Vicinity to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030

8 July

Vicinity Centres (Vicinity) today announced a Net Zero carbon target for its 34 wholly-owned shopping centres, to be reached through a combination of its industry-leading solar program and energy efficiencies by 2030.

The new carbon target comes as stage two of Vicinity’s $73 million solar investment program, announced in 2018, nears completion with renewable energy systems being installed across 22 shopping centres in six states.

Grant Kelley, CEO and Managing Director, Vicinity Centres said 12 rooftop solar energy systems had already been switched on, and delivered more than 5,000MWh – enough clean energy to power 850 Australian homes for a year.

“Our 2030 Net Zero carbon target will now become the centrepiece of our commitment to long-term sustainability.”

“As Australia’s second largest retail property company, we recognise the role Vicinity plays in transitioning to a low-carbon economy, and that’s why our sustainability strategy is focused on delivering outcomes that are good for our business, the community and the environment,” Mr Kelley said.

“We’re proud that Vicinity is currently the third most sustainable REIT in the world, according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. While we know there is more to do, we see our new carbon target as an opportunity to further strengthen our sustainability credentials.”

“We know our customers, communities and investors expect us to have a robust and considered plan to reduce our environmental impact, while driving efficiencies that make long term business sense,” Mr Kelley said.

Chief Strategy Officer Justin Mills said Vicinity had undertaken a portfolio-wide review of its energy consumption, which had seen innovation and improvements in lighting, air-conditioning and optimising building performance.

“Since June 2016, Vicinity’s energy efficiency program has reduced carbon emissions by 14 per cent,” Mr Mills said.

“Our Net Zero carbon target focuses on our wholly-owned centres but we’re also working closely with our co-owners and retailers to drive efficiencies and deliver shared value for our communities and the environment.”

The Net Zero carbon target is a key component of Vicinity’s sustainability strategy which focuses on shaping better communities, creating sustainable destinations of the future, and building climate resilience across the portfolio; and it aligns to Australia’s commitments under The Paris Agreement.

Source: Vicinity Centres

 

Corporate Update

8 July

Administration and Recapitalisation

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX:CCE) (Carnegie or the Company) provides the following updates to shareholders. KordaMentha Restructuring partners, Richard Tucker and John Bumbak, continue to act as Deed Administrators of Carnegie under the terms of the deed of company arrangement dated 13 May 2019 (DOCA) (refer to the ASX announcement dated 15 May 2019), approved by Carnegie’s creditors in April 2019. As outlined in the DOCA, Carnegie will, as part of a restructure and recapitalisation, undertake an entitlement offer to existing shareholders (the Offer) and, subject to the satisfaction of the ASX conditions to reinstatement, will be reinstated to trading on the ASX.

Carnegie’s management team is currently finalising a prospectus in respect to the Offer (Prospectus) and progressing relevant agreements pursuant to the DOCA with key stakeholders. The Offer (including dispatch of the Prospectus to existing shareholders) is anticipated to occur later this month and Carnegie looks forward to engaging with shareholders about the future of the Company.

A shareholder meeting will also be held prior to the close of the Offer to obtain necessary shareholder approvals to effectuate the DOCA. Following effectuation of the DOCA (including completion of the Offer), Carnegie will return to its original focus of development of its 100% owned patented CETO wave energy technology (CETO) by adopting a less capital-intensive development approach.

Carnegie has reduced its operating costs through reduced staff and overhead costs. The team has recently relocated to Carnegie’s wave energy research facility in North Fremantle and continues operating, within the constraints of the administration process. Subsidiary company, Energy Made Clean Pty Ltd (EMC) has been placed into liquidation and Carnegie (and by extension its shareholders) will no longer have any economic exposure to the EMC business.

CETO Wave Energy Technology Development

Over the last few months, the Carnegie team has continued pursuing several key CETO innovation opportunities previously identified through internal analysis and design. The team is also finalising a clear development pathway for commercialisation of the CETO technology which will be outlined in the Prospectus.

Garden Island Microgrid

The Garden Island Microgrid recently received approval to operate from Western Power and the Department of Defence is now completing its final review. Once the Department of Defence issues its approval to commence operations, the Garden Island Microgrid system will be formally switched on and will commence generating clean renewable energy for HMAS Stirling (and will produce revenue for Carnegie).

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

NEW PROJECT

Marsden Point Solar Farm

Location: Marsden Point, Northland NZ

Capacity: 26 MW

Developer: Refining NZ

Estimated cost: $36-39mil

Status: Refining NZ board to assess if the project is economically viable

Description: The 31-hectare solar farm is planned on land adjacent to Refining NZ’s Marsden Point refinery to supply it with renewable electricity. The facility would allow Refining NZ to reduce its electricity costs, which is one of its biggest costs. Early work shows that the solar farm would reduce the cost of the refinery's electricity consumption and have a positive impact on shareholder value.

Contact: Mike Fuge

Chief Executive

Refining NX

Tel: +64 9 432 8311

Email: corporate@refiningnz.com

 

Have your say on the new Energy-from-Waste policy for Queensland

8 July

Queenslanders are being invited to have their say on an Energy-from-Waste policy discussion paper that has been released today.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said as Queensland fights the war on waste, finding alternative uses for waste is becoming more important than ever.

“The discussion paper, released today, is giving Queenslanders a chance to contribute to the development of a new policy, provide feedback on the types of technologies and help us plan for the future,” Ms Enoch said.

“The paper is an important action under the government’s new waste strategy, released last week.

“Converting waste to energy should not be considerd as an alternative to recycling. Avoiding and reducing waste should always be the most preferable option as a long-term solution, followed by reusing and recycling waste.

“However, recovering energy from waste is suitable for waste that cannot be recycled, and would otherwise be destined for landfill.”

Ms Enoch said the Government’s waste strategy outlined priorities and actions to help grow the recycling and resource recovery sector, while reducing the amount of waste ending up in landfill.

“We have set ambitious targets to recover 90% of the waste we generate by 2050 and recycle at least 75% of this waste,” she said.

“But we acknowledge that some wastes cannot be recycled, and it is better to retain the value of these wastes by recovering energy than it is to dispose of them to landfill.

“This is all part of our broader transition to a circular economy.”

Rick Ralph, Executive Officer of Waste Recycling Industry Queensland, said WRIQ and its members welcome the release of the new waste strategy.

“Energy from Waste will play an important role in helping to achieve the objectives and targets of the strategy,” he said.

“The release of the energy from waste discussion paper is a step in the right direction.

“Industry looks forward to having this discussion with the government in this important initiative.”

Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) CEO Gayle Sloan said WMRR welcomed the release of Queensland’s draft Energy from Waste policy for community consultation.

“WMRR believes Energy from Waste is a vital part of a sustainable waste and resource recovery system, playing a key role in managing residual waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

“Energy from Waste complements recycling and is part of a move towards a circular economy. Its technologies are also proven globally, with more than 2,000 Energy from Waste facilities operating safely across the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, many having operated for decades.

“We look forward to working with the Queensland Government to leverage the technical expertise of our industry to develop a policy that promotes investment in, and growth of, an integrated waste management and resource recovery system that includes Energy from Waste.”

The discussion paper is available online: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/energy-waste

It is open for public consultation until 26 August.

The new Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy can be found here: https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/strategy

Source: Queensland Government

 

JinkoSolar supplies 95MW of monocrystalline solar panels for the Tailem Bend Solar Project in Australia

8 July

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (JKS) ("JinkoSolar" or the "Company") (NYSE: JKS), one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, today announced that it has supplied 95 MW of highly-efficient monocrystalline solar panels to Vena Energy Australia, an independent power producer with shareholders including Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and China Investment Corp., (CIC), for use in the Tailem Bend Solar Project (the "Project"). 

Located in Adelaide, Australia, the Project was connected to the grid earlier this year and began generating power in February 2019. The Project is expected to meet the electrical needs of 40,000 homes by generating 200,000 MWh of renewable energy per year. It is also one of the first large-scale solar projects to begin generating power in South Australia.

JinkoSolar's Cheetah technology and half-cell module configuration offer a significant boost in power generation at a lower price. The 290-300Wp 120 half-cell (60 regular cells cut in half) mono module's performance is comparable to that of a common monocrystalline PERC module but is far more affordable. In addition, JinkoSolar's PID-free series reduce hot-spots and lower losses under shading conditions which strengthens their reliability and performance ratio in different environments.

"We are honored to have been chosen by Vena Energy Australia to supply solar panels for this project," said Ms. Anita Li, General Manager of ROA. "JinkoSolar's panels generate competitively priced energy, offer high levels of reliability and are proven to generate power consistently over the long-term. Supported by our industry-leading technology and quality, the panels installed at the Tailem Bend Solar Project are expected to generate power efficiently for a quarter century or more."

"JinkoSolar's technology, performance, and reliability made them the ideal partner for this project," commented Anil Nangia, Managing Director of Vena Energy. "Their mature and proven technologies were developed with grid parity in mind and can be reliably integrated into their GW-level manufacturing capabilities. We look forward to deepening our relationship with JinkoSolar and working with them on more projects in the future."

Source: Jinko Solar

 

PROJECT NEWS

White Rock Wind Farm 2

The federal Department of the Environment & Planning has extended the time in which to make a decision on Goldwind Australia/ CECEP Wind Power’s proposed 202 MW White Rock Wind Farm stage 2, 20km west of Glen Innes in northern NSW. The relevant period in which the Minister must make a decision whether or not to approve the controlled action is now extended to 24 December 2019.

 

EnergyAustralia commits to Lithgow region with Mt Piper upgrades

8 July

EnergyAustralia today announced it will invest more than $80 million in operational upgrades at its Mt Piper power station near Lithgow to expand the plant’s capacity by 60 megawatts, or enough electricity to power an additional 55,000 New South Wales homes.

EnergyAustralia Managing Director, Catherine Tanna, said the work involved replacing the majority of the internal componentry of the plant’s two 700 MW-capacity turbines. The project would be completed in 2020 and 2021, allowing each unit to provide 30 MW of additional power without having to burn more coal.

"Last year the community celebrated 25 years of Mt Piper providing reliable power to homes and businesses across New South Wales," Ms Tanna said. "Now we’re investing $80 million to help make sure the plant is around for another quarter century, and it’s as efficient as it can possibly be.

"The upgrade means Mt Piper will be able to power an additional 55,000 homes without burning a single, additional lump of coal," she said.

Mt Piper’s nameplate generation capacity of 1400 MW is enough to supply 15 per cent of New South Wales’ electricity demand. It also supports system stability and complements intermittent forms of electricity like wind and solar as these new sources of power are integrated into a modern energy system.

"This is an incredibly important energy asset for New South Wales and the local Lithgow community so we are doing everything in our power to ensure it continues to operate in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way," Ms Tanna said.

Today, the power station provides direct and in-direct jobs for around 250 people and contributes around $40 million each year to the local economy. The turbine upgrades will increase economic activity in the Lithgow region during the upgrades with around 100 workers expected to contribute to the project.

With the closure of the Liddell Power Station expected in 2022, this is one of many investments that will be needed to replace it.

"For EnergyAustralia and other companies, competing to replace Liddell is a big opportunity, one we’re looking forward to. We think the answer lies in a mix of renewables, gas, coal and transmission upgrades. A modern energy system, with a diversity of supply, will strengthen energy security, while providing clean and affordable power to New South Wales," Ms Tanna said.

Toshiba International Corporation Pty. Ltd.(TIC), the Australian subsidiary of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) which has extensive international experience with energy technology, has been selected to carry out the upgrade works.

Takao Konishi, Director and Senior Vice President of the Power Systems Div. at Toshiba ESS said, "We are proud to be part of this project that will provide greater reliability in power supply. We will continue to contribute to supplying a clean and reliable source of power for New South Wales by providing our advanced technology and excellent performance of our works."

The turbine upgrades are just one of the ongoing investments EnergyAustralia is making to secure the long future of Mt Piper.

The company in partnership with Centennial Coal is also investing in a new $200 million water treatment facility to treat mine water from the Springvale coal mine and enable its industrial re-use in the cooling system of Mount Piper. Long-term sustainable operation of the power station will deliver environmental benefits to the local rivers and waterways.

In addition, EnergyAustralia is investigating rail transport options to diversify coal supply to the power station. Historically, there were six local mines capable of supplying Mount Piper. Now there’s just one – Springvale – and it is facing a series of operational and planning challenges.

Mt Piper was commissioned in stages over 1992 and 1993. Today the plant comprises two 700 MW coal-fired steam turbines. It draws its cooling water from Lyell Dam and Thompsons Creek Dam, both of which were specifically built to supply water to the power station.

Source: EnergyAustralia

 

PGF invests in game changing initiatives for Bay of Plenty

8 July

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest in two pioneering business proposals for New Zealand, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today in the Bay of Plenty.

Geo40 Limited will receive $15 million from the PGF, made up of a loan and convertible note, to build and operate a large scale extraction plant at the Ohaaki geothermal site near Taupo, while Eco Gas Limited Partnerships will receive a $7 million loan to build a demonstration biogas plant in Reporoa.

“The technology developed by New Zealand company Geo40 is a world first that enables silica to be extracted from fluids that have been used to generate geothermal electricity. Once the silica is extracted, the geothermal water is returned to the reservoir,” Shane Jones said.

“The extracted silica will be exported for use in products overseas, such as paint, concrete and paper making. There’s been a lot of overseas interest in both the technology and the product.

“Geo40 has already invested in research and development by constructing a small commercial demonstration silica removal plant in Ohaaki. The new plant will be seven times bigger, with PGF funding going towards the plant’s commissioning and construction. The extraction process could also be extended to other geothermal plants.

“The PGF is investing in this initiative because it has the potential to strengthen New Zealand’s position in the geothermal and mineral extraction industries worldwide. It will create permanent, high-skilled jobs locally, as well as bring in export earnings that will have a flow on effect in the local community. Up to seventy jobs will be created during the construction of the plant, with up to thirty full-time roles created once the plant and its planned expansion is fully operational.”

Support for Eco Gas to build a full-scale demonstration biogas plant will see energy, carbon dioxide and nutrients recovered from some of the 327,000 tonnes of food waste that goes to landfills each year in New Zealand.

“Biogas plants are common overseas, particularly in Europe, but this will be the first waste-to-energy plant of this scale in New Zealand. The biogas produced can be used for fuel, and could help achieve our carbon emission targets.

“If it proves commercially successful, it has the potential to act as catalyst for others being set up in regions nationwide.”

The proposed Reporoa Organic Waste Recovery Facility will be built on two hectares of land owned by T&G Global (formerly Turners and Growers), adjacent to their tomato glasshouse operation. T&G Global will buy the renewable energy from EcoGas and also supply its own organic wastes.

“The facility will take more than 20,000 tonnes of organic food waste a year from major local food manufacturers such as dairy factories, commercial bakeries, cool stores, milk sheds and fruit grading facilities to convert into biogas.

“These initiatives are consistent with the Government’s plan to build our productivity, by embracing innovative projects which have significant potential to deliver both economic and environmental benefits. It’s great that the regions can be at the forefront of this,” Shane Jones said.

Source: NZ Government

 

PROJECT NEWS

St Patricks Plains Wind Farm

Community Information Day

Epuron is developing a wind farm in the Central Highlands and is about to begin the planning process. We have spoken to Central Highlands Council – the planning authority, and lodged a Notice of Intent with the Environment Protection Authority Tasmania. We are also making a referral under the Commonwealth EPBC Act.

This lodgement will result in the EPA issuing draft Project Specific Guidelines to detail the requirements for our planning and environmental studies. These Guidelines will be advertised and put on public exhibition in the coming weeks, providing the opportunity for anyone to make a submission.

The preliminary layout of the wind farm was sent to the EPA. We know that some of those locations will change as we identify areas to avoid or where we need to minimise impacts.

We are holding a community information day at the Steppes Hall on Sunday 4th August from 10:00am to 2:00pm where we will have maps and information about the proposed wind farm. Representatives from Epuron, and our planning specialist, will attend.

We invite you to come and tell us about any concerns you may have.

Community Consultation and Engagement

We have spoken to and met with residents, shack owners, house owners and landowners in the area.

A number of issues have been raised. These include:

  • Impacts to hunting activities
  • Impacts to the fishing experience
  • Impacts to Eagles
  • Noise impacts
  • Visual impacts to neighbours and to the gateway to the Great Lakes.

Our aim is to be proactive, transparent and to understand, and where possible address, concerns raised by the community.

This project has the potential to bring benefits including construction and ongoing jobs, spending in the area and once the wind farm is operational a Community Fund to support local community initiatives.

Please contact us to register your address, email or phone details so we can keep you updated.

We look forward to working with the community to maximise the benefits and to minimise the impacts of the project for near neighbours.

Source: Epuron

 

Funding to flow towards new pipeline of Queensland hydrogen projects

9 July

Applications are now open for the Palaszczuk Government’s $15 million Hydrogen Industry Development Fund, which will support sustainable and renewable hydrogen projects across the state.

Speaking from the 16th annual BIO World Congress in Des Moines, Iowa, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the investment will help create new job and export opportunities.

“Queensland is recognised as a nation leader when it comes to bioenergy policies and growing sustainable energy industries like hydrogen,” Mr Dick said.

“Our state is open for investment, which is why the Palaszczuk Government is eager to invest in the local businesses and projects driving our hydrogen revolution.

“Over the next four years, the Palaszczuk Government will invest $15 million to support the development of renewable hydrogen projects in Queensland.

“The Hydrogen Industry Development Fund is part of our recently released Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019-2024, and will help position Queensland at the forefront of renewable hydrogen production in Australia by 2030.”

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett, also in Des Moines for the BIO World Congress, said the development fund was another positive step forward for the diversified energy industry in Central Queensland.

“Our region has substantial strategic advantages when it comes to new energy sources like hydrogen and gas,” Cr Burnett said.

“Initiatives like this fund are crucial to growing a sustainable hydrogen industry in Queensland, and will lead to more regional employment opportunities and better economic outcomes.”

Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government wants to see Queensland become a hydrogen exporter of choice to the world.

“With our solar, wind and biomass resources, existing gas pipeline infrastructure and first-class export facilities, Queensland is the perfect place to grow a renewable hydrogen industry,” he said.

“Our government is working hard to drive this industry forward, to create more local jobs, especially in our regions, and a stronger state economy.”

Following this expressions-of-interest period for the fund, shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a detailed application.

Applications for the Hydrogen Industry Development Fund close 21 August 2019.

For more information, visit dsdmip.qld.gov.au/hydrogen.

Source: Queensland Government

 

NEW PROJECT

Benger Solar Farm

Location: ~15km south of Harvey and 20km NE of Bunbury in WA

Capacity: 100 MW AC

Developer: South Energy

LGA: Harvey Shire

Expected cost: $150mil

Status: Community consultation started

Description: The project site spans across ~ 187 hectares of land which has already been predominantly cleared and the surface is mostly even. High voltage electricity infrastructure is close by and facilitates straightforward connection to the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) via the SWIS grid. Single-axis tracking to be used. The project is expected to commence construction in 2020, requiring at least 250 workers, with full operation in 2022.

Contact: South Energy

Tel: (03) 8842 6888

Email: info@southenergy.com.au

Website: https://bengersolar.com.au/

 

Renewable energy founder dinner

Application Dates: 9 Jul, 2019 12AM - 25 Aug, 2019 11PM

Event Dates: 8 Oct, 2019 5PM - 8 Oct, 2019 9PM

Website: http://www.innovationbay.com

Location: Sydney NSW, Australia

The Renewable Energy Founder Dinner, in partnership with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will shine a spotlight on Australia's rapidly-growing renewable energy industry, highlight local insights and global trends, and showcase some of the country's best emerging startups in the sector.

Innovation Bay passionately believes in supporting founders who are building businesses that will not only shape the future of our economy, but the future of our environment. The majority of the world’s energy is still produced from coal, oil, and natural gas; however, Australia expects to see a rapid increase in renewable energy technologies with over 80% of total electricity generation estimated to be delivered by renewables by 2040.  We’re even seeing commercial businesses take a proactive stance in transitioning to renewable energy, such as Atlassian committing to 100% renewable electricity by 2025. 

Our aim for this Founder Dinner, with ARENA’s support, is to help provide funding, connections and opportunities for local startups that are building unique solutions in the renewable energy space. We’re looking for startups that are making a real impact in creating more affordable, accessible and reliable renewable energy.

If this sounds like you, this is your opportunity to present to an audience of 'difference makers' — sector-interested investors and corporates that can advise, make introductions, and potentially provide funding to help you grow your venture. 

Selected founders will be invited to present to a curated group of investors, and will have five minutes to pitch followed by three minutes of question and answers. You will all be treated to a three-course dinner where you'll have the chance to meet, mingle and spark conversations with investors in the room. Throughout the night you'll move around the room to chat with different people, and after the event, we can assist with any further introductions you might find valuable.

To date, Innovation Bay has helped startups raise over $40 million in funding, get expert advice and make valuable connections to supercharge their growth. Innovation Bay does not take a clip, we do not charge entrepreneurs, we simply promote, support and connect. 

ARENA provides grant funding for innovative projects to accelerate Australia’s shift to renewable energy. Since its inception in 2012, ARENA has invested over $1.3 billion in 469 projects leveraging over $3.8 billion in private investment across a range of renewable energy technologies.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity & apply!

Source: CoVentured

 

Increased storage and transmission to facilitate a resilient energy future

10 July

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has today released an Insights paper that provides new perspectives and deeper analysis on the important role pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) and strategic transmission developments can play in lowering costs to consumers and increasing the resilience of the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The inaugural 2018 Integrated System Plan (ISP) articulated the lowest cost and risk transition pathway for Australia’s energy system. It highlighted the importance of optimising future investments in new generation and networks while taking full advantage of new consumer technologies such as rooftop solar, demand response and electric vehicles. The purpose of this Insights paper is to provide a deeper analysis into the role of storage, including Snowy 2.0 and Battery of the Nation (BoTN) projects, and evaluate how storage can improve the resilience of the system and reduce costs for consumers. 

The Insights paper incorporates evolved modelling of storage diversity and weather variability. It finds that when renewable energy availability is low, long-term storage such as Snowy 2.0 and BoTN deliver higher fuel costs savings than short-term solutions. Conversely, shallow developments with six-to-eight hours storage potential are the most valuable in providing intra-day and day-ahead energy shifting, complementing generation from utility-scale and rooftop solar systems. Distributed storage (batteries) with shorter discharge times will also play a critical role, providing value through capacity firming to support the grid at peak times. 

“The NEM has to manage the increasing variability of both supply and demand from changing weather patterns, consumer behaviours, growing variable renewable generation and declining reliability of existing generators,” said Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ms Audrey Zibelman. 

“AEMO’s in depth analysis confirms the important role of energy storage to build power system resilience, improve reliability and to put downward pressure on wholesale costs. An example in the paper outlines that one week’s storage in Snowy 2.0 in 2030-31 saves approximately $86 million more on average in fuel costs, compared to the equivalent storage capacity with only six hours storage,” said Ms Zibelman. 

“By 2030, wind and solar generators, including consumer rooftop systems, are expected to represent approximately 50% of the NEM’s installed generation and storage capacity, generating over 40% of energy consumed. It is critical we advance the required transmission infrastructure to support the integration of these new resources to ultimately deliver secure, reliable and affordable energy for Australians,” said Ms Zibelman. 

The Insights paper identified specific intra and inter-regional transmission investment to connect pumped hydro storage options with consumers. Within New South Wales (NSW), an increase in the transfer capability of the network between the Snowy region and Sydney would maximise the reliability and resilience benefits of Snowy 2.0 at the lowest costs for NSW consumers following the closure of the Liddell Power Station in 2022. 

Inter-regionally, expanding the transfer capability between the Snowy area, North West Victoria and Melbourne would maximise the benefits of Snowy 2.0 for Victorian consumers ahead of any further coal-fired generation closures in the State. The increase of transfer capability between Tasmania and Victoria could also deliver benefits, allowing additional renewable generation and storage capability to be exported to the mainland. 

“Transmission augmentations require significant planning, community consultation, and economic cost-benefit analysis in the form of the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) to ensure investments are in the best interest of all consumers.

“However, recent independent analysis conducted by Aurora Energy Research concluded an approximate $3.8b potential reduction in power bills if developments proposed in AEMO’s ISP were implemented, predominantly through increases in competition and market efficiency via additional interconnection investment. 

“AEMO is working closely with the Energy Security Board and fellow market bodies to develop a package of changes to the National Electricity Rules to convert the ISP into an actionable national strategic plan. A key objective is to enable projects identified in the ISP to undergo a streamlined RIT-T and regulatory approval process that builds on the detailed cost benefit analysis undertaken as part of the ISP,” said Ms Zibelman. 

The findings of this Insights paper are consistent with the recently released Victorian Annual Planning Report, which highlighted the growth and geographical diversity of renewable generation resources shifting away from traditional resource locations, and in turn presenting strong locational signals for investment. 

The 2019-20 Integrated System Plan is due to be released in mid-2020, with stakeholder consultation ongoing, and subsequent Insights papers to precede this publication as required. 

The complete Insights paper, titled ‘Building power system resilience with pumped hydro energy storage’, can be accessed here

Source: AEMO

 

AEMO outlines transmission’s role in the future grid

10 July

Energy Networks Australia has welcomed the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) recognition in today’s Insights paper on the importance of transmission to support our transforming system.

The paper is a supplement to the 2018 Integrated System Plan (ISP) and identifies transmission investments needed to connect pumped hydro storage options with customers in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Energy Networks Australia Acting Chief Executive Officer Tamatha Smith said that around the world, the logical response to growing levels of renewable generation was to create a more connected system.

“Transmission is our electricity superhighway and more strategically placed transmission means more power can reach more customers with greater reliability,” Ms Smith said.

“Coordinated investments in transmission and interconnections between states will ensure electricity from new generation can be shared across the National Electricity Market.

“This will support better reliability and system security as coal-fired power stations retire and put downward pressure on wholesale prices, which means lower bills for customers.”

Snowy Hydro 2.0 in NSW and the Battery of the Nation Project in Tasmania offer significant potential for storage and electricity generation but will require new transmission links to unlock their full potential.

“The priority for network businesses is to keep costs for customers as low as possible while ensuring new generation can be integrated into the electricity system efficiently,” Ms Smith said.

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

“As highlighted by AEMO, it will be important the projects identified in the ISP and Insights paper are progressed in a timely manner. It also is important that we have regulatory and policy certainty to support the investment required.”

Source: Energy Networks Australia

 

Construction works have commenced for the 132 MWdc Merredin Solar Farm

10 July

Bulk earthworks to prepare the site for installation of the solar panels and substation equipment are well under way.

The substation installation is progressing with equipment foundations being poured, the installation of the control room and erection of the gantry. High voltage wires to connect the substation to Western Power’s Merredin Terminus have been strung and will be energised once the substation and farm are substantially complete.

Fencing of the site has commenced. Site construction amenities and the solar farm road network are being established. Pile driving testing has resumed to check ground conditions for installation of the tracker system that is required to mount the solar panels onto their fixed structures.

Equipment delivery of the 360,000 solar panels and trackers is expected early July.  This will be followed by pile driving from late July and then tracker assembly and mounting of the panels.

“There will be an increase in traffic with equipment deliveries from Fremantle.  With the location of the Merredin solar farm to the west of Merredin, it is anticipated there will be no increase in heavy traffic in the town as access to the site will be from Robertson Road.  There may be turning traffic at the intersection of Robartson Road and the highway” said Andrew Owen, Renewable Development Manager, Risen Energy (Australia).

The Merredin Solar Farm is working closely with the Shire of Merredin to deliver the approvals for the Merredin Solar Farm project and will continue to liaise with the Council and government agencies to ensure these requirements are satisfied.

Risen Energy (Australia) is developing the Merredin Solar Farm, the largest solar farm committed to construction in Western Australia.  Once completed the solar farm will have an expected output of 281GWh of electricity annually, generating enough green energy to power approximately 42,000 Western Australian homes.

The Merredin Solar Farm is located on 460ha of former farming and grazing country adjacent to the Western Power Merredin Terminal and will connect to this facility at 220kV.

Full construction of the solar installation will continue through to mid-late 2019. Merredin Solar Farm will commission and commence power sales in Q4 2019.

“As owners of the Merredin Solar Farm project, Risen Energy (Australia) will progress the project from detailed engineering design, through construction, commissioning and ultimately the operation of the solar farm.  We are using our latest PV panel technology to allow it 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 Eric Lee, General Manager Risen Energy (Australia).

The Merredin Solar Farm will endeavour to use as many local resources as is possible including labour, equipment, contractors and accommodation. At the height of construction, it is estimated that 230 personnel will be working on the solar farm site.

Local businesses are benefitting from this work in the area including Merredin Freight Liner, Merredin Concrete and CWC Civil.  22 houses are currently being rented to accommodate the solar farm personnel.

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

Source: Risen Energy

 

The Hydrogen Utility joins Iron Road in Cape Hardy development

11 July

Agreement creates pathway for Australia’s first green credentialed manufacturing and export complex

Highlights

- Heads of Agreement and Project Development Accord introduces foundation partner, The Hydrogen Utility, to green manufacturing precinct at the Cape Hardy port development.

- The Hydrogen Utility to build large-scale green hydrogen production and export hub.

- Complements existing partnership between Iron Road and Eyre Peninsula Cooperative Bulk Handling (EPCBH) to export grains from freight advantaged location for the region’s growers.

- Underscores the strategic value of the Cape Hardy site to unlock regional growth opportunities currently constrained by the lack of modern and efficient port infrastructure in South Australia.

- Engagement with potential CEIP investors on the recently revised and lower risk iron ore project delivery model continues. Lower capital hurdle and more efficient mine plan has driven greater value and optionality for an advanced, high grade iron concentrate development opportunity.

Iron Road Limited (Iron Road, ASX: IRD) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a Heads of Agreement and Project Development Accord (the Agreement) with The Hydrogen UtilityTM (H2U), an Australian hydrogen infrastructure developer and renewable energy integrator. Iron Road and H2U will work collectively to develop the green manufacturing precinct at Cape Hardy.

With support under the South Australian Government’s Renewable Technology Fund (RTF), H2U expects to commence site development of the ‘Green Hydrogen and Ammonia Supply Chain Demonstrator’, a distributed electrolysis and ammonia production facility early next year at nearby Port Lincoln. Cape Hardy was identified by H2U as the preferred location for future development of a larger green hydrogen production and export hub. In addition to technical investigations to be undertaken by H2U, the new 200 hectare green manufacturing precinct will now be incorporated into the Master Plan for the 1100 hectare Cape Hardy site. H2U and Iron Road will also jointly develop a commercialisation pathway and engage with synergistic investors.

Iron Road Managing Director, Mr Andrew Stocks, noted that the Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP) will unlock significant benefits well beyond the project’s mining and ore processing operations.

“The Cape Hardy deep water port proposal is a true multi-user, multi-commodity model, unlike anything else proposed in the Country. This was a key driver of Infrastructure Australia’s positive business case evaluation and subsequent recognition of the port as a Priority Project for the nation. With EPCBH and H2U, we are catering for mineral, agricultural, and clean energy exports.

“The unique location, and scale of the Cape Hardy industrial port development, offers the opportunity to grow a green manufacturing precinct without impacting an adjacent population centre.

“Unlocking the port potential is also expected to have a positive impact on investment discussions for the wider Central Eyre Iron Project development.

“We welcome the addition of H2U and look forward to working with their team, EPCBH and others to advance this exciting project,” Mr Stocks said.

H2U CEO, Dr Attilio Pigneri said that the green manufacturing precinct will seek to satisfy the growing world demand for decarbonised industrial products and energy.

“The Hydrogen infrastructure to be built at Cape Hardy, integrated with the world-class renewable energy resource on the Eyre Peninsula positions the region to grow exports as the markets for decarbonised energy and industrial chemicals in North Asia grow.

“This provides an enormous opportunity for further manufacturing industries to develop and value add to the agricultural, mineral and energy resources of the Peninsula. It opens up an entirely new, green manufacturing precinct for South Australia to grow the regional and State economy and employment,” Dr Pigneri said.

The Agreement with H2U is complementary to the existing agreement with famers’ cooperative, EPCBH, where the parties are working together to develop a new grain supply chain network utilising the facilities at Cape Hardy. The rapidly changing nature of grain consolidation and collection in the region has once again highlighted the importance of an alternative grains export pathway. EPCBH’s Chair Mr Bruce Heddle said that EPCBH was pleased to see the Cape Hardy precinct open to a new industry.

“Cape Hardy will provide an important alternate route to market for produce grown by the region’s 700 farming families. We welcome the incorporation of the green manufacturing precinct at Cape Hardy and look forward to working with H2U to explore the potential distribution of locally produced ammonia.

“This announcement provides an interesting backdrop and optimism in contrast to the current situation where we have seen grain infrastructure closures and resulting loss of flexibility,” Mr Heddle said.

Regional Development Australia, Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) is a strong advocate for the project. CEO, Mr Dion Dorward, commented that the agreements are proactively supported by RDAWEP’s strategy to diversify the region’s economy, be globally competitive and improve energy and freight supply chains.

Central Eyre Iron Project Update

Engagement with investors and potential project partners on the less capital intensive and lower risk revised CEIP delivery model continues. Mr Stocks added, “While the stock market continues to have little appetite for development projects that require a significant financing, we remain encouraged by levels of engagement shown by certain parties with respect to reassessing the value proposition and optionality for an advanced, high grade iron concentrate development opportunity.”

Source: Iron Road

 

NAIF approves Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project investment

11 July

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) Board has made an Investment Decision to offer finance to Genex’s Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro) through the provision of a long-term concessional NAIF debt facility for up to $610 million (Debt Facility).

Since Genex first announced the involvement of NAIF in the Company’s K2-Hydro, Genex has worked closely with the NAIF management team to complete the due diligence required for the NAIF Board to consider an Investment Proposal (refer ASX announcement 20 June 2018).

The financial close process for K2-Hydro is advancing rapidly with the Genex Board confident that it will be in a position to reach financial close in the third quarter of this year following the recent succession of significant positive announcements for this project including:

- Signing of a term sheet with EnergyAustralia for a long-term energy storage services agreement and equity investment (refer ASX announcement 20 December 2018);

- Commencement of an early works programme surrounding the hydraulic design and related activity for the hydro turbines (refer ASX announcement 15 February 2019);

- Receipt of final environment approvals (refer ASX announcement 8 April 2019);

- A$25M share subscription agreement and technical services agreement with J-Power (refer ASX announcement 6 June 2019), for which this NAIF Investment Decision is a key condition precedent; and

- AEMO GPS Approval (refer ASX announcement 14 June 2019)

NAIF’s Investment Decision is subject to the responsible Federal Minister’s legislative consideration period. NAIF’s Financial assistance to the Project is also subject to a number of conditions including the finalisation of the Queensland Government’s consideration of the project and its agreement for the approved funds to be advanced.

In commenting on the NAIF Board’s Investment Decision, James Harding, CEO of Genex said:

The decision by the NAIF Board in providing its Investment Decision approval is a further indication of the significance of Genex’s K2-Hydro project for northern Australia. We have been gaining momentum with this project over the last few months and are confident that, given the status of discussions with the various relevant stakeholders in the project, Genex will be in a position to reach financial close before 30 September this year.

Ms Laurie Walker, CEO of NAIF, also commenting on today’s announcement said:

“The Kidston Project investment represents just over 12% of NAIF’s total $5 billion facility. Energy storage facilities have a significant role to play in Australia’s transition to a low emissions, low cost energy future. The project will provide Far North Queensland with 250MW of firm, dispatchable energy, improving energy reliability while lowering transmission losses and electricity prices. The conditional support NAIF provided to the Project last year acted as a catalyst bringing confidence to Genex’s investment which unlocked other support for the project, helping move the project forward.

Over 500 jobs will be created during the construction of this project and associated infrastructure. NAIF has a vital role in delivering infrastructure, creating jobs, growth and public benefit in northern Australia.”

Source: Genex Power

 

GAS-TESS now an embedded generator on NEM

11 July

GAS-TESS now an embedded generator on NEM

– 1414 Degrees’ GAS-TESS is operating as an embedded generator on the National Electricity Market (NEM)

– Electrical energy can now be exported and sold to SA Water

– Heat energy continues to be supplied to SA Water site

SA Power Networks (SAPN) has officially recognised the 1414 Degrees GAS-TESS as an embedded generator, allowing it to connect into the distribution grid supplying SA Water’s Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant. The electricity will be sold to power the site until SA Water obtains an export licence.

The GAS-TESS has been returning heat energy in the form of hot water to the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant since 25 May. The pilot project has also been exporting electricity to the site for test purposes, allowing our team to refine operational processes and procedures in the lead up to approval of the SAPN connection.

Financial settlements under the commercial arrangement with SA Water will commence once SA Water has commissioned metering equipment measuring the gas supplied to heat the GAS-TESS. This will initiate first revenues for the 1414 Degrees storage solution.

Approval as an embedded generator on the NEM is important for 1414 Degrees’ plan to connect its electrically charged TESS-IND to the NEM, storing and regenerating renewable electricity on the network in preparation for earning revenue from grid scale operation.

Source: 1414 Degrees

 

PROJECT NEWS

Asian Renewable Energy Hub

The Asian Renewable Energy Hub project in the Pilbara region of WA has increased in scale, with up to 15GW to be delivered in phases. The planned capacity was increased from +11 GW generation consisting of +7.5 GW of wind turbines and +3.5 GW of solar PV arrays, generating +40 TWh of energy per annum. More than half of the power is to be allocated for existing and new energy users in the Pilbara - including mines, mineral processing and anticipated large scale production of green hydrogen - with significant generation retained for direct export to South East Asia via 3000MW HVDC subsea electrical cables.

 

TECHNOLOGY

Solar power system that works at night a renewable energy game-changer

11 July

An innovative thermal battery being developed by Curtin University researchers will be key to a solar power system capable of producing electricity overnight, rivalling fossil fuels as a viable source of power for commercial and heavy industries around the world, including mining operations.

Curtin is collaborating with international renewable energy companies United Sun Systems and ITP Thermal on the potentially game-changing project, which is being led by Professor Craig Buckley from Curtin’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences.

Professor Craig Buckley said the thermal battery was part of the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) system being developed by United Sun Systems, which requires a battery to store and release energy to enable non-stop solar power generation.

“Storage has long been a stumbling point for renewable energy but our prototype thermal battery is able to store and, as required, release solar energy without reliance on sunlight at all times,” Professor Buckley said.

“The battery uses a high-temperature metal hydride or metal carbonate as the heat storage medium and a low temperature gas storage vessel for storing the hydrogen or carbon dioxide.

“At night, and in times of cloud cover, hydrogen or carbon dioxide is released from the gas storage vessel and absorbed by the higher temperature metal to form a metal hydride/metal carbonate, which produces heat used to generate electricity.”

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Chris Moran said the project aimed to develop a solar power system that produced electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week and was commercially viable for industry.

“As with the lithium battery systems that Curtin is also developing, the deployment of a cost-effective energy storage system using thermal batteries will revolutionise the landscape of renewable energy production world-wide by allowing renewables to truly compete with fossil fuels,” Professor Moran said.

“While a lithium battery stores electrical energy that can be used to provide electricity when the sun is not shining, this thermal battery stores heat from concentrated solar thermal, which can be used when the sun is not shining to run a turbine to produce electricity.”

The research aims to develop new technology to integrate thermochemical energy storage via a thermal battery into a dish-Stirling system.

A dish-Stirling system can provide up to 46 kW of power and is ideal for powering remote energy intensive industries such as mine sites due to it providing power on demand and as required. Several dishes can be deployed depending on the power requirements of the site.

The research project ‘Thermal Battery Development for Concentrated Solar Power Systems’ was awarded $1 million by the Federal Government through the Global Innovation Linkages Program.

Source: Curtin University

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