2019 emissions projections released

7 December

Updated emissions projections confirm the Liberal Nationals Government is taking real and meaningful action to reduce emissions and meet Australia’s 2030 Paris target.

The independent Australia’s Emissions Projections 2019 report, released today, outlines to the last tonne how Australia will exceed its 2030 Paris target by 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e).

The improvement from the 2018 projections is primarily a result of our $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package and continued strong emissions reductions in the electricity sector.

Since 2008, the abatement task to achieve the 2030 target has reduced by 3.4 billion tonnes.

The report also shows that Australia will exceed its 2020 target by 411 Mt CO2-e. As the Government has made clear before, Australia will use its over-achievement from previous targets only to the extent necessary to reach the 2030 emissions reduction target.

The new projections do not include abatement associated with technology improvements (the key driver of future emissions reductions) or the National Electric Vehicle Strategy which will be finalised in 2020.

The government is developing a technology investment roadmap to identify the most efficient deployment pathways for new technologies, to ensure Australia can continue to capitalise on low cost abatement opportunities over the near (to 2022), medium (to 2030) and long term (post 2030).

Our commitment is achievable, balanced and responsible, and is part of coordinated global action to deliver a healthy environment for future generations while keeping our economy strong.

Last month’s inventory update also showed that emissions have dropped over the last year and are lower than when the Coalition came into government in 2013 or any year when Labor was last in government.

Download the report here: www.environment.gov.au/2019-projections 

Source: Federal Government



Banana Range Wind Farm

The federal Department of the Environment & Energy declared Lacour Energy’s proposed 180 MW Banana Range Wind Farm, near Biloela in Queensland, not a controlled action. When constructed the project will comprise up to 51 wind turbines and could potentially include large-scale battery energy storage as well. The project is located on the Banana Range with an existing high voltage (132kV) transmission line running through the site.


Sterling and Wilson Solar begins construction of 200 MW solar project in Australia

9 December

Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited (SWSL) (BSE script id: 542760), the world’s largest solar EPC solutions provider*, has announced today the commencement of construction of a 200 MW solar project in Australia. The turnkey solar EPC project is being developed by Lightsource BP, an independent global leader in the funding, development, acquisition and management of solar PV projects

The Wellington Solar Farm is a solar photovoltaic (PV) independent power project (IPP) being constructed on 490 Ha of land, northeast of the town of Wellington in New South Wales. The project is planned to be commissioned by December 2020 and once operational, the plant will produce enough solar energy to power 70,000 homes, and save 336,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 121,580 cars off the road.

Bikesh Ogra, Director and Global CEO, Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited said, “Australia is one of the most promising markets for Solar; with around 5.2% of Australia’s total electrical energy production generating from Solar. We had been following the market for over a few years and wanted to get in at the right time with a right project. We are delighted to work with Lightsource BP on the Wellington Solar project. This will be one of the larger and significant projects being built in Australia. We will leverage from our recent acquisition of GCo Solar in Australia which has executed Solar projects for major developers. We are confident, as a global solar EPC company with experience across geographies, we can bring our best practices to this market.”

Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited has been executing projects globally and has to its credit more than 8.8 GWp of high performing solar power projects in various geographies. With the global solar market poised to grow substantially in the years to come, Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited has positioned itself well to be at the forefront of this tremendous opportunity.

* According to IHS Markit

** As of 30th September 2019

Source: Sterling & Wilson


Leading renewables infrastructure investor, Foresight Group, breaks through 2GW of generating capacity

9 December

Foresight Group (“Foresight”), a leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager, continues its growth trajectory in renewable energy infrastructure, breaking through the 2GW of generating capacity for the first time.

Foresight has been investing in innovative technologies for over 35 years; following the tech crunch and the bursting of the dotcom bubble in the early 2000s, Founder and Chairman Bernard Fairman identified clean energy as an emerging sector. Initially investing in clean technology companies, Foresight rapidly grew its expertise in waste to energy managing funds for the London Green Fund and the UK Green Investment Bank, and in Solar managing the largest solar focused renewable infrastructure company, the £1.1bn Foresight Solar Fund Limited which listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2013 and was recently welcomed into the FTSE 250 index.

Foresight has a portfolio of more than 190 renewable energy generation assets under management globally.

It has supported the global transition to clean energy through investments in more than 100 solar plants with more than 1.3GW of generating capacity across the UK, Southern Europe and Australia, becoming the second largest manager of solar assets in Europe.

The Company’s investments also extend to onshore wind farms where it manages 22 farms in the UK, France and Germany amounting to 335MW, bioenergy and waste where it manages 32 projects of 57MW of clean electricity and 49MW of thermal energy, reserve power 158 MW and 46 MW of utility scale battery storage assets throughout Europe.

Recent transactions include the acquisition of two operational wind farms in Northern Ireland and Yorkshire and two large scale agricultural AD plants producing enough energy to power in excess of 30,000 homes.

Earlier in 2019, Foresight advanced its ambitious expansion plans by acquiring the advisory mandate for John Laing Environmental Assets Group Limited (“JLEN”).

It is estimated that every year Foresight’s assets divert 800,000 tonnes of waste from going to landfill, process some 2 million tonnes of waste, save 1.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases equivalent to taking more than half a million cars off the road and generate enough clean energy to power over half a million of households.

Achieving this milestone is further demonstration of Foresight’s environmental social and governance (ESG) investment credentials which it applies to all investment strategies.

Commenting on the milestone, Bernard Fairman, Chairman of Foresight Group, said: “In just over 10 years, we are making a positive contribution to protecting the planet by generating more than 2GW of clean energy. We call it investing for a smarter future and we are proud to be delivering attractive returns for our investors whilst creating a sustainable legacy for future generations.”

Federico Giannandrea, Partner and Head of Business Development of Infrastructure, added: “I came on board at a time when Foresight’s foray into renewable energy was in its infancy. I recall that in 2010 we had less than 50MW of renewable energy generation capacity and in less than 10 years we have achieved what at the time seemed very ambitious. We hope to keep up this momentum with a goal to reach 3GW of installed generating capacity by 2023, by facilitating the transition from subsidised to unsubsidised renewable energy.”

Source: Foresight Group


Electricity prices falling across the whole supply chain for first time

9 December

The AEMC’s annual report on electricity price trends shows a falling price outlook over the next few years. Over the three year period modelled by this report consumers would save $97 (or 7.1%) on their electricity bills out to 2022.

Overall residential electricity prices out to 2022 are estimated to continue falling on the back of increasing supplies of generation in the electricity market and lower regulated prices for networks.

AEMC Chairman, John Pierce, said the 10th price trends report shows costs falling across the three key drivers of consumers’ bills.

Generation costs are falling because of additional generation; regulated network prices have been lowered in response to falling distribution costs; and green scheme costs are being driven down by cheaper large-scale generation certificates for increasing levels of renewable generation.

- Wholesale costs are estimated to fall by around $62 from FY19 to FY22 for the representative consumer as more supply comes into the market and demand remains flat. 

- Network costs are estimated to decrease by $11 over this period.

- Environmental costs are estimated to fall by $21 over this period.

“While the overall national trend is down all across the supply chain there are regional differences across states and territories that will affect price outcomes depending on where you live and how much electricity you use,” Mr Pierce said.

“Overall, a representative consumer will pay around $97 less than today by June 2022.”

From FY19 to FY22:

- South east Queensland electricity prices estimated to fall overall by 20% or $278 (an annual average drop of 7.0%).

- South Australia electricity prices estimated to fall overall by 2% or $27 (an annual average drop of 0.5%).

- Victoria electricity prices estimated to fall overall by 5% or $53 (an annual average drop of 1.6%). 

- NSW electricity prices estimated to fall overall by 8% or $107 (an annual average drop of 2.8%).

- ACT electricity prices estimated to fall overall by 7% or $134 (an annual average drop of 2.4%).

- Tasmania electricity prices estimated to fall overall by 5% or $93 (an annual average drop of 1.7%).

- Western Australia electricity costs are projected to rise by 6% or $102. However, actual price outcomes may be different due to different regulatory arrangements in Western Australia.

“These results for FY19 to FY22 point to the state of the market over this specific period which will see significant injection of around 5,000 MW of new supply.

More supply puts downward pressure on prices. But it’s important to note that over a decade of analysis we have seen trends change sharply in response to factors such as sudden generator closures and implementation of new policies. As such, all price projections should be seen as just that, projections.” Mr Pierce said. 

Understanding what’s driving prices can help give state and territory governments the information they need to help determine if price changes announced each year by retailers are consistent with changes in the power system’s underlying costs.

Price trends will affect individual households differently depending on how much electricity each consumer uses, and how willing they are to switch to a better energy deal where market offers are available.

It will continue to be important for customers to shop around to get the best deal for their circumstances through government comparison sites such as the AER’s Energy Made Easy; in Victoria, Victorian Energy Compare; and in NSW, Energy Switch.

No two households use energy in the same way. Knowing how much power you use and when is important in controlling electricity bills in the future as new technologies become more affordable and energy entrepreneurs expand demand response options for consumers

Source: AEMC


Cattle Hill Wind Farm spins to life

9 December

The Cattle Hill Wind Farm has officially spun to life, with the first Goldwind turbine connected to the Tasmanian transmission network and generating electricity.

Goldwind Managing Director John Titchen said Friday’s ceremony was a very exciting day in the life of the project.

“When fully operational, the Cattle Hill Wind Farm will generate enough clean energy to power the equivalent of approximately 63,500 Tasmanian homes each year,” Mr Titchen said.

“Significantly, the project will help the Tasmanian Government reach its goal of an additional 1,000- gigawatt hours of on-island renewable energy by the end of 2022, contributing around half of the additional generation needed.

“33 of 48 Goldwind turbines have been fully installed, with two main cranes now installing on site.

“Pre-commissioning of turbines has been underway for some time and generation commissioning is now ongoing.

“The project team has met a number of environmental challenges during the construction to date, such as bushfire, significant snow and wind, and scheduling of works to minimise disturbance during Tasmanian Wedge-tailed eagle breeding period.

“The highly focussed team, with high levels of communication with project stakeholders, have met and overcome these challenges with positivity and little impact to the overall project schedule.”

Mr Titchen said approximately 150 jobs have been created during the construction period on site as well as additional offsite work from Tasmanian project partners.

This includes:

  • Hazell Bros – construction of the civil and electrical works for the project
  • TasNetworks – connecting the project to the transmission network
  • Gradco – upgrades to local roads close to the project area ($10 million contract value)
  • Haywards – providing 20 per cent of the tower components ($8 million contract value), and
  • Many other smaller scale Tasmanian subcontractors and suppliers.

“Transportation of Goldwind turbine components started in March, following $10 million of road upgrades in the Central Highlands area by the Launceston based company, Gradco, with approximately 528 oversize loads having been transported to the project site,” Mr Titchen said.

Mr Titchen said the project partners were particularly proud to have been the first in Australia to install the cutting-edge technology to reduce impacts on the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle.

“Through artificial intelligence and machine learning during the turbine commissioning period, the IdentiFlight technology is expected to become highly proficient at identifying Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles,” Mr Titchen said.

16 IdentiFlight stations have been installed across the site that will detect Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles and shut down nearby turbines as needed. IdentiFlight has now started operating with initial turbine operation.

An official ceremony was held on site on Friday to mark the occasion of the first energy generation.

Source: Goldwind


Amazon Web Services’ first renewable power project outside of the EU and the USA will be in Australia

9 December

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced that its first renewable power project outside of the EU and the USA will be in Australia.

It is one of 6 new renewable energy projects announced at AWS’s annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. Together, these  new projects are expected to produce a total 711MW of new renewable energy capacity, and will help the company achieve its long-term global commitment within Amazon’s Climate Pledge: to reach 80 per cent renewable energy by 2024 and 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, and be on the path to net zero carbon by 2040.

Paul Migliorini, Managing Director for Amazon Web Services in Australia and New Zealand said:

“We know our customers care about sustainability, and are excited to announce that our first renewable power project outside of Europe and the USA will be in Australia. The project will help bring us closer to achieving our long-term global commitment within Amazon’s Climate Pledge of reaching 80 per cent renewable energy by 2024 and 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, and be on our path to net zero carbon by 2040. We will provide further details about the Australian project in due course.

“AWS is committed to running our business in the most environmentally friendly way possible, and our scale allows us to achieve higher resource utilization and energy efficiency than the typical on-premises data center. A recent study by 451, a global research firm specialising in insights for enterprise IT companies, found that AWS’s infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median of surveyed enterprise data centers, with more than two thirds of this advantage due to a more energy efficient server population and higher server utilization. AWS data centers are also more energy efficient than enterprise sites due to comprehensive efficiency programs that touch every facet of our facilities. When they factored in the carbon intensity of consumed electricity and renewable energy purchases, 451 found that AWS performs the same task with an 88 per cent lower carbon footprint. In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, AWS exceeded 50 per cent renewable energy usage for 2018. Globally, Amazon has over 70 renewable energy projects that have the capacity to generate over 1,900 MW and deliver more than 5.3 million MWh of energy annually.”


- AWS is the most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, with services that help customers power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower operating costs. It provides businesses with the breadth and depth of everything they need to succeed – from startups to large enterprises.

- There are hundreds of thousands of active customers using AWS services in Australia each month including Atlassian, Canva, nib health funds, Australia Post, Kmart Group, IAG, Carsales, Qantas, Woodside, REA Group, Seek, Xinja, Boral, Lion Nathan, Origin Energy, Australian Bureau of Statistics, ParKam, NAB, Amaysim, Westpac’s Littler Ripper Group, and Australian Taxation Office.

- AWS re:Invent 2019, is a four day global event Las Vegas, Nevada, which brings together global business and government leaders to discuss and showcase the latest technology trends.  Attendees experience technology demonstrations, attend keynotes, and talk tracks focused on how technologies from AI, ML, robotics, cloud computing, and blockchain technology is changing the way individuals live, and do business.

- In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, AWS exceeded 50% renewable energy usage for 2018. As part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge, the company is committed to reaching 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy target by 2030, on its path to net zero carbon by 2040.

For more information, see https://sustainability.aboutamazon.com/sustainability-in-the-cloud.

Source: Amazon Web Services


Solar Farm approved in the Dubbo Region

9 December

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has approved a new $188 million solar farm at Maryvale, 15km north-west of Wellington, in the state’s central west.

Executive Director of Energy and Resource Assessments Mike Young said Maryvale Solar Farm, will provide around 125 megawatt (MW) of clean renewable energy. 

“Maryvale solar farm is within the Central-West Renewable Energy Zone and will add to the growing hub of solar energy projects in the Dubbo area, bringing a fresh boost to the economy, diversifying industry for the region, as well as increasing electricity capacity,” Mr Young said.

“The project will also support up to 150 local construction jobs over the 12-month construction period.”

Mr Young said the solar farm also has the potential to save up to 265,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, reducing NSW’s overall emissions and powering around 46,500 homes with renewable energy.

“In NSW the solar industry is continuing to be a vital part of our energy mix as we transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.

“The proposal was assessed in line with the Government’s Large-Scale Solar Guideline which provides clear and consistent guidance to both the community and industry on large-scale solar energy projects.

“The Department considered all potential impacts of the project and found it will have minimal impact on the surrounding natural environment and agricultural land,” Mr Young said.

“This state significant project has been assessed on its merits and the Department is confident it will have real benefits for the local community and NSW.”

Source: NSW Government



Trundle Solar Farm

Location: Trundle, central NSW

Capacity: 4.99 MW

Developer: Enerparc

LGA: Parkes Shire Council

Status: Construction started

Estimated Cost  $4.47mil

Description: The project will use a single axis tracking system and a containerised battery storage system. The generated electricity will be exported into the network through connection into the Essential Energy Trundle zone substation located in the north-west corner of the development site. The project infrastructure will occupy a footprint of approximately 20 ha. It will be monitored remotely with a limited on-site presence, apart from routine maintenance.


Peak Hill Solar Farm

Location: Peak Hill, central NSW

Capacity: 4.99 MW

Developer: Enerparc

LGA: Parkes Shire Council

Status: Construction started

Description: The project is a single axis tracking photovoltaic solar system with two central invertor and transformer stations, an operations and maintenance container and associated security fencing located on the western side of the subject land. The remainder of the site will continue to be used for existing agricultural practices.

Contact: Benjamin Hannig

Managing Director

Enerparc Australia

Tel: 1300 315 535


The Latest from Granville

10 December

Windhoist recently erected the first 2 of 31 turbines at the Granville Harbour wind farm in Tasmania! This is a landmark moment in an exciting project which promises to bolster Australia’s already-impressive wind energy production levels even further!

This project has been a long time in the making, with the original idea for a wind farm in this area being conceived over ten years ago. The erection of these turbines is an incredible undertaking that our team carried out with the utmost professionalism using their extensive expertise and experience.

The 3.6MW turbines stand at 200m in height, making them the tallest in the entire region and some of the tallest in the world. Our team of 30 worked for 13 hours per turbine to attach the blades, each of which measuring in at 62 metres long and requiring a crane that could reach a distance of 150m.

The scale of this project is incredible, and is on track to be completed by 2020. Upon completion, the site will increase the wind power already generated in the state of Tasmania by a third. This will be enough to supply electricity to just under 50,000 homes!

We’d like to thank the entire Windhoist team out in Australia for their continued efforts to get this project up and running as quickly as possible, and wish them all the best in the coming months.

Source: Windhoist


Investors see untapped potential for Tasmanian 'green hydrogen'

10 December

The Tasmanian Government’s release of a prospectus to international investors in the global energy industry explains Tasmania’s unique potential to become a leading supplier of clean, secure and affordable hydrogen.

The Tasmanian Renewable Hydrogen Prospectus has been released today by the Office of the Coordinator General at the Tasmanian Energy Symposium in China, with Hydro Tasmania in attendance to support the initiative.

Tasmania’s competitive advantage in the emerging hydrogen industry was outlined last month with the release of  Hydro Tasmania’s white paper, Tasmania’s ‘green hydrogen opportunity – what makes Tasmania a unique, green hydrogen zone?

CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said the white paper had already attracted plenty of interest.

“The key to Tasmania’s potential is our ability to produce low-cost, emission-free hydrogen, powered by the state’s renewable energy, which makes us attractive for countries looking to meet their emission reduction targets.

“Our analysis shows that hydrogen can be produced in Tasmania for approximately 10-15 per cent less than other Australian power grids needing to offset emissions, and 20-30 per cent less than from dedicated off-grid renewables, due to the high plant utilisation that can be supported by Tasmania’s hydropower.

“There would be flow-on benefits for all Tasmanians too, as a hydrogen industry would create jobs and develop local expertise that can be exported.

“As Australia’s largest generator of clean energy, it is only appropriate that Hydro Tasmania be attending the Tasmanian Energy Symposium event in China, as a part of our ongoing efforts to capitalise our state’s clear advantages and expertise.”

Source: Hydro Tasmania



Peel Business Park Microgrid

Enwave Australia applied for an electricity distribution licence and an electricity retail licence to own and operate an electricity microgrid at the Peel Business Park, 70km south of Perth in WA.

The Lot 600 Microgrid will comprise:

  • an embedded electricity network and related infrastructure, including metering infrastructure (Distribution Network);
  • embedded generation and battery storage infrastructure (Embedded Generation and Storage Assets);
  • commercial and industrial customers.

Lot 600 is being developed by DevelopmentWA (previously known as Landcorp) and will be the first development in the Peel Business Park. Subject to being granted licences Enwave WA will:

  • take ownership and be responsible for the distribution network designed and constructed by DevelopmentWA;
  • operate the distribution network components of the Lot 600 Microgrid, to which this distribution licence application pertains;
  • retail electricity to customers connected to the distribution network;
  • provide customers connected to the distribution network with an opportunity to purchase Lot 600 Microgrid sourced electricity from third party retailers by offering third party retailers a Microgrid Electricity Transfer Access Contract; and
  • construct, commission, operate and maintain generation and storage infrastructure designed to maximise the consumption of onsite renewable generation.

The primary assets of the Lot 600 Microgrid will be: the sub-station, and electrical distribution network, and embedded generation and storage assets including an initial 1.2 MW dc ground mounted solar farm and a 1 MW / 2 MWh battery energy storage system.

Source: Enwave


ARENA launches $15 million funding round to address solar panel end-of-life issues and increase efficiency

11 December

On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced up to $15 million in funding to support research that aims to address end-of-life issues for solar PV panels, as well as increasing their efficiency and lowering their cost.

As the rate of solar PV deployment increases, innovations that can reduce the cost of sustainably managing panels at the end of their life will become more important. The round is seeking to fund projects that can improve the economics of recycling, such as with better upfront design, increasing the value of recovered materials, or even innovations for re-using reused or recycled components in new panels. Cost savings will enable both large-scale solar PV projects and roof-top PV customers to responsibly manage their waste, without significantly impacting the overall cost of renewable electricity generation.

In addition to end-of-life issues, the funding round will also aim to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of solar PV for new or established applications. The funding round will strengthen Australia’s world-leading solar PV R&D sector that ARENA has helped establish through its previous funding. However, this is the first time that ARENA has sought applications for addressing solutions to end-of-life solar PV issues.

ARENA’s fifth round of research and development (R&D) supports solar PV in the following areas:

- end-of-life: new solutions, including upfront solar PV panel designs and end of life processing, that increase the cost-effectiveness of sustainable end-of-life management of solar PV panels

- advanced silicon: improvements to the overall cost-effectiveness of silicon-based panels already in mass market production, and their production processes

- tandem silicon: increasing the cost-effectiveness of silicon-based solar PV through the use of tandem materials

- new materials: development of new materials with the potential to either reach breakthrough cost-efficiencies, or the potential for new deployment applications.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said: “Currently, solar PV panel recycling adds a cost to the supply chain. R&D can help find innovative solutions to reduce this cost, enabling sustainable and cost effective management of solar panels at the end of their life.”

“The funding round also aims to build on Australia’s excellence in solar PV R&D, to increase efficiencies and drive down costs even further and help bring about the next generation in solar technology. More efficient and lower cost solar PV can underpin the growth of a renewable hydrogen industry, can drive the electrification of transport and industrial processes, and can reduce the costs of delivering secure and reliable renewable electricity.”

ARENA has provided more than $290 million to around 300 solar research and development projects since 2009 through funding programs inherited from the Australian Solar Institute, or run by ARENA since 2012, including $84 million in funding to the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (ACAP) to continue its research operations until 2022.

Expressions of interest for the funding round are now open. For more information, visit the Solar R&D funding page.

Source: ARENA


Council starts engagement on proposed 5MW solar farm

11 December

Community engagement about the proposed 5 megawatt solar farm on Council-owned land at 1 Dingo Lane, Myocum has started with an on-site information session held for local residents and neighbouring properties.

A small group of residents and property owners attended the meeting with members of Council’s project team. A door knocking campaign and letterbox drop has also been completed in the Myocum area directly adjacent to and overlooking the proposed solar farm site which is on land next to the Resource and Recovery Centre.

Council’s Project Manager, Andrew Swan, said the on-site meeting was the first point of contact with key stakeholders and that communication would continue throughout the detailed feasibility stage of the Dingo Lane Solar Farm project.

“Council is engaging with the community early so that there is a clear understanding of the perspectives of the Byron Shire community with regards to a solar farm of this size before Council commits to the DA process”, Mr Swan said.

“It’s important to know of any potential impacts on the community so that Council can look at mitigation options and assess the overall risk versus the community benefit this solar farm project would bring.”

When constructed, the 5MW solar farm will generate enough electricity to offset Council’s power usage and send additional renewable power back into the grid.

Mr Swan said those who attended the meeting had been interested to learn more about potential glare and visual impacts of the solar panels, possibility of dual use of the site, dust and traffic issues from the existing unsealed road, funding and payback, alternative sustainable initiatives, flooding impacts and Council’s infrastructure priorities. 

“We’re currently conducting glare and flooding assessments of the proposed site and will share the findings of these reports with the community once received in the new year.”

The project team is seeking input from any interested groups and individuals and plan to continue engagement of the wider community through additional meetings in early 2020. 

More information is available online at: https://www.byron.nsw.gov.au/Services/Environment/Climate-change/Mitigation/Renewable-energy-projects#section-2

Source: Byron Shire Council


Mini solar farms to reduce emissions

11 December

Council has awarded Solgen Energy Pty Ltd the $3 million contract to build mini solar farms at five of its Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP).

Ground-mounted solar power systems with a proposed 1.78MW capacity are to be installed across the Northern, Southern, Marlin Coast, Edmonton and Gordonvale WWTP.

It is estimated the project will reduce Council’s total electricity use by 8 per cent and total emissions by up to 6 per cent.

This will assist Council to meet its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent compared to 2007/2008 levels.

As part of the proposal, crushed concrete produced by Council will be used as a “rock mulch” at the sites, which would reduce on-going maintenance and reflect additional solar radiation.

As the panels to be used can produce additional power from solar radiation reflected on their underside, it is anticipated approximately 10 per cent additional energy output could be produced compared to other traditional systems of the same nominal power rating.

It is expected the ground mounted solar arrays will be completed by September 2020.

Source: Cairns Regional Council


Draft 2020 Integrated System Plan released for consultation

12 December

AEMO has today published its Draft 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP), an ‘actionable’ roadmap for the efficient development of the National Electricity Market.

The Draft 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP) uses forecasts of demand and generation retirements, scenario modelling and comprehensive engineering analysis to develop an optimal development path for Australia’s energy future. Extensive consumer, industry and stakeholder engagement has informed this draft which builds on AEMO’s 2018 ISP.

The outcome of this analysis sets out the investment opportunities for the market and targeted transmission augmentation necessary to achieve the best outcomes for consumers. It aims to ensure Australians enjoy affordable, secure and reliable energy in the coming decades as old generation assets retire and they are replaced with a combination of new technologies and upgraded transmission links.

As in the 2018 plan, the Draft 2020 ISP identifies the investments needed for Australia’s future energy system: in distributed energy resources; variable renewable energy; supporting dispatchable resources and power system services; and the transmission grid.

AEMO’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Zibelman, said the Draft ISP both highlights progress since 2018, and lays out future requirements for the energy system to deliver the most cost-effective pathway considering multiple future scenarios for achieving a secure and reliable system that meets consumer needs and government policy objectives.

“We’ve been working collaboratively with the energy sector on an actionable roadmap to manage a smooth transition that maximises benefits and avoids unnecessary costs for Australian consumers,” Ms Zibelman said.

“To maximise economic benefits, as traditional generators retire, Australia must invest in a modern energy system with significant consumer-led distributed energy resources – such as rooftop solar – and utility-scale variable renewable energy, supported by sufficient dispatchable resources and well targeted augmentations to the electricity network,” she said.

To highlight the changes occurring within the power system, the Draft 2020 ISP identifies:

  • Rooftop solar capacity is expected to double or even triple, providing up to 22% of total energy by 2040.
  • More than 30 gigawatts (GW) of large-scale renewable energy is needed to replace coal-fired generation by 2040, with 63 per cent of Australia’s coal-fired generation set to retire by then.
  • Up to 21 GW of new dispatchable resources are needed to back up renewables, in the form of utility-scale pumped hydro or battery storage, demand response such as demand-side participation, and distributed batteries participating as virtual power plants.
  • System services including voltage control, system strength, frequency management, power system inertia and dispatchability all need to be managed as the generation mix changes.
  • Targeted and strategic investment in the grid is needed to balance resources across states and unlock much needed Renewable Energy Zones (REZ).

To manage uncertainty, the Draft ISP uses scenarios and sensitivity analysis, with a central scenario built around existing government policies.

The Draft ISP identifies projects to augment the transmission grid as part of the optimal development plan. These projects fall into three categories, with differing time horizons, to minimise costs and achieve power system needs as the energy system evolves.

Group 1 (Priority projects): these are critical to address cost, security and reliability issues and should be either underway or commencing soon. They include:

  • A new 330kv transmission line from Robertstown in South Australia to Wagga Wagga in NSW (EnergyConnect)
  • A new interconnection from Western Victoria to southern NSW and Snowy 2.0, to enable energy from the upgraded Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro generators to flow to Victorian towns and cities and to unlock large-scale renewable generation in Victoria (VNI West)
  • An upgrade of the existing interconnection from Queensland to NSW (QNI)
  • An upgrade of the existing interconnection from Victoria to NSW (VNI)
  • A new interconnection from Tumut to Bannaby to reinforce the southern NSW grid (HumeLink)
  • Augmentation of the western Victorian transmission system to efficiently unlock renewable generation
  • Increasing inertia and fault current in South Australian transmission networks

In addition, AEMO is recommending planning and approvals work be commenced now for a new transmission link from Tasmania to Victoria (Marinus Link), to ensure it could commence construction by 2023 should that be required, if a variety of contingencies occur including either delays to VNI West or a delay to Snowy 2.0 and an earlier than anticipated Victorian coal plant closure.

Group 2 (Near-term projects): For these projects, AEMO recommends taking action before 2022. A further upgrade to the Queensland-New South Wales interconnector falls into this category.

Group 3 (Future options): These projects provide valuable options for Australia’s future energy system and should be further explored during 2020 and 2021.

They are Marinus Link, a larger Queensland to NSW upgrade, a Central to Southern Queensland transmission upgrade, reinforcement of the Gladstone Grid, and reinforcements of the Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong supply to support the creation of additional renewable energy zones.

“The Draft 2020 ISP sets out how to build a least-cost system for Australia, but for consumers to receive the full benefit of the plan, important additional work on market design and infrastructure funding options needs to be undertaken. At the direction of state and federal ministers, the Energy Security Board is undertaking this work and AEMO looks forward to supporting it,” Ms Zibelman added.

“AEMO thanks the hundreds of stakeholders involved in our engagement program and welcomes continued input leading towards publishing the final 2020 ISP mid next year,” she said. 

AEMO’s stakeholder collaboration and consultation will continue from today’s release up to the finalisation of the 2020 ISP in mid 2020. Written submissions on the content of the Draft ISP are welcome until 21 February and in relation to non-network options for actionable ISP projects until 13 March 2020. To register for invitations to upcoming ISP events, please email isp@aemo.com.au  and visit AEMO’s website for a detailed list of consultation activities.

Source: AEMO


14D closes deal on Aurora Project

12 December

  • Aurora Solar Energy Project near Port Augusta now fully owned by 1414 Degrees
  • SolarReserve Australia II Pty Ltd to be renamed SiliconAurora Pty Ltd
  • Capital servicing requirements to be staged with progressive generation and storage
  • Marie Pavlik appointed CEO of SiliconAurora

1414 Degrees (ASX:14D) “The Company” is pleased to announce it has completed the purchase of SolarReserve Australia II Pty Ltd, with the intention to rename it SiliconAurora Pty Ltd (“SiliconAurora”) with a new board.

SiliconAurora owns the advanced Aurora Solar Energy Project (“Aurora Project”) near Port Augusta in South Australia and two early stage solar sites in New South Wales.

The Company has been meeting with key stakeholders while progressing technical and economic modelling for the Aurora Project. 1414 Degrees’ Executive Chairman, Dr Kevin Moriarty said that its modelling showed positive revenues from using its TESS-GRID silicon storage technology with the proposed solar PV generation. “Our plan is to progressively increase the generation at the Aurora Project. This will limit capital servicing requirements while our technology is proved at increasing scale to more than 1,000 MWh.”

1414 Degrees has appointed its Commercial Development Manager, Marie Pavlik, as CEO of SiliconAurora to drive the development of the Project. Marie will commence in January after finishing her senior role with ComAp, a global leader in generator controllers and demand management systems. Marie has been in the leadership team developing ComAp in the Asia Pacific Region for six years, after relocating from Prague where she served an additional eight years with the company. Marie brings extensive experience in renewable energy, market development and commercial growth. She has a Master of Business Administration, Master of Electrical Engineering and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

“This is a key appointment for a milestone project for 1414 Degrees. We will demonstrate our grid scale thermal storage by systematically building a power station with firmed renewable generation,” Dr Kevin Moriarty said.

Source: 1414 Degrees


Sunraysia Solar Farm update

12 December

Decmil Group Limited (ASX:DCG) (“Decmil” or “Company”) wishes to provide an update on the Sunraysia solar farm project.

On 8 October 2018 Decmil announced that it had entered into an EPC contract with Sunraysia Solar Farm Pty Ltd (“SSF”), a development company controlled by Maoneng Australia and infrastructure developer John Laing, for the construction of the 255MW Sunraysia Solar Project (“Project”) located near Balranald in New South Wales.

All plant, equipment and components necessary for the operation of the Works (“Physical Works”) necessary to achieve Substantial Completion are now complete, with the Physical Works being delivered safely, on time and in accordance with the requirements of the Contract.

Notwithstanding the above, Substantial Completion requirements of the Contract can only be satisfied following Sunraysia Solar Project Pty Ltd (“Sunraysia Solar”) obtaining R1 registration of the project from the Australian Energy Market Operator (“AEMO”).

Currently, Sunraysia Solar are yet to obtain R1 registration for the Project. Decmil confirms it is continuing to support Sunraysia Solar with its R1 registration process, including the performance of additional testing and modelling.

Sunraysia Solar has refused to award to Decmil an extension of time and an associated adjustment to the contracted date for Substantial Completion. Decmil believes it is entitled to an adjustment to the date for Substantial Completion and has escalated this under the dispute mechanism of the Contract.

At this stage, Decmil confirms it does not believe that the issues raised above will have a material impact on its earnings for the half year ended 31 December 2019, however, it is expected to negatively impact the Group’s cash position by approximately $14 million, being remaining progress payments (including the Substantial Completion milestone payment) due on the project, until resolved.

Notwithstanding this negative cash impact, Decmil retains sufficient cash reserves and working capital facilities.

Source: Decmil


Lion Beers to be brewed with 100% renewable electricity by 2025

12 December

Following its announcement last month that it would become Australasia’s first major carbon neutral brewer in 2020, Lion has today pledged to use 100% renewable electricity to brew all of its beers by 2025.

CEO of Lion Stuart Irvine said the company had received such a positive reaction to its carbon neutral commitment that it was keen to announce the next phase of its climate strategy before Christmas.

“Lion is proud to be extending its reliance on renewable electricity as a key component of maintaining Climate Active certified carbon neutral operations,” Mr Irvine said.

“Going into the summer months, we want consumers to crack open a cold Furphy, XXXX GOLD, Tooheys New, Little Creatures, Kosciuszko, or any of the fantastic beverages in our portfolio and know that they represent Lion’s long-term pledge to do the right thing by the environment,” Mr Irvine said.

“Lion is now proudly pulling every carbon abatement lever available. Not only have we committed to sourcing all our electricity from renewable sources to lower our emissions, but we are offsetting our remaining organisational footprint to put us in a carbon neutral position.

“We have been on this journey for quite some time, but speed is of the essence in addressing climate change. While we work towards our 2025 renewable electricity target, in the meantime our remaining emissions will be offset through a portfolio of verified projects focusing on bush regeneration and conservation projects that both cut carbon emissions and protect vital habitat and food sources for native wildlife.”

Lion will announce its carbon offset projects through Tasman Environmental Management early in 2020.

Sustainability is important to Lion. We believe that working in a responsible and sustainable way is a force for good – for our people, our environment, and our society.

Source: Lion Beers

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