Meeting our climate commitments without wrecking the economy

25 February

Australia will meet its international climate targets without wrecking the economy and driving power prices sky high.

The Morrison Government today announced a $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package.

Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, said Australians recognise climate change and the importance of protecting the environment.

“We will meet our global commitments, and do what is right for our environment, without taking a wrecking ball to the economy.

“We have an obligation to preserve the environment for our children. We also have an obligation to hand over a strong economy, where our kids and grandkids can get jobs.

“We will meet our commitments in practical ways by working with land holders, farmers, businesses and indigenous communities.

“There will be further announcements ahead but as part of the $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package, we will invest a further $2 billion in the Climate Solutions Fund.”

The Climate Solutions Fund will build on the success of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) which has contracted 193 million tonnes in emission reductions.

The Minister for the Environment, the Hon Melissa Price MP, said that Climate Solutions Fund will ensure the ERF delivers a further 103 million tonnes in emission reductions to 2030. This will make a key contribution to us meeting our 26% emissions reduction target under the Paris agreement.

“We are working with people on the ground to reduce emissions and lead real environmental change.

“The ERF is investing in our farmers to help them revegetate degraded land, to protect existing forest areas and to increase habitats for our native species.

“We are working with businesses to invest in the adoption of energy efficient business practices that are reducing costs and working with waste managers and with recyclers to reduce waste emissions.

“We are working with indigenous communities in projects such a savannah burning where traditional land care practice is blended with modern environmental science.”

For more information visit:

https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/climate-solutions-package

Source: Federal Government

 

Morrison announcement: doubling down on failed policy

25 February

The Morrison Government’s announcement that it is injecting more money into the Emissions Reduction Fund will do nothing to effectively tackle climate change and amounts to pouring good money after bad.

“Greenhouse gas pollution economy-wide has risen year on year while the government’s ERF program has been in operation. Doubling down on an ineffective program and hoping for a better outcome is a monumental waste of money,” said Climate Council CEO, Amanda McKenzie.

Ms McKenzie’s comments follow news the Morrison Government will extend Tony Abbott’s ineffectual climate change policy, which ignores the problem – greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuels.

“The Federal Government has failed to tackle climate change because it has not focused on reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, particularly in sectors like electricity and transport. Australia continues to spew more and more pollution into the atmosphere” said Ms McKenzie.

“It is absolutely clear from the science that any climate policy that does not drive fossil fuel emissions down rapidly and deeply is not credible,” said Climate Councillor Will Steffen. “This policy fails miserably on this critical criterion.”

“The Prime Minister’s announcement that the Federal Government will create a Climate Solutions Fund is nothing more than a rebranding exercise. The ERF lives on and so does Tony Abbott’s antiquated policy,” said Ms McKenzie.

“Mr Morrison continues to use the same disingenuous language claiming that Australia will meet its Paris climate targets “at a canter”.

“When it comes to dealing with climate change, we haven’t even saddled the horse. The government’s own projections show we are not on track to meet our targets,” said Ms McKenzie.

“Australia is on the frontline of climate change and yet the Federal government has no credible climate policy,” she said.

“If we want to protect Australians from worsening extreme weather, we must rapidly reduce our pollution from coal, gas and oil,” she said.

Source: Climate Council

 

NEW PROJECT

Smoky Creek Solar Farm

Location: Dixalea/Ulogie in Queensland

Capacity: 450 MW

Developer: Edify Energy

Planning Consultant: RPS Australia

LGA: Banana Shire

Description: The proposal has a developable footprint of approximately 2,113 ha, with a total area of built infrastructure equating to up to 1,993 ha, on a series of properties. It is planned to connect to Powerlink’s 275 kV Calvale to Stanwell Transmission Line via a new switchyard to be located at the facility. The proposal features an option to incorporate battery storage. The approximate 450 MW capacity will be constructed over multiple stages, with the final development footprint and maximum capacity determined during the detailed design stages in consideration of available grid capacity and the available options in terms evolving solar and battery technology at that time.

Contact: Ian Christmas

Head Engineering & Technical

Edify Energy

Email: ian.christmas@edifyenergy.com

 

Alinta Energy to build West Australia’s biggest wind farm

25 February

Alinta Energy has today announced that it will build West Australia’s biggest wind farm by mid-2020 after appointing leading global wind company Vestas as its engineering, procurement and construction partner. 

The 214 MW Yandin Wind Farm will comprise 51 (4.2 MW) turbines – which could power up to 200,000 homes per year – and will be located near the town of Dandaragan, around 175km north of Perth. The project is expected to cost approximately $400 million and will generate around 150 jobs during construction. 

Alinta Energy’s Executive Director of Merchant Energy Ken Woolley thanked everyone involved in helping the project to reach this major milestone.  

“Yandin will give Alinta Energy a considerable supply of affordable renewable power for our growing electricity customer base. 

“I want to thank our project landowners, the Shire of Dandaragan and Western Power for their support.

“This is Alinta Energy’s first direct investment in a renewable project, and we’re thrilled to do it here in our home state of WA.

“Yandin will drive more affordable and cleaner energy for us, and with our gas-fired power stations it will also help us use gas more efficiently. That’ll be good for us, our customers and the environment. 

“The Yandin Wind Farm has been shaped by valuable input from the local community and made possible by a stable energy policy environment in WA,” said Mr Woolley. 

Vestas’ Head of Sales for Australia and New Zealand, Peter Cowling, said the company was excited to partner with Alinta Energy. 

“Yandin is a key project for Vestas, for Alinta and for Western Australia.

“We are more than pleased to be Alinta’s partner on this project, as we can see enormous potential for wind energy in Western Australia that is perfectly suited to our industry-leading wind turbines,” he said.

The high-quality wind resource in the region means the wind farm’s long-term capacity factor is projected to be around 50 per cent.    

The wind farm will connect to Western Power’s 330 kV electricity network via a new 10 km transmission line and terminal station that will be built, owned and operated by Western Power.

Vestas will operate and maintain the wind farm from completion of construction under a long-term service agreement. 

Source: Alinta Energy

 

NEW PROJECT

Theodore Solar Farm

Location: Theodore, Queensland

Capacity: ~70 MW

Developer: juwi Renewable Energy

LGA: Banana Shire

Description: The proposed project is located on Nipan Road, Theodore, and will cover an area of up to 220 hectares. It will utilise photovoltaic (PV) solar panels mounted on single axis trackers, and connect to the existing Theodore - Moura 66kV transmission line which borders the site. An area for solar battery storage is designated next to the substation and switchyard. The project will create up to 140 full time equivalent jobs during construction, and several permanent jobs during the operational phase.

Contact:  Amy Lane

Project Development Manager

juwi Renewable Energy

Tel: (07) 3107 0908

Email: info@juwi.com.au

 

Marinus link funding commitment

25 February

Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon welcomes TasNetworks’ release of the Initial Feasibility Report considering a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector, Marinus Link.

The commitment today by the Commonwealth Government of $56 million to fast track the Marinus Link is also a positive step.

“This project has the potential to bring up to 1,200MW more renewable energy into the National Energy Market,” Mr Dillon said.

“Interconnection between markets provides greater flexibility, better reliability and can deliver more affordable electricity for customers.”

Today’s announcement follows the launch earlier this month of Project EnergyConnect by ElectraNet and TransGrid for a new interconnector between SA and NSW.

“The is a worldwide trend towards increasing interconnection to manage growing levels of variable renewable generation and it is pleasing to see growing recognition of that need here in Australia,” Mr Dillon said.

Source: Energy Networks Australia

 

Prime Minister commits $56 million to Marinus Link progress

25 February

TasNetworks has released its Initial Feasibility Report considering a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector, Marinus Link. This is the first milestone of the $20 million dollar Project Marinus, supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), investigating further Bass Strait interconnection as part of Australia’s future electricity grid. The release of the report coincides with today’s announcement by the Commonwealth Government of $56 million to fast track the development of Marinus Link.

The current assessment builds on the 2017 report by Dr John Tamblyn, Feasibility of a Tasmanian Second Interconnector – Final Study commissioned by the Tasmania and Commonwealth Governments. Dr Tamblyn recommended that more detailed study be undertaken when one or more preconditions were met, that are now eventuating. Work undertaken by Hydro Tasmania with ARENA funding support highlights Tasmania’s potential to become Australia’s renewable energy battery, and the Australian Energy Market Operator has developed the first Integrated System Plan for the National Electricity Market, with interconnection playing a key role.

“The Tasmanian Government’s “Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation Current Situation Assessment” report sets the strategic context, with Marinus Link being a critical enabling component.” TasNetworks CEO Mr Lance Balcombe says.

Mr Balcombe, stated, “Our Initial Feasibility Report shows that based on the work to date Marinus Link is technically feasible and economically viable under a number of plausible scenarios. Therefore, we should continue to progress the work on Marinus Link, to support a transforming energy market.”

Favourable routes have been identified that are feasible and likely to obtain environmental and planning approvals. The favourable routes connect the existing electricity transmission network in the Sheffield or Burnie areas in north-west Tasmania with the transmission network in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The link will utilise high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable to cross Bass Strait and modern converter station technology designed to support a transforming power system.

Ms Bess Clark, General Manager Project Marinus stated, “The National Electricity Market (NEM) is going through unprecedented change, with the retirement of coal-fired generators and increasing penetration of intermittent renewable generation such as wind and solar. This is changing the way electricity is produced, transported and used. The NEM will need an interconnected grid, dispatchable on-demand energy and long duration storage to meet customer energy needs at lowest cost. Our analysis shows that Marinus Link can support these outcomes.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said, “The Initial Feasibility Report findings demonstrate how a second interconnector could help unlock Tasmania’s potential as the battery of the nation while also providing grid security and reliable supply to both Tasmania and Victoria.” Mr Balcombe welcomed the significant funding announcement from the Commonwealth Government today. “It will allow TasNetworks to build project momentum so Marinus Link is in service when it’s needed.  Marinus Link will unlock Tasmania’s world class renewable energy resources, and its construction will provide significant economic stimulus in regional Tasmania and Victoria”.

Source: ARENA

 

In an Australian first, Teys Australia Wagga plant to go completely energy self-sufficient

1 March

Teys Australia, one of the nation’s leading beef processors, has taken another step in reducing its carbon footprint and energy reliance by revealing plans to develop a $42 million low emissions energy hub (LEEH) at its Wagga facility.

In a landmark move that will bring sustainability and long-term security to the Wagga plant, the LEEH will result in the facility being independent with all energy needs to be met by the hub which will provide electrical and thermal energy and free up the available power in the grid, particularly during peak periods.

Teys Australia chief supply chain officer Tom Maguire said the new hub would have significant returns for the facility, Wagga and the environment.

“The hub will include baseload bio-generation, solid waste digestion, solar PV, energy storage and biomass boilers to produce steam. Together these technologies will provide stable baseload power that integrates with the grid, improving energy security, and reducing emissions.”

Mr Maguire said the region’s farmers will also benefit. “Local farms will stand to increase their income by supplying farming waste to Teys to be used for energy generation.”

Current energy and water costs at Wagga have skyrocketed $2 million in the last financial year. Australia’s processing costs are up to three times higher than its international competitors.

“The LEEH will give us a competitive edge for a business that contributes $512 million to the regional economy and supports 4000 direct and indirect jobs. Given the environmental and economic benefit Teys will fund half the hub’s cost and will apply to government for the other half.

Teys Australia has won numerous awards for its eco-efficiency, environmental and sustainability practices. In the last two years, Teys has invested in a number of energy and water efficiency projects including the installation of a 300kW solar farm and a biogas powered cogeneration facility.

Mr Maguire said Teys is providing a practical environmental solution consistent with the Federal Government’s newly announced climate solution fund.

Source: Teys Australia

 

CleanCo: Queensland’s newest electricity generator

26 February

The Palaszczuk Government’s support for renewable energy and the jobs it generates is continuing after legislation to create CleanCo was introduced to parliament today.

Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said Queensland’s new publicly-owned generator would be all Queensland and all renewable.

“This is delivering on an election commitment and it will help drive down energy prices and support even more jobs in the renewable sector,” Dr Lynham said.

“Our support of the renewable energy sector means 4000 Queenslanders are now employed in these jobs.

“CleanCo will be fully operating with its own generation assets this year and that means more jobs for more Queenslanders.

“This is in stark contrast to the LNP where 1700 renewable jobs vanished.

“This third, publicly-owned generator will help to increase electricity supply, driving down prices and cementing reliable supply for households, business and industry.

“CleanCo will build, own, operate and maintain a portfolio of clean energy assets for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

“It’s a long-term structural reform to the energy market that will give Queenslanders maximum competition benefits and increase investment in renewables in the longer term as we head towards a renewable future.”

CleanCo’s foundation generation assets will be transferred from the other two publicly-owned energy GOCs: Wivenhoe near Ipswich, from CS Energy, and Stanwell Corporation’s Swanbank E gas-fired power station in the south-east and Barron Gorge, Kareeya and Koombooloomba hydro plants in Far North Queensland.

Dr Lynham said CleanCo was key to the Palaszczuk Government’s strategy to create jobs and business opportunities in an export-orientated renewable energy sector.

“Queensland has seen 21 large-scale renewable energy projects commence operations in just over two years, and we have another $2.5 billion worth of investment on the books.

“Queensland consumers have taken up our renewable programs enthusiastically, with more than 2000 applications to my department for our latest interest-free loans and grants for solar and batteries.

“By keeping our electricity assets in public hands, we can deliver Queenslanders the cheapest power, the most reliable supply, and a steady transition to renewable energy and a strong renewables sector.”

Today’s bill, when passed, will ensure:

- New CleanCo employees and people transferring from the other government-owned generators will have the same protections as other government-owned corporation employees

- CleanCo can be designated as a ‘State electricity entity’ subject to government directions. 

Source: Queensland Government

 

BSR EPC secures 33MW solar and storage contract in Australia

27 February

BSR EPC, the UK’s leading large-scale solar contractor, has been selected to deliver engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for a 33MW solar and storage facility in Katherine, Northern Territory. The Katherine project was developed by a joint venture between Epuron, a leading Australian renewable energy specialist, and Island Green Power, a successful UK-based renewable energy developer.

The project was recently acquired by Eni, the Italian Fortune Global 500 energy company.

A 6MW battery energy storage system was added during project design to provide stability to the Northern Territory’s 200MW grid. BSR EPC is a pioneer in the UK energy storage market having successfully constructed one of the UK’s largest batteries (49.9MW) in December 2017.

“2019 is forecast to become the first year that global solar installations top 100GW and we are excited to contribute to this impressive milestone with our first project in Australia,” said Graham Harding, Managing Director of BSR Group. “We have developed a reputation in the UK for delivering long-term quality and performance and Katherine will be another case in point, built and managed by our world-class team.”

The Katherine project integrates energy storage within the solar array. The battery will use smart technology to smooth fluctuations in generation (ramp-rate control) and manage energy supply according to local demand (frequency response), reducing strain on the grid. Smoothing and output forecasting will also be achieved via the installation of cloud coverage predicting technology.

Construction will start on the Katherine solar and storage facility from March 2019 and it will be operational from Q4 2019. BSR EPC has opened an office in Sydney, Australia, to support its work in the country, and will continue operations in the UK and Europe.

Martin Poole, Executive Director of Epuron, said: “BSR Group and Epuron share common ground, particularly when it comes to our working philosophies: we both take a long-term approach to partnerships, looking to share knowledge and transfer learnings from one project to the next.”

BSR EPC has built 550MW of solar and energy storage projects in the UK, including the UK’s four largest solar parks and one of the largest batteries.

Following the completion of construction BSR will also be providing operations and maintenance services to the Katherine Solar and Storage facility.

Source: British Solar Renewables

 

NEW PROJECT

Maxwell Solar Farm

Location: ~10km south-south east of Muswellbrook in NSW

Developer: Malabar Coal

Capacity: ~25 MW

LGA: Muswellbrook

Estimated cost: $37mil

The project is proposed on 105ha of rehabilitated land on Maxwell coalmine infrastructure, and will supply electricity to the Maxwell Infrastructure site and/or the Maxwell Underground site and/or the National Energy Market (NEM). The proposal would include the following elements:

  1. Flat plate photovoltaic (PV) modules in a fixed or tracking arrangement
  2. Potential battery storage, estimated to be around 10 per cent of production, ie. 2.5MWh
  3. Overhead line, overhead collection line or underground line from the proposed array to the existing Ausgrid 33kV powerlines to the east or to the 66kV powerlines to the north with a Switch Station at the northern end of the 66KV powerline. Construction of the proposed development is expected to take 18 months if constructed in one stage, but construction may be staged.

Contact: Malabar Coal

Tel: (02) 8248 1272

Email: admin@malabarcoal.com.au

 

Construction of Risen Energy’s Yarranlea Solar Farm is progressing well

27 February

Risen Energy’s 100 megawatts AC Yarranlea Solar Farm is well into the second stage of construction.

The solar installation is located near Pittsworth, approximately 50km west of Toowoomba on the Darling Downs.  The solar farm is approximately 250ha in area, consisting of over 360,000 solar panels mounted on a single axis tracking system and will generate and deliver clean, renewable electricity to power up to 32,000 homes.

It will connect to the power grid using the existing Ergon Energy infrastructure, located close to the development site. This will allow transmission of power into the Middle Ridge Bulk Supply Substation for ultimate use in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs area.

The bulk earthworks have been completed by Sedl civil contractors, a local Toowoomba based firm and the substation installation is being progressed by Yurika, the “commercial” arm of Energy Queensland.

The ongoing survey works for construction monitoring are being done by Byrne Surveyors, a long-established Toowoomba survey firm. For over 50 years Byrne Surveyors has undertaken surveys throughout South West Queensland, covering the Darling Downs, Lockyer Valley, Granite Belt and Maranoa Districts.

The external fencing of the solar farm is almost complete.

The primary construction contract has been awarded to Monford Group, a construction firm with sound solar farm experience.

Construction of the solar farm started in earnest early in the new year with pile driving of the supports for the panel trackers.

Tracker assembly will commence mid-February and the first panels will be mounted shortly thereafter.

The Yarranlea Solar Farm is utilising local resources where ever possible and we are working with the local community to deliver the project with a minimum of disruption.

The Solar Farm will contribute to the green footprint of the state in support of the Queensland Government’s Green Policy.

As owners of the Yarranlea Solar Farm project, Risen Energy is progressing the project from detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation of the solar farm.

It is anticipated that approximately 200 positions will be created during the construction of the Yarranlea Solar Farm.

Once operational, the solar farm will require 3-5 full time workers to maintain the installation.

Construction of the solar installation is scheduled to be completed October 2019 and once commissioned will supply green power to homes, businesses and industries in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs area.

The completed facility has a projected life of 30 years. At the end of the facility’s useful operating life, all physical infrastructure will be removed, and the land returned to its former agricultural use.

“Risen Energy (Australia)’s long term goal is the establishment of 2GW of solar farms over the next few years.  This reinforces our intention of becoming a key player in the national solar industry.” said John Zhong, Project Development & Investment Director, Risen Energy (Australia).

“Our first utility-scale solar farm acquisition was Yarranlea Solar Farm and construction is well underway. Merredin Solar Farm in the Central Wheatbelt area of Western Australia is our second, which we will progress from detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation” said Zhong.

Source: Risen Energy

 

NEW PROJECT

Innes Park Solar Farm

Location: Innes Park, ~10.5 km south east of Bundaberg in Queensland

Capacity: 25 MW

Developer: Enerparc

LGA: Bundaberg Regional Council

Description: The total land area across the proposed site is 46.5 ha on Elliott Heads Road located within the Rural Zone and currently being used for grazing. The proposed solar farm will provide supplementary supply to a substation approximately 1.5 km north. Weather permitting, construction of the solar farm will take approximately seven to eight months. The proposed solar farm will require additional off-site electrical infrastructure to connect to the grid. Across the course of the construction period, the proposed solar farm will employ over 100 people.

Contact: Benjamin Hannig

Managing Director

Enerparc Australia

Tel: (02) 8311 1338

Email: info@innesparksolarfarm.com.au

 

Federal Government endorsement to accelerate Battery of the Nation

27 February

Hydro Tasmania welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Cethana Power Station today to announce further support for Battery of the Nation through the Federal Government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

Hydro Tasmania is accelerating work to identify a pumped hydro project that will be ready to go when a second Bass Strait interconnector comes online.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said Tasmania has a unique opportunity to provide 1200 megawatts of flexible, reliable, dispatchable renewable energy to support the NEM through a period of change. The merits of this opportunity were set out in Hydro Tasmania’s recent submission to the UNGI process.

“The credibility of that opportunity has been recognised today by the Federal Government’s commitment to develop an underwriting mechanism for Battery of the Nation to do just that,” he said.

“Their invitation to continue working with them during the next stage of the UNGI process, coupled with this week’s announcement of funding support for the interconnector studies, gives us confidence to invest in further work on the feasibility of pumped hydro projects in Tasmania.

“We’ve been investigating 14 options for pumped hydro that present the greatest potential. We will now invest up to $30 million to refine that to three options for deeper studies and ultimately identify a single pumped hydro project that can be ready to take advantage of additional interconnection coming online in 2025.”

The Federal Government this week also announced $56 million in funding to fast track delivery of the ‘Marinus Link’ project, following the release of a feasibility study demonstrating that the business case for a second interconnector stacks up.

The report found a 1200MW interconnector would unlock new generation and storage in Tasmania, helping lower prices and increase reliability in the National Electricity Market.

“The funding announcement for Marinus Link earlier in the week sends a strong signal to renewable energy investors.

“It is a trigger for Hydro Tasmania to start planning for the next stage of our assessment process for repurposing of the hydropower system in Tasmania, including more detailed assessment of pumped hydro options.

“Future national market analysis so far confirms Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation represents one of the most reliable and cost-competitive solutions for meeting Australia’s future energy needs.”

“We have what the nation needs and additional interconnection will make all of this work and get Tasmania’s flexible energy capacity to the national market,” Mr Davy said.

Hydro Tasmania, with the support of ARENA, will continue to work with TasNetworks, and other state, federal and market stakeholders to unlock the full potential of Tasmania’s renewable energy and the contribution it can make to ensure a stable, reliable future national electricity market.

Source: Hydro Tasmania

 

Tempo finalises Cohuna contract

27 February

Tempo is pleased to advise that, further to the announcement by Tempo in September 2018 that it had received Limited Notice to Proceed (“LNTP”) from Enel Green Power Australia Pty Ltd. (“Enel”) in relation to the 34MW Cohuna Solar Farm, the final contract has been executed. The value of the works for Tempo is $15.1 million over a 12-month construction period commencing 1 March 2019.

Tempo congratulates Enel on commencing the development of the Cohuna Solar Farm Project. Mr Lynass said “Tempo is very pleased to be working with a leading energy organisation like Enel and looks forward to delivering this solar farm in concert with them and the state of Victoria.”

Source: Tempo

 

Clean energy industry pumped about potential of hydro to unlock low-cost renewables

27 February

The clean energy industry is pumped about a clean energy future that features one of the country’s most well-established technologies, the Clean Energy Council said in relation to funding announcements this week for the Snowy 2.0 expansion and Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said while innovation and economies of scale continued to make new clean energy technologies cheaper, hydro power’s effectiveness and long heritage makes it a perfect partner to complement wind and solar in Australia.

“These pumped hydro projects are tailor-made to work in concert with renewables, but the business case collapses if the government uses taxpayer funds for new coal-fired power plants. A mix of clean energy technologies can now do everything new coal can do – but cheaper, cleaner and more reliably,” Mr Thornton said.

“Studies from our most credible organisations have shown that our power system can run on 50 per cent renewables with minimal investment in additional energy storage. The great news about the Snowy 2.0 expansion and the Battery of the Nation is that they pave the way for much higher levels of renewable energy in Australia.

“Both Snowy Hydro and Hydro Tasmania have made huge contributions to Australia’s energy system over many decades, and it is fantastic to see them taking on a renewed role in powering our energy future.

"It is important however that government intervention and funding of investments is managed carefully and transparently to ensure the impact on market dynamics and private investment flow is minimised,” he said.

The Federal Government has pledged $1.38 billion in funding and a green light for the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro expansion this week, along with $56 million for the Marinus Link project which would provide a second cable across Bass Strait to make Tasmania’s renewable energy resources more available for the mainland.

The Federal Government says it will consider underwriting the Battery of the Nation project, while Tasmania’s Hodgman Government will make $30 million available to Hydro Tasmania to refine the number of potential sites from 14 down to three.

Mr Thornton said while federal funding for Marinus Link – matched by federal Labor – would help to make the Battery of the Nation project viable, questions remain about power transmission for the Snowy expansion.

“At the moment we have a very promising project which will need substantial new investment in poles and wires to make its electricity available to the grid when it is most needed. It is still not clear who will pay for that,” he said.

“The clean energy industry believes it is time for state government like New South Wales and Victoria to step up and help with connecting Snowy 2.0, to ensure that this promising project can move forward and benefit energy users.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

$30 million for regional community energy hubs

27 February

Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin today announced $30 million in funding to drive renewable energy projects in regional areas.

Making the announcement today at Enova Energy in Byron Bay with NSW Energy Minister Don Harwin, Mr Franklin said the funding would support local community projects that deliver energy security and affordability.

“Energy security and prices are front of mind for the NSW Government and especially here in Ballina where residents can incur higher energy costs and are at times exposed to greater impacts from extreme weather,” Mr Franklin said.

“We’ve committed $30 million to help fund and support energy projects in regional areas that will protect the reliability of energy supply and provide cost savings for residents and businesses.

“By backing innovative renewable energy projects like the kind seen here at Enova, we are backing regional jobs, new generation of up to 25 megawatts and lower network costs.

“The funding will also support backup power and disaster resilience for up to 70 regional communities, delivering around $2,750 in annual savings per site from solar and battery backup systems,” he said

There are three funding streams under the program:

* grants to implement community renewable energy projects;

* clean backup power for key emergency response sites; and

* advice for households and businesses on affordable energy solutions.

“We are looking to fund proposals that can deliver innovative energy projects with strong community benefits, that help maintain energy security and give regional communities access to their own energy solutions,” Mr Harwin said.

More information is available from https://energy.nsw.gov.au/renewables/clean-energy-initiatives/regional-community-energy

Source: Nationals Party

 

Enel Green Power visits Carnegie to advance CETO collaboration

28 February

Over the past week, Carnegie was delighted to host Enel Green Power for an intensive week of knowledge sharing and collaboration in Western Australia. Enel Green Power (EGP), Enel Group’s business line dedicated to the development and operation of renewables across the world, is a global leader in the green energy sector managing around 43 GW of generation capacity, similar to Australia’s total capacity. As previously announced, EGP is collaborating with Carnegie on the development of the CETO wave energy technology through a Collaboration Agreement signed last year. Under the agreement, EGP will contribute €1m towards the development of CETO through a series of activities.

EGP’s Head of Marine Innovation and another Marine Innovation team member flew in from Italy and joined the Country Manager for Enel Green Power Australia, based in Sydney, to meet with Carnegie’s CETO team and visit the site of the Albany Wave Energy Project.

EGP spent several days working closely with Carnegie’s CETO team in Fremantle, touring Carnegie’s private wave energy research facility in North Fremantle and visiting Garden Island to see the site of the previous CETO 3 and Perth Wave Energy Project and tour the recently commissioned Garden Island solar-battery Microgrid.

In addition, EGP spent time in Albany including visits to the onshore site of the Albany Wave Energy Project as well as the Albany port, the anticipated assembly, deployment and operations base for the Project.

Whilst in Albany, Carnegie brought EGP to meet with the City of Albany, Great Southern Development Commission and the Wave Energy Research Centre. In addition to working closely with Carnegie, EGP is representing the perspective of large industry in the Wave Energy Research Centre’s Advisory Committee.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

Labor announces climate change plan

28 February

NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley, has announced Labor’s climate change plan, which includes introducing a renewable energy target for NSW.

A Daley Labor Government, if elected in March, will introduce NSW’s first renewable energy target.

It will require NSW to generate:

- At least 50 per cent of our state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030; and

- Move to as close to as possible 100 per cent energy from renewable sources by 2050.

Currently, NSW only obtains less than 13 per cent of its energy from renewable sources.

“The Liberals and Nationals have failed, for eight years, to develop a plan to fight climate change.

“A Daley Labor Government will put climate change at the centre of its decision making. One of my first acts as Labor Leader was creating a climate change portfolio because it is time governments acted decisively to deal with this pressing issue,” Mr Daley said.

It'll require NSW to generate at least 50% of our state’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. And move to as close as possible 100% renewable energy by 2050.

As part of its plan Labor will also:

- Deliver 100 per cent renewable energy for all State Government agencies by 2025 (it is currently only six per cent);

- Hold a Climate Change Summit in its first year in office, to develop the Climate Change Action Plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050; and

- Enshrine the outcomes of the Summit into a Climate Change Act.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Adam Searle, said: “Around half of the electricity NSW currently relies on will retire over the next 16 years, as ageing coal fired power stations reach the end of their life.

“This means future electricity supplies for NSW will be at risk unless new power sources are built. To make electricity cheaper and cut emissions the future of our energy system must be renewable.”

Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for the Environment, Penny Sharpe, said: “Climate change is real and the impacts of it can be seen right across the state. Only Labor is serious about tackling climate change and developing a clean energy future.”

Source: NSW Labor Party

 

PROJECT NEWS

Shoalhaven Pumped Hydro Expansion

Origin Energy is seeking approvals to conduct geotechnical investigations as part of a feasibility study in support of its Shoalhaven Hydro Expansion Project in NSW’s Southern Highlands. The geotechnical study is required to provide confidence that the below ground structures can be constructed and operated safely and cost effectively. Drilling of up to eight boreholes ranging in depth from 25 to 650 metres below ground level will be undertaken, along with ancillary works to establish temporary access and works areas, geotechnical testing, decommissioning and rehabilitation. A pre-feasibility study was completed for the project which proposes to provide an additional approximate 235 MW of pumped storage generation capacity to the existing scheme which currently has a generating capacity of 240 MW.

 

Amendments to Renewable Energy Target regulations

28 February

The Renewable Energy Target legislation has been amended to clarify the:

- eligibility of boundaries for small versus large scale solar PV systems, and

- audit requirements for applications to amend Emissions-Intensive Trade-Exposed (EITE) exemption certificates.

The changes were made through the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment (Small-scale Solar Eligibility and Other Measures) Regulations 2019 and came into effect on 26 February 2019.

Clarifying eligibility for small and large scale solar PV systems

The amendments clarify how the boundary of a solar photovoltaic (PV) device should be determined. The amendments also include new anti-gaming provisions to prevent large-scale solar projects from participating in the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) instead of the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target.

The revised definitions make it easier for industry participants to understand and meet eligibility requirements while ensuring the intent and integrity of SRES is maintained.

Audit requirements for applications to amend EITE exemption certificates

The amendments require an audit report to accompany an application to amend EITE exemption certificates where there has been a material change in the way the electricity use method is calculated.

More information

For guidance and examples on how the amendments affect eligibility for small-scale technology certificates and large-scale generation certficates, see Defining small scale and large scale solar systems. If you have further questions, please contact us at 1300 553 542 or enquiries@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au.

Source: Clean Energy Regulator

 

Alinta and Vestas partner to build Western Australia’s largest wind park

28 February

Vestas has received a 214 MW order from the leading Australian utility Alinta Energy for the Yandin Wind Farm in Western Australia. Once built, the wind park will be the state’s largest renewable power plant, providing affordable renewable energy to more than 200,000 homes. 

Located approximately 150 km north of Perth, the Yandin Wind Farm project will feature 51 V150-4.2 MW turbines with hub heights of 105 meters to maximise performance in the site's specific wind conditions. Vestas will also construct the entire project through an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement.

With a very competitive cost of energy, the Yandin project demonstrates Alinta’s determination to make energy more affordable and sustainable for its customers. Once in operation, Yandin will also allow Alinta to reduce its use of natural gas for electricity generation, reducing its energy production costs and illustrating how renewable energy is quickly becoming the lowest-cost energy technology in Australia.

Alinta will also look to Vestas to keep Yandin operating at maximum efficiency through a 25-year Active Output Management 4000 (AOM 4000) service agreement, designed to maximise uptime and ensure optimised performance of the project. The service agreement covers scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of the wind turbines, electrical and civil balance of plant.

“Yandin is a key project for Vestas, Alinta and Western Australia”, said Peter Cowling, Head of Vestas Australia and New Zealand. “We are more than pleased to be Alinta’s partner on this project, as we can see enormous potential for wind energy in Western Australia that is perfectly suited to our industry-leading wind turbines. Our leadership position in providing complete renewable energy solutions in Australia means we have more knowledge and resources to apply to giving our customers, and by extension, Australian energy consumers, the most productive, reliable and affordable clean energy around. In this way, we will support Australia’s transition towards an energy system entirely powered by renewable energy”.

The Yandin Wind Farm, the first wind energy project developed by Alinta, and its largest investment in renewable energy to date, will form part of the company’s growing renewable energy portfolio in Australia.

“Yandin will give Alinta Energy a considerable supply of affordable renewable power for our growing electricity customer base”, said Ken Woolley, Alinta Energy’s Executive Director of Merchant Energy, “We selected Vestas based on their years of experience, industry-leading technology, and the commitments we share around safety and generating affordable power for Australians”.

Commercial operations at Yandin are scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2020.

Source: Vestas

 

National hydrogen strategy open for public consultation

1 March

The Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) Hydrogen Working Group is seeking input to help inform the development of a new clean hydrogen industry.

In December 2018, the COAG Energy Council, led by the Australian Government, commissioned the Chief Scientist to develop a comprehensive and ambitious national strategy for the development of an Australian hydrogen industry - and public consultation opens today.

Resources Minister Matt Canavan said that building a commercial hydrogen industry requires a partnership between industry, the community and governments at all levels.

"We support new technologies like hydrogen, but there is more work to do to on it - which is why we already working with states through COAG on developing a hydrogen roadmap and are investing in further technology development", Minister Canavan said.

"Unlike Labor - which has thrown around big dollar promises with no detail about their hydrogen policy - we are doing our homework on establishing a hydrogen industry in Australia.

"And unlike Labor, we won't blindly turn our back on coal and the jobs it supports".

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said that hydrogen could potentially offer more options for clean energy in the long term while maintaining security, reliability and affordability.

"Australia can be a world leader in hydrogen because of our abundant energy resources and proximity to emerging export markets in North Asia", Minister Taylor said.

"While Bill Shorten and Labor have run around the country talking about hydrogen, the Australian Government has already invested more than $100 million into hydrogen projects".

This inclues $50 million for the world-first Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project in the La Trobe Valley, Victoria. The first shipment to Japan is expected to be delivered in 2021.

Public feedback will inform the development of a draft strategy, to be publicly released in September 2019.

More information can be found at: coagenergycouncil.gov.au/publications/establishment-hydrogen-working-group-coag-energy-council and the consultation paper can be found here: https://consult.industry.gov.au/national-hydrogen-strategy-taskforce/national-hydrogen-strategy-request-for-input.

Source: Australian Government

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