Local and global experts to build Snowy 2.0
Today Snowy Hydro Limited has achieved another significant milestone for Snowy 2.0 by appointing ‘Future Generation’ as its main contractor. Snowy 2.0, a world-leading pumped-hydro expansion project, together with the mighty Snowy Scheme, will underpin Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future.
Future Generation is a joint venture between Clough, an Australian construction and engineering company, Salini Impregilo, a global hydropower and tunnelling specialist, and Lane.
The Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) contract signed today with Future Generation is consistent with the terms set out in the extensive, publicly-released Final Investment Decision information pack.
Under the single wrapped EPC contract, Future Generation will lead the civil works and Voith Hydro will deliver the latest hydro-generation technology in the new underground power station.
Source: Snowy Hydro
Walcha Energy Project
Mirus Wind & Energy Estate are close to finalising their Walcha Energy Project development approval application documentation for lodging with the relevant authorities. The Walcha Energy Project in the New England Tableland, NSW will be completed in phases. Development of the wind and solar farms is underway, with construction planned to start in 2020 and first generation by 2022. The proposed wind farms will have a combined capacity of approximately 3400MW. The first farms will be located in the Winterbourne and Moona areas to the north east of Walcha, which are about 25km south east of the nearest grid connection point at Uralla.
Solar farms with a capacity of 350 to 650 MW are included in the project, as are pumped storage hydro opportunities in the deep gorges to the east and south of the Walcha plateau.
More information about the Walcha Energy Project, including a contractor enquiry form, is available at http://www.walchaenergy.com.au/.
Australia’s first large-scale hybrid energy storage system
UNSW detailed its involvement in developing Australia’s first large-scale hybrid energy storage system – using lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells – to be installed at a $200m solar farm to be built by Providence Asset Group and Risen Energy Group in south-east Queensland. The system will be designed to store surplus electricity generated at the farm and then discharge it when required.
Professor Dong and his team, together with researchers from UTS and with Providence Asset Group as lead applicant, was working on a solution that would use artificial intelligence to manage and smooth out the intermittency of renewable energy, balance out supply and demand, and allow the storage and use of excess renewable energy where and when needed.
UNSW Scientia Professor and renowned chemical engineer Professor Rose Amal said that hydrogen’s time had come.
“The Australian Renewable Energy Agency hydrogen could annual contribute $1.7 billion annually to the Australian economy by 2030, driven domestically and by demand for sustainable green hydrogen in Japan, South Korea, China and Europe,” Professor Amal said.
UNSW Scientia Professor Rose Amal said Australia was well placed to take the lead on hydrogen technologies.
“Australia has plenty of sunshine and we lead the world in solar technology. The use of hydrogen technology to store renewable energy at this solar farm is just one opportunity for Australia in the global hydrogen market,” she said.
What’s more, Professor Amal said, Australia was well positioned to lead the world in hydrogen generation and transport. UNSW researchers, along with industry partners and other universities, were working to highlight the magnitude of this opportunity to capitalise on Australia’s strengths and not miss out on a lucrative opportunity for the country.
Professor Nicholas Fisk, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research at UNSW, thanked the partners at the event: “UNSW Sydney is already a world leader in renewable energy research. But the challenge to efficiently, stably and affordably generate, store and distribute sustainable electric power for all Australians in future cannot be achieved without significant investment and the contributions of our partner organisations.
“I am very proud of UNSW’s involvement in these endeavours and extremely grateful to all involved.”
UNSW Sydney’s partners in the various initiatives mentioned in this story include Providence Asset Group, Powerlink Queensland, CSIRO, H2Store Pt Ltd, University of Technology Sydney, Risen Solar Technology, and Sungrow Power.
WA Integrated 3.1MW bioenergy & solar PV facility
Since signing the Term Sheet with Western Australian Meat Marketing Co-operative Limited (WAMMCO) to develop an integrated 3.1MW bioenergy and solar PV facility at WAMMCO’s Katanning WA abattoir in October last year, ReNu Energy and WAMMCO have progressed the detailed project site due diligence and front end engineering & design (FEED) study. ReNu Energy has now submitted connection agreement applications with Western Power and anticipates finalising the FEED study this quarter, with detailed engineering and a final investment decision expected in Q3 2019.
Source: ReNu Energy
Genex receives final environmental approval for Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro project
Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that it has secured all environmental approvals required to develop the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro or Project).
The approval process was facilitated by the Office of the Coordinator General, a benefit provided to the Project following the Coordinated Project declaration by the Queensland State Government in October 2018 under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 (Qld) (refer ASX announcement 02.10.2018).
Genex notes the positive statements from the Coordinator General’s evaluation of Genex’s K2-Hydro Project in granting the final approval, including that the project would:
- support the Queensland Government’s target of generating 50 per cent of Queensland’s electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030;
- add stability and strength to the North Queensland network;
- reduce the need to import excess electricity from neighbouring regions; and
- contribute to the Australian Renewable Energy Target and the development of a Renewable Energy Zone in Far North Queensland.
Commenting on the announcement, CEO of Genex Power, James Harding stated:
“Genex is very pleased to finalise the environmental approvals for the K2-Hydro project and allow efforts to be squarely focused on achieving financial close. Genex wishes to thank the Office of the Coordinator General for assisting with the approvals process and for the strong support shown to date for the development of the Project”.
Source: Genex Power
Rye Park Wind Farm
Over recent months the Tilt Renewables team has been working with its construction partners to optimise the civil and electrical design for the proposed Rye Park Wind Farm. As this work continues preliminary on site engineering work, such as geotechnical investigations, will commence.
Tilt Renewables has signed a Connection Process Agreement with Transgrid and is progressing the network modelling and confirmation of Generator Performance Standards required before AEMO can provide an offer to connect. The offer to connect will allow the wind farm to start exporting power via the 330kV line which intersects the southern part of the wind farm.
A more accurate picture of project costs has been achieved and Tilt Renewables is actively seeking PPA opportunities in the market.
The benefit of increasing the maximum tip height of the wind turbines from 157 metres to 200 metres through a planning modification is being investigated, and Tilt Renewables is half way through a 12-month bird and bat study that is a requirement of our project approvals. In collaboration with the ACT government and Australian National University research into the Superb Parrot, a nationally listed vulnerable species, is being undertaken to satisfy our project approvals.
Source: Tilt Renewables
Construction completed on Australia’s largest rollout of solar power in remote communities
The Territory Labor Government’s target of 50% renewables by 2030 will deliver local jobs, and cheaper, cleaner power.
Construction is now complete on the Solar Energy Transformation Program (SETuP), which is Australia’s largest rollout of solar power to remote communities.
SETuP is a $59 million program co-funded by the Territory Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The program was rolled out to 25 sites across the Territory.
SETuP integrates 10MW of solar PV in remote locations with existing power stations, resulting in remote hybrid power generation. This reduces reliance on costly diesel for electricity generation, and delivers reliable and safe power to remote locations.
The primary goal of the program is to reduce diesel use by 15% in targeted communities, which adds up to 94 million litres of diesel savings over the life of the program (25 years).
The SETuP program was delivered by Power and Water Corporation and the existing funding agreement with ARENA will go through to April 2022 for performance reporting.
Quotes from Minister for Renewables, Energy & Essential Services, Dale Wakefield
“The SETuP program is an important step forward in achieving the Territory Labor Government’s target of 50% renewable energy by 2030. SETuP will help to support cleaner power for Territorians in remote communities by reducing reliance on costly diesel, and also air pollution.
“ARENA is our partner in this significant program that will deliver for remote Territorians in decades to come. I thank them for their continued partnership and investment in the Territory.
“The SETuP program was delivered by Power and Water. The program has won engineering excellence awards and due to the hard work and innovation by staff, the Territory is now seen as a leader in remote hybrid power generation. I congratulate and thank all involved.”
Quotes from CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Darren Miller
“This is a fantastic achievement for all involved in completing this ambitious project to deliver the largest rollout of renewable energy to remote, off grid communities in the Northern Territory.
“By installing solar power systems across these 25 communities, this project will help these communities to reduce their reliance on diesel. Now integrated, these communities can increase their uptake of renewables and have the option to add batteries to store their solar energy in the future.
“SETuP is part of ARENA’s Regional Australia’s Renewables - Community and Regional Renewable Energy (CARRE) Program, where the Agency worked collaboratively with key regional energy suppliers and distributors to assess, plan, fund and share the results from projects like SETuP, with an aim to replicate the program's successes across further communities.”
Source: NT Government
New safety code to make Queensland solar farm jobs safer
Safety has been put first when it comes to Queensland’s booming renewables industry.
A new code of practice and electrical safety regulations will be put in place next month to enhance safety in the growing commercial solar farm industry.
The new regulations mean only licensed electricians can mount, locate, fix or remove solar panels on solar farms with a total rated capacity of at least 100kW.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the Construction and operation of solar farms Code of Practice 2019 and the Electrical Safety (Solar Farms) Amendment Regulation 2019 would become law on 13 May and cover all Queensland solar farms.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to achieving 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” Ms Grace said.
“As a result, we’ve seen unprecedented growth in the number of commercial solar farms in Queensland and that means jobs for installers.
“These new regulations are all about ensuring we keep pace with new and emerging technologies and keep workers safe.
“But to ensure the safety of these workers, our regulations need to keep pace with these ever-changing technologies.
Ms Grace said stakeholders were concerned about unlicensed workers such as backpackers and labourers mounting and removing live solar panels.
“Solar panels generate power as soon as they are exposed to light and cannot be isolated while they are being mounted,” she said.
“Workers are at risk from electrocution and fires if solar panels are not properly earthed during installation.
“Removing panels can be even more dangerous. These are not jobs for unlicensed workers.
“Introducing the new regulation achieves the right balance between our renewable energy target and ensuring worker and community safety,” Ms Grace said.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, said Queensland remained firmly on track to achieve its target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
“Based on strong growth of renewable energy in the state it is estimated Queensland will reach 20 per cent by 2020.
“We already have more than $5b in operational, committed or underway projects, creating more than 4600 jobs.
“The new code and regulations can only enhance the industry - ensuring the safety of workers and the highest safety standards.’’
Electrical Safety Commissioner Greg Skyring said health and safety was the key priority for the electrical industry.
“The new code of practice and regulations will provide guidance and clarity for solar farm developers, owner and contractors when it comes to their electrical safety duties,” Mr Skyring said.
Master Electricians Chief Executive Officer Malcom Richards also welcomed the changes.
“The new Solar Farm Code of Practice and regulations ensure Queensland keeps pace with the fast-moving renewable energy industry. We welcome these changes which will ensure safety for workers, consumers and the energy industry,” Mr Richards said.
National Electrical and Communications Association Executive Director Peter Lamont said the changes would make the solar industry safer.
“The mounting, locating, fixing, earthing and removing of solar panels at solar farms is dangerous work and it should not be undertaken by unlicensed workers. We fully support the new changes,” Mr Lamont said.
More details about the new code of practice and electrical safety regulations is available by visiting electricalsafety.qld.gov.au.
Source: Queensland Government
Rushed new rules for solar farms risk local jobs and investment
New regulations introduced suddenly by the Queensland Government without clear justification and negligible consultation with the solar industry will cost local jobs and slow the rollout of large-scale solar, the Clean Energy Council said today.
The Clean Energy Council’s Director of Energy Generation, Anna Freeman, said the new regulation, due to come into effect on 13 May, would require solar farms to employ licensed electricians to perform simple tasks such as lifting and bolting solar panels onto mounting frames.
“It’s the equivalent of a homeowner having to call an electrician as soon as they’ve unpacked a new television from the box, in order to hang it on the wall,” said Ms Freeman.
“There is zero electrical work involved in this task and as such there is no need to require an electrician to do it. The existing regulations already ensure that an electrician carries out the electrical cabling and earth testing, which is the next step in the construction process.
“Our industry recognises the need to put safety first in everything that we do. Were there a genuine electrical safety risk presented by someone bolting an unconnected solar panel to a frame, we would be a very willing partner in implementing changes to protect the safety of workers.
“However, the government has not demonstrated why this new regulation – which risks hundreds of local jobs and could bring some projects to a standstill – is even necessary.”
Ms Freeman said the large-scale solar industry is a major employer in the state of Queensland, and many proponents have worked hard to maximise employment opportunities for local communities.
“We estimate that a 100 megawatt solar farm may need to engage an additional 45 electricians to build a project. We currently have over 3200 megawatts of solar farms under construction or financially committed, which could mean as many as 1450 additional electricians needed at short notice,” she said.
“It’s unlikely that such large numbers of sparkies will be found in the small regional and rural centres where these projects are usually located. So, it will result in fewer jobs for locals on new clean energy projects, more fly-in, fly-out workers, and increased pressure on the availability of electricians throughout Queensland.
“The process followed has been rushed and poorly communicated and should have progressed through a proper regulatory impact assessment process, as per the government’s own guidelines for regulatory change.
“Other solutions which should have been considered include a system where a single licensed electrician supervises a team of workers, which is the case in the rooftop solar industry.
“We urge the Queensland Government to rethink this rushed requirement before inflicting significant and unnecessary damage on the large-scale solar industry and the thousands of regional workers whose livelihoods depend on this growing industry,” Ms Freeman said.
Source: Clean Energy Council
FRV’s Lilyvale solar plant up and running in Australia
- The solar plant will produce enough energy to supply more than 45,000 Australian homes, while avoiding the emission of 175,000 tons of CO2 per year
- FRV has invested USD 700m in Australia since 2012
- Company investing USD 900m worldwide in 2019 alone in strategy to increase installed capacity eight-fold by 2024 in projects around the world
Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), part of Abdul Latif Jameel Energy and a global leader in the development of renewable energy projects, has announced that the Lilyvale solar plant (100 MW ac) in Queensland, Australia, began production last month.
The project started producing its first Kwh of energy on March 9th and is expected to reach full capacity during the coming months after completion of the AEMO testing phase. Located in the Queensland Central Highlands region, the Lilyvale solar plant is now connected to the national power grid, generating enough power to supply a population equivalent to 45,000 homes.
This is the second large-scale solar installation of FRV in Queensland. FRV signed a PPA with Ergon Energy Retail for the full plant capacity in January 2017. The project was financed in September 2017 with a group of banks comprising the Banking Group of Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), the Bank of Tokyo and Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd (MUFG) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).
Carlo Frigerio, Managing Director of FRV in Australia, highlights the importance of this project in the generation of green energy in the country: “Australia continues to be a key market worldwide for renewable energy investments. With projects like Lilyvale, FRV is delighted to participate to the country’s ongoing energy transformation and transition to sustainability and care for the environment”
Fady Jameel, Deputy President and Vice Chairman of Abdul Latif Jameel, said: “We are proud to announce this project milestone, and to be contributing to Australia’s drive for clean energy. Australia is a strong and promising market for FRV and Abdul Latif Jameel Energy, and we see significant potential to expand investment in the years ahead, and spearhead the development of the sector in the country and further afield.
He added: “Abdul Latif Jameel Energy has committed to significantly expanding FRV’s international operations, with plans to invest USD900 million in 2019 alone, and the goal of increasing the total installed capacity of our projects around the world over eight-fold in the next five years, from 0.7 GW at the beginning of 2019 to 5.8 GW by 2024.
FRV has developed a total of six solar operating or committed projects in Australia with an accumulated investment of around USD 0.7 billion since 2012: Royalla (20 MW AC) in the Australian Capital Territory, Moree (56 MW AC) in New South Wales, Clare (100 MW AC) and Lilyvale (100MW AC) in Queensland, Goonumbla (67.8 MW AC) in New South Wales and Winton (85 MW AC) in Victoria.
Source: FRV Australia
AECOM appointed to project manager and technical advisor role on the Darlington Point Solar Farm in NSW
AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, has been appointed by Octopus Investments and Edify Energy as their project manager and technical advisor for the $450 million 333MWp Darlington Point Solar Farm, one of the largest solar projects under construction in Australia. When complete, the solar farm which consists of over 800,000 solar panels will generate enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 130,000 homes (665,000 MWh/year).
AECOM has been contracted to provide a full suite of services to support the delivery of the project including project management, contract administration, owner’s engineer, site supervision and lender’s independent technical advisor services over the entire design, construction and commissioning phases of the project.
“We are delighted that Octopus Investments has chosen AECOM to help drive the delivery of this significant project,” said Craig Bearsley, group director of AECOM’s Power and Industrial practice in New South Wales. “Our integrated offering on this project provides a great opportunity to utilise our broad technical and project management capability to support Australia’s continued transition to a more sustainable energy mix.”
The new facility will be constructed on a 1,993 hectare site adjacent to TransGrid’s Darlington Point substation at Donald Ross Drive approximately 10 kms south of the town of Darlington Point in the Murrumbidgee shire of Western New South Wales. Approximately 710 ha (7.1sq kms) is proposed to be developed for the solar farm with solar panels mounted on single axis tracking mounting systems. A power purchase agreement has been entered into with Delta Electricity for the supply of 150 MW of renewable energy.
AECOM has a strong track record of performing lead roles on a large number of renewable-energy projects, including the Darling Downs Solar Farm, Collinsville Solar Farm, Oakey Solar Farm and Mount Emerald Wind Farm in Queensland, the Ararat and Murra Warra Wind Farms in Victoria, the Gullen Solar Farm and Crookwell 2 Wind Farm in New South Wales and Willogoleche Wind Farm in South Australia.
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment granted the Development Consent for Darlington Point Solar Farm on 7 December 2018, generation is expected to start in 2020.
A referral for the CopperString Project, to connect Queensland’s North West Minerals Provence to the national grid, has been submitted to the federal government for public comment. CopperString Pty Ltd, a partnership between CuString Pty Ltd and Leighton Contractors Limited, is proposing to construct and operate a high voltage transmission line connecting the national transmission network — and the National Electricity Market (NEM) — to the standalone North West Queensland electricity supply system.
The preferred connection location is a new substation to be located on the existing Strathmore to Ross Transmission Line south of Townsville. An intermediate substation is planned to be located in the vicinity of Hughenden, with the transmission line terminating at the existing Chumvale substation near Cloncurry. This new connection transmission line will be approximately 720 kilometres long and will be designed with a voltage of not more than 330 kilovolts (kV).
The project intends to take advantage of the substantial renewable energy resources in the corridor between Townsville and Mount Isa, including the Hughenden wind resource and the western solar fields near Mount Isa. These resources complement existing renewable resources in Queensland by providing solar power later in the day (compared to solar fields located on the East Coast) and a wind profile that complements typical solar profiles.
CopperString said access to competitive power will enhance the competitiveness of the North West Mineral Province; access to the grid for a large volume of renewable resources will further drive down the cost of power in both the North West Minerals Provence and sections of North Queensland currently connected to the NEM improving the competitiveness of minerals processing in North Queensland.
Proposal for new short term forward market to help demand response and renewables manage risk and compete
The AEMC today released a consultation paper on a proposal from AEMO to introduce a short term forward market to enable participants to contract for electricity in the week leading up to dispatch.
By allowing the trading of electricity contracts closer to real time, the new AEMO-operated platform could give participants greater price certainty and more options to manage financial risks. AEMO proposes that this could particularly benefit:
- demand response providers – giving them more confidence in their offers to reduce their demand in response to high price events, and more options for managing their exposure to high spot price events
- intermittent renewable generators – so they can offer electricity contracts to the market when they have greater certainty of what they will be generating
- gas fired generators – providing short-term price certainty when purchasing gas from gas markets.
Today’s consultation paper is seeking stakeholder feedback on the proposal including:
- how is short term risk currently managed in the national electricity market, and would a short term forward market be beneficial
- what design elements should be considered as part of a short term forward market
- how significant are the implementation costs and what other implementation issues should be considered in the rule change assessment.
Submissions are due by 23 May 2019.
This work is part of the AEMC’s system security and reliability action plan.
This rule change request is based on a recommendation made by the AEMC in our 2018 Reliability frameworks review on how to integrate more demand response into the wholesale electricity market. In addition to a short term forward market, the AEMC also recommended the development of a wholesale demand response mechanism which is being progressed through a separate rule change process.
For more information see our Reliability work plan.
Cherry Tree Wind Farm
Vestas reported that the first sod was turned at Cherry Tree Wind Farm. Vestas Asia Pacific President Clive Turton was joined by Infigen Energy Chairman Len Gill, John Laing Investment Director Andy Haining, and Zenviron Director Nick Perrott, at the ceremony. Cherry Tree Wind Farm will feature 16 Vestas V136-3.6 MW wind turbines and will commerce commercial operations in early 2020.
ElectraNet welcomes Australian Energy Regulator’s final decision
ElectraNet welcomes today’s final decision by the Australian Energy Regulator to approve a new transmission line on the Eyre Peninsula.
The project involves constructing a new double-circuit 132 kV transmission line from Cultana to Port Lincoln, via Yadnarie with the ability to upgrade the Cultana to Yadnarie section to 275 kV at a later date.
ElectraNet Chief Executive, Steve Masters, said news of the project’s approval was great for the region with the new transmission line to provide Eyre Peninsula with a more reliable and secure electricity supply into the future.
“In close consultation with key stakeholders across the Eyre Peninsula, ElectraNet has been working diligently to secure regulatory approval to construct a new transmission line which delivers benefits to homeowners, businesses and the region,” Mr Masters said.
“This new line will meet the immediate supply needs of the Eyre Peninsula and will future proof the network to cater for increased capacity if and when new mining developments and renewable energy projects proceed.
“Once operational it will remove current network constraints, allowing the market to benefit from more low cost energy from existing wind farms on the Eyre Peninsula. It will also provide greater opportunities for new demand and renewable energy developments on the Eyre Peninsula.
“Throughout the project’s development we have been mindful of the need to keep costs as low as possible for customers.
“The cost of the new transmission line is fully offset by avoiding the cost of replacement works on the existing transmission line and annual generator network support payments, resulting in almost no price impact for a typical residential customer.
“The regulator’s approval of the new power line is great news for all involved and I thank everyone for their input during the project’s development and regulatory approval process.”
Following approval by the regulator, the project is still subject to receiving other relevant approvals. The new transmission line is estimated to cost approximately $240 million and works are planned to begin during 2020.
Cultana Pumped Hydro Energy Scheme
A referral for the Cultana Pumped Hydro Energy Scheme has been submitted to the federal government for public comment. EnergyAustralia and development partner Arup are proposing to build and operate a Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) project approximately 10 km south-west of Port Augusta, with the provision of supplying up to 225 MW of dispatchable electricity for around eight hours during peak demand. The proposal presents a grid scale energy storage solution - using pumped hydro technology where energy is stored in the gravitational potential of water - to address the market need for energy firming to support the growth of renewables.
Key components of the proposal include:
- An upper and lower reservoir sized to store 3.5 GL of water each
- Low permeability synthetic liners and underdrainage systems at the reservoirs to manage water seepage into the receiving environment
- Two above-ground piped penstocks between the upper and lower reservoirs, approximately 4.2 m in diameter
- A surface embedded powerhouse building housing the pump-turbines and ancillary plant, and including an operations building and staff car parking area
- A 7 ML/d single-pass Reverse Osmosis (RO) facility to produce ‘treated water’ for the system
- Continuation of buried seawater and wastewater pipelines to/from the RO facility
- A new 275 kV switchyard and overhead transmission line
- A water supply support structure extending from the shore into the Spencer Gulf
- Submersible seawater pumps mounted below the water supply support structure
- Seawater intake pipe with intake screen and outfall pipe with outlet diffuser extending into the Spencer Gulf, approximately 350-400 mm in diameter
The proposal would comprise three modes of operation: generating, pumping, and standby, and have the potential to complete up to two cycles per day, depending on the market need. During peak operation, the proposal would produce 225 MW of electricity, enough power to supply around 120,000 homes (based on average daily household energy use in South Australia).View PDF