Remote power generation provider Zenith Energy lists  on ASX

5 May

Zenith Energy Ltd completed successful IPO to raise $25mil via 50mil shares valued at $0.50 each and list on the ASX.

The following is an excerpt from Zenith’s prospectus: Zenith Energy and its subsidiaries, (including Zenith Pacific Pty Ltd (Zenith Pacific)) (together, Zenith) provide reliable, cost-effective power generation solutions, primarily for clients operating in the resources and energy sectors in remote areas of Australia. Clients are typically operating in locations that are “off-grid”, i.e. not connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM) or the South West Interconnected Systems (SWIS).

Zenith designs, constructs and manages power generation facilities incorporating a range of fuel types, including diesel, natural gas, solar and hybrid systems. Zenith provides its services under both a Build, Own, Operate (BOO) model, and under a Manage, Operate, Maintain (MOM) model.

Under the BOO model, Zenith owns or finance leases power generation facilities, whereas under the MOM model Zenith operates and maintains facilities that are owned by the client. Where possible, Zenith contracts on a BOO basis, as it provides greater certainty in terms of contract tenure and enables Zenith to optimise operational performance.

The Company currently has 10 contracts in place for a total of approximately 88MW of owned installed capacity (i.e. where the generation facilities are owned or funded through finance leases by Zenith) and an additional approximate 238MW of operated capacity (i.e where the generation facilities are owned by the client).

The cost of solar PV has declined significantly over the past few years and in certain circumstances can be utilized to reduce the costs of diesel power generation. These cost savings, together with the environmental benefits, has seen increased interest in Solar PV generation for industrial/mining applications.

Zenith already has extensive expertise in hybrid generation and is contracted to provide a hybrid diesel/solar plant at the Nova Nickel mine. The Company believes that there is potential for significant growth in this hybrid/renewable generation market and it is well positioned to win further work in this growing segment.

Source: Zenith Energy


Hamish Moffatt

Managing Director

Tel: (08) 9416 2000


Mitigation agreement reached with Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi over Waverley Wind Farm proposal

8 May

After four years of discussions, Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi has settled on a mitigation agreement with Tararua Wind Power Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Tilt Renewables Limited (formerly Trustpower Limited) regarding the proposed Waverley wind farm, its Chair Te Pahunga Marty Davis said today.

“We have successfully addressed most of the concerns we held regarding the proposed wind farm and have agreed to a package to help with those remaining concerns,” Mr Davis said. Te Kaahui o Rauru, the Waipipi Te Ahu Whenua Trust and Whenuakura, Wai-o Turi and Te Wairoa Iti Marae have therefore withdrawn their submissions in opposition to the 48 wind turbine project.

Mr Davis said “a critical step in this process has been helping Tararua Wind Power understand our painful history. This site was part of land confiscated by the government in the 1860s following the Taranaki land wars. The confiscation disconnected Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi from our land and resources. This left us with little or no opportunity to lead development on our own land. The terms of the agreement allows Ngaa Rauru to have a voice by being a part of this development.”

Tilt Renewables General Manager – Renewable Development Clayton Delmarter says “Tilt Renewables is very pleased to have been able to work collaboratively with Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi and wider stakeholders to achieve this outcome and address the majority of their concerns with the proposed development. We very much look forward to cementing a long-term relationship that brings with it real, sustainable benefits aligned with appropriate environmental and cultural values.”

The mitigation package includes input to management plans for the restoration and enhancement of Waipipi Stream and the coastal landscape, protection measures for migratory bird species and translocation measures for freshwater fish and plant species. Permanent access to the landlocked 20 hectare Waipipi block (a historically important hapuu village) has been facilitated, and Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi will provide cultural monitoring and support to the windfarm project.

“Our environmental management plan recognises the threat of a changing climate and the value of renewable electricity generation. We’re pleased to be forming an ongoing relationship where we can work alongside Tilt in supporting renewable energy development and bringing social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits to our region and our people.”

Mr. Davis said the iwi was particularly looking forward to improved access to the Waipipi block. “The Waipipi block was an important fishing village where our people stayed in the summer and was known as ‘Marae-ki-tai’ or an ‘ocean restaurant’. Our people are looking forward to having access to the land in order to revive traditional practices and consider further developments” he said.

Source: Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi Iwi

Click on project to go to online datasheet: Waverley Wind Farm


CEFC large scale solar program commits over $370M to 10 projects with more than 400MW solar capacity

8 May

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has today announced finance for its 10th project through its Large-Scale Solar Program, bringing its total program investment commitments to more than $370 million, accelerating projects with a total estimated project value of $900 million and a total generating capacity of more than 400MW (AC).

Large-Scale Solar Program Lead Gloria Chan said the CEFC's Large-Scale Solar Program represents the single largest debt financing commitment to the solar sector to date.

"Since our program's launch in September 2015, the large-scale solar sector has transformed. Solar has become a progressively cost-competitive energy source and we are now at the tipping point of seeing Australian utility-scale solar projects becoming commercially viable without grant funding," Ms Chan said.

"Our finance has played a significant role in this transformation, given that in 2012 there was only 18MW of installed capacity and it's estimated by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that there will be around 1,000MW installed by the end of 2018."

"There's been a strong influx of developers into the sector and an increasing investment appetite from a widening base of institutional investors, which has helped fuel the growth in solar capacity. Our debt finance has helped developers secure the backing they need and has helped investors find the right level of comfort to invest, so that projects can be constructed sooner."

Ms Chan listed its Large Scale Solar Program highlights as:

  • A finance commitment to Victoria's first solar farm at Gannawarra
  • Finance for three major projects that will create a "solar belt" in regional NSW
  • The repurposing of the Collinsville Power Station site in Queensland as a solar farm
  • Finance for Kidston Solar Farm in Queensland, that will help support the development of a pumped hydro project
  • Working with both Australian and international commercial banks to provide long term debt financing for projects where certainty of financing is crucial to equity investors.

"Going forward, the CEFC remains committed to financing more large-scale solar projects where we are needed, and we're particularly keen to see projects that support grid stability. We're also looking at hybrid projects that combine solar with other technologies in a way that promotes more effective clean energy outcomes," Ms Chan said.

The CEFC's commitment of $60 million to RATCH-Australia Corporation, announced today, will help redevelop the disused coal-fired power station at Collinsville as a 42.5MW (AC) solar farm that is expected to generate enough energy to power 15,000 homes. The $100 million project is also receiving $9.5 million funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

RATCH-Australia Corporation Executive General Manager Business Development Anthony Yeates said the Collinsville Solar Plant would bring new life to the site of the old power station that closed in December 2012.

"We have been working on redevelopment options for the site for a really long time and it is great to finally see one of these options come to life. The finance from the CEFC and ARENA's funding have helped us repurpose a disused site which receives optimal sunshine, and can take advantage of existing infrastructure to feed its solar output into the grid," Mr Yeates said.

Ms Chan added: "We are particularly excited about the potential for this project to showcase how old power station sites can be repurposed as new renewable energy bases, benefiting from existing infrastructure, while helping to transform Australia's energy mix."

Alinta has agreed to purchase up to 70 per cent of the plant's generated solar capacity.

"We expect construction to employ around 70 staff," Mr Yeates said.

"There will be around 180,000 ground-mounted solar PV panels that use a single-axis tracking system for maximum solar exposure. When operating, we're expecting the solar farm to abate nearly 90,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in its first year."

The CEFC's finance for the Collinsville Solar Plant is an example of the CEFC's focus on delivering clean energy solutions in the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Area, as part of its Reef Funding Program.

Separately, in another example of its focus on large-scale solar and its Reef Funding Program, the CEFC had previously announced its $20 million equity commitment, through Palisades Investment Partners, to the Ross River Solar Farm Project, which has now reached financial close and is about to begin construction. For more information visit the CEFC website's Reef Funding Program page.

Source: CEFC

Click on project to go to online datasheet: Collinsville Solar Farm


Origin adds 530 MW of renewable energy to its portfolio; sets new benchmark for renewable PPA pricing

8 May

Origin Energy Limited (Origin) continues to grow one of Australia’s largest, and lowest cost, renewable energy portfolios, today announcing it will commit to a 530 MW long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, which sets a new benchmark for renewable PPA pricing in the market.

Origin is leading the accelerating uptake of renewable energy in Australia, having committed to 1,200 MW of new renewables in a little over a year. This is enough clean energy to power all the homes in Ballarat, Adelaide and Newcastle combined1.

Under the terms of agreements executed with Goldwind, Origin will sell Stockyard Hill Wind Farm, Australia’s largest wind development, for $110 million and sign a long-term PPA from the commencement of operations in 2019 to 2030. Origin will agree to buy all of the power generated by the wind farm and the associated Renewable Energy Certificates for a market leading PPA price of below $60/MWh.

The sale of Stockyard Hill Wind Farm is subject to the satisfaction of certain regulatory approvals. The PPA will also be subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions including Goldwind achieving financial close.

Origin CEO, Frank Calabria said, "Today's announcement is important as it indicates just how fast the transition is occurring in Australia’s energy market. Not only is renewable energy being rolled out rapidly, the costs have fallen at a very fast rate.

"Through our deal with Goldwind, Origin has been able to add a substantial amount of new renewable energy to our portfolio at a market leading PPA price. And, as Stockyard Hill is in Victoria, this will help to cover a large portion of the load of the recently retired Hazelwood Power Station.

"As Origin looks to a future where renewables will dominate Australia’s energy supply, we are in a very strong position to build one of the nation’s lowest cost renewables portfolios.

“Last year, we announced our ambition to add up to 1,500 MW of new renewables by 2020, and we are now just 300 MW short of that target. By 2020, we expect that renewables will be more than 25 per cent of the energy in our generation mix2, allowing us to deliver the cleaner energy our customers want.

“Today’s announcement is also good news for Victoria, signalling Goldwind’s forthcoming development of what will be Australia’s largest wind farm at Stockyard Hill, and we look forward to working with both the Victorian and Commonwealth governments to secure the necessary approvals to make this happen.

“Stockyard Hill’s development will boost the clean energy credentials of Victoria, which up until now has been known for having the most carbon-intensive energy supply of any Australian state or territory.

“As we know from recent experience, a growing renewable energy footprint must be backed up with sufficient gas fired generation, and in Victoria, Origin’s Mortlake Power Station and other peaking plants stand ready to provide the energy security customers are calling out for.

“It’s this balance between renewables and gas-fired peaking plants, which is crucial to providing a secure, affordable and cleaner supply of energy for Australia into the future.

“Origin, which has been developing Stockyard Hill since 2009, would like to acknowledge the landholders and the local community who have been supportive of the project all through its early development,” Mr Calabria said.

The sale of Stockyard Hill Wind Farm formed part of Origin’s asset divestment program. The proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce debt, which is a key focus of the company.

1 Figure based on an average daily household consumption level of 16kWh and estimated capacity factors across all solar and wind projects.

2 Consists of owned and contracted generation.

Source: Origin Energy

Click on project to go to online datasheet: Stockyard Wind Farm


Southern Cross Electrical Engineering contract awards

8 May


- KSJV receives over $30m of additional orders on Wheatstone project

- SCEE awarded first renewables projects with approximately $10m of solar farm works in NSW

Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Limited (‘SCEE’) is pleased to announce that its LNG-focused joint venture KSJV has received over $30m of additional orders under its subcontract from Bechtel to deliver electrical and instrumentation installation services on the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project. The total value of work awarded under the subcontract is now over $95m. SCEE has a 50% interest in the KSJV joint venture.

SCEE Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Limited (‘SCEE’) is pleased to advise that it has been awarded approximately $10m of work on solar farm projects by Bouygues Construction Australia Pty Ltd. The scope of work includes the design and construction of photovoltaic (PV) electrical packages downstream of the delivery stations at four solar farms located at Parkes, Griffiths, Dubbo and Narromine in New South Wales.

Commenting on the awards SCEE Managing Director, Graeme Dunn, said “it is pleasing to continue to secure further work on our existing resources projects whilst increasingly diversifying organically with our first projects in the renewables sector.”

Source: Southern Cross Electrical Engineering


Budget invests in a reliable energy future

9 May

A $265 million energy package in the 2017 Federal Budget will ensure Australia maintains a secure, reliable and competitive energy system into the future.

The nation's energy system is undergoing its greatest transition since electricity became widely available in Australia. The measures in this package will set Australia up for a modern and dynamic energy system, allowing us to keep pace with changing energy technologies, as we transition to a lower emissions future.

We are supporting a major expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme with a study grant through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to examine the best locations to increase the Snowy's capacity to produce reliable, affordable renewable energy and provide pumped hydro storage.

The Commonwealth has indicated to the New South Wales and Victorian State Governments that, in order to accelerate the expansion of the Scheme, it is open to acquiring a larger share or outright ownership of Snowy Hydro, subject to some sensible conditions. These conditions include that the Scheme would have to remain in public hands and that Snowy Hydro's obligations under its water licence would be reaffirmed.

The Government is also looking at further hydro-electricity and pumped storage opportunities in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.

By learning more from consumers, exploring innovative options to expand existing renewable energy sources and unlocking new energy supplies, the Government is building the future energy market.

The Government is committing $13.4 million to support an Energy Use Data Model - world class data linking, analysis and modelling being undertaken by the CSIRO - to improve energy market forecasting that will facilitate better energy management and infrastructure planning.

Commercial and residential consumers have already benefitted from smarter, lower emissions technologies developed and commercialised through ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

As part of this work the Turnbull Government will also make available up to $110 million to build a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta in South Australia and separately provide up to $36.6 million over two years from 2017-18 to target investment in energy infrastructure in South Australia under a bilateral Asset Recycling agreement.

(Excerpts only)

Source: Federal Government


Cimic’s UGL awarded $117m in solar EPC projects

10 May

CIMIC Group company UGL has been awarded engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts to design and build two new solar farms.

The two EPC contracts – for the Collinsville Solar Farm in Queensland and the White Rock Solar Farm in New South Wales – will generate combined revenue for UGL of $117 million.

In addition, UGL will provide operation and maintenance (O&M) services at both solar farms.

CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer Adolfo Valderas said: “With these contracts, UGL has been awarded a total of nine solar farm projects, making it one of the most awarded contractors for utility-scale solar projects in Australia.

“With such a diverse portfolio of solar projects, UGL is driving innovation and firmly positioned as the leader in the renewable energy market.”

UGL Managing Director Juan Santamaria said: “UGL’s early involvement with our customers, true end-to-end capabilities, and technical expertise are strong market differentiators.

“We have a proven track record in the design and delivery of solar farms, and this has been instrumental in securing these opportunities.

“We have established a national operational control and monitoring centre to support the company’s increasing portfolio of utility scale solar farm O&M contracts.”

The Australian Government, through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), a statutory authority established by the Australian Government, is contributing $60 million in finance to support the construction of the Collinsville Solar Farm.

Further, the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing $5.4 million funding to support the construction of White Rock Solar Farm and $9.5 million funding to support the construction of Collinsville Solar Farm.

At the Collinsville Solar Farm, UGL will supply Ratch Australia with EPC and testing, generating revenue of $83 million over 13 months. The contract also involves O&M services for five years. The project will diversify the Queensland power supply network and provide a major source of renewable energy for northern Queensland. The project is expected to generate enough energy to power 15,000 homes.

At the White Rock Solar Farm, UGL will supply Goldwind with EPC and commissioning, generating revenue of $34.2 million over nine months. It also involves O&M for two years, with a one-year extension option. The White Rock development is a pioneering hybrid solar/wind renewable energy facility for the New England Tablelands, expected to generate 46,000 megawatt hours of electricity, enough to supply the equivalent of 7,200 average New South Wales homes.

Source: CIMIC

Click on project to go to online datasheets: Collinsville Solar Farm and White Rock Solar Farm


EPBC news

8 May

Adani Infrastructure Pty Ltd

Energy Generation and Supply (renewable)

Approx. 10km south of Whyalla

Whyalla Solar Farm Project, South Australia

Decision whether action needs approval/Approval Not Required

Proposed action: To clear vegetation for the purpose of installing and operating a solar farm at a freehold lot approximately 10 km north of Whyalla in the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

Not a controlled action


Solar powered Great Barrier Reef research at AIMS

11 May

Research into the workings and wellbeing of Australia’s tropical marine environments has received a boost with the announcement of funding for the installation of renewable energy infrastructure at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) near Townsville.

With $1.8 million in funding delivered through the Australian Government’s Public Service Modernisation Fund, and announced as part of the Federal Budget 2017-2018, AIMS will commence planning and construction of an 800kW solar panel array at its Cape Ferguson headquarters during financial year 2017-18.

Speaking from Cape Ferguson today, AIMS CEO John Gunn said that installation of the $2.25 million system would result in more money being available for AIMS’ science activities. “We will save around $300,000 annually on electricity bills – savings that can be used to support the important work being done by our researchers”, said Mr Gunn.

A significant proportion of AIMS’ research focuses on the impact of climate global change on tropical marine ecosystems. “Increasing atmospheric CO2 levels are known to be driving climate change – this initiative will reduce the Institute’s carbon footprint by more than 800 tonnes annually”, noted Mr Gunn.

The Institute’s National Sea Simulator (SeaSim) is proving to be an invaluable tool in the fight to unravel the complex interplay of pressures on reef communities. “SeaSim is allowing us to undertake complex research that was not previously possible – including work on assessing the impact of increasing CO2 – this investment will help to reduce the recurrent cost of running this important research asset.”

“The Government’s commitment to supporting world class research infrastructure, as part of its National Innovation and Science Agenda, is helping to keep Australia at the forefront of tropical marine research internationally,” said Mr Gunn.

Source: AIMS


CSIRO research will fill a gap in the global energy technology chain to supply fuel cell vehicles with low-emissions hydrogen sourced from Australia

The two-year project will build on CSIRO's expertise in separating pure hydrogen from mixed gas streams, in this case converting ammonia to high-purity hydrogen for use in fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

CSIRO's membrane reactor technology will fill the gap between hydrogen production, distribution and delivery in the form a modular unit that can be used at, or near, a refuelling station.

The project recently received $1.7 million from the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF), which will be matched by CSIRO.

The research has also been welcomed by industry and is supported by BOC, Hyundai, Toyota and Renewable Hydrogen Pty Ltd.

Currently, the transportation and storage of hydrogen is complex and relatively expensive, making export commercially challenging.

The membrane will allow hydrogen to be transported in the form of ammonia (which is already being traded globally), and then reconverted back to hydrogen at the point of use.

The thin metal membrane allows hydrogen to pass, while blocking all other gases.

In the final stages of development, the device is being further refined, ready for commercial deployment.

Recent advances in solar and electrochemical technologies means renewable hydrogen production is expected to become competitive with fossil fuel-based production, providing an opportunity to decarbonise both the energy and transport sectors while creating new export opportunities.

While Australia is a relatively small hydrogen market, the fuel can be distributed to emerging markets in Japan, South Korea and Europe using existing infrastructure.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall is excited by the prospect of a growing global market for clean hydrogen, and the potential for a national renewable hydrogen export industry, to benefit Australia.

"This is a watershed moment for energy, and we look forward to applying CSIRO innovation to enable this exciting renewably-sourced fuel and energy storage medium a smoother path to market," Dr Marshall said.

"I'm delighted to see strong collaboration and the application of CSIRO know-how to what is a key part of the overall energy mix."

Chair of Renewable Hydrogen, Brett Cooper believes CSIRO’s membrane technology can enable a new, and potentially carbon-free, export industry for Australia that could match the scale of the current LNG industry.

"With this technology, we can now deliver our renewable energy to Japan, Korea and across the Asia-Pacific region in liquid form, as renewable ammonia, and efficiently convert it back to pure hydrogen for cars, buses, power generation and industrial processes," Mr Cooper said.

This market didn't exist 10 years ago – now Australia is positioned to be the number one renewable fuel provider in the world's fastest growing region."

Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Ltd Senior Executive Advisor to the Board, Bernie O'Connor affirmed Toyota's commitment to reducing emissions, and supporting hydrogen FCVs.

"Research into making hydrogen more accessible in the future for fuel and energy storage is key to the success of this technology," Mr O'Connor said.

"CSIRO is at the forefront of this research and we will continue to work with them in the future so that we can roll out this technology."

Hyundai Motor Company Australia Manager of Corporate Communications, Scott Nargar is also supportive of CSIRO's hydrogen membrane technology advances.

"As a global leader in hydrogen-powered passenger vehicles, Hyundai fully supports any initiative which makes hydrogen more practical and easier to distribute," Mr Nargar said.

"We applaud CSIRO's expertise in this field and look forward to supporting its endeavours in the future."

In addition to its membrane technology, CSIRO will apply its expertise to all stages of the technology chain (including solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, grid management, water electrolysis, ammonia synthesis, direct ammonia utilisation via combustion and/or fuel cells, as well as hydrogen production).

Source: CSIRO

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