by more than $4.40 from the private sector, to support projects with a total value of $3.8 billion. This is a very robust level of private sector capital and confirms the critical role we are playing in accelerating the flow of finance into clean energy investment while helping to drive down development and energy costs.

“Australia has seen enormous progress in lowering the levelised cost of wind through declining up-front installation costs, increased turbine sizes and longer turbine design lives. Despite the increasing maturity of the wind sector in Australia, financing for uncontracted projects remains a challenge. We see our role as contributing to developer and investor confidence in backing these partially-contracted developments to support continued investment”.

Source: CEFC

 

Lyon, JERA, Fluence partner for Asian roll out of utility-scale battery storage

29 May

Lyon, JERA and Fluence today announced a collaboration agreement to identify and pursue utility-scale battery storage development and investment opportunities in Asia Pacific markets.

The collaboration agreement combines one of the world’s largest energy companies (JERA), the world’s most experienced battery storage technology company (Fluence), and the world’s leading independent developer of integrated utility-scale battery storage and renewable generation projects (Lyon).

The parties will assess utilisation of utility and industrial scale battery storage solutions in new projects and at existing renewable and thermal generation plants across their collective operational footprints. On projects to which the parties commit, Lyon will be the project developer, JERA an investor, and Fluence the energy storage solution and service provider.

JERA is an equal joint venture of two major Japanese electricity companies, TEPCO Fuel & Power Incorporated and Chubu Electric Power Company.

Fluence is an equal joint venture of Siemens and AES and combines all battery-related actives previously undertake by the parent companies.

The collaboration agreement expands on the strong relationships formed by the parties through development of Lyon’s tranche 1 integrated solar and storage projects:

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

- Nowingi, Victoria (253 MW + 80MW/320MWh)

- Riverland, South Australia (253MW + 100MW/400MWh) (up to 330MW solar including stage 2)

Quotes attributable to David Green, Chairman, Lyon

“Lyon’s collaboration agreement with JERA and Fluence is a major step toward a future where the world’s electricity systems meet consumers’ needs securely and reliably with renewable power.”

“This collaboration agreement is based on a shared understanding that the world requires low emissions energy systems that are also secure, reliable and affordable. Utility-scale battery storage solutions across new and existing generation plants will be a key enabler.”

“Lyon’s tranche 1 projects will include four-hour Fluence battery storage systems and are scheduled to commence construction in the coming months.”

“By partnering with Lyon, JERA moves to the forefront of realising the benefits of battery storage in electricity systems with increasingly variable generation. Fluence is our long-term technology partner and has deep knowledge of the power sector and the ability to deliver an industrial grade solution.”

“This collaboration agreement positions Lyon, JERA and Fluence to lead the world in the deployment and use of utility and industrial scale battery storage.”

“There are many markets beyond Australia where big batteries can provide substantial value in terms of network strength and dispatchable capacity. The ability of battery storage to reduce curtailment of variable renewable generation plant along the same transmission line is particularly attractive.”

Source: Lyon Group

 

Burra Foods commits to long-term sustainability through renewable energy

29 May

Gippsland based dairy processor Burra Foods, has today announced that it has entered into a large-scale Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Melbourne-based energy retailer Flow Power.

The deal will bring Burra Foods closer to meeting its ambitious energy efficiency goals, and give the business direct access to secure low-cost renewable energy over a ten year period. The renewable power, sourced from Ararat Wind Farm, is expected to deliver annual savings in excess of 20 per cent and can be used in real time to offset grid electricity consumption.

Stewart Carson, Burra Foods General Manager Supply Chain and Manufacturing, says, “As a business, Burra Foods has very bold sustainability targets and we have invested heavily in renewable energy solutions that fit our usage demand.”

“Partnering with Flow Power and sourcing a steady supply of clean, renewable energy is a major step toward our facility being powered by 100 percent renewable energy. We remain committed to playing our part in sustainable dairy manufacturing.”

Last year, Flow Power announced the availability of its Renewable Corporate PPAs, giving Australian businesses the opportunity to tap into a globally recognised trend that lowers energy costs and benefits the environment and economy.

During peak periods, Burra Foods can receive up to 1.5 million litres of fresh farm milk for processing every day. The dairy manufacturer required an energy solution that would support its rigorous production schedule, improve its energy efficiency and provide price certainty.

Matthew van der Linden, Managing Director of Flow Power, comments, “We look forward to working with Burra Foods and are pleased to welcome them as a customer. Traditionally, the dairy industry is a heavy power user that requires a significant amount of power at all stages of the supply chain. This agreement will deliver secure cost-efficient power for the long term, without compromising on Burra Foods’ sustainability goals.”

“Above all else, Australia’s dairy industry needs cost-effective sustainable energy. PPAs deliver this.”

Renewable Corporate PPAs allow businesses to contribute to a lower carbon economy and reduce overall emissions, while potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs.

Source: Burra Foods

 

Giant ‘water battery’ and solar planned for USC

30 May 

The University of the Sunshine Coast is unveiling plans for a giant “water battery” run by solar panels in a bid to become carbon neutral by 2025.

Project partner Veolia will build, install and operate 5,800 rooftop solar panels and a 4.5 megalitre water storage tank at USC’s main campus at Sippy Downs to cool water for air conditioning.

It is expected to save more than 92 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions over 25 years, equivalent to the carbon emissions of 525 average Australian houses for the same period.

Veolia will build the panels and tank at no cost to the university, operate and maintain the infrastructure for 10 years, selling the energy generated back to the university at a rate cheaper than electricity from the grid. After this time, ownership of the infrastructure will transfer to USC.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the project was a major step towards the university’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2025, and was expected to be operational by early 2019.

“The tank is essentially a giant water battery,” Professor Hill said.

“Sixty percent of our energy is used for chilling water for air conditioning, so our Asset Management Services team and Veolia have come up with a way we can harness solar energy for cooling water and storing it.

The 2.1 megawatt photovoltaic system, with panels spread across campus rooftops and carpark structures, will produce enough energy to cool 4.5 megalitres of water, effectively acting as a seven-megawatt battery.

“This will reduce the campus’s grid electricity use by 36 percent and will lead to an estimated $100 million saving over the 25-year life of the project,” Professor Hill said.

“We will use environmentally friendly refrigerant gas, and campus lake water for the air conditioning cooling towers, resulting in a saving of 802 megalitres of potable water.”

Also included in the project will be an automated system that will select and switch to the most appropriate energy source at any given time, whether that is stored chilled water, solar energy or electricity from the grid.

“On cloudy days when the solar isn’t operating at peak, the system will use grid electricity at night-time when electricity rates are lower,” Professor Hill said.

“The system will react to changing conditions on campus and select the best source of energy to minimise energy use, carbon emissions and cost.”

Professor Hill said the project will be used to teach engineering and sustainability students.

“This is proof that we’re an innovative university leading the way on sustainability initiatives, and we’re using this newest technology to inform the engineers of the future.”

Grant Winn, Executive General Manager – Energy and Refractories, Veolia Australia and New Zealand, said: "Veolia is excited about working with USC on such an innovative sustainability project where we will help reduce the energy consumption and carbon emissions of the campus through sourcing renewable solar energy, whilst also reducing potable water usage."

USC is also developing plans for carbon saving measures at its other campuses across the region.

Source: University of the Sunshine Coast

 

Record 2017 a glimpse of what is to come for clean energy in Australia

30 May

While 2017 was a record year on many fronts for the renewable energy industry, it is just a glimpse of the unprecedented level of activity expected in the next couple of years, Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said in launching the Clean Energy Australia Report today.

Mr Thornton said the 1.1 GW of new rooftop solar capacity last year was the most in Australian history, eclipsing the previous record in 2012. And the 16 large-scale renewable energy projects completed during the year added 700 MW of new generation to the mix.

“Perhaps most significantly, the large-scale renewable projects either under construction or which had attracted finance add up to more than seven times the amount of work completed in 2017. These 50 projects add up to 5300 MW of new capacity and 5750 direct jobs,” Mr Thornton said.

“There are now enough projects in the system to meet the 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET). Given we were only about halfway to the large-scale target at the beginning of 2017, it shows the remarkable level of deal-making and project activity during the year. However, it also shows that long-term bipartisan policy has been critical for investment in the energy sector, and that policy certainty beyond 2020 is becoming increasingly urgent.”  

The 2018 Clean Energy Australia report is a summary of the previous year in clean energy and provides insight into the exciting future for the sector.

One of the changes from previous years is that hydro generation was significantly down in 2017 compared to the year before, mostly as a result of reduced rainfall in key catchment areas. While the drop in hydro was mostly offset by a rise in other kinds of renewable energy generation, the overall percentage of clean energy in the national mix dipped slightly from 17.3 to 17 per cent.  

“The RET has been the key policy encouraging investment in both small and large-scale renewable energy, and the large number of projects which will come online over the next few years is predicted to reduce power prices by an average of 6.2 per cent,” Mr Thornton said.

“With the 2020 target now in hand, the whole energy sector is looking for policy certainty that will enable it to continue to invest far beyond 2020.

“The development of the National Energy Guarantee seems to be heading in the right direction, but the level of emissions reduction currently planned under the policy is unlikely to encourage the new renewable energy to continue to drive down power prices as our old coal power plants continue to close,” Mr Thornton said.

Highlights from the report include:

- 2017 was a record year for large-scale renewable energy, with over $10 billion worth of large-scale projects reaching financial close during the year. This investment will deliver 5300 MW of new generating capacity and 5750 new direct jobs

- It was also a record year for rooftop solar power, with 1.1 GW of new generating capacity installed

12 per cent of the 172,000 solar power systems installed in 2017 included a battery, up from 5 per cent the year before. NSW is leading the charge, with more than 40 per cent of the national storage installations occurring in the state

- The installation rate of household batteries across the country tripled in 2017, rising to 20,789 units from 6750 the year before

- The world’s largest lithium ion battery was completed in 2017 in South Australia. The Hornsdale Power Reserve, which was built by Tesla in South Australia

- 16 new projects were completed during 2017, including four solar power plants and five wind farms

- Wind and hydro contributed almost identical amounts of power to the electricity system for the first time, with each accounting for just over a third of the renewable energy generated during 2017 and 5.7 per cent of total national electricity generation

- Power prices are expected to fall just over 6 per cent on average over the next two years as more wind and solar power comes online.

The 2018 Clean Energy Australia report can be downloaded from the Clean Energy Council website.

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Dundonnell Wind Farm replacement underwriting agreement

30 May 

On 14 February 2018, Tilt Renewables Limited (“Tilt Renewables”) announced that it submitted a bid into the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (“VREAS”) for a portion of output from the fully permitted Dundonnell Wind Farm (“Dundonnell”).

As part of the funding arrangements, Tilt Renewables advised that it had obtained equity funding support from its majority shareholder Infratil Limited (“Infratil”). This equity funding support comprised a conditional agreement by Infratil to offer to underwrite 100% of an equity raising of A$300 million for Dundonnell (subject to agreement on equity pricing) should Dundonnell be successful in securing a contract through the VREAS process.

Tilt Renewables wishes to advise that, as permitted by the agreement with Infratil, it has entered into a volume underwriting agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Forsyth Barr Group Limited in relation to the A$300 million equity raising. This volume underwriting agreement replaces the equity support arrangement with Infratil. Infratil has provided a conditional commitment to subscribe for its full pro-rata entitlement in the equity raising. There are no underwriting or commitment fees payable on the Infratil portion of the equity raising.

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

Source: Tilt Renewables

 

PROJECT NEWS

Raglan Solar Farm

Gladstone Regional Council approved Eco Energy World’s 350 MW Raglan Solar Farm in Queensland. The project will feature tracking arrays located on a 1138 hectare development site.

 

Wonwondah Wind Farm to power Western Victoria

31 May

A new 40 MW wind farm in Western Victoria that will power more than 25,000 households as part of the ongoing renewable energy jobs boom in Western Victoria has been given the crucial sign-off.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today announced the approval of a thirteen-turbine facility near Wonwondah North.

The wind farm will be developed by NewEn with the 235-metre high turbines producing enough energy to power around 25,000 householders every year.

This site has been chosen because it receives undisturbed wind flow with strong, consistent wind speeds near the existing electrical grid.

Thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s Renewable Energy Target, Victoria is expected to see an estimated $9 billion of investment and around 11,000 jobs created over the life of the scheme.

This project is another step in helping Victoria achieve its renewable energy target of 25 per cent renewable energy production by 2020 and 40 per cent by 2025.

The Rifle Butts WEF Project is expected to create 120 jobs during construction. The project will also create up to four full time positions throughout operation of the facility.

Construction is anticipated to commence in early 2019.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“This new wind farm is another important step forward in creating a more sustainable future for regional Victoria, powering 25,000 homes and creating 120 construction jobs along the way.”

“In stark contrast to the Coalition who tried to smash the wind industry, we’re supporting the renewables sector to create local jobs and deliver affordable clean energy for hard working families.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“This is another great project that will deliver a boost for renewable energy in Western Victoria, and support even more jobs in the booming clean energy sector – all jobs that would be put at risk if the Coalition had their way.”

Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford

“This is another win for Western Victoria, a win for local jobs and a win for the environment. Unlike the Coalition who tried to shut down the renewables industry, we’re supporting it to power our regional areas and create jobs.”

Source: Victorian Government

 

Mars Enters the Solar System

31 May

Mars Australia has signed 20 year power-purchase agreements (PPA) with Total Eren to generate the equivalent of 100% of Mars’ electricity from renewable energy by 2020.

Total Eren is developing and will build the Kiamal Solar Farm near Ouyen, Victoria which will be operational in mid-2019. The Mars PPAs will also facilitate the planned build of a second renewable project by Total Eren in NSW.

Mars has contracted for energy to match the electricity requirements of its six Australian factories (Asquith, Ballarat, Bathurst, Wacol, Wodonga & Wyong) and two sales offices (Melbourne & Sydney). 

“Mars is thrilled to be flicking the switch to solar energy,” said Barry O’Sullivan, Mars Australia. “It's about making a long-term commitment to a sustainable, greener planet that will benefit our customers, our consumers and the local and global community."

Australia as a nation currently is one of the highest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita in the world, with electricity generation being a major contributor.

Mars, in partnership with Total Eren, will play a role in reducing Australia's reliance on fossil fuels – the power generated at the Kiamal Solar Farm will be supplied to the national grid, thereby increasing the ratio of renewable energy in the National Energy Market.

Mr O'Sullivan said, "The rise in electricity prices last year accelerated our plans to join Mars sites in the US, UK and 9 other countries in moving to renewable electricity."

"We acted quickly because the price volatility of energy in Australia made renewables the best option for our business, in addition to getting us closer to our commitment to eliminate greenhouse gasses from our operations by 2040."

The PPAs are part of a broader Mars journey to become Sustainable in a Generation, with plans to reduce greenhouse gasses across the supply chain by 67% by 2050.

Kevin Rabinovitch, Mars Global VP Sustainability said, “Last year we announced we’re spending a billion dollars in the next three years to start transforming our supply chain to get those impact reductions. We’ve made solid progress on the sustainability of our own operations since 2007, so now we’re in a good position to accelerate work and share lessons with our supply chain partners as we tackle impacts beyond our own operations.”

Mr O’Sullivan added, “We have an extensive local supplier network and we’ll be talking to them about how they can help further reduce emissions in our supply chain.”

Total Eren CEO David Corchia said, “Total Eren has an ambitious vision for the expansion and development of renewable energy in Australia.”

“Partnering with manufacturing thought leaders like Mars Australia is essential and sends a strong message to the rest of the market that now is the time to capitalise on the opportunities offered by renewable power purchase agreements and to drive positive change in the environment.”

Mars does not take energy directly from the solar farm to power its operations. By helping to underwrite a part of the project, Mars provided the security necessary to enable the project developers, Total Eren, to expand the solar farm to a planned Stage 1 capacity of 200 MW. In return, Mars will receive the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) created by Kiamal Solar Farm, which are transferable for all Mars’ electricity use in all of its Australian facilities.

Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, said, “Investing in solar power is a sound business decision in light of fluctuating energy costs in Australia. By adding renewables capacity and engaging suppliers, leaders like Mars can spur wider corporate action that can shift the local market away from fossil fuels and start bringing down the country’s high emissions.”

Mars partnered with Commodity Risk Solution, LLC, a global energy market advisor, to structure and deliver an innovative corporate PPA that will provide a lasting economic advantage.

TFS Green are pleased to have been able to broker the Kiamal Project to Mars as part of their new corporate PPA services platform - Renewable Energy Hub.

Source: Mars Australia

 

Have your say on new technical standards for generators to help keep the lights on at lowest cost

31 May

The AEMC today proposed significant changes to technical performance standards for generators seeking to connect to the national electricity grid, and the process for negotiating those standards.

Generators play an important role in helping AEMO and network businesses keep the lights on. This can include having the technical capability to control their voltage and frequency, and the ability to stay connected even when there is a major disturbance to the power system.

AEMC Chairman, Mr John Pierce AO, said today’s draft rules provide a foundation for a secure, least cost transition as new generators with different technical characteristics join the power system.

“The electricity system is transitioning, with a large number of new generators like wind and solar farms set to connect in coming years.

“We want to get the balance right between cost and system security for consumers.

“Matching technical requirements to local power system needs is key to keeping costs down for consumers," said Mr Pierce.

This major piece of work is the result of a rule change request from AEMO and months of cross-industry collaboration.

A team of technical experts comprising AEMO, generators, network businesses and power systems engineers worked with the AEMC throughout the project to systematically review each technical standard. This targeted approach will enable the standards to be negotiated for each connection – tailored to circumstances.

“For example, if provision of voltage control isn’t an issue in a particular area because there are plenty of generators providing this capability already, we don’t want to be forcing new generators connecting to the grid in that part of the system to have to pay for unnecessary voltage control capability,” said Mr Pierce.

The draft rule tightens some standards where needed and sets clearer roles and responsibilities so all parties – generators, networks and AEMO – know what they have to do when negotiating the required standards for a particular location.

The AEMC proposes a transition period of eight weeks after the final rule is made to give everyone time to adjust, before the new performance standards apply.

Submissions on the draft rule are due by 13 July 2018.

This rule change request addresses a recommendation made in the Finkel review to update generator connection standards in the National Electricity Rules. It is also part of the AEMC’s security and reliability action plan to provide AEMO with the tools it needs to manage a power system with a growing share of renewables and other forms of capacity.

This includes new rules starting in July 2018 to make networks maintain minimum levels of system strength and inertia. 

Source: AEMC

NOTE: More information available here

 

PROJECT NEWS

Moorabool Wind Farm

Goldwind Australia is seeking Expressions of Interest from suppliers and contractors for work packages for its Moorabool Wind Farm in Victoria, including:

- Logistics

- Wind Turbine Erection

- Design and Construction of the civil and electrical balance of plant (onsite roads, foundations, buildings and electrical reticulation).

Zenviron has been appointed by Goldwind Australia as the Balance of Plant contractor.

The project scope includes the construction and operation of 107 wind turbines and is expected to produce 1,100,000 MWh of electricity annually. It is located approximately 4km south of Ballan, 67km from Melbourne, 27km from Ballarat and 47km from Geelong. It will extend 14km north to south between Ballan and Mount Wallace to the west of the C141 (Geelong-Ballan Rd). The project is divided into two sections, the Bungeeltap Section towards the north of the project site and the Ballark Section to the south.

An industry briefing event will be held on 5 June in Ballan at which the construction team at Goldwind Australia and Zenviron will provide a project update and explain how you can be involved in the Moorabool Wind Farm project.

More information available from ICN Gateway here

 

Pursuing innovative solar opportunities for the Goldfields

31 May 

- Proposal for the first Virtual Power Plant in the Goldfields to be developed

- Planning for land access for future large scale-solar developments

- Government continues to progress its election commitment to investigate the potential for a major solar project in the Goldfields 

The McGowan Government will invest $500,000 to develop a proposal for a Virtual Power Plant (VPP) trial in the Goldfields and make land available for future large-scale renewable energy development in the region.

A VPP is a distributed rooftop solar and battery system that collects energy, which can be dispatched in a similar way to a centralised power station.

A preliminary assessment into large-scale solar projects in the Goldfields identified the best path forward to bring renewable energy, innovative technology, and network support to the region.

The assessment involved extensive consultation with local industry, energy groups, mining companies, solar developers and relevant government agencies.

The proposal will consider the installation of a VPP on Kalgoorlie-Boulder properties, which may include public housing, giving the potential for reducing electricity bills for residents. The VPP would provide more energy to the region as well as improving reliability, which is fundamental to enabling the economic development and growth of the region.

Making land available for the development of large-scale renewable projects is also being planned to coincide with the implementation of network regulation changes in 2022.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will work in collaboration with relevant agencies, particularly the Public Utilities Office, Western Power, and Lands agencies.

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

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

"We now have a comprehensive analysis of the complexities of a large-scale solar project in the region, and mapped out some innovative and interesting ways forward.

"A VPP has the potential to achieve multiple positive outcomes, including increasing the amount of energy available in the Goldfields, trialling innovative power technologies, supporting grid stability and management strategies, and helping WA move forward on emissions reduction. We look forward to working with industry and other stakeholders on building the best model for the region.

"Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the wider region is a big economic contributor to the State. Future renewable energy solutions will be a priority to securing regional growth and servicing the needs of this growing regional population."

Comments attributed to Energy Minister Ben Wyatt:

"Despite the Goldfields being an obvious location for a major solar project with year-round high solar energy levels, input to the electricity grid in the region needs to be carefully managed.

"The trial of a Virtual Power Plant in the Goldfields is an exciting prospect that has the potential to assist Western Power and the market operator to assess how innovative technologies can help manage some network challenges in the region."

Source: WA Government

 

Delivering solar energy to remote Indigenous communities

31 May

Seventeen off-grid remote Indigenous communities are set to benefit from solar energy and reduce their reliance on diesel fuel thanks to support from the Coalition Government.

The communities, located in Central Australia, Katherine, Top End and Tiwi Islands regions of the Northern Territory, will be provided with a total 5.6 MW of solar energy.

The Coalition Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has provided $31.5 million in funding towards the $59 million project known as the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP).

Eleven other off-grid remote Indigenous communities have already benefitted from 4.325 MW of solar energy under the program, including Daly River where the 1 MW solar energy site is also equipped with a battery.

"This project provides opportunities for off-grid remote Indigenous communities to decrease their reliance on diesel fuel which is subject to price fluctuations and seasonal transport issues," Minister Frydenberg said.

"It spans the breadth of the Northern Territory, from the Tiwi Islands in the north to Aputula in the south, and demonstrates our commitment to deliver cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy for all Australians."

Minster Scullion said the project is an important step towards transforming the way energy is supplied to remote communities in Australia.

"This project will help secure energy supply for 17 remote communities and I am pleased to be part of a Coalition Government that is delivering better basic services for remote Territorians," Minister Scullion said.

The project is jointly funded by ARENA and the Northern Territory Government and managed by the Northern Territory Power and Water Corporation.

Source: Federal Government

 

New guidelines will make connecting to the grid easier

1 June

Energy Networks Australia has today released the first in a suite of guidelines for network companies to support the fair and efficient connection of solar and battery storage to the grid.

The national Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Grid Connection Guidelines Framework and Principles sets out the principles, objectives, structure and framework for networks to ensure consistency in how household and business solar and batteries are integrated into the grid.

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon said a consistent approach across the country was essential as Australia’s national energy market transformed into a more decentralised system.

“Up to now, networks have responded to the challenges of the growth in rooftop solar and storage options by adopting their own – often different - technical requirements and connection processes,” he said.

“This has led to inconsistencies between networks, which has been identified as a major concern by stakeholders in numerous industry reports including the CSIRO/Energy Network Australia Electricity Network Transformation Roadmap. These guidelines are being developed to establish uniformity around voltage, legal frameworks and technical standards to enable fair, easy and efficient grid connection.” 

The guidelines are being developed in consultation with industry stakeholders including the Australian Energy Regulator, Australian Energy Market Operator, Clean Energy Council, Energy Consumers Australia and all Australian electricity networks.   

Mr Dillon said the framework would also deliver on recommendations in the Finkel Review for a holistic review and update of connection standards.

“We’re also really pleased that while these guidelines are voluntary, all Australian networks have committed to adopt their requirements,” he said.

Based on the requirements outlined in the Framework and Principles guideline, four technical guidelines will be developed over the next six months, detailing the specific technical requirements for network connections.

Energy Networks Australia will review the DER guidelines regularly to make sure they are consistent with legal frameworks and technical standards.   

The first review will be in October this year and the guidelines will be independently evaluated every two years.

The Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Grid Connection Guidelines Framework and Principles report can be viewed here.

Source: Energy Networks Australia

 

Albany geophysical survey

1 June

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise of progress on its geophysical site investigation over the proposed Torbay site at Albany in Western Australia. The purpose of the geophysical survey is to establish the offshore geology and suitable strata thickness to inform the technical and economic feasibility of the proposed CETO 6 foundation design.

The survey was awarded to EGS Survey based out of Henderson, utilising the vessel Business Class owned and operated by Empress Marine of Dunsborough. In addition, South Coast Natural Resource Management of Albany is providing a local expert in marine fauna who has been on board the vessel to ensure the operations conform with all state and federal legislation regarding marine wildlife.

The planned reconnaissance lines have now been completed and collected very accurate bathymetry data, seabed sediment identification and geological data to a depth of approximately 50m below sea bed. This has allowed for the identification of basement granites and the required thickness of younger rocks that are preferred for the foundations.

In the coming days a detailed grid of data will be acquired that will provide depth to granite and thickness maps of the younger strata.

The geophysical survey team has consisted of three vessel crew, four survey crew, a client representative for Carnegie and a marine mammal observer. These have been supported by the Carnegie and EGS management teams from Perth and Albany.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

APA extends PPA term with Alinta with 17.5MW of solar

APA Group (ASX:APA), Australia’s leading energy infrastructure business, today announced an extension to the existing Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) with Alinta Energy for the Badgingarra Wind Farm, to include a 17.5MW solar farm.

Both projects are expected to be commissioned in early 2019. The combined wind and solar PPA will extend the original 12 year PPA by an additional 5 years to 2035. Alinta Energy will purchase all of the energy and the Large-scale Renewable Generation Certificates generated by both energy sources. Financial close of the solar farm project is expected within the next few months and is subject to finalisation of variations to the transmission connection agreement with Western Power to cater for the solar farm offtake.

APA Group Managing Director, Mr Mick McCormack, said, “It’s always pleasing to extend the relationship and services provided to existing long term customers such as Alinta Energy. We’ve also worked closely with other key stakeholders including Western Power and the local community to bring this project to fruition.

“The 147.5MW combined Badgingarra wind and solar projects have complementary generation profiles. Like our adjoining Emu Downs wind and solar projects, the wind pattern in this region allows for the solar generation to utilise the existing substation and connection infrastructure. On completion, APA will have a renewable energy precinct capable of generating over 247.5MW of energy for the South West Interconnected System, Western Australia’s primary electricity grid.”

Alinta Energy Managing Director and CEO, Mr Jeff Dimery said, “We were pleased to sign the initial power purchase agreement and very happy to extend it to include the solar farm. Badgingarra’s total output forms a significant part our 1,000MW of renewables by 2020 target.”

Source: APA Group

 

Renewable Energy Hub service launched

 1 June

TFS Green, Australia’s leading wholesale energy and environmental market brokers, today launches its ‘Renewable Energy Hub’ service platform by announcing a major transaction with Kiamal Solar Farm and MARS Australia. The transaction, one of the largest corporate PPAs in Victoria to date, represents a substantial portion of the 200MW Kiamal Project.

Renewable Energy Hub (‘RE Hub’) corporate PPA and firming marketplace presents a menu of corporate PPA and retailer energy procurement options to make it easier for C&I energy buyers to access dramatic energy cost savings and to unlock demand for energy from projects. The model also serves wholesale renewable energy projects, consultants and energy retailers. The objective of the platform is simple: A marketplace to standardize and drive more wholesale renewable energy, firming products and Corporate PPA transactions.

RE Hub is building on TFS Green’s 15 years’ experience as a leading wholesale energy market service provider and will provide a serviced marketplace for wholesale renewable generators to transact with corporate and wholesale market offtake buyers, energy consultants and investors - across the APAC region. But RE Hub goes a step beyond that - to bring a suite of wholesale energy market services designed to drive transaction outcomes and contracting opportunities for projects and create options for energy buyers to reduce costs.

RE Hub is also driving a variable generation firming marketplace – to develop products such as our firm solar product. This allows renewables to be presented as transactional firm contracts to the wholesale energy market and builds liquidity for renewables to function with the wholesale contract market. “Renewable Energy Hub will drive off-take opportunities for projects and energy cost saving options for businesses, through simplifying and standardising corporate PPAs transactions and making them available for more energy users”.

“The future of the renewable energy market will require firming solutions for intermittent generators to transact advantageously – this firming marketplace innovates and drives liquidity in these new products” said Chris Halliwell – Manager of Renewable Energy and Environmental Markets at TFS Australia.

In addition Michael Vawser, Regional Director of Total Eren, the independent power producer behind the Kiamal Solar Farm, stated:

“This deal between Total Eren and MARS only materialised due to the knowledge and coverage that the Renewable Energy Hub has in the renewables and corporate market places. To end up with a 20 year PPA covering 100% of MARS Australia’s electricity use is extraordinary and ground breaking. Thanks in no small part to Renewable Energy Hub”.

The REH platform leverages TFS Green Australia’s vast network of wholesale market and corporate energy users, covering hundreds of corporate and energy market participants with over 20 corporates already engaged in detailed PPA discussions and intermittent firming market solutions already being transacted in the wholesale market.

Source: Renewable Energy Hub