New transmission line primes Granville Harbour Wind Farm to provide clean energy to the grid

9 November

Construction workers for the $280m Granville Harbour Wind Farm have successfully completed the project's new 11-kilometre 220kV transmission line and switching station, in preparation for sending an additional 112MW of clean, zero emissions energy into the grid.

When complete, the Granville Harbour Wind Farm, near Zeehan on Tasmania's west coast, will provide a significant new source of electricity - up to 360 gigawatt hours of energy a year - or enough to power for 46,000 homes.

Energy output from the wind farm will be sold to Hydro Tasmania as part of a long-term power purchase agreement.

"Completing the transmission line gives us a physical connection to Tasmania's energy network and brings us closer to delivering a new source of renewable energy to households and businesses," Project Director Lyndon Frearson said.

The 220kV transmission line connects the wind farm to an existing section of the Tasmanian electricity network, nearby to the Reece Dam and Power Station.

The chosen transmission line route to the wind farm follows an existing roadside easement, a decision that ensured significantly less impact to native vegetation in the remote area.

Stringing of electrical conductor wires along the transmission line corridor and across Reece Dam was completed by highly trained and highly skilled helicopter pilots.

‘Heli-stringing’ is an efficient means of installing electrical conductor wires on largescale transmission line projects as the helicopter’s manoeuvrability and precision reduces the amount of time it takes to install high voltage wires.

“This is an important milestone that allows Granville Harbour Wind Farm to proceed with further commissioning activities in readiness for first generation,” Mr Frearson said.

“We’re really pleased this important project has been completed by local contractors, TasNetworks, Zinfra and Gradco to a high standard, with no lost time injuries and a strong safety record.”

TasNetworks Chief Executive Officer, Lance Balcombe said “We’re pleased and proud to have built the 11-kilometre transmission line that links Granville Harbour Wind Farm to the network.”

Other achievements at the wind farm construction site include:

  • 50 oversize deliveries made to site since transport commenced last month.
  • Base tower sections for two turbines now erected.
  • 13 wind turbine foundations poured – each requiring 100 truckloads of concrete.

The first wind turbine is expected to be fully installed later this month.

Source: Granville Harbour Wind Farm

 

Network Opportunity Maps

11 November

Transmission update and new downloadable content

Energy Networks Australia, in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, has released the 2019 transmission update of the Network Opportunity Maps based on the 30 June 2019 Transmission Annual Planning Reports (distribution data is unchanged, from December 2018 Annual Planning Reports).

These are interactive investment and constraint maps, which identify the most valuable locations to invest in renewable energy and demand management.

This release is part of the continued push by network businesses to improve network efficiency and lower network prices. It also highlights opportunities for the integration of clean energy in the grid and works towards common digital markets for cost-effective alternatives to building capital-intensive infrastructure, in alignment with the Network Transformation Roadmap.

See some examples of transmission investments and associated deferral value opportunities:

  • Sydney: 2022, 2025
  • North Queensland
  • Leigh Creek, SA

 

Don’t forget to use the time slider bar at the bottom of the screen!

For regular visitors, you may need to clear your browser cache to ensure you see the latest data.

For more information visit the NOM web page.

 

NEW PROJECT

Mulwala Ski Club Energy Park

Location: Mulwala, NSW

Capacity: 6.4 MW

Developer: Vellocet Clean Energy

Status: Being considered by state government’s Western Regional Planning Panel

LGA: Federation Council

Estimated cost: $7mil

Description: The proposed solar farm would consist of solar arrays installed over an area of approximately 8.7 hectares and would include an external 6 metre buffer for vegetation surrounding the site. The solar farm would be connected to an Essential Energy 22 kV ETL located parallel to the southern boundary of the site. The construction phase for the development would be approximately 12 weeks and the estimated operating life of the system is 25 years. The main components will consist of 18,924 panels (design based on QCells Q-Plus 340W panel or similar); a 5MVA inverter installed on site; 2 X 2.5 kV transformers with associated switch gear; and an underground connection point to the 22kV Essential Energy network to connect to the existing substation.

Contact: Yves Abdurahman

Chief Operating Officer

Vellocet Clean Energy

Tel: (03) 9111 8800

Email: operations@vellocet.com.au

Website: https://www.vellocet.com.au/

 

Daintree community to power on

11 November

The Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to improving energy security, reliability and affordability for households and businesses in the Daintree.

A grant of $990,150 towards a feasibility study to allow Daintree Renewable Energy Pty Ltd to take the 100 per cent renewable microgrid project to ‘shovel ready’ within 12 months has now been delivered.

The feasibility study is being supported via the Federal Government’s $50 million Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund.

Through the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund, the Government will support up to 50 off-grid and fringe-of-grid communities to investigate whether establishing a microgrid is cost-effective, and whether existing off-grid capabilities can be upgraded with modern technology.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Daintree microgrid feasibility study was the first to receive support from the Regional and Remote Communities Reliability Fund, and congratulated Warren Entsch on his long-time commitment to this project to deliver more reliable affordable power for the people of the Daintree.

“Microgrid technology is becoming increasingly cost effective, creating the opportunity for a reliable, low cost, off-grid supply”, said Minister Taylor.

“I was pleased to visit the Daintree with Warren Entsch to make the announcement and hear first-hand the support for this project.”

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said he was proud to have delivered on his election commitment within six months.

He said the proposed microgrid would reduce the World Heritage Area’s reliance on four million litres of diesel fuel per year to generate power.

“I gave the Daintree community a firm commitment I would help them find a solution to their power needs,” Mr Entsch said.

“This is absolutely fantastic news for the environmentally-conscious Daintree community.

“Far North Queenslanders, especially those living in the Daintree, are extremely passionate about their natural environment and this is a big win for the entire region.”

Daintree Renewable Energy Pty Ltd spokesperson Russel’ O’Doherty thanked the federal government for its unwavering commitment and support towards the project.

“This is an exciting stage for the Daintree community which will bring the energy project closer to becoming a reality,” Mr O’Doherty said.

“I would particularly like to thank Warren Entsch and Minister Taylor. Without their support this would not have happened.

“I would also like to thank Richard Schoenemann and his team as well as Phil Keoghan and Shaun Cross from Volt Advisory services that have continued to work with and support us and have made this next stage possible. 

“I now hope that the Queensland Government and the Douglas Shire Council will support the Daintree community and work with us to help make this exciting project a success.”

Source: Federal Government

 

The demand records keep on breaking in South Australia

11 November

Another minimum operational demand milestone was reached yesterday, and another record was broken in the state - for the third time in a month.

Yesterday at 13:30pm, Sunday 10th November, our operations teams confirmed that a new minimum operational demand record was set in South Australia of 458 MW, replacing the previous summer minimum record set on 22nd December 2018. It’s worth noting that major industrial businesses were at typical operating loads throughout yesterday.

As we reported last month, this is yet another minimum demand record recently set in South Australia and a strong signifier of how rapidly Australia’s power system is evolving.

Increased rooftop solar PV (photovoltaic) is lowering the middle of the day operational (or ‘grid’) electricity demand. Both minimum and maximum operational demand are now shifting to later in the day, driven by increasing contribution (and consumer take-up of) from rooftop PV.

While these new records are certainly attention grabbing, that does not mean they’re without challenges. The increasing contribution of behind-the-meter resources to our power system has meant that managing key system requirements, such as frequency and voltage, can become more difficult.

AEMO continues to work closely with energy market participants, partners and stakeholders to understand and manage the impact of Solar PV proliferation on the network and how that is creating demand peaks and putting pressure on the electricity grid.

As our industry continues to rapidly transform, we’re expecting more broken records (not just in South Australia) and further developments within our power system. It’s an eventful time for our sector!

Source: AEMO

 

NEW PROJECT

Waroona Solar Farm

Location: Approximately 11km SW of Waroona and 30km south of Pinjarra in Western Australia

Capacity: 183 MW

Developer: South Energy

Estimated cost: $250mil

LGA: Shire of Waroona

Status: Development plans approved by Mid-West/Wheatbelt Joint Development Assessment Panel

Description: The development will consist of 488,800 solar PV panels of 410 W each, mounted on single-axis trackers, 50 power conversion units, inverters and transformers, a substation, an operations and maintenance facility, site office, laydown area, internal access tracks, security fencing and a battery energy storage system of up to 20 MW. The lots on which the proposed solar farm is proposed is zoned ‘Rural 1 – General Farming’ and cover total area of 308ha.

Contact: South Energy

Tel: (03) 8842 6888

Email: info@southenergy.com.au

 

PROJECT NEWS

Wahroonga Solar Farm

ITP Development’s proposed 6.05 MW DC/5 MW AC Wahroonga Solar Farm, located approximately 5.5km east-north-east of Narromine in NSW, approved by the state government’s Regional Planning Panel. The proposed development involves the construction operation of a solar farm consisting of 15,708 solar modules installed in 88 rows using single-axis tracking, two inverter stations, security fencing, and a temporary car parking area for 40 vehicles. The total site area is ~32.3ha currently used for agriculture, with ~15.6ha used for development. Grid connection is via a 22kV feeder into the Narromine Substation.

 

Mercury commits to completing New Zealand’s largest wind farm

12 November

Mercury has amended its contracts with Vestas to complete New Zealand’s largest wind farm at the Turitea site near Palmerston North.

Mercury’s Chief Executive, Fraser Whineray, announced today that Mercury has committed to build the remaining 27 consented turbines at Turitea, at a cost of $208 million, adding to the 33-turbine project announced earlier this year. This will create New Zealand’s largest wind farm at 222MW, producing 840GWh annually, enough to power 375,000 EVs.

“Being able to complete the Turitea wind farm at its full scale contributes further to New Zealand’s sustainable, low emissions future by making more renewable, kiwi-made electricity available for homes, businesses and vehicles throughout the country,” Mr Whineray said.

“The combination of long-term electricity demand projections, synergies from already committed transmission infrastructure, construction and operations on site, and co-benefits with the Waikato hydro system mean completion of the Turitea wind farm makes sense.

“We are pleased to be able to announce this closely following the passing of the Zero Carbon Bill by the New Zealand Parliament,” Mr Whineray said.

The newly enacted legislation sets up a framework by which New Zealand's policy on climate change will be developed in the effort to achieve the aims of the 2015 Paris Agreement. That includes a target to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases (except biogenic methane) to net zero by 2050.

Mr Whineray said it is clear that there will be a need for significant amounts of renewable electricity to support the path to a low carbon future.

“Short-term uncertainty is a feature of our electricity market and we are used to that. On one hand, wholesale electricity prices are currently elevated, mainly due to issues in the gas market which are likely to remain. On the other, the aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point is being reviewed by Rio Tinto, noting that its electricity supply contract with Meridian concludes in 2030.”

“Renewable energy projects are about the very long term, and we believe the case is compelling for the completion of this leading North Island wind farm site, situated close to the national grid, supporting New Zealand demand into the future,” Mr Whineray said.

The 27 new turbines in the south will have a total capacity of 103MW and will generate 370GWh per annum on average. The southern section of the wind farm will use the same Vestas wind turbine model but will have a higher peak output at 3.8MW per turbine compared to 3.6MW per turbine for the northern section of the wind farm. This 0.2MW per turbine increase in capacity helps compensate for the slightly lower average wind speeds in the south of the site.

“Mercury again acknowledges and thanks local councils, landowners and iwi for their engagement through the long process to bring the Turitea wind farm project this far, and we look forward to working with them and other stakeholders during the construction activity to follow,” Mr Whineray said.

Mercury already generates around 6,800GWh of renewable electricity per annum, approximately 17% of New Zealand’s total electricity generation, from its hydro and geothermal stations located in the central North Island, close to areas of high demand and growth. It operates solar business Mercury Solar, and has a 60kW solar array at its Penrose R&D centre. Mercury also owns almost 20% of Tilt Renewables, which operates and develops wind farms in Australia and New Zealand.

PROJECT DETAILS

Mercury has contracted with the same supplier Vestas-New Zealand Wind Technology Limited, a local subsidiary of Vestas Wind Systems A/S (the world’s largest wind turbine supplier), to construct and maintain the combined Turitea wind farm development. This arrangement involves amendment and restatement of the full engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contract and long-term service and availability agreement executed in March 2019 to accommodate the increased scope. Mercury is also working with Electrix to connect the new portion of the wind farm to the transmission currently under construction. These transmission assets already have been designed to cater for generation growth from these 27 additional turbines and the future development of the nearby Puketoi wind farm.

On-site construction for the southern section of the wind farm is planned to start this summer in conjunction with existing construction activities. The cost for this section of the wind farm is estimated to be $208 million. This will be funded from existing debt facilities.

Source: Mercury

 

More clean energy and jobs flow on the Darling Downs

12 November

The Darling Downs and South West is quickly becoming a renewable energy powerhouse creating hundreds of jobs in the process.

Speaking at the opening of the Darling Downs Solar Farm, Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the $200 million facility was the latest clean energy generator to enter the National Electricity Market, providing enough energy to power up to 36,000 homes.

“We’ve got more than $5 billion worth of renewable energy projects either generating, underway or financially committed across Queensland with one third of this investment in the Darling Downs alone,” he said.

“This latest solar farm owned by APA Group is one of five clean energy generators to come online in the Darling Downs region in just three years and is one of Queensland’s 30 clean energy generators,” Dr Lynham said.

Dr Lynham joined APA Group executives to inspect the facility, situated 45 kilometres west of Dalby.

It comes as three more large-scale solar farms are under construction in the Darling Downs and are currently providing more than 300 jobs for local communities.

Dr Lynham said the Darling Downs was demonstrating to the world how gas and the growing renewables sector could co-exist to help transition to a low emissions future.

“The Darling Downs Solar Farm is APA’s first renewable project in Queensland and is a stone’s throw away Origin Energy’s Darling Downs gas power station,” he said.

“In fact, the benefits of co-location means clean energy generators like Darling Downs Solar Farm reduce their project footprint meaning less impacts on the local community whilst tapping into existing transmission infrastructure.”

The 402 hectare Darling Downs Solar farm features more than 423,000 solar panels and has a capacity of 110 megawatts.

It is APA Group’s sixth clean energy project in Australia.

APA Group CEO and Managing Director Rob Wheals said the new Darling Downs Solar Farm is a world class renewables facility that demonstrates APA’s commitment to sustainable and responsible energy.

“It showcases what can be achieved when industry, government and communities come together with a common goal.

“We’re continuing to grow our capabilities in renewable energy infrastructure as part of our growth strategy. Darling Downs Solar Farm is part of our growing renewables infrastructure portfolio, which will, together with our gas infrastructure, contribute to Australia’s transition to a lower carbon economy.”

Dr Lynham said the Darling Downs Solar Farm was yet another milestone in Queensland’s trajectory to renewable energy and renewable jobs.

“We’ve given the people of Queensland a commitment to reaching a 50 per cent by 2030 renewable energy target and with Darling Downs Solar Farm’s contribution we are well on our way.

“Queensland’s continued uptake of renewable energy projects is the direct result of good policy bringing the right investment climate.”

Source: Queensland Government

 

Worley announces joint venture for microgrids and distributed energy systems

12 November

Worley Group Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Worley Limited, and XENDEE Inc. (XENDEE) have created VECKTA Corporation (VECKTA), a USA incorporated joint venture.

VECKTA will own and operate a cloud-based market platform for microgrids and distributed energy systems. The platform will link XENDEE’s core energy configuration software with a global network of equipment, finance and project delivery providers supported by Worley.

The VECKTA joint venture builds on the Worley and XENDEE relationship established in 2018. The Worley and XENDEE respective shareholdings are 51% and 49%.

“We are pleased to strengthen our relationship with XENDEE through the VECKTA joint venture. We believe the VECKTA market platform will be a valuable service offering to the power sector. This joint venture demonstrates Worley’s commitment to helping our customers meet the world’s changing energy, chemicals and resources needs, including developing solutions for the global energy transition,” said Andrew Wood, Chief Executive Officer of Worley.

Source: Worley

 

Kennedy Energy Park EPC contract dispute

12 November

Windlab Limited (ASX:WND) (‘Windlab’ or the ‘Company’) provides an update on the status of the Kennedy Energy Park (KEP) Project. Against an original construction and commissioning program of 11 months, KEP is now running 13 months late and is not forecast by the EPC contractor (a joint venture between Vestas Wind Systems and Quanta Services) to reach full commercial operations for a further 4 to 5 months. As previously announced, the Project has been constructed and energised and began limited operation in August. However, the EPC Contractor has not been able to deliver a fully functioning, compliant generator performance standard (GPS) model as required by AEMO to allow registration of the Project as a generator, which is required before full commercial operation can commence. Under the terms of the EPC contract it is the responsibility of the EPC Contractor to deliver a fully functioning, compliant GPS model and electrical plant to meet specific network standards and generally accepted good industry practice.

As previously advised KEP invoiced the Contractor for Delay Liquidated Damages (DLD) as defined in the EPC Contract in August 2019. The EPC Contractor disputed these invoices and a dispute resolution process, as defined under the EPC Contract, has commenced.

In late September the EPC Contractor responded with a payment claim which included several milestone payments which KEP’s Principal’s Representative certified as not fully complete and hence not due to be paid. One claim was accepted and set-off against the outstanding DLD invoice under the terms of the EPC Contract. The EPC Contractor also made numerous claims for extensions of time and variations against the EPC Contract which are not accepted by KEP.

The EPC Contractor has decided to seek an interim payment of its disputed claims by way of a Security of Payment Adjudication under the Queensland Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (BIF Act). KEP has until 26 November 2019 (subject to any potential extensions of time) to provide a response to the EPC Contractor’s submission to the Adjudicator and will do so comprehensively.

Windlab believes that Kennedy Energy Park has recourse under the terms of the EPC contract for these ongoing delays and costs if substantive legal proceedings become necessary.

Kennedy Energy Park is owned 50/50 by Windlab and Eurus Energy Holdings through a non-recourse, project financed special purpose company. All parties, including the EPC Contractor remain committed to resolving the remaining outstanding technical issues and the successful completion of the project at the earliest possible time. Windlab will continue to keep the market informed as matters progress.

Source: Windlab

 

AEMO’s Q3 2019 market wrap highlights key shifts shaping Australia’s energy sector

12 November

AEMO’s Quarterly Energy Dynamics – Q3 2019 highlights falling spot gas prices, record levels of negative spot electricity prices, and a changing supply mix reflecting generator and interconnector outages in the east coast, and increased wind and rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) generation in the west, as key market observations for the quarter.

AEMO's Quarterly Energy Dynamics - Q3 2019 was published this morning.

After averaging $9-10/gigajoule (GJ) for the last year, spot gas prices fell to average $8.24/GJ over the quarter, 15% lower than Q2 2019. Overall, prices were at their lowest level since Q4 2017, with Queensland prices recording the largest falls.

Q3 2019 saw record levels of negative electricity prices in parts of the National Electricity Market (NEM). Queensland’s spot price was zero or negative 4.5% of the time, compared to 0.1% of the time in Q3 2018, with most negative intervals occurring during the daytime. In South Australia, the spot price was zero or negative 8.3% of the time, compared to 3.1% of the time in Q3 2018. Negative spot price periods in these regions coincided with high variable renewable energy (VRE) output, low operational demand, and interconnector constraints which restricted electricity exports.

Gas price reductions, coupled with negative spot electricity prices, contributed to decreased average quarterly spot electricity prices in Queensland and South Australia. Queensland’s average price of $62/megawatt hours (MWh) was its lowest since Q3 2016, while South Australia’s average of $75/MWh was its lowest since Q1 2016 (excluding Q4 2016, in which spot price outcomes were significantly affected by the South Australian black system event).

An interesting consequence of negative spot prices was that some renewable generators rebid to avoid having to pay to generate. This was a factor in comparatively high levels of VRE curtailment – approximately 4.5% of VRE output was curtailed in Q3 2019, compared to 2% in Q2 2019.

Brown coal-fired generation declined to its lowest level since the start of the NEM, due to a high number of planned and unplanned outages (most notably Loy Yang A2, which has been unavailable since May). These outages, coupled with ongoing water conservation from hydro generators due to dry conditions, contributed to Victoria’s average spot electricity price of $98/MWh being its fifth highest quarter on record. Gas-powered generators in the NEM operated at elevated levels to cover coal-fired generator outages, with quarterly average gas-powered generation reaching its highest Q3 level in five years. An unplanned outage on the Basslink Interconnector between 24 August 2019 and 29 September 2019 contributed to reduced Tasmanian hydro generation, as well as comparatively high NEM-wide Frequency Control Ancillary Services demand and costs.

A new Q3 Western Australia Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) minimum demand record was set at 1130 hrs on Sunday, 29 September 2019, when average operational demand was 1,176 megawatts (MW), only 3 MW above the WEM’s record low operational demand experienced on 15 October 2006. At the time, output from rooftop PV was approximately 971 MW, fulfilling 45% of underlying demand. AEMO estimates that between end Q3 2018 and end Q3 2019, an additional 215 MW of rooftop PV capacity was installed in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

For more in-depth information and analysis about energy market dynamics, trends and outcomes over the last quarter, download the AEMO Quarterly Energy Dynamics Q3 2019 report.

Source: AEMO

 

RACV goes green with help from Red Energy

12 November

RACV will make the switch to 100% renewable energy at all its Victorian clubs, resorts and office buildings after signing a five-year deal with Snowy Hydro’s energy retailer Red Energy.

The agreement will combine power generated from solar panels installed on several of RACV’s properties with renewable energy supplied by Red Energy.

Under the deal, which comes into effect from 1 January 2020, RACV will purchase 21 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity per year; the equivalent to the electricity usage of 3,500 average homes.

RACV Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Neil Taylor said the agreement with Red Energy complements the organisation’s existing renewable energy initiatives.

“RACV is partly through a multiyear, multimillion-dollar series of investments in energy efficiency initiatives including the installation of solar panels, switching to LED lighting and upgrading inefficient air-conditioning units at our resorts across Australia and corporate sites in Victoria,” Mr Taylor said.

“These initiatives are expected to cut RACV’s annual power usage by 8,000 megawatt hours and cut carbon emissions by 9,000 tonnes a year. We’re delighted that the remainder of the electricity we use in Victoria will come from hydro, solar and wind power supplied by Red Energy.”

Managing Director of Snowy Hydro, Paul Broad said it was exciting to see Red Energy partner with RACV.

"On-demand hydro from the mighty Snowy Scheme will underpin our contracted wind and solar generation, meaning Red Energy can supply RACV with reliable renewable energy. It's really satisfying to play our part in RACV’s commitment to reducing their carbon footprint."

Earlier this year, RACV installed more than 1640 solar panels on its Torquay resort and almost 2,000 solar panels on the roof of the Noble Park office. Plans are underway to install solar panels on RACV resorts in Cobram, Healesville, Hobart, Cape Schanck, Royal Pines and Noosa over the next two years.

Sustainability in the homes of its 2.2 million members has been an increasing focus area for RACV. Since launching its own solar and battery business in 2017, RACV Solar has installed more than 4,500 solar panels on residential properties across the state.

Source: RACV

 

$22 million in new Biofutures projects set to start in Queensland

13 November

Six new bio projects collectively valued at more than $22 million will soon be delivered in Queensland, with the first grants announced from the Palaszczuk Government’s $5 million Queensland Waste to Biofutures Fund (W2B Fund).

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said $1.9 million has been awarded to six businesses and universities innovating in the waste-to-bioproducts space, with around 85 jobs to be created during construction and operation of the projects.

“Queensland is leading the way when it comes to turning waste streams into high-value bioproducts with environmental benefits,” Mr Dick said.

“These six projects will create biogas, syngas and fertiliser replacements, and energy to run industrial plants and charge electric vehicles, but most importantly they’ll create more jobs for Queenslanders.

“When Deb Frecklington and the LNP were last in power, they cut the Queensland Sustainable Energy Innovation Fund, an initiative introduced by Labor to help develop emissions-reducing technology locally.

“In contrast, the Palaszczuk Government is committed to creating a $1 billion sustainable and export-oriented industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector here in Queensland that promotes investment and supports jobs.”

Minister for Environment and Minister for Science Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was leading the way towards a sustainable future.

“These projects demonstrate our strong leadership and support for initiatives that help create the industries and jobs of the future and improve economic and environmental sustainability,” Ms Enoch said.

“It is important we take these steps now in moving towards a more sustainable future so we can support our future generations.”

W2B Fund recipients and their projects:

- BE Power Solutions ($500,000): Biogas-solar power plant at AJ Bush rendering facility Bromelton, Scenic Rim, providing power for the facility and the grid

- Wildfire Energy ($500,000): Waste-to-energy demonstration project in Redbank Plains, Ipswich, which will convert feedstocks into syngas, enabling the production of renewable electricity, hydrogen and chemicals

- Energy360 ($363,500): Bioenergy plant and electric vehicle (EV) charging station with future potential to power Bundaberg Regional Council waste-recovery trucks

- Nilwaste Energy ($250,000): Demonstration plant at QUT’s industrial testing facility in Banyo to convert waste into bioenergy

- Pearl Global ($250,000): Project at Staplyton on the Gold Coast producing bioenergy from waste gas

- University of Southern Queensland ($50,000): Toowoomba project to create granulated organomineral fertilisers from biosolids

Bioenergy Australia CEO Shahana McKenzie said the W2B Fund is helping Queensland companies advance some truly exciting projects.

“These projects have enormous potential to attract investment in the bioenergy sector and create jobs,” Ms McKenzie said.

“Bioenergy is attracting considerable interest worldwide due to its enormous potential to reduce carbon emissions and drive a more sustainable energy future.”

Source: Queensland Government

  

New Bioenergy Roadmap to grow emerging energy source

13 November

The Liberal National Government has announced the development of a new roadmap to enhance the growth of Australia’s bioenergy sector and identify the role bioenergy can play in Australia’s future energy mix.

Bioenergy is a renewable energy source created from organic and renewable materials, also known as biomass. Biomass can produce heat, electricity, biogas and liquid fuels.

Minister Taylor has requested that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) develops the roadmap, to ensure that bioenergy has the scope to expand as an energy source in Australia.

“We want to grow this emerging energy source and the roadmap will help to inform future policy decisions in the bioenergy sector”, said Minister Taylor.

“Bioenergy currently contributes up to approximately 4 per cent of Australia’s total energy consumption, as opposed to approximately 7 per cent in other OECD countries.

“It’s important to support new and emerging energy sources like bioenergy so that we can continue to deliver extra energy supply to the market, drive down energy prices for families and businesses, and lower emissions.”

The Bioenergy Roadmap will assist with investment decisions by quantifying opportunities where Australia has a competitive advantage in the bioenergy sector.

Leading bioenergy industry stakeholders will be consulted on the development of the roadmap, with broader industry consultations to be held in early 2020. Finalisation of the roadmap is expected by mid-2020.

The roadmap will leverage the existing work undertaken in bioenergy supported by ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The Government has already invested over $179 million in bioenergy projects through ARENA and the CEFC since 2015.

The roadmap will consider:

- The potential for biofuels to decarbonise the industrial and transport sectors;

- The role biofuels can play in contributing to Australia’s liquid fuel security;

- Opportunities to use biogas in the gas network;

- Bioenergy’s capacity to generate heat, steam and power; and

- Quantifying the economic opportunities for Australia, including a focus on regional Australia.

The Bioenergy Roadmap is part of the Government’s commitment to reduce Australia’s emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The continued development of Australia’s bioenergy sector has the potential to deliver lower energy prices, stimulate regional development, enhance our energy security and help meet our emissions reduction targets.

Source: Federal Government

 

Northern Australia infrastructure facility board approves extension of offer for funding of the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project

13 November

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to announce that further to its announcement on 1 November 2019, the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) Board has confirmed it has extended the date of its offer of long-term concessional loan funding for the Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Storage Hydro Project (Project), which was provided to Genex earlier this year (refer ASX announcement 11 July 2019). The offer was originally made to 30 November 2019 and has now been extended to 30 June 2020.

The offer remains subject to a number of conditions precedent including the finalisation of the Queensland Government’s consideration of the Project and its agreement for the approved funds to be advanced. As announced on 1 November 2019, Genex is continuing to work with the NAIF team and its other stakeholders to complete the restructuring of the Project financing with a view to achieving financial close as early as possible in 2020.

In commenting on today’s announcement, James Harding, CEO of Genex said:

“Genex welcomes the continuing support of NAIF in its development of the Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project, which reflects the significance of the Project to Northern Australia. Notwithstanding the setback earlier this month, we are continuing to maintain the momentum built up this year for the Project and with the support of NAIF and our other stakeholders, we are progressing the restructuring of the transaction with a view to achieving financial close on this iconic project as soon as possible. We will continue to keep the market informed as these activities progress.”

Source: Genex Power

 

Inaction on marginal loss factors equals less clean energy and higher power prices

14 November

Today’s media reports that the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has decided to maintain the out-dated framework for marginal loss factors (MLFs) will put new investment in energy generation at risk, to the detriment of Australian consumers.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said the industry was already struggling with the impact of unexpected and unmanageable changes in MLFs over recent years, and that the decision to retain the status quo would undoubtedly put future investment at risk, resulting in higher power prices for consumers.

“Under the current regime, MLFs represent a major challenge for investors in energy generation projects in Australia. It is very disappointing that the AEMC has not listened to the serious concerns of investors and taken for granted their appetite to continue to invest in Australia.”

“We are already seeing a slow-down in investment in new energy generation. Without changes to the way transmission losses are calculated, we expect this downturn will continue to worsen. This will not only be devastating for the clean energy industry, but also places Australia’s future energy reliability at risk as new investment in wind and solar is needed to replace our ageing coal generators.”

MLFs play a critical role in project economics as they determine how much of the electricity output will be credited for payment, and therefore have a significant impact on revenue.

Mr Thornton said the view that the current methodology for calculating transmission losses was no longer fit for purpose was widespread across the industry, with many pointing to an ‘average loss factor’ calculation as a potential measure to reduce the level of risk facing investors.

“The AEMC believes its coordination of a new generation and transmission (COGATI) process will provide the reform needed to address investment concerns. However, the COGATI access model is hugely unpopular with key industry stakeholders, including the Australian Energy Market Operator. The AEMC needs to start listening to industry’s concerns.”

“Disappointingly, the clean energy industry is losing confidence in the Australian market. There is a real risk that the AEMC’s decisions on MLFs and COGATI will see renewable energy investors move their money overseas, at a time when investment in new generation is critical to ensure Australia’s future energy supply is secure and put downward pressure on power prices.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Have your say: transmission loss factors draft determination

14 November

The AEMC today released a draft determination to keep the existing signals for investment in new generation in the most efficient parts of the national grid – rejecting a request for consumers to pay for electrical losses for generators located in congested areas of the grid.

Stakeholder feedback is being sought on the AEMC’s draft decision to retain the marginal loss factor methodology for calculating electricity lost during transmission, rather than moving to an average loss factor methodology.

  1. The power system is decentralising

At the edge of the grid, transmission lines may not be as strong. And if several generators build close to each other, there can be increased congestion, especially when the wind and sun is strong and everyone wants access to the network at the same time. Powerlines lose increasing amounts of electricity over long distances. How much revenue can be earned by generators is worked out by taking these losses into account, meaning generators locating in these areas will earn less. Marginal loss factors provide important locational signals and help minimise costs to consumers.

  1. Changing the rules on grid access and charging

This request was made at the same time we are finalising an entirely new way of managing costs and risks of getting new generation and transmission into the market to benefit consumers. We acknowledge that some investors are seeking relief from loss factor volatility. However, this is a symptom of the structural change happening across the power system. This change is being addressed by broader market reforms currently underway through the AEMC’s review on coordination of transmission and generation which will deliver on AEMO’s Integrated System Plan and is proposed to be a bedrock of the Energy Security Board’s 2025 market design work.

  1. Keeping investment signals strong and consumer costs down

Many new generators are already responding to loss factor signals. We are increasingly seeing innovative projects where solar farms and wind farms are co-locating with large scale batteries, enabling electricity to be stored for later use. The proponents’ request for a change to average loss factors would dampen locational signals, potentially leading to generators being built in the wrong place and costing consumers more in the long run. This is because the requested change would lead to consumers having to pay more to cover the costs of inefficiently located generators.

Next steps: Submissions on the draft determination are due by 16 January 2020.

Source: Australian Energy Market Commission

 

Vestas secures 103 MW addition to EPC project with Mercury to complete New Zealand’s largest wind farm

14 November

Vestas has signed a 103 MW engineering, procurement and construction contract with New Zealand-based electricity generator and retailer Mercury. The deal will extend Mercury’s Turitea Wind Farm from 119 MW to 222 MW, improving the cost of energy and making Mercury’s first wind project the largest wind park in New Zealand.

Situated near Palmerston North, the wind farm will now feature a further 27 Vestas V112-3.45 MW turbines delivered in 3.8 MW Power Optimised Mode, alongside the initial 33 Vestas V112-3.35 MW turbines operating in 3.6 MW. The turbines’ optimised power rating and site-specific tower design have been selected to maximise the energy generation at the new part of the wind park.

“We are pleased to be able to complete this project with Vestas by encompassing all 60 consented turbines. Fully developing the Turitea Wind Farm will capture more of New Zealand’s great wind resources through regional investment, further lowering the project’s cost of energy and allowing us to provide New Zealand with more affordable and sustainable renewable energy”, said Mercury Chief Executive Fraser Whineray.

“Vestas shares Mercury’s commitment to a sustainable future, and we are pleased to expand our relationship to complete New Zealand’s biggest wind farm”, says Clive Turton, Vestas Asia Pacific President. “The deal will further strengthen our leadership position in the New Zealand market, expand our service footprint and create local jobs”.

The Turitea Wind Farm will increase Vestas’ installed capacity in New Zealand to 568 MW.

Upon completion, Vestas will commence a 25-year Active Output Management 5000 (AOM 5000) service agreement, designed to maximise energy production for the lifetime of the project. With an energy-based availability guarantee covering both turbines and balance of plant assets, Vestas will provide Mercury with long-term business case certainty. Commissioning of the additional 27 turbines at Turitea Wind Farm is scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2021.

Source: Vestas

 

New renewable electricity auction

The ACT Government has announced a new renewable electricity auction, to be held over 2019 and into 2020, which opened to bids on 15 November 2019. To register for more information about the auction and receive notification when the auction opens by email, email energypolicy@act.gov.au

Full auction documentation, including a request for proposal document and draft deed of feed-in tariff (FiT) entitlement, is available by emailing energypolicy@act.gov.au.

Why are we holding a new auction?

The ACT is leading the way to create lasting climate change solutions and help build a smarter, more liveable, emissions free city. We’re helping to tackle climate change to protect our planet for future generations.

Between 2012 to 2016 we held four auctions to provide large-scale renewable electricity to enable us to achieve the ACT's target of 100% renewable electricity by 2020. The ACT was the first state or territory to introduce the innovative reverse auction process, which is now used by other Australian states keen to invest in renewable electricity.

Now the goal is to maintain that target through a new auction to safeguard the delivery of 100% renewable electricity for our growing city "on and from" 2020.

Who can put in a bid?

The auction will be open to any suitable renewable electricity source.

The auction will provide the successful bidders with a 10-year contract and require them to provide the large-scale generation certificates created to the ACT Government.

Successful bidders will also need to contribute to and engage with the ACT's local renewable energy industry and be assessed on their local community engagement plan.

Full details are available here: https://www.environment.act.gov.au/energy/cleaner-energy/new-renewable-electricity-auction

Source: ACT Government

 

CPP signs MoU with Shanghai Electric for the Cultana Solar Farm

Consolidated Power Projects Australia (CPP) recently participated in the second China International Import Expo. During the Expo CPP signed an MoU with Shanghai Electric for the Cultana Solar Farm.

CPP was supported at the event by the Hon. Mr David Ridgeway, South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, who commented;

“This type of exposure to the global market place is invaluable, trade shows of this size and scale in China are about building relationships and learning about new markets and opportunities.

CIIE is a place where deals can be done, and this week I am pleased to have been part of an MoU signing between Shanghai Electric and Consolidated Power Projects Australia Pty Ltd (CPP)".

“Shanghai Electric is building a high voltage sub-station project in South Australia and this MoU will enable CPP to provide the electrical design and construct services to facilitate this project to completion.

The high voltage electrical engineering service provider has its head office in Adelaide and since its establishment in 1996, CPP has delivered over 125 projects throughout Australia. Clients include ElectraNet, TransGrid, Powerlink, Ausgrid, Siemens and many more".

Source: Consolidated Power Projects Australia

 

Spain’s Iberdrola enters Australian industry

15 November

Xabier Viteri, Director of Renewable Energy at Iberdrola, said: “Renewable energy has increased its market share considerably in Australia in recent years. There’s tremendous potential for further growth. Like a lot of countries, we see increasing demand from the public and businesses for their energy to come from clean sources. When you have that demand, coupled with abundant natural resources for high-performance wind and solar, it creates a highly attractive market to invest in.

“We have spent several years studying the opportunities in Australia, and we now have a healthy initial pipeline of around 650 megawatts of wind and solar projects that we would like to develop. We are also working closely with a range of businesses and suppliers in Australia who can help to take our plans forward. As it stands we would like to have operational projects by 2021.”

  • Iberdrola has a 650 megawatt pipeline of wind and solar projects currently in Australia.
  • The first project being developed is a hybrid wind/solar site of 320MW in South Australia, in the Spencer Gulf region
  • This could be ready to produce power by as early as 2021 and will involve an investment of approximately 500m Australian dollars

Iberdrola is one of the leading renewable energy companies in the world, with more than 31,000 MW of wind, hydro and solar at the end of the third quarter of this year. The company manages renewables projects in the US, UK, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Ireland and several other European countries. The company´s strategic plan between 2018-2022 will see Iberdrola allocate around 40% of global investments in renewables, equating to over 13.3 billion euros.

Source: Iberdrola

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