Windlab secures off-take for Kennedy Energy Park

11 September

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) today announced that it has secured a 10-year agreement with Queensland government owned corporation, CS Energy, to purchase the renewable energy and some of the large-scale generation certificates (LGCs) produced from Kennedy Energy Park Phase I, a 60.5MW hybrid renewable energy project.

Kennedy Energy Park Phase I is an innovative 43.5MW Wind, 15MW Solar and 2MW Li Ion battery storage hybrid project located near Hughenden in far North Queensland. The site was identified and developed by Windlab Limited and is now owned by Kennedy Energy Park Pty Ltd, a 50/50 joint venture between Windlab with Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation of Japan.

The agreement with CS Energy is subject to a number of conditions precedent, including ministerial approval and the project reaching financial close.

“Finalising an off-take arrangement for the project is an important milestone in securing financing and advancing the project to financial close and construction.” said Roger Price, Windlab’s Executive Chairman.

Windlab and CS Energy have also entered into a priority offer arrangement which affords CS Energy a first right of offer to negotiate a contract to purchase some or all of the electricity, LGCs or other green benefits generated by Kennedy Phase II. Kennedy Phase II is a large wind energy project wholly owned and developed by Windlab, located some 80Kms north of Kennedy Energy Park. It has the potential to provide more than 1,200MW of capacity.

“Coupled with the Queensland Government’s Powering North Queensland Plan, announced in June 2017, which includes the proposed construction of a high capacity transmission line through Kennedy Phase II, this agreement with CS Energy significantly advances the project by providing a path to an off-take arrangement.” added Roger Price.

Source: Windlab

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Kennedy Energy Park

 

ReNu signs Sale and Purchase Agreement for Amaroo Solar PV Project

11 September

Highlights

  • Sale and Purchase Agreement entered into with Amaroo Solar Pty Ltd (part of the VivoPower group) for the acquisition of Amaroo Solar PV Project
  • Amaroo is an operational solar project comprising 600kW capacity underpinned by a 20 year ACT Government Feed-in Tariff scheme
  • Purchase price is $2.38 million with a $1 million refundable deposit paid, and completion is subject to typical closing conditions

Renewable energy company, ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) is pleased to advise that it has satisfactorily completed confirmatory due diligence on the Amaroo Solar PV Project and a definitive Sale and Purchase Agreement has been entered into to acquire the project assets.

CEO & Managing Director of ReNu Energy, Mr Chris Murray commented, “The Amaroo Solar PV Project will be ReNu Energy’s first operational solar asset, and is the largest solar PV rooftop project in the Australian Capital Territory.

Operating since 2015, the Project receives a long term premium rate for electricity under an ACT Government Feed-in Tariff Scheme, and is expected to deliver an average annual cash yield of approximately 12% per annum, delivering positive cash flow to ReNu Energy and making this an ideal project from which to build a portfolio of renewable energy assets. We are pleased to have successfully signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement with VivoPower, and look forward to further transactions together.”

“We are very pleased to have executed the Sale and Purchase Agreement with ReNu Energy for the transfer of the Amaroo Solar Project,” said Dr. Philip Comberg, Chief Executive Officer of VivoPower. “For VivoPower, this is the first of what we expect to be many successful transactions with ReNu Energy in Australia, and further establishes a successful track record for VivoPower’s build, transfer and operate model.”

The total purchase price is $2.38 million and a refundable deposit of $1 million has been paid, with the intention of debt funding the balance. Subject to completion, ReNu will be entitled to receive the Project profits for the period from signing to completion.

The agreements with VivoPower and more recently SCA Property Group (announced to the market on 2 June 2017) form the cornerstone of ReNu Energy’s solar PV business. From this base, the Company is building a portfolio of projects which utilise proven technologies such as solar PV, typically operating under long term contracts generating sustainable cash flows and creating shareholder value. The projects either generate electricity at customer’s premises and deliver directly to the customer behind the meter, or export electricity under long term power purchase agreements, feed in tariffs or for sale to the National Electricity Market.

Source: ReNu Energy

 

AGL injecting $2 billion to improve energy affordability and reliability

11 September

AGL is currently investing more than any other company to build new energy supply to help drive down power prices, and taking more action than any other energy retailer to help customers access better deals, said AGL’s MD & CEO Andy Vesey.

“The best way to address pricing challenges in the market is to increase supply. We’re investing more than anyone else in building new supply to drive down prices and stand ready to invest more when there is certainty on carbon policy,” said Mr Vesey.

“While more AGL customers are accessing discounts than ever before, AGL was the first retailer to proactively contact its concession customers on standing offers to encourage them onto a better rate. It has not been our practice to move customers at the end of discount periods to higher standing offers.

“Our customers have told us they find energy offers confusing so we are working with Government and industry to help standardise how energy offers are presented – this will enable customers to more easily choose the best energy plan for them.”

Meeting outcomes

“Following today’s meeting with the Prime Minister, we have committed to deliver a plan in 90 days of the actions AGL will take to avoid a market shortfall once the Liddell coal-fired power station retires in 2022.

“I was asked to take to the AGL Board the Government’s request to continue the operation of Liddell post 2022 for five years and/or sell Liddell, which I agreed to do,” Mr Vesey said.

AGL has previously advised the market that replacement of capacity will likely be provided by a mix of load shaping and firming from gas peaking plant, demand response, pumped hydro and batteries.

“Short term, new development will continue to favour renewables supported by gas peaking. Longer term, we see this trend continuing with large scale battery deployment enhancing the value of renewable technology. In this environment, we just don’t see new development of coal as economically rational, even before factoring in a carbon cost,1” Mr Vesey said.

By giving advanced notice of closure of its coal-fired power plants, AGL is meeting one of the 49 recommendations in the Finkel Report that have been accepted by the Commonwealth Government.

“The long notice period we have given reflects our commitment to managing carbon risk for shareholders and avoiding the volatility created by recent sudden withdrawal of capacity,” Mr Vesey said.

Since AGL acquired Liddell from the NSW Government in 2015, AGL has invested $123 million in the plant to improve reliability. Despite this investment, during the February 2017 heatwave, two units from Liddell were out of the market due to unforeseeable boiler tube leaks. As a result, there was not enough energy in the system and NSW experienced blackouts in parts of the State.

“As Liddell approaches the end of its life in 2022, it will likely experience more unanticipated outages, which is why we will spend a further $159 million to improve reliability at Liddell before it closes,” Mr Vesey said.

As outlined at its FY17 Results last month, AGL is currently investing $2 billion directly and indirectly in new supply to help provide the capacity and energy the system needs.

The four Liddell coal-fired generation units were commissioned between 1971 and 1973. Liddell currently has 1,680 MW of effective capacity. It supplies approximately 8,000 GWh of electricity a year, which is enough to power more than 1 million homes.

In April 2015 as part of its Greenhouse Gas Policy, AGL committed to the closure of its coal-fired power stations at the end of their operating life, to support the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to work towards a global agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Following an independent expert review of AGL’s rehabilitation obligations, the cost of rehabilitating both Liddell and Bayswater power stations was calculated to be $898 million. AGL advised the market last month that it has increased its rehabilitation provisions to meet this obligation.

Source: AGL Energy

 

Retreat from Clean Energy Target not the answer

13 September

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton today expressed concern over reports the Turnbull Government is considering stepping away from the Clean Energy Target.

“A Clean Energy Target (CET) was recommended by the Finkel Review as a crucial part of a considered roadmap towards ensuring a clean, affordable and reliable energy system for Australia, and walking away from that policy would be a clear step in the wrong direction,” Mr Thornton said.

Mr Thornton said there are a range of technologies that can replace power stations like Liddell, including large-scale wind and solar combined with storage, as well as demand-side solutions such as rooftop solar and batteries.

“These solutions are here now and commercially feasible. Substantial cost reductions this decade show these solutions can be delivered to Australian power consumers while minimising costs. The 49 recommendations of the Finkel Review that are now being implemented can ensure these technologies can be utilised in a way to ensure energy security long into the future.

“Investors have made it clear that the future lies in these clean energy solutions rather than outdated and high-emissions coal-fired power which is becoming increasingly unreliable and expensive to operate.

“International and local investors are currently committing more than $8 billion to Australia’s clean energy sector this year alone as a result of the bipartisan support for the 2020 Renewable Energy Target. But with no long-term policy in place beyond 2020, investors are becoming nervous and this uncertainty will stifle the advances Australia needs to create a clean, affordable energy system.

“The blame for Australia’s high-cost energy system lies in decades of policy uncertainty, not the introduction of low-emissions technology.

He said improving the affordability and reliability of Australia’s energy sector could only be secured with a bipartisan, long-term and market-based policy solution.

“Ad-hoc policy and regulatory change only leads to under investment in new generation,” Mr Thornton said.

He said Australia needed policy leadership rather than endless tinkering at the edges.

“The CET was a critical part of the reforms recommended by Dr Finkel and it would be foolhardy to step away from the careful recommendations of the Chief Scientist.”

Source: Clean Energy Council

 

Interested in exporting hydrogen? Tell us what you think

13 September

It’s an idea that many think could provide Australia’s next great export industry and one that ARENA is determined to explore.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is launching a Request For Information seeking input from industry, research institutions and governments to assess how Australia might develop export capabilities based around renewable energy and hydrogen.

“There is a global interest in clean renewable energy and a number of markets have identified hydrogen and its associated materials as key supply,” ARENA chief executive officer Ivor Frischknecht said.

“Australia is expected to have a competitive advantage in the supply of renewable commodities – thanks to our abundant solar and wind resources as well as Australia’s proximity and key trading relationships with major consumer countries, such as Japan.”

The request follows the South Australian Government’s recent call for tenders for hydrogen infrastructure proposals as part of a move to build a “hydrogen economy”.

Further details available from: https://arena.gov.au/blog/hydrogen-rfi/

 

Work to start on Moranbah Solar Plant

12 September

The central western Queensland coal mining town of Moranbah will soon boast one of Australia’s largest and most technologically advanced solar energy plants.

Adani Renewables CEO, Jennifer Purdie, today announced that work would start on the first stage of the solar plant, anticipated to cost in excess of $100M, by the end of the year following the recent approval of a Development Approval by Isaac Regional Council.

Preparatory work, including Cultural Heritage surveys and engineering design, has commenced with orders for critical equipment now being secured.

“This is an exciting project in terms of its size, location, and the technology we are using,” Dr Purdie said.

“This will be Adani Renewables’ first project – the first of many – and we thank the Isaac Regional Council, in particular Mayor Anne Baker and her officers for their assistance and encouragement.”

The 65 MW first stage of Rugby Run Solar Farm – to be built on a 600-hectare block that was part of the Rugby Run grazing property – is expected to use the latest mono-PERC technology and single axis tracking systems developed to improve efficiency and output. Further stages are planned to take the generation capacity up to 170MW.

Adani, the largest solar energy generator in India, is planning to have a number of solar projects in Australia with a total capacity of 1,500MW within the next five years.

The solar projects are in addition to Adani’s $16.5 billion investment in the planned Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin a well as rail and port infrastructure.

Construction of Rugby Run Solar Farm will be completed in approximately 12 months from start of work.

The workforce is likely to peak at up to 150 employees during construction, with full time operation staff to number up to six.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said Council supported responsible industry development which genuinely engages with all stakeholders.

“We are excited to welcome Rugby Run Solar Farm as the first renewable energy project in the region,” she said.

“This project continues to diversify our local economy, and will contribute towards a sustainable future for both Isaac and the state.

“We look forward to the employment opportunities and long-term benefits that Rugby Run will deliver to our communities.”

Adani Renewables has executed the initial stage of works to expedite a network connection application with Powerlink to feed into their existing network supplying the State.

Adani has constructed 793 MW of solar plant in India to date, including the world’s largest single site plant at Tamil Nadu in southern India which has a capacity of 648MW. Adani has a further 1,225 MW in construction or late development phase in India.

Source: Adani

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Rugby Run Solar Farm

 

GE Renewable Energy unveils its largest onshore wind turbine

12 September

  • GE’s 4.8 MW turbine with 158m rotor diameter designed to reach onshore industry’s highest Annual Energy Production rate
  • Brand new machine targeted for low to medium wind speed sites, providing power for the equivalent of 5.000 European residential homes
  • GE’s first onshore entry in the 4MW segment features longer blades and tall tower

GE Renewable Energy today unveiled its brand-new 4.8–158 onshore wind turbine, GE’s largest high efficiency turbine to date. Featuring the largest rotor in the segment and innovative blade design, the 4.8-158 offers a significant improvement in Annual Energy Production (AEP), reducing the cost of energy for customers with low to medium wind speed sites.

Pete McCabe, President & CEO of GE’s Onshore Wind Business said, “The 4.8–158 design is an important next step in turbine technology and efficiency, and we’re excited to introduce this turbine at this moment in time. It is well suited for low to medium wind speed regions around the world—examples include Germany, Turkey and Australia—as well as for mechanisms like auctions, as countries around the world are putting an increased emphasis on lowering the cost of energy.”

The new 4.8MW wind turbine, GE’s first onshore entry in the 4MW space, is equipped with a 158 meter rotor and a range of tip heights up to 240 meters. The combination of a larger rotor and tall towers enables the turbine to take advantage of higher wind speeds and produce more energy.

GE’s latest turbine features high tech blades, improved loads and controls, and taller, more cost-effective towers. These new innovative features have been developed thanks to close partnerships with LM Wind Power, Blade Dynamics and GE’s Global Research Center.

The 77-meter-long carbon blades leverage the strong track record and material innovations of LM Wind Power, and are their longest onshore blades to date. The rotor can be adapted to a variety of conditions with customized carbon blades, depending on specific customer and site requirements. This unrivaled flexibility allows GE to offer its customers a high efficiency product offering while continuing to drive down LCOE. The blades also feature one of the industry’s smallest Bolt Circle Diameters, keeping manufacturing and logistical costs to a minimum.

“This turbine is a great example of what we can achieve through the GE Store, combining technology and development with innovative design and expertise from the Global Research Center, LM Wind Power and Blade Dynamics,” continued Pete McCabe. “We collected input from more than 30 customers around the world to ensure we are meeting their specific turbine needs with this product as they work to provide lower-cost renewable energy.”

The 4.8-158 leverages the best of GE’s 2MW and 3MW platforms, including the proven DFIG–doubly-fed induction generator—and a robust drivetrain architecture. The turbine meets a lower standard of noise emission levels, achieving a 104-dB level during normal operations. The newly-designed machine head reduces the needs for a larger crane while facilitating up-tower repairs and troubleshooting with its up-tower electrical system.

GE’s most powerful onshore turbine is purpose-built to leverage the intelligence gathered from across the company’s 30,000+ fleet of wind turbines. Data analyzed from this large installed base powers the 4.8-158 with GE’s next generation control system. By utilizing GE’s Predix core applications including Asset Performance Management (APM), Cybersecurity and Business Optimization (BO) solutions, our customers realize business outcomes, including lifecycle extension of the customers’ windfarms and improvement of farm economics.

Source: GE

 

WIRSOL acquires additional 110MWp solar project for construction in Australia

14 September

WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd heading the Australian strategy and operations within international WIRCON group has started yet another new utility scale solar project in Australia. The company plans to start construction during Q4 2017, delivering an overall DC installed capacity of approx. 110-megawatt peak (MWp). The project, known as Wemen Sun Farm is located in Victoria, relatively close to Mildura. The solar park will occupy an area of around 770 acres and is scheduled to be connected to the grid mid-2018. It will give rise to regional value creation in excess of AU$200 million dollars.

‘By the end of the year we will have 5 solar parks in construction in Queensland and Victoria with a total solar generation capacity of circa 400MWp, all are scheduled to be connected to the grid by mid-2018. We have already secured for WIRSOL additional projects totalling circa 670MWp, with the aim of reaching our target-providing one gigawatt peak of solar energy by 2020,’ stated Mark Hogan, Managing Director of WIRSOL Energy Pty Ltd.

‘The Australian market plays an exceedingly important role for our international growth strategy. In coming years, we will be making a significant contribution to the expansion of renewables and setting up important power production facilities with our solar parks. The new park is a further decisive step on our path as one of the market leaders in Australia. So we will be realising this project speedily, while also aiming to take advantage of further development opportunities,’ said WIRSOL Managing Director Dr. Peter Vest.

Source: WIRSOL Energy

Click here to go to online project datasheet: Wemen Sun Farm

 

First land sale at Gillman industrial precinct

14 September

Global resource management company, Veolia Group, has been chosen as the successful tenderer to develop the Gillman industrial precinct following the expressions of interest process.

Veolia’s proposal will see it initially purchase 20 hectares of land at Gillman, with future options to purchase a further 182 hectares over a five year period.

The sale price equates to $5 million for the 20 hectares, with Veolia’s offer of $7 million contingent on Renewal SA funding $2 million of infrastructure works.

The Veolia proposal will see the development of an environmentally efficient logistics and employment precinct at Gillman including Veolia’s new South Australian head office, a nation leading Energy from Waste facility and metropolitan Adelaide’s largest solar farm.

Veolia group was chosen based on a number of factors including strongest development vision, strongest experience, expertise and financial capacity.

Background

Veolia has more than 40 years of experience in building and operating waste, energy and water infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand.

It has invested more than $150 million in the State over the past two decades and employs 450 people across 13 sites in SA.

Renewal SA owns approximately 407 hectares of land within an area across the suburbs of Gillman and Dry Creek.

In December 2013, the State Government entered into an arrangement with Adelaide Capital Partners (ACP) to acquire up to 407 hectares of industrial land with an initial purchase of 150 hectares.

In 2016 the State Government was informed by ACP that it is unable to meet the terms agreed under the Deed of Settlement which required it to settle a 150ha land sale contract.

As a result, the land was put out to the market with the State Government requesting new development proposals.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Stephen Mullighan said:

The Gillman land is a strategically important site which has the potential to generate significant investment and employment due to its size, proximity to Port Adelaide and nearby industries, and its ability to accommodate 24-hour industries.

Veolia’s vision to transform the Gillman land into a showcase site for waste management and renewable energy production and sustainable cities is a great opportunity for South Australia.

It has the potential to generate hundreds of jobs during construction and thousands of ongoing jobs.

Veolia’s proposal was chosen after an extensive expressions of interest process.

Its proposal is good for jobs, for renewable energy and for waste management and a win for South Australia as we continue leading the way in sustainable resource management and energy generation.

Veolia Australia and New Zealand Executive General Manager (Western Central Australia and New Zealand) Laurie Kozlovic said:

This project is a further commitment to our ongoing investment in South Australia and to helping make this State a global leader in environmental best practice.

We are looking to consolidate and modernise our operations into one efficient and centrally located headquarters, close to transport hubs and near our waste recovery facility at Wingfield, run with our subsidiary, Integrated Waste Services.

Veolia has built more than 70 waste-to-energy plants around the world and the combustion process we will use for our plant at Gillman is efficient and clean, providing a reliable source of renewable energy.

Our ability to fill the land at Gillman through our own resources means we have a cost-effective resolution to one of the land’s biggest development challenges.

This will enable us to make parcels of land more attractive to third parties in the proposed industrial park as there will be a lower development risk for them.

We have already received strong indications of interest from businesses that require sizeable parcels of land near transport and energy hubs, including those involved in transport, landscape supplies, food processing and food distribution.

Source: SA Government

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