Labor will establish South East Queensland community power hub

5 May

People living in South East Queensland will benefit from cleaner and cheaper renewable energy that will help cut pollution and the cost of power bills, with Labor’s plan to establish a Community Power Hub in the region.  

This election is a choice between a Shorten Labor Government with a plan for cleaner, cheaper energy, or more cuts and chaos from the LNP. 

This is part of Labor’s $100 million Neighbourhood Renewables Program announced in November last year.

The program is aimed at helping community groups, renters and social housing residents benefit from cheaper and cleaner renewable energy, by providing grants and other support to local community renewables projects such as solar gardens, community wind farms, energy efficiency upgrades for social housing, and community groups keen to trial new innovative projects.

Labor will work with local communities, local councils and renewable energy groups to determine the best location for the Hub, but the benefits will be felt across South East Queensland.

Australia is in an energy crisis under the Liberals. Electricity prices have increased by 20 per cent since the last election.

The chaotic Liberal and Nationals have had 13 energy policies since 2013; their current proposal is to spend billions of taxpayers’ dollars on new coal-fired power stations, with no policy to support renewable energy investment after Labor’s Renewable Energy Target ends in 2020. The Liberals simply aren’t up to ending their energy crisis or leading the country in the right direction.

Australians love renewable energy because they know it saves them money and it’s good for the environment. Household solar installation has sky-rocketed from 7,000 homes in 2007 to over two million homes today.

Shadow Climate Change and Energy Minister Mark Butler said, “Queensland has some of the best solar radiation in the world. Labor wants to make sure that Australia embraces a renewable future, and maximise the jobs, industry and environmental benefits of renewable energy to all.”

“The South East Queensland power hub is crucial because it will support the development, coordination and financing of local projects to increase the uptake of renewables.”

Member for Griffith, Terri Butler said, “Groups like Energetic Communities and local businesses are craving more investment in local renewables and a real partnership with a government that is pro-renewables. This is a true Labor value, ensuring the benefits of renewables can be shared by all, regardless of where you live.”

Candidate for Brisbane, Paul Newbury said, “The Brisbane community loves renewable energy. It’s good for power bills and cutting pollution.

“We just need a Labor Government in Canberra to deliver on Australia’s renewable energy future.”

Source: ALP

 

Bank Australia switches to 100% renewable electricity

7 May

Today Bank Australia became the first bank in the country to switch to 100% renewable electricity. We have achieved this milestone one year ahead of our 2020 target.

The switch – which sees Bank Australia’s entire operations running on renewable electricity – has been made possible through the installation of rooftop solar at our head office in Melbourne and National Contact Centre in the Latrobe Valley, and entering into a 10-year agreement with renewable energy developer Pacific Hydro as part of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

Pacific Hydro’s Crowlands Wind Farm in Western Victoria forms part of a power purchase agreement with the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project group, a first of its kind in Australia where 14 organisations from a mix of industries came together in a group tender for renewable electricity.

Damien Walsh, Bank Australia Managing Director, said that he was proud to see the bank achieve the goal it set in 2015 of switching over to 100% renewable electricity.

“Being the first bank in Australia to switch to 100% renewable electricity is a huge achievement for us. Our customers have told us they want to see clear action on climate change, and we’re pleased to show how business can lead on climate,” said Damien.

“By running on 100% renewable electricity, we’ll be avoiding 780 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, which is the equivalent to taking 232 cars off the road,” said Damien.

Bank Australia is a member of RE100, a global business initiative led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP, that brings together influential companies committed to 100% renewable power.

Sam Kimmins, Head of RE100, The Climate Group, said, "Congratulations to Bank Australia on reaching its RE100 goal so quickly – this is a leading financial institution seizing the big investment opportunities of the future. Partnering with others to buy wind power at an affordable price is a model used by leading businesses around the world. With benefits ranging from lower risk to increased global competitiveness, we expect many more Australian companies to get going on the path to 100% renewable power."

Jon Dee, RE100 Australia Coordinator, who is helping The Climate Group with the development of RE100 in Australia, said, "As the first Australian member of RE100 to achieve a switch to 100% renewable electricity, Bank Australia has set a really positive example. They’ve increased the use of wind and solar power and at the same time they'll save money on their energy bills. They're showing other Australian companies that renewables are beneficial for the bottom line as well as the environment."

Bank Australia intends to share its learnings on switching to 100% renewable electricity with other companies to help speed the energy transition in Australia.

Running on 100% renewable electricity adds to Bank Australia’s existing actions on climate change, which include being carbon neutral, and managing the Bank Australia Conservation Reserve – a nature reserve owned by the bank’s customers that protects and restores native habitat.

Source: Bank Australia

 

Market observations for Q1 2019

7 May

AEMO’s latest Quarterly Energy Dynamics Report covering Q1 2019 continues to underscore the pace at which the well-documented energy transition is occurring, driven by new technology, the ongoing changing generation mix and evolving consumer expectations.

The report found that last quarter was one of records for the energy industry, with January 2019 officially noted as Australia’s hottest-ever month. During that period, Queensland set an all-time maximum demand record of 10,044 MW, 246 MW higher than its previous record, while South Australia set a new Q1 minimum demand record of 695 MW, 25 MW lower than its previous record.

Reflecting the ongoing impact of the energy transition and the National Electricity Market (NEM)’s changing supply mix, the quarter saw a 37% increase in average large-scale renewable generation and gas-powered generation (GPG), with the latter reversing its downward trend in 2018, reflecting its increasing peaking role.

On 25 January 2019, GPG recorded its third highest NEM daily contribution and the highest Victorian GPG day on record, off the back of extreme weather conditions which led to AEMO activating Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader contracts and issuing directions to shed load.

Frequency control ancillary services prices were also down 37% this quarter, corresponding with increased competition through two new entrants.  

In Western Australia, summer peak demand fell to winter peak demand levels, despite being a traditionally summer peaking state, largely due to the state’s relatively mild summer conditions and increased penetration of rooftop PV.

Read the full report for more in-depth analysis of the quarter that was.

Source: AEMO

 

Landmark climate change bill goes to Parliament

8 May 

The Government is today delivering landmark action on climate change – the biggest challenge facing the international community and New Zealand.

“To address the long-term challenge of climate change, today we introduce the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill to Parliament,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“We’ve built a practical consensus across Government that creates a plan for the next 30 years, which provides the certainty industries need to get in front of this challenge.

“In March this year, tens of thousands of New Zealand school students went on strike to protest the lack of decisive action on climate change. We hear them. The Zero Carbon Bill outlines our plan to safeguard the future that those school students will inherit,” Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said.

“The critical thing is to do everything we can over the next 30 years to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and the Zero Carbon Bill makes that a legally binding objective.

“Carbon dioxide is the most important thing we need to tackle – that’s why we’ve taken a net zero carbon approach.

“Agriculture is incredibly important to New Zealand, but it also needs to be part of the solution. That is why we have listened to the science and also heard the industry and created a specific target for biogenic methane.

"The split gases approach we’ve agreed on is consistent with that commitment.

“The Bill sets a target for 10 per cent reduction in biological methane emissions by 2030, and aims for a provisional reduction ranging from 24 per cent to 47 per cent by 2050.

“That provisional range will be subject to review by the independent Climate Change Commission in 2024, to take account of changes in scientific knowledge and other developments.

“The independent Climate Change Commission, established by the Bill, will support our emissions reduction targets through advice, guidance, and regular five-yearly “emissions budgets”.

“The Bill also creates a legal obligation on the Government to plan for how it will support New Zealand towns and cities, business, farmers and Iwi to adapt to the increasingly severe storms, floods, fires and droughts we are experiencing as a result of climate change.

“New Zealanders have made it clear they want leadership and consensus on climate change legislation.

“We’re delighted that the three Government partners have reached an agreement over such a significant piece of legislation after lengthy consultation.

“I also want to acknowledge National Party leader, Simon Bridges, and National’s Climate Change spokesperson, for conducting negotiations in good faith and setting politics to one side while we’ve worked through the Bill.

“The fact that, across Parliament, all parties have engaged constructively in this process signals mutual interest in creating enduring climate change legislation that will stand the test of time and deliver long-lasting commitment to action on climate change for future generations.

“But the work’s not finished. I urge people to engage with the Zero Carbon Bill as it passes through Parliament. Have your say in the select committee process.

“All of us have a part to play our part in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global temperature increases.

“That includes New Zealanders making their contribution to see the Zero Carbon Bill become law by the end of this year,” James Shaw said.

Source: NZ Government

 

NEW PROJECT

Kingaroy Wind Farm

Location: Kingaroy, Queensland

Capacity: 57 MW

Battery: Yes

Developer: Australian Energy Wind Farm

LGA: South Burnett Regional Council

Description: Located approximately 32 km west of Kingaroy in Queensland. Neighbouring towns include Kumbia, 13.2km southeast of project site, and Taabinga, 28.5km northeast of project site. The land on which the development is to occur covers 502 hectares of land. 16 wind turbine generators are planned.

Contact email: aewf@auswindfarm.com

Website: http://www.auswindfarm.com/project.php

 

Funds accelerate zero emissions target

8 May 

La Trobe University has welcomed a Federal Labor election pledge that will fast-track plans to become Victoria’s first zero-emissions University.

The Federal Member for Cooper, Ged Kearney, and the Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Mark Butler, today announced a $5 million election commitment to create a roof top solar farm at the University’s Bundoora campus.

The commitment would fast-track the installation of 6,775 solar panels installed on 27 buildings across the campus starting later this year. This is the equivalent of more than 17 kilometres of panels laid end to end – the distance between La Trobe’s Bundoora and Melbourne CBD campuses - or enough solar panels to cover the entire turf of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The solar array would be the equivalent of more than 400 home solar systems. At the peak of solar efficiency the panels will supply up to half of the campus’ daily power usage.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar welcomed the Labor election announcement, which he said would accelerate progress on the University’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2029.

“La Trobe recognises the social, environment and economic importance of reducing our carbon footprint. That’s why we have set an ambitious target to become the first University in Victoria to meet this important goal.

“We’ve already been quietly making substantial progress; almost 3000 solar panels have been installed on rooftops at regional campuses in Shepparton, Bendigo and Albury Wodonga, and are already reducing emissions.

“We’ve got a clear plan for action and we are making genuine, local changes to the way we operate to become more efficient and switch to renewables.

The University has a series of sustainability programs already in place and is in the advanced stages of developing a suite of new initiatives, including: waste reductions, energy efficiency programs, research and technology innovations and green star building designs.

Source: La Trobe University

 

Investors: Zero Carbon Bill a step towards a prosperous resilient economy

8 May

New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill is a step towards a prosperous zero carbon economy the Investor

Group on Climate Change said today.

“Climate change represents a systemic risk to the financial system and economy,” Emma Herd, CEO of the Investor Group on Climate Change said. “The Zero Carbon Bill is a crucial step towards establishing a robust road map for New Zealand to unlock investment in the zero carbon economy.”

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) is a collaboration of Australian and New Zealand investors focused on the impact that climate change has on the financial value of investments. The IGCC represents institutional investors with total funds under management of over $2 trillion and cover over 7.5 million people in Australia and New Zealand.

“The setting of ambitious, long-term emissions reduction targets aligned to 1.5C and predictable governance frameworks are crucial for both investor confidence and ensuring a carefully planned transition to a zero carbon economy.”

“IGCC supports the setting of a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050, that covers all types of greenhouse gas emissions and all sectors of the New Zealand economy.”

“New Zealand’s international commitments cover all emissions and the government should seek through time to be consistent across both its domestic and international commitments to avoid investment uncertainty.”

“A strong focus on adaptation and resilience to the physical effects of climate change is also critical for ensuring New Zealand’s long term prosperity.”

“Sustainable finance in the agricultural sector is growing globally and with the right investment signals the government can facilitate further investments from pension funds.”

“Under the Paris Agreement, the international community is increasingly focused on scaling up national ambition and unlocking zero carbon finance. The UN Secretary General’s climate summit in September offers a great opportunity for New Zealand to build on the Zero Carbon Bill and join other countries in updating its 2030 emissions target to be in line with limiting global warming to 1.5-2 oC.”

“The Zero Carbon Bill offers investors a foundation to unlock finance in zero carbon solutions. Investors look forward to working with the government to deliver a resilient and prosperous economy,” Herd said.

Source: IGCC

 

Mayors demand climate action from next Federal Government

8 May

Mayors from councils across the country have demanded that the next Federal Government take swift action to tackle climate change in a joint statement released today.

Fifteen mayors from the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest local government climate alliance, have joined forces to demand more Federal support for local work on climate change, commitment to a national 100% renewable energy target and rapid phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.

Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore said local governments around Australia and the world have been leading on climate action for decades, however their efforts are increasingly stifled by the shocking inaction of their state and federal governments. 

“This election, the conversation we should be having is about the devastating costs of not taking climate action,” the Lord Mayor said.

“By stoking fear and ignoring the science, our federal parliamentarians are distracting voters from the inarguable truth – that without urgent, coordinated, and global action to reduce emissions and shift to renewable energy, we will trigger runaway climate change.

“Together with Mayors from across Australia, I call on the next Federal Government to support us to better tackle climate change, and to adopt a higher renewable energy target, introduce mandatory disclosure of building energy ratings, and overhaul the National Building Code.”

Climate Councillor Professor Tim Flannery said that the next Federal Government must act swiftly to avert a climate crisis – and that means supporting local solutions.

“Australia is not on track to meet its greenhouse gas pollution targets, and without decisive action we’re speeding rapidly towards a climate crisis,” he said.

“Mayors are making a stand to demand that our next Federal leaders commit to meaningful action on climate change – and that means switching to renewable energy and ending subsidies for the dirty coal and gas industries that are putting our communities at risk of serious climate damage.”

Cr Amanda McClaren, Mayor of Strathbogie in regional Victoria, which saw heat records broken over summer, says councils are being challenged by intensifying climate-change driven extreme weather events.

“The past year, the hottest on record, has shown us that the time to act on climate change is now. We’re already feeling the impacts, from droughts to extreme heatwaves, and our residents are suffering.”

“In order to effectively prepare our towns and cities for a changing climate we need more resources and targeted policy from the Federal Government supporting local clean energy and climate solutions to safeguard the future of our communities.”

FULL STATEMENT FROM AUSTRALIAN MAYORS:

As members of the Cities Power Partnership local government climate alliance, we demand national action and call upon the Federal Government to join us in making tackling climate change the top priority.

At the local level we’re working with our communities and with each other to develop a strong climate response, and to support Australia’s shift to clean energy.

All tiers of government have a role to play in driving down Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution, and we need swift action at the Federal level to address our escalating national emissions

We demand three major actions from our Federal leaders:

- Strong national climate policy aligned to the science and a national commitment to rapidly transitioning to 100% clean energy

- Support the rapid phase out of fossil fuel subsidies which contribute to climate change

- Provide long-term finance to support implementation of clean energy and sustainable transport, such as rooftop solar, battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations, public and active transport infrastructure in council and community areas

FULL LIST OF SIGNATORIES

Cr Clover Moore, Lord Mayor, City of Sydney

Cr Michael Lyon, Acting Mayor, Byron Shire Council

Cr Julia Leu, Mayor Douglas Shire Council

Cr Dominic King, Mayor Bellingen Council

Cr Amanda McLaren, Mayor Strathbogie Council

Cr Ken Keith, Mayor, Parkes Shire Council

Cr Frank Wilkie, Acting Mayor, Noosa Council

Cr Darcy Byrne, Inner West Council

Cr Kathy Neilson, Mayor of Randwick Council

Cr Pam Townshend, Shire President, Augusta Margaret River, WA

Cr David Gill , Mayor Mornington Peninsula Mayor, VIC

Cr Renée McLennan, Mayor, Town of Bassendean

Cr Ann Ferguson, Mayor, Mount Barker

Cr Natalie Abboud, Mayor, Moreland City Council

Cr Jerome Laxale, Mayor, City of Ryde

 

Source: Cities Power Partnership

 

PROJECT NEWS

Haughton Solar Farm

Pacific Hydro reported that the final solar panels have been installed at its Haughton Solar Farm, located in central Queensland 40km west of Ayr and 60km south of Townsville. The north-eastern corner of the development site directly adjoins the existing 275kV Powerlink transmission line, providing the opportunity to connect to the NEM. The solar farm is being built in stages. Construction of the first 100MW of the project commenced in 2018 following a tender process and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2019. Once all stages are complete, Haughton Solar Farm is expected to have a generating capacity of up to 500 MW, enough to power approximately 170,000 homes.

 

Government invests in clean energy centre to help power New Zealand’s economy

9 May

The Government will establish a clean energy centre in Taranaki to help lead New Zealand’s transition to a low carbon future, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

To tackle the long-term challenge of climate change, the Government will also invest in early stage research into cutting edge energy production.

“The National New Energy Development centre will help create new business and jobs in Taranaki while helping New Zealand move towards clean, affordable, renewable energy and away from fossil fuels,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The centre will look at the full range of emerging clean energy options such as offshore wind, solar batteries, hydrogen and new forms of energy storage.

“Our global confrontation with the changing climate requires us to face the long-term challenge of sustainably powering our economy over the next 30 years to ensure we are the best place in the world to live, to work, to raise a family and to get ahead.

“For decades, Taranaki has been our top energy producing region and now, in the 21st century, the region can be a leader in clean energy as well. It’s well known that local businesses and workers already have the skills, experience and international links to support new developments in clean energy technology and infrastructure.

“That’s why the Wellbeing Budget is investing $27 million to set up the centre in Taranaki, alongside $20 million over four years to establish a new science research fund for cutting edge energy technology so that we can look into the likes of organic photovoltaics, super conductors, nanotechnologies and inductive power.

“Investing in cutting edge science that could have global application is one of the best ways a country like New Zealand can contribute to the battle against climate change.

“Locally, the vision for the new centre has come from people on the ground, through the region’s 2050 roadmap process that brought together business, unions and iwi leaders to chart a future path for the local economy. Now central Government is investing to help make that vision a reality.

“The centre will be established on a strong foundation with pledges of collaboration and support from the energy sector, research organisations and supply chain businesses – both local to Taranaki and from around the world.

“This centre will complement our investments in hydrogen, Green Finance Ltd, the Zero Carbon Bill and our upcoming renewable energy strategy to help New Zealand create new jobs in new industries while moving away from fossil fuels that cause climate change,” Jacinda Ardern said.

These initiatives are part of a Wellbeing Budget package focused on research into agriculture, emissions and energy under the Budget priority of creating opportunities for productive businesses, regions, iwi and others to transition to a sustainable and low emissions economy.

Source: NZ Government

 

PROJECT NEWS

Crookwell 3 Wind Farm

The NSW Department of Planning & the Environment has blocked Global Power Generation’s development application for the 102 MW Crookwell 3 Wind Farm on the grounds:

  1. the project would result in unacceptable impacts on the landscape character and significant landscape features;
  2. the project would result in unacceptable direct and cumulative visual impacts on residences, public viewpoints and the surrounding landscape;
  3. the majority of submissions from residences in the local area object to the project and Upper Lachlan Shire Council maintains residual concerns about the impacts of the project;
  4. the project is not consistent with the current land use zoning provisions; and
  5. for the above reasons, the project is not a suitable site for a large-scale wind farm and is not in the public interest.

 

Vivid & WePower sign MOU for blockchain green energy trading platform

9 May

Overview

Vivid Technology Limited (ASX: VIV) (Vivid Technology or the Company) announces the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with WePower.

WePower, is an emerging player in next generation green energy procurement that utilises blockchain to develop smart contracts that drastically simplify the process around energy procurement contracts.

Through WePower’s blockchain trading platform, businesses can contract directly with green energy producers, allowing them the ability to directly trade power purchase agreements. This enables smaller energy users to aggregate with larger companies and/or between themselves, reducing concerns around longterm energy contracts.

Vivid Technology and WePower will leverage data from Vivid Technology’s Matrixx intelligent lighting platform backed by its Klarity analytics software, to enable identification and validate customer site energy performance. This data will be used to develop smart contracts on WePower’s blockchain trading platform to maximise cost savings from customer existing energy purchasing contracts.

Both companies have synergistic aims and capabilities to help individual businesses maximise energy efficiency by combining Vivid Technology “back-of-meter” analytic capability, with WePower’s “front-of-meter” blockchain smart contract trading platform.

The MOU will allow both parties to develop and commercialise a market offering, and are committed to work collaboratively to identify, and where appropriate, approach customers to deliver this market offering as a joint energy efficiency solution. Initial opportunities will be focused on Australia.

Vivid Technology’s MD, Samuel Marks noted, “After reviewing opportunities across the Energy Blockchain sector for nearly 2 years, we are pleased to work with WePower to jointly develop market leading solutions for our customers. Both companies share very similar mindsets in looking to tangibly provide new technology leading solutions (in-front of and behind the meter) aimed at reducing the use and cost of energy for our customers. As we consider the impact of Lighting-as-a-Service (LaaS), along with Solar energy Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s), this opportunity provides more flexibility and better returns for both our customer bases.”

“This MOU also highlights the capability of our MATRIXX intelligent lighting solution in being able to provide energy efficiency savings in excess of just lighting. By leveraging the intelligence and data analytics that is part of MATRIXX systems core DNA, we are able to provide our customers new ways to improve their savings, far in excess of lighting and without any further investment.”

WePower CEO, Nikolaj Martyniuk noted, “We are excited to work with Vivid Technology to serve our customers with best possible solutions that provide value on both sides of the meter and achieve multiple goals corporate clients have at the same time. We see allot of value that can be delivered down the road with the evolution of our joint offering.”

Source: Vivid Technology

 

Tilt Renewables results announcement for the financial year ended 31 March 2019

9 May

Tilt Renewables Limited and its subsidiaries (“Tilt Renewables”) released today its financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2019 (“FY2019”) together with key highlights and operating metrics for the year. All financial references in this release are in Australian dollars.

Key highlights for FY2019

Highlights for the year ending 31 March 2019 include:

- Energy production of more than 2 terawatt-hours across the operational portfolio

- Earnings Before Interest, Tax Depreciation, Amortisation, Fair Value Movements of Financial Instruments (“EBITDAF”) of $134.8 million

- Cash from operating activities of $112.4 million, up 31% on prior period

- The 54 MW Salt Creek Wind Farm achieved commercial operations in July 2018

- The 336 MW Dundonnell Wind Farm was successfully bid into the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme, secured a long-term offtake with Snowy Hydro and achieved financial close in November 2018. Construction of the $560 million project is underway, targeting completion in late CY2020

- Tilt Renewables was successful in raising $260 million from its first equity offering, which was strongly supported with a premium achieved for non-participating shareholders in each of the institutional and retail bookbuilds

- Waverley Wind Farm, a ~130 MW wind project in South Taranaki, New Zealand is progressing towards an end of CY2019 investment decision, underpinned by an offtake contract with Genesis Energy which is expected to be executed in the coming weeks

- The development pipeline has been advanced, increasing by 1 GW over the last 12 months, highlighted by the acquisition of Liverpool Range project which brings Tilt Renewables’ wind options in New South Wales to ~1.3 GW

Operational performance in FY2019

Tilt Renewables is committed to the health and safety of its employees and contractors, as well as maintaining its strong track record of environmental compliance and stakeholder engagement. The FY2019 Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of 24.6 incidents per million hours is an unsatisfactory result and Management is focused on improving safety performance for all our employees, contractors and communities. The increase in construction activity at the Dundonnell Wind Farm and incidents at our operational sites highlight the need to stay focused and work harder to entrench a strong safety culture across the portfolio.

Production from Tilt Renewables’ portfolio of 322 turbines was 2,054 gigawatt-hours (GWh). This level of production was in line with long-term expectations, and up 14% on the prior year due to a return to near average wind conditions across Australia and New Zealand. The contribution from the newly commissioned Salt Creek asset was 134 GWh during FY2019. Asset reliability levels were satisfactory with 96.5% availability achieved across the portfolio.

Source: Tilt Renewables

 

NEW PROJECT

Omamari Wind Farm

Location: Omamari in Northland New Zealand

Capacity: 80 MW

Developer: Tilt Renewables

Description: Possible development being investigated of a 70-80 MW wind farm on a Landcorp-owned site north of Dargaville in Northland. Tilt Renewables is working towards the necessary environmental consents. The project was previously investigated by Meridian Energy.

Contact: Deion Campbell

CEO

Tilt Renewables

1800 122 823

 

Summary of submissions on a new framework for transmission access and charging

9 May

A range of stakeholders have provided initial feedback on the AEMC’s proposed reforms to transmission access and charging to help address an increasingly congested grid at the lowest cost. Their submissions are now available on the AEMC’s website.

Our consultation paper covered:

- Access: managing transmission congestion so that the cheapest power can get to consumers. In particular, we set out a potential high-level approach for phased reforms to change how generators access and use the network. Reforms could start with dynamic regional pricing to reflect where network congestion is happening in real time, and transition to firm access rights where generators can buy rights to use the transmission network or be compensated if they are constrained off.

- Charging: examining how to better align the costs of transmission, especially interconnectors, with those parties that benefit from the investment.

We have received 38 submissions to date from a wide variety of stakeholders, including networks, generators, renewable energy companies, equity investors, market and industry bodies as well as large energy users and consumer groups.

Full details are available here.

Source: AEMC

 

Solar investment for remote communities

9 May

- $11.6 million investment for solar and batteries in remote Aboriginal communities

- The program will reduce carbon emissions by more than 2,000 tonnes each year and reduce the cost of power

- An $11.6 million investment to fund the installation of solar farms and energy storage in remote Aboriginal communities has been announced as part of the State Budget.

The remote communities centralised solar program will be delivered by Horizon Power, and includes the installation of up to four megawatts of solar farms across six communities in the Kimberley - an average of 400 to 600 kilowatts for each community.

The project will significantly reduce the cost of providing power to these towns which are 100 per cent diesel fuelled and will reduce the Government's subsidy paid to Horizon Power.

Construction is scheduled for Warmun and Kalumburu in 2020 and in Ardyaloon, Beagle Bay, Djarindjin/Lombadina and Bidyadanga in 2021.

The program is being rolled out alongside Horizon Power's solar incentive project which encourages eligible remote communities to invest in their own roof-top solar on community buildings, with Horizon Power contributing 30 per cent of the cost.

Djarindjin and Lombadina Aboriginal Corporations were part of the pilot program and have successfully reduced their electricity bills. Horizon Power intends to release a Request for Tender for the construction of the east Kimberley systems in May 2019.

Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:

"This low cost and reliable renewable energy solution, will foster community development through local jobs, training and investment opportunities.

"The program follows on from the launch of the McGowan Government's Energy Transformation Strategy, which aims to deliver cleaner, affordable and more reliable energy."

Comment attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:

"The solar incentives scheme allows Aboriginal communities to reduce their power bills for community buildings such as roadhouses, offices and men's sheds, while also improving the energy reliability during periods when it can be hard to access diesel fuel."

Source: WA Government

 

Construction jobs boost as Wyalong Solar Farm approved

9 May

The NSW Government has today approved a new $130 million solar facility to be built in West Wyalong, paving the way for construction to begin.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the 100 megawatt solar farm will generate up to 150 jobs during its construction, and create clean, renewable energy to power about 37,500 homes.

“The Wyalong Solar Farm will add to the growing hub of solar energy projects in the Riverina, bringing a fresh boost to the economy and diversifying industry for the region,” Minister Stokes said.

Since 2017, the NSW Government has approved 26 solar projects across the State, providing about 4,500 construction jobs and supporting about $5 billion investment in regional and rural NSW.

“These solar projects have already contributed to communities throughout the Riverina and are also supporting the creation of a thriving renewable energy industry in NSW,” Mr Stokes said.

Energy and the Environment Minister Matt Kean said the Wyalong Solar Farm will help NSW meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

“We are committed to delivering affordable and reliable energy for the people of NSW, while also reducing emissions and acting on climate change,” Mr Kean said.

“The Wyalong Solar Farm has the potential to save up to 212,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, reducing overall emissions and put downward pressure on prices. We have a booming solar industry in NSW, which will become a vital part of our energy mix as we transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.”

Source: NSW Government

 

National energy market blown away by Tassie wind farms

10 May

Today’s unveiling of the first wind turbine at the Cattle Hill Wind Farm is a clear sign of confidence in our State’s renewable energy sector and highlights the huge contribution the sector makes to jobs and investment in Tasmania.

Such a significant development helps underpin the importance of our Battery of the Nation Plan and the State and Federal Liberal Government’s $86 million investment in that plan and Project Marinus – nationally significant energy developments that have the potential to inject billions into the Tasmanian economy and deliver thousands of local jobs.

This is the first of 48 wind turbines to be installed at the site throughout 2019. Once complete, this wind farm will produce enough clean energy to power approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes while also supporting the Hodgman Liberal Government’s Tasmania-First Energy policy to be 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewables by 2022.

The Cattle Hill wind farm project is a game changer for the Central Highlands region, currently employing approximately 150 people on site and up to 10 permanent maintenance staff once the wind farm is complete.

Tasmanian businesses have been engaged with the project since its inception, including Hobart based Hazell Bros who are undertaking the full civil and electrical works for the project, Launceston based company Grandco, who are undertaking over $10 million of road upgrades in the Central Highlands region, and Haywards our local manufacturer for 20% of the wind turbine towers.

Tasmania has what the rest of the nation needs, and the Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to using this advantage to ensure all Tasmanians continue to see low cost, reliable and clean energy in their homes and businesses.

Source: Tasmania Government

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