RES secures approval for Twin Creek Wind Farm, surpasses 2GW permitted in Australia

24 October

- Permit secured for 185MW wind farm with 215MW battery close to proposed transmission link between South Australia and New South Wales

- Wind farm takes RES past 2GW approved for development, with over 750MW delivered by firm’s construction services and asset management team

RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, has secured planning permission for the 51-turbine Twin Creek Wind Farm and battery storage facility, 90km to the north of Adelaide. Following development consents for the 200MW Avonlie Solar Project in New South Wales in August and the 176MW Pallamana Solar Farm in South Australia in July, this sees RES surpass 2GW of permitted wind and solar projects in Australia.

In addition, RES’ pipeline of third-party construction services and asset management contracts continues to grow to support the large number of renewable and solar projects across the country entering long term operation, with more than over 750MW under management to date.

Renewable energy continues to see encouraging growth in Australia, but to ensure investor confidence and sustain this expansion, increasingly advanced development and asset management approaches are called for. Ongoing success will be dependent on the ability of renewable energy firms to navigate development challenges such as grid connection hurdles, and operational challenges like price risk, with increasingly sophisticated asset management approaches.

Matt Rebbeck, CEO of RES in Australia, said: “To ensure continued investor confidence in the sector each and every project must be well-sited for both resource and grid connection. RES has worked to manage these market challenges and, as a result, has built a particularly strong project pipeline. As such, we’re pleased to announce that the permitting of Twin Creek Wind Farm sees us exceed 2GW approved for development.

“Current grid challenges, and growing appetite from Australian businesses for Power Purchase Agreements have also resulted in a strong demand for construction and asset management services provision from experienced partners who can manage long-term risks for investors. Leveraging the global expertise of the RES Group alongside the market-specific knowledge the team have established over the past decade in Australia, RES has achieved a portfolio of over 750MW of assets in operation, constructed or under construction.”

Twin Creek delivers net gains for community and biodiversity

The 185MW Twin Creek project is sited near to the proposed 275-kV transmission line linking South Australia and New South Wales, Project Energy Connect. Once completed, the state, already a leader in Australian renewables with wind and solar accounting for more than 50% of energy generation, will be ideally positioned as an exporter of high volumes of renewable energy to the eastern seaboard.

Dan Leahy, Twin Creek Project Manager, RES, said: “The team sited and designed Twin Creek Wind Farm to make best possible use of the very high wind speeds recorded at the exposed, ridgeline site whilst responding to the unique environmental circumstances and concerns of the local community.”

The layout of the site, fine-tuned by RES through discussions with the local community, sees the turbines maintain a two-kilometer buffer from the nearest non-associated dwellings to keep noise well below guideline levels. Likewise, the layout will be highly sensitive to wildlife in the surrounding area, including southern hairy nosed wombats and the pygmy blue-tongued lizard. To minimize the impact of the development on their habitats, the number of turbines has been limited and biodiversity offset areas have been identified to improve the outlook for each species.

Dan continued, “We are proud to say that we have taken every possible action to mitigate the impact of this development on the local wildlife and community. Our aim is for Twin Creek to support the area’s biodiversity as well as its people, and the project will bring 160 construction jobs, followed by ongoing employment for 8 people. The local towns have seen a number of businesses close in recent years, and this project will provide a tremendous economic boost to the area.”

Source: RES Group

 

Crookwell III Wind Farm refused development consent

25 October

The state’s Independent Planning Commission has refused development consent for a multi-million-dollar wind farm development in the NSW Southern Tablelands.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment referred the proposed 23-turbine Crookwell III Wind Farm to the Commission for determination in April this year amid community opposition.

Commissioners Peter Duncan (Panel chair), Professor Zada Lipman and Adrian Pilton were appointed to consider the $120-million project, earmarked for a 1500-hectare site at Crookwell, 25km northwest of Goulburn.

The Commissioners met with Crookwell Development Pty Ltd (the Applicant), Department and Upper Lachlan Shire Council. They also held a public meeting in Crookwell to listen to the community’s concerns which centred around visual and landscape impacts, potential human health impacts and remediation and rehabilitation.

After carefully considering all the evidence and weighing the community’s views, the Commission has today (Friday 25 October 2019) determined to refuse this state significant development application.

In its Statement of Reasons for Decision, the Commission concluded that while the wind farm “would result in the public benefits of delivering renewable energy and reduce the reliance on fossil fuel consumption, there are significant residual issues”, including:

  • the visual impacts of the Project are unacceptable given the significant visual impacts on multiple residences and the proximity of turbines to non-associated residences
  • the site is not suitable for the Project, because of its proximity to and the nature and scale of visual impacts on residences and the community
  • the Project is inconsistent with objects (a), (b), (e) and (g) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and is therefore not in the public interest; and
  • the Project does not satisfactorily address the objectives of the E3 – Environmental Management Zone of the Upper Lachlan LEP 2010 that require the protection of aesthetic values

The Commission also cited the Project’s potential adverse cumulative impacts in an area where there are other wind farms already operating.

“The community raised a number of significant concerns about the visual impacts of the project on surrounding residences and the cumulative effect of wind farm projects with residences potentially able to view wind turbines in multiple viewing sectors,” the Commission noted. “The community expressed concern that wind farm projects will transform the landscape from an attractive rural landscape towards an industrial landscape dominated by wind turbines.”

The Department originally referred the SSD application to the former Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) in 2015 with a recommendation that the proposed wind farm be approved; however, after a holding a public meeting the PAC sent it back to the Department for further assessment.

The Department completed its final assessment report in April this year, which concluded the wind farm should be refused.

The Commission’s Statement of Reasons for Decision is available here:

https://www.ipcn.nsw.gov.au/projects/2015/02/crookwell-iii-windfarm

Source: NSW Independent Planning Commission

 

More south-west solar signs up

28 October

Queensland’s largest solar energy project near Miles has signed up to connect to the state’s publicly-owned electricity grid.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Luminous Energy has completed a contract to connect its proposed 162 megawatt Columboola Solar Farm to the state’s network via Powerlink’s nearby Columboola Substation.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the solar farm would provide up to 400 construction jobs and the substation and transmission line works would support another 17 jobs.

“Our state’s renewable revolution is full steam ahead with almost 2400 megawatts of renewable energy capacity now operating, and another 250 MW underway or committed.

“We already have 30 solar farms, and more than 560,000 Queensland rooves sporting solar systems, with combined generation capacity of more than 4000 megawatts.

“Importantly, Columboola solar farm will create five permanent jobs in the area on top of the construction jobs when it comes on line in early 2021.”

Powerlink Interim Chief Executive Kev Kehl said the connection project involved works at Powerlink’s existing Columboola Substation and construction of almost two kilometres of transmission line.

“We have been partnering with the Luminous Energy project team over an extensive period of time to optimise their connection,” Mr Kehl said.

“Powerlink has delivered 13 connections for large-scale renewable projects across Queensland, representing more than 1,600MW of potential generation.”

Luminous Energy CEO Jolyon Orchard said the project is a major boost for clean energy generation in Queensland.

“We are proud to bring this significant supply of clean energy to a major demand centre of the grid. The project will significantly contribute to the Queensland Government’s goal of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” Mr Orchard said.

“The sophisticated electrical design of the plant will enable a robust flow of low carbon electricity to Queensland’s grid.

“It will also bring a considerable number of clean energy jobs to the Western Downs region and promote the growth of Queensland’s carbon free economy and skills sector.”

Construction of the project’s transmission assets is due to start by April 2020. 

Source: Queensland Government

 

Risen Energy’s Yarranlea Solar Farm construction completed and compliance testing phase underway

28 October

Construction of Risen Energy (Australia)’s 100 megawatts AC Yarranlea Solar Farm was completed in August and the facility has entered the commission and compliance phase.  This will continue for several months and include compliance testing with the Australian Energy Marketing Organisation.

“We are currently in the continuous testing phase which is dependent on the network service provider and network operators and will be commercially operational in early 2020” said Eric Lee, General Manager Risen Energy (Australia).

“Part of the commissioning is considering network constraints and we are working with Ergon Energy to maximise power output while minimising impacts to the network”, said Lee.

The solar farm and associated substation infrastructure have been successfully energised using the local distribution network to allow compliance and functional tests to be undertaken. The Australian made 33/110kV transformer that will connect the solar farm to the transmission network, is also in the final stages of commissioning by Wilson Transformer Company.

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

The Yarranlea Solar Farm is connected to the power grid using the existing Ergon Energy infrastructure, located close to the farm site. This allows transmission of power into the Middle Ridge Bulk Supply Substation, ultimately supplying 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.

The Yarranlea Solar Farm will contribute to the green footprint of the state in support of the Queensland Government’s Green Policy.  Risen Energy (Australia) as the owner of the Yarranlea Solar farm has worked within the Queensland Government’s Solar Farm Guidelines which provide a practical guidance for communities, landowners and project proponents.

“Risen Energy (Australia) has progressed the project from detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation of the solar farm.  We used our latest PV panel technology to supply power to the grid. Ultimately, integrated battery storage will be incorporated in the solar farm to provide continuous power during periods of peak demand” said Lee.

Source: Risen Energy

 

Transmission investment is a good idea

28 October

Energy Networks Australia has welcomed the announcement by the Commonwealth and NSW governments to support additional transmission investment.

The two governments will underwrite up to $102 million of works on the New South Wales-Queensland Interconnector (QNI).

Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Dillon said strategic investment in transmission was a good idea.

“Transmission is a key part of managing the rapid increase in renewable generation and the closure of older, base-load generation,” Mr Dillon said.

“By increasing the connection of electricity grids between states, we create a stronger system that will deliver more reliable energy to customers.

“The transmission superhighways allow renewable energy to be moved around the country while harnessing the benefits of firming generation from thermal plants, such as in Queensland.

“Transmission costs are a small component of power bills, and a more connected system is a more competitive system, which will put downward pressure on power prices.”

Around the world, countries are looking to transmission to stabilise power grids with higher levels of renewable energy.

Source: Energy Networks Australia

 

National Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo

14th November 2019

ABOUT THE EVENT

On-farm renewables are a valuable opportunity for farmers to cut costs and emissions. This inaugural event brings together farmers, agriculture and energy consultants, peak bodies and Government representatives to share stories of on-farm renewables, their business case and discuss what’s driving the transformation of energy use in agriculture.

The Expo offers attendees the chance to speak to credible renewable energy suppliers about what’s on offer.

More information is available here https://www.renewablesinagconference.com.au/

 

NEW PROJECT

Shoalhaven Solar Farm

Repower Shoalhaven has entered into an arrangement with Flow Power to co-develop a 3MWac solar farm for the Shoalhaven. Flow Power is a substantial electricity retailer operating in Victoria and NSW focussing on renewable energy. The goal of the arrangement is for Repower Shoalhaven and Flow Power to have equal share in the ownership of a 3MWac solar farm located on Nowra Hill Road, off BTU Road, on land leased from Shoalhaven City Council.

Unlike previous Repower Shoalhaven solar projects, this will be a ‘front of the meter’ scheme, with solar power sold to businesses via power purchase agreements.

Flow Power are providing substantial support for the pre commitment works for this community-initiated scheme. Repower will undertake a capital raising to fund its portion of the solar farm following the verification of the financial viability of the project. This is anticipated to occur by May 2020. When the solar farm is operational, Flow Power will on-sell 100% the electricity generated.

There are a lot of tasks to work through to get the scheme to a 'shovel ready' stage. Repower Shoalhaven and Flow Power are working together the clear the many hurdles involved in setting up such a large scheme.

The community capital raising for the solar farm will proceed only after the project is fully demonstrated to be commercially viable.

If the project is demonstrated to be viable then we are currently planning for the scheme to be commissioned before the end of 2020.

If you require further information please contact Bob Hayward, convener of the Solar farm Sub- Committee email; bob.hayward@repower.net.au

Source: Repower Shoalhaven

 

Business strategy and plans

29 October

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (Carnegie or the Company) proposed business strategy is detailed below. Refer to the prospectus dated 31 July 2019 for further details.

(a) Overview

Following completion of the Recapitalisation Proposal, Carnegie will pursue a revised business strategy focusing on:

(i) undertaking concentrated research and development activities to optimise the CETO Unit design, by applying machine learning (artificial intelligence), new low-cost electrical generators, optimised system configuration and modern hydrodynamic approaches;

(ii) within the next 18 months, constructing a complete digital prototype CETO Unit incorporating the design improvements detailed in (a)(i);

(iii) over the next two years, pursuing a partnership with an OEM equipment manufacturer or other commercial partners to contribute funding and expertise to decrease the costs of producing CETO Units to a competitive level and increase market opportunities in the long term;

(iv) in the next two to three years, identify and engage with utility scale partners to construct and/or utilise CETO Units on a commercial scale; and

(v) ultimately generating shareholder value through royalty or license agreements in respect to the CETO Technology.

(vi) The Company will also seek to generate revenue from the GIMG asset via the potential production and sale of electricity generated at the GIMG to the DoD.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

AGL signs innovative large-scale battery deals as electricity market evolution accelerates

30 October

AGL is pleased to announce it has signed four innovative battery derivative agreements with Maoneng Group (Maoneng), which will provide security of pricing to benefit customers during peak periods.

The deal will see Maoneng develop four large-scale batteries, each 50MW/100MWh in capacity in New South Wales.

Under the contract, AGL has the ability to call on capacity as required from the Maoneng batteries at a fixed price for 15 years, thereby locking in a price on the cost of electricity for that period.

The batteries will be operational from 2023 and will store enough energy to power up to 30,000 homes.

AGL CEO Brett Redman said the agreement heralds a new era for the company, customers and the National Electricity Market (NEM).

“This is the dawn of the battery age and AGL is proud to lead the way,” Mr Redman said.

“Australia’s energy market is undergoing significant changes and large-scale batteries like these will be pivotal in providing firming capacity in the shift between baseload power and renewables.

“AGL’s a company with a 180-year history of innovation and I’m proud that we are leading the way with this step into batteries, which will be the technology of the future

“AGL led the development of wind and solar projects in Australia, which has provided reliable and affordable power to thousands of Australians, and we have said for some time we were serious about leading in energy storage too. This will present huge benefits for energy customers and the stability of the energy market. In total, this will help support an additional 200MW of dispatchable capacity in NSW.

“In addition to this exciting project, we are progressing with major investments in storage and firming capacity, with more than $1.9 billion of new energy supply projects completed or in construction and another $2 billion in the pipeline.

“We commissioned the Dalrymple Battery Project in South Australia, have secured options for two pumped hydro projects at Kanmantoo in South Australia and Bells Mountain in the Hunter region of New South Wales as well as plans for a gas firming power station in Newcastle.

“The response to our ground-breaking Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program has been fantastic, with more than 1,000 customers signed up already. The program was an extension of our $20 million initial VPP project.

In December 2017, AGL entered into a 100MW offtake agreement in New South Wales with Maoneng’s 255MWDC Sunraysia Solar Farm, and up to an additional 200MW of offtake from additional solar projects.

Source: AGL Energy

 

Pacific Hydro celebrates official opening of Haughton Solar Farm

30 October

Pacific Hydro staff, project neighbours, key contractors and partners, local community and indigenous groups, and Burdekin Shire Council officials recently gathered at Haughton Solar Farm to celebrate the official opening of the first 100MW stage of the project.

The large scale solar farm, which received planning approval in June 2017, achieved grid connection and began generating at full capacity this past August. The opening event provided an opportunity to celebrate the first stage of the project achieving full generation and gave locals a chance to tour the site firsthand.

“Reaching full generation at our first solar farm was truly a team effort,” said Pacific Hydro Australia CEO Rachel Watson. “It only seemed right to invite all of the partners, community members and local government officials who made the project possible as we celebrate this milestone.”

The more than 1400 acre site includes nearly 400,000 individual solar panels generating enough electricity to power 58,000 homes annually. More than 200 jobs were created during construction along with three permanent positions to operate and maintain the facility.

These numbers are expected to grow as future stages of the farm are built. After making a submission to the Queensland Government’s Renewables 400 reverse auction earlier this year, Pacific Hydro will compete against nine other shortlisted projects to secure a contract with publicly-owned generator CleanCo.

If selected in the next phase of the auction, Pacific Hydro would deliver an additional 100MW of clean energy capacity along with battery storage at Haughton Solar Farm.

“It’s an exciting time for Pacific Hydro as we plan future stages of the project,” said Ms. Watson. “We’re confident in our proposal and in our recent success delivering large-scale solar in north Queensland.”

In addition to celebrating the solar farm opening, Pacific Hydro also recognised eight local groups for their successful community grant applications to the Haughton Sustainable Communities Fund. The new grant program will share a portion of revenue from Haughton Solar Farm each year.

Local groups and not-for-profit organisations serving the communities of Ayr, Brandon, Clare, Dalbeg, Giru, Home Hill and Millaroo had the opportunity to apply for grant funding in September from a pool of $50,000.00. Sixteen applications totalling $126,000 in requests were received.

All eligible applications were reviewed by an independent panel comprised of local community members, Burdekin Shire Council staff and Pacific Hydro officials. The panel process empowers locals to have a say in how funds are allocated.

The successful projects this year include:

- Burdekin Art Society – Solar panels

- Burdekin Junior Rugby League Football Club – Shaded seating for spectators

- Burdekin Men’s Shed Association – Fume collector for health and safety

- Burdekin Special School P&C – Sensory community garden and water storage

- Burdekin Touch Football – Line marking equipment

- Clare State School – School speaker system

- Giru Daycare Association – Playground structure

- Home Hill Tennis Association – Pressure cleaner for tennis courts

Over the life of the solar farm, Pacific Hydro will directly invest more than $2.5 million into the region.

Source: Pacific Hydro

 

$1 billion boost for power reliability

30 October

Power reliability will get a $1 billion boost as part of the Liberal National Government’s plan to ensure Australian households, businesses and industries get a fair deal on energy.

The Liberal National Government will establish a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund to support Government investment in new energy generation, storage and transmission infrastructure, including eligible projects shortlisted under the Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

The new $1 billion fund will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), drawing on the energy and financial markets expertise that has seen the CEFC invest more than $7 billion in clean energy since its establishment in 2012. The Fund represents the first new capital provided to the CEFC since it began.

The Prime Minister said the Fund would also help unlock private sector investment for projects that would secure the grid and put downward pressure on prices.

“This is a yet another initiative by our Government taking more action to bring power prices down and keep the lights on,” the Prime Minister said.

“We’re delivering immediate relief through our new price safety net and banning sneaky late payment fees but we’ve also got our eye to the future with the projects this new Fund will back.

“Our work to date and this new initiative will help deliver an energy system that isn’t a roadblock to businesses growing and employing more people and that isn’t stinging family hip-pockets.”

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the fund would ensure sufficient reliable generation capacity is available to meet periods of high demand.

“The Grid Reliability Fund builds on our strong action to stabilise the grid and get the energy generation balance right, to deliver affordable, 24/7 reliable power,” said Minister Taylor.

“It is no secret that the National Electricity Market is under pressure – this fund is designed to tackle that and is part of a suite of initiatives that the Government is delivering to ensure when people flick the switch, the lights come on and stay on.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Government would update the CEFC enabling legislation to ensure the Grid Reliability Fund could support suitable projects.

“The Grid Reliability Fund will provide the Clean Energy Finance Corporation with additional capacity to support affordability, reliability and security of supply, which ultimately puts downward pressure on energy prices,” Minister Cormann said.

The Fund will prioritise investments in jurisdictions where state and territory governments are working with the Commonwealth towards an agreed reliability goal and to ensure sufficient reliable generation capacity is available to meet periods of high demand.

Eligible investments will include:

- Energy storage projects including pumped hydro and batteries,

- Transmission and distribution infrastructure, and

- Grid stabilising technologies.

Further announcements on individual projects, including shortlisted UNGI projects, will be made as the Commonwealth reaches agreements with individual project proponents.

The Government will only refer UNGI projects that reflect the CEFC’s legislative mandate for consideration under the Fund.

The Grid Reliability Fund is an important initiative in the Government’s A Fair Deal on Energy policy and will contribute to meeting our $70 per MWh price target and maintaining and increasing supply of reliable electricity.

View the energy policy blueprint here: https://www.energy.gov.au/energy-policy-blueprint-fair-deal-energy.

Source: Federal Government

 

PROJECT UPDATE

Rye Park Wind Farm

Project update

Work on the Rye Park Wind Farm has progressed significantly this year. Following recent technical studies, detailed design and construction planning, Tilt Renewables is moving forward with an application to modify some aspects of the approved wind farm project.

Work undertaken in the past six months has given us a clearer picture of how the Rye Park Wind Farm could look and operate. This work has also identified some changes that would allow the wind farm to be built and operated more efficiently.

Since the project was approved in 2017 there have been advancements in wind turbine technology. Newer turbines are more efficient and using these more modern turbines at Rye Park Wind Farm would allow the project to generate more electricity from fewer turbines, powering more homes with clean energy.

A proposed modification to the Rye Park Wind Farm development consent will result in a more efficient wind farm.

Key changes and benefits include:

- An increase in generation capacity from 327MW to 448MW could power around 240,000 homes - an increase of 70,000 compared to the approved project.

- Producing more clean energy means more carbon savings - up from 800,000 to over 1 million tonnes per year. That’s equivalent to taking 370,000 cars off the road each year.

- A reduction in turbines from 92 to 80 and increase in tip height from 157 metres to 200 metres.

- Refinements to the site layout, access tracks and supporting infrastructure, to provide greater certainty about potential impacts and how the wind farm will look and operate.

We expect to apply for a modification to the existing Rye Park Wind Farm Development Consent in early 2020.

Source: Tilt Renewables

 

A stronger renewable energy target for Victoria

30 October

Victoria’s new renewable energy target is now enshrined in law, creating thousands of jobs, putting more energy into the grid and driving down energy prices.

Legislation to boost Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to 50 per cent by 2030 has passed Victorian Parliament – delivering on the Andrews Labor Government’s election commitment and building on existing targets of 25 per cent by 2020, and 40 per cent by 2025.

A strong renewable energy target encourages businesses to invest in the local supply chain, boosting employment – particularly in regional Victoria.

The increased VRET will create around 24,000 jobs by 2030 and provides certainty and investor confidence for the renewable energy industry, which is expected to drive an additional $5.8 billion in economic activity in Victoria.

Putting more renewable energy on the grid will drive down the cost of power for Victorians – delivering savings of around $32 a year for households, $3,100 a year for medium businesses and $150,000 each year for large companies.

The increased target will also help drive down emissions – achieving a VRET of 50 per cent by 2030 is the equivalent of taking 655,000 cars off the road for a year.

The VRET 2018-19 Progress Report released yesterday shows Victoria is well on track to meet the ambitious initial target of 25 per cent by 2020.

The VRET is part of the Labor Government’s ongoing work to help Victorian families take back control of their energy costs – with Solar Homes delivering solar panels to 700,000 homes, solar hot water systems to 60,000 homes and solar batteries to 10,000 homes over the next 10 years.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“Victorians voted overwhelmingly in support of increasing our renewable energy target – today we’ve delivered on our promise.”

“Enshrining a VRET of 50 per cent by 2030 sends a clear signal to industry to keep investing in renewables and creating jobs – particularly in regional Victoria.”

“This legislation will help boost jobs, reduce emissions and drive down energy prices for Victorian families.”

Source: Victoria Government

 

Renewable Energy Target certificate market updates now available

30 October

The Clean Energy Regulator has released October market updates for large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) and small-scale technology certificates (STCs), providing our view on progress towards the 2020 target and key factors that may impact certificate supply and demand.

Current market observations: LGCs

  • The 6.4 gigawatts (GW) of new large-scale renewable energy capacity required to be accredited between 2017 and 2019 to meet the 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) was approved on 30 August.
    • At the end of September 2019, the accredited capacity for 2019 so far was 7.3 GW.
  • Since 2016, over 13 GW of new large-scale renewable energy projects are generating, under construction, committed or probable to be built.
    • Recent additions to the pipeline have been driven by smaller market players and corporate power purchase agreements.
  • The LGC balance may be tight this year depending on the amount of paid shortfall and the 10 per cent carry forward mechanism.
    • We estimate that 35.3 million LGCs will be in the market by February 2020. This includes expected supply of 28.2 million LGCs and a 7.1 million LGC surplus.
    • It is expected that around 4.7 million of these LGCs may be unavailable for surrender due to shortfall charge refunds and voluntary surrender.
  • The Clean Energy Regulator’s position on shortfall remains unchanged; liable entities may defer liability through paid shortfall or carried forward shortfall of less than 10 per cent.
  • LGCs surrendered for shortfall charge refunds are not subject to the vintage rule, this means that entities who intend to surrender LGCs for the refund in February 2020 can use LGCs created and validated in 2020.
  • LGC spot prices were $44 on 17 October 2019.
    • LGC forward prices for 2020 and 2021 are at $34.75 and $15.60 respectively.

For the complete LGC market update please read the Large-scale generation certificate market update – October.

Source: Clean Energy Regulator

 

Working together to achieve a clean energy future

30 October

New analysis from Hydro Tasmania shows the Battery of the Nation initiative offers significant potential for Tasmania and Victoria to work together to achieve an affordable, reliable clean energy future.

The white paper, How Battery of the Nation can contribute to Victoria’s energy needs and objectiveswas developed with funding assistance from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and outlines the challenges facing Victoria as it transitions away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

The white paper shows Tasmania can help Victoria mitigate the risks of early or unexpected coal plant retirement, including high costs and unreliable supply, while supporting its renewable energy ambitions.

Hydro Tasmania’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Davy, said Victoria’s least-cost options are wind and solar – variable sources that require firming to be reliable.

“Victoria will need to access significant energy storage to ensure they can meet their renewable energy targets while keeping the power system reliable,” Mr Davy said.

“Tasmania has idle capacity waiting to be unlocked by market signals and delivered through the additional interconnection required by Battery of the Nation.

“As well, Tasmania also has significant potential for development of new, low-cost, long-duration pumped hydro storage, offering the firming Victoria’s future energy mix requires.

“However, with change already underway, we need proactive support for interconnection through TasNetwork’s Marinus Link project to get the electricity to where it’s needed, along with the timely development of investment incentives to ensure supply is available when it’s needed.

“Further interconnection between Victoria and Tasmania will help manage the energy transition over coming decades, enabling practical solutions that are complementary to Victoria’s renewable energy, as well as supporting the rest of the National Electricity Market.

“By working together, Victoria and Tasmania can facilitate a smooth transition to the clean, reliable power system of the future.”

ARENA has supported the Battery of the Nation initiative with up to $5.0 million funding for project studies, being matched by Hydro Tasmania.

Source: Hydro Tasmania

 

AMP Capital agrees to acquire 50 per cent interest in Macarthur Wind Farm

30 October

AMP Capital has agreed to acquire a 50 per cent interest in Macarthur Wind Farm, the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere, from Malakoff.  The acquisition is on behalf of investors in the AMP Capital Community Infrastructure Fund (CommIF) and the AMP Capital Core Infrastructure Fund (CIF).

Macarthur Wind Farm, located in south western Victoria, comprises 140 wind turbines capable of generating 420 MW of energy – enough to power the equivalent of 181,000 Australian homes every year.  The site spans approximately 5,500 hectares of agricultural land outside the Macarthur township.

Energy generated from the wind farm, which started operating in 2013, is fully contracted to AGL under a fixed price contract until 2038.  AGL operates Australia’s largest electricity generation portfolio and is one of the largest ASX-listed investors in renewable energy.

AMP Capital Community Infrastructure Fund Manager Charles Savage said: “We’re extremely pleased to have secured this asset for our investors.  Macarthur Wind Farm is a unique and high-quality asset that meets CommIF’s objective to produce long-term, stable returns while delivering a positive social impact now and into the future.

“The transaction marks CommIF’s first investment in the renewable energy sector.  It has an attractive risk profile that provides fixed revenues that are not exposed to price or volume risk.  We remain excited by the pipeline of further opportunities in social and community infrastructure projects across Australia and New Zealand in 2020.”

CommIF invests in high-yield, brownfield, social infrastructure assets in Australia and New Zealand in sectors such as education, health, corrections, community housing, water and recreational facilities.  The fund provides investors with the opportunity for stable, long-term returns.  The acquisition will increase the number of assets held by CommIF to 15, with a total enterprise value of circa A$4.6 billion.

AMP Capital CIF Fund Manager John Julian said: “Macarthur Wind Farm is a terrific addition to the CIF portfolio.  The fund aims to provide retail investors with both sustainable income and capital growth over the long term – the acquisition is well-aligned to this objective.” 

CIF provides retail investors access to both listed and unlisted infrastructure assets, typically only available to large institutional investors.  The fund provides diversified exposure to multiple sectors, OECD regions and asset types including airports, transport infrastructure, water, gas, and electricity.

The transaction is valued at approximately A$880 million.  Financial close of the deal is expected to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2020.  AMP Capital was advised by MUFG Bank, PwC, King & Wood Mallesons, Aurecon, and Frontier.

Source: AMP Capital

 

Go ahead for solar farm

The Refinery is to proceed with the construction of a $37 million solar farm after receiving approval to invest from the Refining NZ Board.

The 31 hectare farm (Maranga Ra) will be New Zealand’s largest and will supply 26.7 MW or around 10% of the Refinery’s total electricity need.

Maranga Ra will reduce electricity costs by around $3-4 million and reduce CO2 emissions by a further 18,000 tonnes per year.  Construction is expected to get underway before the end of the year and be completed by December 2020.

The solar farm will be funded via a combination of non-recourse project debt funding and equity of around $10 million from the Company.

Source: Refining NZ

 

Adani Rugby Run solar farm officially open and at full operation

31 October

Adani’s first renewables project in Australia, a 65 MW solar farm in central Queensland has now been officially switched on, powering more than 23,000 regional Queensland homes and businesses.

Located near Moranbah in central Queensland, Rugby Run solar farm’s 247,000 solar panels makes it the eighth largest solar farm in Queensland and a significant contributor in renewable energy production for Queensland.

Adani CEO Lucas Dow was joined by Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker to officially open the farm in Moranbah today.

“We are delighted to officially open the Adani Rugby Run solar farm today, adding an Australian arm to our already significant international renewables portfolio,” Mr Dow said.

“People are often surprised when we say we’re in the renewables business, but the reality is that we recognize the world needs a reliable and affordable energy mix of both coal and renewables in order to meet current and future global energy demand.

“In India we already have 2,385MW of renewable energy being produced every year, which is enough to power the entire State of South Australia.

“We will continue to walk the talk on the importance of a reliable energy mix and our Australian Rugby Run solar farm now in successful operation is evidence of that,” he said.

The Rugby Run solar project construction contractors were managed directly to ensure cost-efficient and timely delivery, rather than via the more common EPC contract model.

“More than 175 people were employed during peak construction, with local Queensland contractors from Clermont, Chinchilla, Bowen and Townsville also engaged, ensuring the benefits were focused in regional Queensland,” Mr Dow said.

“We made sure we engaged Queensland suppliers wherever possible for Rugby Run, with 89% of our contract services for the project going to Queensland businesses - 78% of supplier contracts went to regional Queensland businesses alone.” he said.

The solar farm has been built for Queensland’s conditions, with the panels programmed to rotate to track the sun most efficiently and also to move to the most effective angles to withstand inclement wind and weather.

Adani’s expertise as India’s leading generator of solar power and manufacturer of solar panels was leveraged throughout all stages of planning, construction, and now into operation.

Technical Details:

- 1.3 million galvanized zip ties to be used in the stringing of electrical cables

- More than 247,000 solar panels installed

- 175 jobs at peak construction

- 18km of fence line installed

- 7.2km of road built to access site

- 6,500 holes pre-drilled

- The solar panels rotate to track the sun and maximize efficiency

- The solar panels are programmed to rest at an angle that withstands inclement wind and weather conditions

- 65MW solar farm

Source: Adani Australia

 

Final Goldwind wind turbine generator components delivered to Cattle Hill Wind Farm

31 October

Goldwind Australia announced today the final Goldwind wind turbine generator components have arrived at Cattle Hill Wind Farm project site in the Central Highlands of Tasmania.

Transportation of Goldwind turbine components started in March, following $10 million of road upgrades in the Central Highlands area by the Launceston based company, Gradco.

Approximately 528 oversize loads have been transported to the project site, with twenty per cent of tower components being manufactured locally by Haywards and transported from Launceston to the project site.

Leigh Walters, Goldwind Project Director for the Cattle Hill Wind Farm, said the final delivery is a significant milestone for the project.

‘Achievement of this project milestone reflects a team effort by many project partners, I would like to acknowledge the work of all those involved. 

‘I would also like to thank the local community. We really appreciate the patience and understanding of the communities along the delivery route, especially those who experienced any delays or inconvenience as a result of the blade rollover incident in September. Any further oversize deliveries to site will be limited to spare or additional components. 

‘Construction of the project is progressing well, with an approximate workforce of 150 personnel on site. 22 of 48 Goldwind turbines have been fully installed, with two main cranes now installing on site. Pre-commissioning of turbines has been ongoing and generation commissioning is planned to commence in the next few weeks. Commissioning of the IdentiFlight system is ongoing with the turbine commissioning.’ commented Leigh.

Once operational, Cattle Hill Wind Farm will produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes.

Source: Goldwind Australia

 

Renewable generator pumping power prices down

31 October

Queensland’s new publicly-owned clean energy generator CleanCo has started work in the National Energy Market, pushing power prices down using Queensland’s strengths in renewable energy.

The establishment of a third publicly-owned generator focused on low and no emission power delivers on a Palaszczuk Government commitment at the 2017 election.

Speaking at CleanCo’s pumped hydro-electric power station at Wivenhoe Dam, Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said CleanCo would drive competition to reduce wholesale electricity prices and ultimately deliver savings on Queenslander’s power bills.

“From today, CleanCo has 1114 megawatts of dedicated clean energy generation assets in Queensland hands,” Ms Trad said.

With its mandate to build, own and operate low and no emission generators, CleanCo will support jobs in the growing renewable energy sector, put downward pressure on prices through increased competition, and help drive Queensland towards our target of 50 perc cent renewable energy generation by 2030.

“Preliminary analysis forecasts CleanCo should save $70 per year off the average Queensland household power bill, through a $7 per megawatt hour reduction in wholesale prices.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said CleanCo’s entry to the National Electricity Market was the most significant development in the Queensland electricity landscape since major structural, institutional and regulatory changes more than 20 years ago.

“This will maintain Queensland’s nation-leading renewable energy growth and importantly, increase the diversity of our publicly-owned generation sources,” he said.

“And importantly, new generation means business opportunities and jobs building and running those projects.

“CleanCo is central to our Affordable Energy Plan that is delivering Queenslanders the lowest average power prices on the eastern seaboard, reliable supply and a planned transition to a renewable future.

“And it is Queenslanders who own this energy asset, and all of our other energy assets.”

CleanCo today took over:

- the 570 megawatt Wivenhoe pumped storage hydro station;

- the 385 MW gas-fired Swanbank E power station; and

- the Kareeya, Barron Gorge and Koombooloomba hydro power stations in Far North Queensland from the state’s other publicly-owned generators, Stanwell and CS Energy.

CleanCo had been tasked with bringing on an extra 1000 megawatts of clean energy over the next five years.

CleanCo will also complete the Government’s Renewables 400 reverse auction, bringing up to another 400 megawatts of solar and wind energy and battery storage into the market. Binding bids are being sought from 10 proponents to supply renewable energy and recommend projects to government early next year.

CleanCo CEO Dr Maia Schweizer said CleanCo was focussed on operating its assets to generate the best value for Queenslanders.

“As Queensland’s publicly owned clean energy provider, we have a responsibility to ensure operation of our assets is socially, economically and environmentally viable,” Dr Schweizer said.

“We will use our assets to sustainably and responsibly increase supply in the electricity market.

“This means, for example, being strategic about when we draw electricity from the grid to pump water from Wivenhoe Dam to Splityard Creek Dam and when we release that water to generate electricity, making sure we maximise the value of our pumped storage asset and maintain capacity to firm other renewable sources.”

Source: Queensland Government

 

PROJECT NEWS

MacIntyre Wind Farm

The MacIntyre Wind Farm will be located within 40,000 hectares of leased land approximately 200 kms south-west of Brisbane and approximately 50 kms south-west of Warwick in Queensland. ACCIONA plans to submit a development application seeking a development permit for a Material Change of Use (MCU) to allow construction and operation of the wind farm to the State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) in early 2020. The project is expected to produce 540 MW of clean energy with up to 120 turbines and commence construction at the end of 2020 with a construction duration of 18-24 months.

This project will provide significant economic activity across the Goondiwindi, Southern Downs and Toowoomba Regional Council areas, generate a construction workforce of up to 350 jobs with up to 12 fulltime positions on site once operational. ACCIONA will provide a Community Enhancement Program to strategically deliver added value to the local regional over the life cycle of the project, whilst providing clean energy equivalent to the consumption of around 200,000 homes

The project will deliver significant economic benefits to the region, including the creation of jobs, rates to the local government, rent to participating landowners.

Wind turbines – up to 120 machines, with steel towers.

Substations – up to two substations, with compound areas of around 140 x 180m and each holding one power transformer.

Access tracks – Approximately 120km of access tracks may be required for the project.

Electrical cabling – underground electrical cabling up to 175km at 33kV.

Overhead transmission line – 55km of new 330kV transmission line

Temporary construction compounds – car parking, storage facilities, site office, amenities, etc.

Permanent site facilities – including a maintenance and control facility, met masts, etc.

Public roads – up to 9km of public road upgrades

Job packages can be applied for via: https://gateway.icn.org.au/project/4443/macintyre-wind-farm?st=projects&psid=1572490259

 

ENGIE helps L’Oréal achieve sustainability goals

31 October

L’Oréal Australia will be powered by 100 % renewable electricity under a long-term energy supply agreement with ENGIE Australia & New Zealand.

The five-year deal is part of L’Oréal’s global Sharing Beauty with All sustainability program, which commits the company to reduce its environmental footprint, through changes such as using renewable energy.

As at 2018, the L’Oréal Group had reduced the Greenhouse gas emissions of its plants and distribution centres by 77% across the world in absolute terms, compared with 2005, exceeding a 60% goal it had committed to achieve by 2020.

“Addressing climate change is an urgent priority and as a large Australian business, we know we play a role in making positive changes to reduce our environmental footprint,” Effie Gorringe, Director of Operations L’Oréal ANZ, said. “The move to renewable energy for all of our Australian sites was a 2020 target for us and we’re pleased to achieve this through our partnership with ENGIE before we head into the new decade. There is still more to be done and being a responsible company is our key priority. We are inspired to make change and will continue to work on sustainability initiatives across our entire business.”

ENGIE ANZ Chief Executive Officer Augustin Honorat said the L’Oréal partnership was another example of ENGIE “helping our customers in their transition to zero-carbon.

“More businesses are seeking affordable green energy and we are proud to be working with L’Oréal to help them achieve their goals through an innovative, long-term power supply agreement.”

L’Oréal’s Australian renewable energy targets will be met by a combination of green energy supplied through ENGIE’s Willogoleche Wind Farm and the purchase of renewable certificates.

Source: ENGIE

 

Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro – project update

1 November

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) wishes to provide the following update on the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro project (K2-Hydro or Project).

Since the entry into a term sheet with EnergyAustralia Pty Ltd (EA) in December 2018 for a long term energy agreement and equity investment in the Project (the Term Sheet) (refer ASX announcement 20 December 2018), Genex has been working closely with EA to conclude due diligence and finalise the terms of the transaction. This has included working with various counterparties including financiers, EPC contractors and the Queensland Government, with the following major milestones achieved in 2019:

  • Signed $25m share subscription agreement with J-POWER for Genex’s equity requirement for the Project (refer ASX announcement 6 June 2019);
  • Received AEMO GPS Approval for the Project (refer ASX Announcement 14 June 2019);
  • Received NAIF approval of a $610m concessional loan for the Project (refer ASX announcement 11 July 2019); and
  • Announcement by the Queensland Government of a funding package for a new transmission line for the Project (refer ASX announcement 4 September 2019).

As part of its final approval processes, which were targeting a final investment decision in CY 2019, EA has today advised Genex that it will not be in a position to reach a positive investment decision on the basis of the long term energy agreement structure as outlined in the Term Sheet. In light of this development, Genex wishes to advise that it no longer anticipates that it will reach financial close on the Project in CY 2019.

Accordingly, Genex anticipates that the NAIF concessional loan offer and the J-POWER share subscription agreement will both lapse at or prior to 31 December 2019 (unless extended). Genex will continue to work with EA and its other financiers and counterparties, including NAIF and J-POWER, to restructure the financing for the transaction to ensure a positive investment decision can be reached and financial close can be achieved. This is now anticipated to occur in 2020.

Genex will continue to keep the market informed as these discussions progress.

Source: Genex Power

 

PROJECT NEWS

Hills of Gold Wind Farm

Wind Energy Partners submitted a referral for its proposed Hills of Gold Wind Farm, 8km south east of Nundle in New South Wales, with the federal Department of the Environment & Energy for public comment. The project proposal would comprise of the installation of a wind farm with a capacity up to 410 MW that would supply electricity to the national electricity grid through capacity available in the TransGrid Liddell to Tamworth transmission line.

It is currently proposed that the wind farm would include development of the following infrastructure:

- Up to 97 wind turbines, mounted on tubular steel towers with handstand construction areas. It is currently proposed that each turbine will have a maximum tip height of 220m above ground level.

- Construction compound and temporary construction infrastructure, potentially including concrete batching facility and on-site quarry.

- Electrical connections between wind turbines and the substations (likely to be underground, subject to constructability).

- Internal access tracks and upgrades to existing access roads, where required.

- Up to two substations, control room and O&M facility.

- Up to 23km of high voltage, overhead powerline, connecting the wind farm site to the TransGrid Liddell to Tamworth transmission line.

- Connection infrastructure including a switching station and battery storage.

 

Isaac in the sunny lane for renewable energy crown

1 November

Solar, wind, coal and gas, the Isaac region’s evolution is continuing to energise the world after the opening of a major project between Clermont and Moranbah yesterday.

As the resource sector experiences an upswing in projects, Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker commended Adani Renewables for their work in the opening of the Rugby Run solar farm.

Mayor Baker said the Isaac is helping to energise the world as a region which feeds, powers and builds communities.

“Our burgeoning renewables sector is an increasingly important part of that exciting vision,” Mayor Baker said.

“We are a region rich in resources across our 58,000 square kilometre footprint, in fact, we are well known as the resources capital of Queensland.

“But as the milestone event in Adani Renewables’ 65-megawatt project shows, that’s just one part of the Isaac story.

“Our region is playing an important role in the development of a balanced and realistic energy mix, through the evolution from resources to renewables.”

“There are a further eight solar farms that have been approved in Clarke Creek, Isaac Coast, Clermont, Coppabella, Dysart, Middlemount and Moranbah.

“They range in generating capacity from 50 to 400 megawatts, providing energy from the sun in ideal conditions across our wide plains.”

Mayor Baker said Council supported the continued investment in renewables in the region.

“We are also set to be home to one of Australia’s largest wind farms in this region at Clarke Creek, with the 195-turbine wind farm approved and is expected to produce 800 megawatts from wind and 400 megawatts from solar,” Mayor Baker said.

“As a Council, we are committed to working with industry and government to support employment generating development which will enhance the sustainability and resilience of our regional communities.

“Our region hosts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and has the highest concentration of top income earners in Queensland.

“Once again, congratulations to Adani Renewables for reaching this important milestone of the Rugby Run solar farm.”

Source: Isaac Regional Council

 

Albany wave research centre officially opens

1 November

- UWA Great Southern Marine Research Facility Open Day marks official opening

- Facility brings together wave energy expertise, research and development

The State Government has welcomed the opening of The University of Western Australia's Great Southern Marine Research Facility as a hub for wave and marine renewable energy research and technology.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan officially opened the facility today in the heart of Albany.

The facility houses the Wave Energy Research Centre, which brings together wave energy expertise, research and development, with $3.75 million funding support from the State Government.

Wave energy industry representatives from across Australia and the world were represented and had material on display at the Open Day.

Located in the old railway station and previous Visitor Centre building on Proudlove Parade, the facility has been refurbished by UWA and will act as a shared space from which a range of wave, marine and renewable energy research can be undertaken.

Data on marine and coastal conditions collected through the Albany Wave Energy Project and a range of geophysical, ecological and bathymetric surveys has been made freely available to the public and to any developer interested in deploying their technology in the region.

Core research in the field of hydrodynamics is underway that will develop wave prediction models that can optimise real-time tuning of wave energy devices, and UWA is exploring cost‑effective foundation and anchoring solutions specific to the marine renewable energy industry.

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

"The Great Southern region is home to one of the most consistent and reliable sources of wave energy in the world.

"This research and technology hub, based in the heart of Albany, will provide opportunities for technology developers, researchers, marine scientists and the international and local community to better understand the wave resource and conditions in Western Australia.

"The centre is bringing highly skilled people to the Great Southern to work out of the new office space and is driving new research collaborations.

"I commend the team at UWA for their commitment to research which will help us move closer to harnessing wave energy."

Comments attributed to Albany MLA Peter Watson:

"The McGowan Government's investment in this facility is bringing world-class researchers and scientists into Albany, helping our city become a hub for marine research and development.

"Congratulations to UWA on bringing this facility to this point and providing an opportunity for the Albany community to learn about our region's marine capabilities at the Open Day today."

Source: WA Government

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