Mungari Solar Farm

12 February

  • Carnegie Clean Energy has been successful in an application to negotiate 100MW solar and 20MWh battery site in Western Australia.
  • The Mungari Solar Farm site is in the Buffer Zone of the Mungari Strategic Industrial Area (MSIA), which is located approximately 26km south-west of Kalgoorlie and 13km north-east of Coolgardie in Western Australia.
  • The Mungari Solar Farm would supply clean energy to the Eastern Goldfields, which has significant electricity supply constraints.

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to advise that after a competitive process, the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI), in collaboration with LandCorp, has awarded it in-principle approval to negotiate a lease for 250ha within the Buffer Zone of the Mungari Strategic Industrial Area, to build, own and operate a solar farm.

The proposed solar farm will be up to 100MW and include up to 20MWh of battery storage. The MSIA is located approximately 26km south-west of Kalgoorlie and 13km north-east of Coolgardie in Western Australia, along the Great Eastern Highway.

Carnegie’s Managing Director Dr Michael Ottaviano commented, “Carnegie has a strong track record of developing greenfield sites into shovel ready renewable projects rapidly and responsibly, most recently with its Northam Solar Farm.”

 “We are excited to play a role in the development of the Mungari Strategic Industrial Area, which has an important role in the future economic prosperity of the Eastern Goldfields and look forward to working closely with local industries seeking sources of clean power generation, the State Government, local governments and other key stakeholders in bringing this project to fruition.”

The development of the Mungari Solar Farm is conditional on reaching suitable lease arrangements with Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage and the results of a Feasibility Study, including consultation with Western Power for grid connection.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

PROJECT UPDATE - Vales Point Solar

Delta Electricity’s up to 55 MW Vales Point Solar Project put on public exhibition until 18 March 2018. The development has an estimated capital investment value of $117mil, and is in the local government areas of Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast.

The project area covers approximately 80 hectares of land located within the land holding of the existing Vales Point Power Station and specifically on the rehabilitated area of the Vales Point Ash Dam.

Key components of the project are:

  • Construction and operation of up to 55 MW capacity solar facility delivering an annual output of approximately 110 gigawatt hours (GWh);
  • Installation of approximately 220,000 solar panel modules supported by either steel piles or concrete ballasted footings;
  • Installation of ancillary electrical control equipment and switchyard for distribution;
  • Connection to the National Electricity Market (NEM) via a short 33 kV transmission line (mainly overhead with an option for some underground cabling) to the Vales Point Zone Substation;
  • Approximately 100 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs during a 12 to 18 month construction program;
  • An estimated 30 year design life with ongoing employment for up to five people.

Contact:

Anthony Callen

Delta Electricity

Tel: (02) 4352 6027

Email: anthony.callen@de.com.au

 

Kidston Renewable Energy Hub project updates

12 February

Genex Power Limited (ASX: GNX) (Genex or Company) is pleased to provide an update in relation to the development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub in North Queensland.

50MW Kidston Solar Project (KS1)

Following the successful on-time energisation of KS1 in November 2017 (refer ASX announcement 24 November 2017) and the subsequent achievement of first revenues in December 2017 (refer ASX announcement 4 December 2017), Genex is pleased to inform stakeholders that the commissioning works for the project are progressing well.

Commissioning is scheduled to continue over the coming months as the project ramps up to full capacity. During this period, Genex will continue to receive revenues for the electricity sold into the National Electricity Market (NEM) in addition to the revenues received for the sale of Large-Scale Generation Certificates, which the project is entitled to receive for every MWh of electricity produced.

Following the achievement of full capacity and the finalisation of all commissioning works (known as Practical Completion), the 20-year Revenue Support Deed with the Queensland State Government will commence.

Kidston Stage 2 Project (K2)

Following the appointment of UGL as preferred Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contractor for the 270MW Kidston Stage 2 Solar Project (K2-Solar) in December 2017 (refer ASX Announcement 12 December 2017), Genex has been working with UGL to advance the detailed design works, which are progressing as scheduled.

Following the favourable design optimisation for the 250MW Kidston Stage 2 Pumped Storage Hydro Project (K2-Hydro) (refer ASX announcement 20 October 2017), and the appointment of a preferred EPC Contractor through the McConnell Dowell-led Joint Venture (refer ASX announcement 23 October 2017), the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process is continuing to advance as scheduled.

As part of this ECI process, Genex and McConnell Dowell have revised the joint venture arrangement, with John Holland Pty Ltd (JHG) replacing Downer EDI Ltd as joint venture partner. JHG is at the forefront of Australia’s property and infrastructure markets. Their contracting and services capabilities cover the full spectrum of the traditional building and civil engineering markets as well as specialist engineering in the resources, energy, marine, water and waste water and tunnelling sectors. JHG is owned by China Communication and Construction Company Limited, which is listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Stock Exchanges.

The ECI processes for K2 remain on track toward agreeing full fixed price EPC wrap contracts with UGL for K2-Solar and with McConnell Dowell and JHG for K2-Hydro well in advance of financial close, which is scheduled to occur during calendar 2018.

The Federal Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has provided $8.9 million in funding to support the construction of Genex’s KS1 Project, and up to $9 million in funding to support the development of K2-Solar and K2-Hydro.

The Queensland State Government has continued to support the development of the Kidston Renewable Energy Hub, providing a 20-year revenue support deed for KS1 through the Solar 150 Program, and designating the Hub as ‘Critical Infrastructure’ to the State.

Source: Genex Power

 

Green hydrogen facility to be constructed near Port Lincoln

12 February

A 15MW hydrogen electrolyser power plant will be constructed near Port Lincoln, in what will be a globally-significant demonstrator project for the emerging hydrogen energy sector.

Hydrogen infrastructure company Hydrogen Utility™ (H2U), working with German-­based electrolysis and ammonia specialist thyssenkrupp will deliver the $117.5 million project, with the assistance of a $4.7 million grant and $7.5 million loan from the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund.

The proposed facility will integrate a portfolio of innovative hydrogen technologies, including a 15MW electrolyser plant, a distributed ammonia production facility, and a 10MW hydrogen-­fired gas turbine and 5MW hydrogen fuel cell, which will both supply power to the grid.

The electrolyser plant will be one of the largest green hydrogen production facilities worldwide, and among the first ever commercial facilities to produce distributed ammonia from intermittent renewable resources that can be used as an industrial fertiliser.

About 30 construction and 30 ongoing jobs will be created through the project.

Background

Hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources such as wind or solar through a process called electrolysis.

Surplus electricity from renewable generators is used in an electrolyser to split clean water into hydrogen and oxygen. That hydrogen can then be used to power fuel cell vehicles, make ammonia, generate electricity in a turbine or fuel cell, supply industry, or to export around the world.

Source: SA Government

 

$7m contract award for 5MW solar farm

14 February Highlights:

  • Carnegie’s wholly owned subsidiary Energy Made Clean and JV partner Lendlease awarded the design and construction of a $7m, 5MW Solar project in Newcastle, NSW.
  • Competitive tender process run by the City of Newcastle to locate solar farm on a former landfill site.
  • Design will start soon with commissioning starting end of August, completion is expected end of September 2018

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (ASX: CCE) is pleased to announce that its 100% owned subsidiary, leading Australian battery and solar engineering company, Energy Made Clean, and its Joint Venture partner, Lendlease, have been awarded the contract for the Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of a 5MW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) project in Newcastle, NSW.

The project has been awarded after a nationally competitive tender process was run by the City of Newcastle and located on a capped, former landfill site at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre in Newcastle as part of the Council’s plan to cut its emissions by 30 per cent by 2020.

Carnegie’s Managing Director, Dr Michael Ottaviano said, “We are delighted to have won our first utility scale solar farm project in NSW and our first to be connected in the National Electricity Market. This project brings the value of new contracted work for our joint venture to over $30m over the past 2 months.”

The solar farm will be installed as a ground mounted fixed tilt system and utilising an optimised piling system to suit the site topology and allow simple future addition of a Battery Energy Storage System. Design will commence immediately with commissioning expected end of Quarter 3, 2018.

About Newcastle Summerhill Solar Project

This Project is part of the Council’s 2020 target to achieve 30% renewable energy generation to offset electricity consumption within the Newcastle Local Government Area. The Site is located within Summerhill Waste Management Centre (SWMC), in Wallsend, NSW. Newcastle City Council owns and operates the Summerhill Waste Management Centre (SWMC).

The area designated for the Solar Farm facility is located to the east of the SWMC boundary and contains a retired Building and Construction Wastes landfill cell that is capped with clay and vegetated with grass. As part of future works separate to this Contract, the City of Newcastle intends for the future installation of battery storage systems that could provide electric fleet charging and demand response capabilities.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy

 

Risen Energy acquires Yarranlea Solar Farm

14 February

Risen Energy acquired 100% of the share of Yarranlea Solar Pty Ltd in late January 2018. The Yarranlea Solar Farm project, which will be located approximately 170 km West of Brisbane near Toowoomba, has a total capacity of 121 MW solar power.

As owners of the Yarranlea Solar Farm project, Risen Energy will take the project from detailed engineering design to construction, commissioning and thereafter own and operate the solar farm.

Once completed the Yarranlea Solar Farm power station will connect to the National Electricity Market, (NEM) via the nearby Yarranlea zone substation and is projected to produce 264 gigawatthour (GWh) each year, enough to power 52,800 South East Queensland households, with an emissions saving of approximately 124,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.

Yarranlea Solar Farm project commenced in 2016 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Over 200 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the plant which will have approximately 400,000 solar panels installed at the site.

Risen Energy will provide their global EPC experience to support the Yarranlea Solar project and will supply the latest PV panel technology and integrated battery storage to allow it to supply power to the grid during periods of peak demand.

John Zhong, Project Development & Investment Director, Risen Energy (Australia) said “due to wholesale electricity markets, Risen Energy will fund 100% of the Yarranlea Solar Farm project without finance. No PPA is attached to the Yarranlea Solar Farm project so we decided to go ahead with merchant to capture the NEM spot price.”

 “There are a number of technical challenges with the generator performance standards (GPS). In discussion with AEMO and NSPs and supported by technical specialists, we secured the offer to connect from Ergon Energy and received approval from the Australian Energy Market Operator, (AEMO), under the National Electricity Rules, clause 5.3.4A for the proposed GPS for Yarranlea Solar Farm. We will continue to work with industrial specialists and consult with local council, electricity authority, regulator and local people to progress the project to the next stage to achieve the best outcome for the project and community” Zhong said.

Nick Canto, Founding Director of Yarranlea Solar Pty Ltd said “after an exhaustive expression of interest process from a range of local and international organisations, we quickly drew a conclusion that Risen was the right choice to take the project forward. We have had close dealings with Risen over a 12-month period, as the regulatory approval processes were finalised.  This has reinforced our impression of their commitment to the project, community and we know they will be great custodians of the project going forward.”

Source: Risen Energy

 

NEW PROJECT: Avonlie Solar Farm

Renewable Energy Systems proposes to develop the approximately 200 MW Avonlie Solar Farm, south east of Narrandera in NSW. The solar farm would occupy around 608 hectares of rural land currently used for agriculture. The proposal includes solar arrays on tracking systems, modules, inverters, a battery storage facility, a substation, underground cabling, security fencing, emergency lighting and associated infrastructure. It has an estimated capital cost of $250mil.

The proposal consists of the following components:

  • Solar arrays mounted on either a fixed or single-axis tracking system
  • Power conversion units
  • A substation including an elevated busbar, switchroom, a lightning protection system, current and voltage transformers and a connection into the existing 132kV TransGrid overhead line
  • A battery storage facility

Contact:

Mike Whitbread

Renewable Energy Systems

Tel: 0431 572 730

Email: mike.whitbread@res-group.com

 

NEW PROJECT: Collie Solar Farm

Hadouken Pty Ltd proposes to construct and operate a 20 MW solar farm in Collie, south-west Western Australia. The solar farm will also have an option to install a battery (Liion) energy storage system. It will be comprised of 69,000 PV panels on a piled-framework of a fixed-tilt arrangement covering an area of approximately 18 ha. Associated infrastructure will consist of:

  • Five inverters and housings
  • Underground cabling
  • Five to ten battery storage housings (in time)
  • Switchgear
  • Export cable from the switchgear to 22 kV transmission line
  • Perimeter fence and access gate

Construction will take between three and six months to complete and is currently scheduled to begin in Q3 2018, but this may change depending on when components are available. The solar farm will be controlled and monitored remotely from Perth. It is expected that personnel will visit Lot 2977 at most on a bi-weekly basis to conduct cleaning, maintenance, fire management and vegetation control. Major maintenance will be required periodically to replace PV modules, inverter equipment and other components. Major maintenance will involve similar activities as construction. The expected life of the solar farm is 25 years.

Contact:

Ben Tan

Director and CEO

Hadouken Pty Ltd

Tel: 0432 647 485

Email: ben.tan@hadouken.com.au

 

PROJECT BRIEF - Asian Renewable Energy Hub

The federal Department of the Environment & Energy declared the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) project, 220km east of Port Hedland in the East Pilbara region of northern WA, a controlled action which will require assessment and approval under the EPBC Act before it can proceed. No surprise given the vast scale of the proposal, an up to 6GW wind and solar hybrid power plant that would export its electricity production to Indonesia via subsea electrical cable. The AREH is being developed by a team which includes CWP Energy Asia, InterContinental Energy and Vestas.

 

Dundonnell Wind Farm bid submitted into Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme

14 February

Leading Australasian renewable energy operator Tilt Renewables Limited (“Tilt Renewables”) announces that it has submitted a bid into the Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme (VREAS) for a portion of output from the fully permitted Dundonnell Wind Farm (“Dundonnell”).

Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme

In June 2016, the Victorian Government committed to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) of 25% of energy generation in the state by 2020 and 40% by 2025. To ensure these targets are met, the Victorian Government is seeking to contract up to 650MW of new renewable energy capacity under the VREAS. The outcome of this process is expected to be known around July 2018. Participation in the VREAS presents an opportunity for Tilt Renewables to secure a 15 year contract from the Victorian Government which will provide price certainty for a portion of Dundonnell’s generation output which will underpin the investment decision to proceed with the project.

Dundonnell Wind Farm overview

Dundonnell is a high quality development opportunity and Tilt Renewables believes that it has submitted a strong bid into what is expected to be a highly competitive process. Should Dundonnell be awarded a contract under the VREAS construction would begin in late CY2018 with an estimated total construction cost of approximately A$600 million. The Dundonnell project comprises 80 turbines with nameplate capacity of 336MW, and would increase Tilt Renewables’ generation portfolio capacity by more than 55% once completed. Dundonnell is expected to power the equivalent of 140,000 homes and avoid the equivalent of 670,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Construction of the wind farm and associated transmission works is expected to employ around 200 full-time employees for more than two years, and 10 full-time employees once operational. The project site is located approximately 15 kilometres from the Salt Creek Wind Farm, currently under construction in western Victoria. Dundonnell has received all required planning and environmental permits. If successful in the VREAS process, Dundonnell is expected to begin generation in CY2020, with the specific turbines bid into VREAS operational by the first half of CY2020 and supplying the VREAS contract until late 2035.

Funding arrangements

Tilt Renewables’ current expectation is that it would fund Dundonnell and the associated VREAS bid using a combination of new corporate debt and an equity raising together covering the full estimated construction cost. As part of the preparation of the bid Tilt Renewables has secured a fully committed debt package from National Australia Bank Limited and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. which, following completion of standard conditions, will be available to fund approximately half of Dundonnell construction costs.

The balance of the funding is expected to be provided from an equity raising by Tilt Renewables. In order to provide further support for the bid, Tilt Renewables has also obtained equity funding support from its majority shareholder Infratil Limited (“Infratil”). This equity funding support comprises a conditional agreement by Infratil to offer to underwrite 100% of an equity raising of A$300 million for Dundonnell (subject to agreement on equity pricing). Should Infratil underwrite the equity raising in full, various shareholder approvals will be required.

Further details of the timing and terms of any equity raising (including any associated shareholder approval process, if required) will be provided to the shareholders and the market when the outcome of the VREAS bid process is known.

The funding structure for the development of Dundonnell is expected to result in relatively stable gearing metrics for Tilt Renewables on a pro forma basis and the revenue hedging from the proposed Dundonnell VREAS contracting has been bid at a level to preserve the portfolio’s strong bias to price certainty through long-term revenue contracts.

Source: Tilt Renewables

 

Equis Energy achieves financial close on $200m Tailem Bend Solar Project

14 February

Equis Energy (Equis), Asia‐Pacific’s largest renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP), has achieved financial close on its 127 MW Tailem Bend Solar Project (Tailem Solar) in South Australia, 100km south‐east of Adelaide. Construction is due to commence in February 2018 and the $200m project is expected to begin delivering power to the grid in Q1 2019.

Equis has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Snowy Hydro Limited (Snowy Hydro) under which Snowy Hydro will purchase 100% of the power from Tailem Solar for at least 22 years. Snowy Hydro is a leading integrated energy business in Australia that owns and operates 5,500 MW of generation capacity across Australia, including the 4,100 MW Snowy Mountains hydro‐electric scheme.

Tailem Solar will be one of the lowest cost solar projects in Australia and will create hundreds of jobs, training opportunities and economic growth within Tailem Bend and surrounding local communities.

Tailem Solar will supply power equivalent to the annual needs of 41,600 homes and an area of the project site will be reserved to accommodate a future battery installation with storage of up to 100 MWh. Tailem Solar will save over 102,000 tonnes of CO2 annually compared to the same generation from South Australia’s existing power plants.

David Russell, Equis Energy Director, said, “Australia represents one of the most exciting solar power generation markets globally and Equis expects to build over $1 billion of new projects over the next 24‐36 months. As Asia’s largest renewable energy developer, Equis is able to leverage its economies of scale to deliver large scale, low‐cost, reliable renewable energy, which Australia needs, as well as providing employment opportunities and supporting economic growth in local communities.”

Equis is also developing Tailem Bend 2, a 111 MW solar project adjacent to Tailem Solar. Tailem Bend 2 will bring down power prices further by leveraging the existing infrastructure of Tailem Solar. Tailem Bend 2 is expected to commence construction in late 2018.

The two Tailem Bend solar projects will have a combined generation output of approximately 413,000 megawatt hours per year (MWh/year), supplying power equivalent to the annual needs of 82,600 homes and saving over 200,000 tonnes of CO2 annually compared to the same generation from South Australia’s existing power plants.

Source: Equis Energy

 

Victoria’s Minister D’ambrosio visits Acciona’s Mt Gellibrand Wind Farm

14 February

The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, today visited ACCIONA’s under-construction Mt Gellibrand wind farm.

The Minister was briefed on the progress being made at the site, and shown various components that form the turbines. She also took the time to meet with staff, subcontractors and local landowners.

ACCIONA Energy Australia Managing Director Brett Wickham said: “We were delighted to host Minister D’Ambrosio today. She is a strong advocate for the renewables sector, and it’s great to see that Victoria is powering ahead with its transition to cleaner forms of energy.”

ACCIONA is currently erecting several turbines at the site. Four are already complete with blades, 13 are complete to the nacelle, and other towers are going up at a rate of two to three per week. There will be a total of 44 turbines at the conclusion of the erection process.

After each tower is erected a separate crew adds the final 26-metre top section and the nacelle, which houses the gear box, drive train and generator. The final steps involve attaching the hub to the nacelle, and then the three 62-metre blades to the hub.

Other construction activities are also progressing well. The substation’s main power transformers have been assembled, electrical cable installation is on track, and a control building will arrive in February.

Mt Gellibrand is scheduled for commissioning in April, and due to commence operations in mid-2018. Once in service, it will produce around 429 gigawatt-hours (GWh) a year, equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 60,000 homes and avoiding the emission of some 412,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere from coal-fired power stations.

Source: ACCIONA Energy

 

State Government backs Australia’s first straw-fuelled power plant

14 February

The State Government has supported plans to develop Australia’s first straw-fuelled power plant near Ardrossan on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.

The company behind the project, Yorke Biomass Energy, has received a $476,000 Renewable Technology Fund grant towards a feasibility study to be carried out before the company makes a final decision on investment.

The straw-fuelled biomass generator will produce 15MW of power, as well as a new income stream for farmers and additional competition for the grid, which puts downward pressure on power prices.

The demonstration project will be located near the Ardrossan West substation and will create about 40 ongoing jobs if progressed.

Once the Ardrossan demonstration project is complete, Yorke Biomass Energy plans to replicate the project across South Australia in remote and off-grid locations, particularly where crop farming and mining projects are located. The company has identified 10 potential locations to produce up to 150MW of additional generation capacity in South Australia.

Background

The Yorke Biomass Energy plant is the latest project to be supported through the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund. Other renewables projects supported through the fund include:

  • Tesla big battery at Jamestown
  • Tesla Virtual Power Plant
  • Tilt solar farm and big battery at Snowtown
  • SIMEC ZEC pumped hydro project near Whyalla
  • Altura pumped hydro project near port Augusta
  • Rise pumped Hydro project near Port Germein
  • EnergyAustralia pumped hydro project near Whyalla
  • 1414 Degrees bioenergy storage at the Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • Sunshift solar storage project
  • Planet Ark Schneider solar storage project
  • UniSA solar storage project.

Quotes attributable to Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis

More renewable energy means cheaper power for South Australians, and the State Government is supporting the development of a diverse range of new renewables projects to add competition to the grid.

This is new technology that would not only be an Australian first but could create hundreds of new jobs in regional South Australia as Yorke Biomass Energy seek to roll out as many as 10 straw-fuelled power stations across the State.

This project would also create new income streams for local farmers seeking to supply straw to the plant, helping sustain and build regional communities on Yorke Peninsula.

Quotes attributable to Yorke Biomass Energy Chairman Terry Kallis

This funding grant will enable us to take some big steps forward with our demonstration project and proceed through to commercial close during the second half of 2018,” said Mr Kallis.

It’s also a fantastic vote of confidence in the project by the South Australian Government, which continues to look at innovative new ways to provide cheaper, greener and more reliable energy in South Australia.

We believe straw-fuelled power generation can play an important role in Australia’s energy mix. It can help reduce the cost of electricity and create new economic benefits to local rural communities, as well as helping resolve issues between mining and agricultural pursuits in a win-win manner.

There are also significant environmental benefits on offer, such as improvements to sustainable local farming in terms of soil health, crop rotation and weed management, in addition to reduced greenhouse gases and improved energy security.

Source: SA Government

 

Battery boom keeping Australia’s grid fully charged

14 February

Australia’s love affair with clean energy and battery storage is only just beginning, with the nation on the verge of an energy storage boom, as the cost of lithium-ion batteries rapidly drops, according to a new Climate Council report.

The ‘Fully Charged: Renewables and Storage Powering Australia’ report shows that Australia is on the cusp of a reliable renewable energy future, as the cost of energy storage rapidly drops, with prices dropping by 80 per cent since 2010, and are tipped to halve again by 2025.

“Australia’s renewables and battery storage boom will keep the nation’s power grid fully charged, especially during extreme weather events, such as summer heatwaves,” said Climate Councillor and energy expert Professor Andrew Stock.

“We live in one of the sunniest and windiest countries in the world, so pairing affordable renewables with energy storage like batteries, pumped hydro and heat storage just makes economic sense,” he said.

“Clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology now accounts for 16 per cent of Australia’s total electricity supply, with dozens more projects under construction or in the pipeline this year alone.”

KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE:

◦The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 80% since 2010. Costs are expected to halve again by 2025 (under 7 years).

◦6,750 new household batteries were installed in 2016. The market is predicted to have tripled in size in 2017, with over 20,000 new installations.

◦Renewable energy now represents 16% of Australia’s electricity generation.

◦VIC, QLD and the NT are also investing in grid scale battery storage technology.

◦Federal, QLD and TAS governments are also considering developing pumped hydro projects.

◦The Australian electricity grid (NEM) and old fossil fuelled power stations are increasingly vulnerable to worsening extreme weather events, particularly as these power stations age.

◦More than 50% of Australia’s coal fleet will be over 40 years old by 2030.

◦Australia could reach 50% renewables by 2030 without significant new energy storage.

◦Australia must reach zero carbon pollution well before 2050 to effectively tackle climate change.

Climate Councillor and former BP President Greg Bourne said the report confirms Australian households and businesses are embracing the nation’s transition to a 21st Century energy grid.

“Clean energy storage is gaining momentum across the nation, from the world’s most powerful battery, solar thermal storage and virtual power plants in South Australia to plans for grid scale batteries in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory too,” he said.

With states and territories taking the lead in Australia’s renewables race, Bourne said the Federal Government was missing in action over credible and coherent federal energy and climate policy.

“The lack of ambition in the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) places the renewables and storage boom at risk of grinding to a halt, while failing to adequately cut rising pollution levels and tackle climate change” he said.

“The transition to renewable energy and storage is inevitable and is happening now. The only thing putting this at risk is the Federal Government’s lack of credible climate and energy policy.

“The strongest test of good climate and energy policy is whether it cuts Australia’s rising pollution levels and tackles intensifying climate change, through supporting the rollout of renewable energy and storage technologies, along with the retirement of ageing, polluting and inefficient coal fired power stations.”

Source: Climate Council

 

Expansion of solar business: innogy goes Down Under

14 February

Summary

> Acquisition of project rights for two solar power plants with a combined capacity of more than 460 megawatts in New South Wales

 > Total investment volume of more than €400 million including project rights

 > Start of construction planned for 2018

 > A year after the acquisition of BELECTRIC, innogy is making further progress on its strategic plans for growing a value accretive solar business

 > innogy benefits from BELECTRIC’s experience in constructing and operating utility-scale solar power plants

innogy SE continues to implement its growth strategy: Just one year after the successful acquisition of the international solar and battery storage specialist BELECTRIC, innogy SE is progressing in growing a value accretive solar business through the purchase of two large-scale solar development projects from Overland Sun Farming (“Overland”) in Australia, one of the leading Australian development companies. The projects “Limondale” and “Hillston” with a combined capacity of more than 460 megawatts (MW) are located in New South Wales. The parties signed all relevant contracts, with the transfer of the project companies to innogy anticipated to take place in the second quarter of this year. All parties involved have agreed to keep the terms and conditions of the transaction confidential, including the purchase price. The acquisition is subject to certain standard conditions, including land and planning arrangements, as well as review by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and approval from Australia’s Federal Treasurer from a foreign investment perspective. It is anticipated that the various conditions will be completed in the second quarter of 2018, enabling the entire transaction to complete.

Uwe Tigges, CEO of innogy SE

 “With the acquisition of two of Overland’s Australian solar development projects, innogy is entering into a strongly growing renewable energy market. This is a perfect fit with our strategy to deliver sustainable bottom line growth in accordance with innogy's financial targets to maximise value for the company and our shareholders. Execution of the two photovoltaic power plant projects is in line with innogy’s hurdle rate framework and funding capacity.”

Hans Bünting, Chief Operating Officer Renewables of innogy SE

“Taking over the international solar and battery storage specialist BELECTRIC was the first step to gaining a reliable footprint in photovoltaic power plant technology. Thanks to BELECTRIC’s existing network, we have been able to make our first significant utility-scale solar investment, not just anywhere, but in Australia – the continent with the highest solar irradiation per square meter. Australia is an excellent starting point for innogy to grow a valuable solar business.”

The two projects are already in a well-advanced development stage, with all land, planning and connection processes, arrangements and approvals as well as detailed designs and construction arrangements expected to be finalised during the second quarter.

“Limondale”, the first development project with a planned installed capacity of 347 MWp, will be located at Balranald, New South Wales. Construction works are expected to start in the second quarter of this year. Commissioning of the plant will be gradually realised. Full commercial operation is expected by the end of 2019. The second development project, “Hillston”, has a planned capacity of 115 MWp. Construction works are anticipated to commence at the latest by the third quarter of this year to achieve full commercial operation by the end of 2019.

The planned investment volume of both projects including acquisition of project rights totals to more than €400 million. At completion of the transaction, innogy will become the sole owner of the two projects. The final investment decision to construct both projects will be taken in line with its targets regarding leverage and financial stability. innogy will review all options regarding the ownership and financing structure of the project in order to maximise value for the company and shareholders.

Under current planning innogy’s subsidiary BELECTRIC will be in charge of construction works (EPC) and take over the operation and maintenance (O&M) for both solar plants as service provider. The company is an experienced player in the global solar market with close to two gigawatt of executed projects all over the world, including projects in Australia, and is among the world´s leading O&M providers.

innogy has considerable experience in developing, designing, financing, constructing and operating renewables assets, both independently and with project partners and investors. innogy will establish a new subsidiary and team based in Australia: In addition to solar, innogy is also investigating project opportunities for battery storage and onshore wind in Australia.

Source: Innogy

 

South Australian renewable energy agreement

14 February

Excerpt from packaging company Orora Ltd’s Half Year Results:

Orora has also today announced that it has signed a long term power purchasing agreement with global renewable energy provider Pacific Hydro, to supply wind-generated electricity for Orora’s South Australian (SA) operations, which includes the Gawler Glass facility. Under the agreement, Orora has secured the long-term supply of renewable energy from Clements Gap Wind Farm, for a volume equal to Orora’s total electricity demand in SA. In addition to the supply of renewable energy, the agreement also includes innovative risk sharing arrangements to further protect Orora’s exposure to variable market prices in South Australia.

Commenting on the agreement, Mr Garrard said, “Orora operates energy intensive businesses and is continuing to actively investigate a range of options to manage higher energy prices and safeguard supply for the Australian operations. Renewable energy represents a competitively priced and sustainable energy source and this agreement provides Orora’s SA operations with greater energy price certainty over the long-term.”

 

CIMIC’S UGL awarded $170m Tailem Bend Solar Farm project

15 February

CIMIC Group company UGL has been awarded contracts by Equis Energy to build and maintain the Tailem Bend 127MWDC Solar Farm in South Australia.

The project will generate revenue to UGL of approximately $170 million and is due to commence in early 2018, with power generation to the grid expected in 2019.

CIMIC Group Chief Executive Officer Michael Wright said: “With our growing expertise in delivering renewable energy projects, CIMIC and UGL are proud to be supporting the growth of the Australian renewable energy market and delivering the Tailem Bend Solar Farm for Equis Energy.”

UGL Managing Director Jason Spears said: “The Tailem Bend Solar Farm expands UGL’s national footprint – we now have a solar farm under construction in every Australian mainland state – reaffirming our position as the leading EPC contractor in the renewable energy sector. We are very pleased to be partnering with Equis Energy to deliver this South Australian solar farm.”

UGL will undertake the engineering, procurement and construction of the project, including the associated substation and, critically, will provide the internal expertise to ensure the project is integrated successfully into the electricity network. Once operational, UGL will provide the operation and maintenance services for a five-year period.

UGL currently has solar projects under construction at Emu Downs in Western Australia, Kidston and Collinsville in Queensland, White Rock in New South Wales and Bannerton in Victoria.

Source: CIMIC

 

CWP Renewables’ Crudine Ridge Wind Farm tenders

15 February

CWP Renewables has successfully secured a power purchase agreement (PPA) for its Crudine Ridge Wind Farm, and is set to commence construction in April 2018.

Tenders have been released today for a broad range of works on the project which received approval from the NSW Planning Assessment Commission in 2016, and Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Energy in April 2017.

There are currently 38 tenders open for the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm. The 135 MW project, located near Pyramul, 45 km south of Mudgee in the Central West, NSW, has agreed an energy offtake with Meridian Energy Australia, owners of retailer Powershop.

Comprising 37 wind turbine generators, the project will generate enough clean energy to power 52,000 homes and offset over 325,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year once constructed.

“We first identified the area in 2007 and through consistent and genuine engagement with the local community, Councils and a wide array of stakeholders the project will now reach its potential”, said Mr Ed Mounsey, Head of Development of CWP Renewables.

The work packages include telecommunications, construction, civil works, fencing, electrical, engineering and plumbing tenders among others and the tenders close on 16 April 2018.

ANZ have been selected as financial advisor on the deal with Norton Rose Fulbright performing the legal advisor role. Construction consortium details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Project will consist of 37 wind turbine generators, internal access roads and electrical reticulation, a substation, switching station and 16 km of 132 kV transmission line. The Project is expected to commence construction in the second quarter of 2018.

Source: Australian Tenders

 

Energy Security Board National Energy Guarantee - consultation paper

15 February

The first public consultation paper for the National Energy Guarantee (Guarantee) has today been released by the independent Energy Security Board (ESB). The guarantee’s intention is to deliver more reliable, affordable and cleaner energy to Australian consumers.

The ESB is chaired by Dr Kerry Schott AO, and includes Deputy Chair Clare Savage, Australian Energy Market Commission Chair John Pierce AO, Australian Energy Market Operator Chief Executive Officer Audrey Zibelman, and Australian Energy Regulator Chair Paula Conboy.

ESB is implementing the COAG Energy Council’s mandate to deliver a lower emissions, reliable power system with enough electricity available when needed, at the lowest possible price.

The Guarantee was considered by the COAG Energy Council at its last meeting in November 2017 which agreed that further development work and public consultation should be conducted.

“We are seeking feedback from stakeholders on the high level design of the mechanism’s reliability and emissions component,” Dr Schott said.

“While the Federal Government will set the emission target itself we need stakeholder inputs on how contracting and compliance associated with meeting annual electricity emissions targets will work in practice.

“Reliability requirements will be set for each region across the whole power system, and we welcome contributions exploring the effectiveness of proposed incentives for investment in dispatchable energy and compliance arrangements.”

The release of this paper is the first step in a consultation process that will occur over coming months. The ESB will provide a draft high-level design to the COAG Energy Council in early April, ahead of the COAG meeting later that month where ministers will consider the report.

A stakeholder forum and webinar will be held on 26 February 2018. To register your interest in attending the public forum, please email info@esb.org.au. The event will be held in Sydney with further logistics to be confirmed.

Submissions on the consultation paper, attached below, are due by 8 March 2018 to info@esb.org.au.

Source: COAG

 

The NEG: Kicking the climate can down the road

15 February

The proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) continues to miss the mark on slashing Australia’s greenhouse gas pollution and improving energy reliability, following the release of the Federal Government’s discussion paper today.

“The Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee fails to address the core question of how Australia will reduce electricity pollution to tackle intensifying climate change,” said Climate Councillor and energy expert Professor Andrew Stock.

“When it comes to cutting pollution this proposal is weak. It’s 2030 target of just 26-28% for the electricity sector is too low. This is far below what is needed to tackle climate change,” he said.

“Under the NEG, Australia will actually be locked into this weak target. This proposal is kicking the climate can down the road for another ten to fifteen years.”

“Australia’s transition to clean energy and storage is underway and happening now. But the proposed NEG risks the nation’s renewables and storage boom from grinding to a halt.”

Professor Stock said the discussion paper raised more questions than answers over the National Energy Guarantees ability to fulfil its grand promises.

“It’s unclear how new investment in clean energy will be brought online ahead of coal closures. It’s unclear how further competition in the electricity market will be encouraged to drive down power prices. What is clear, is that this policy will not cut pollution and it absolutely will not tackle climate change.”

“The strongest test of credible climate and energy policy is whether it make deep cuts Australia’s rising carbon pollution levels. This can only occur through supporting the rapid rollout of renewable energy and storage technologies, along with the retirement of ageing, polluting and inefficient fossil fuel power stations.”

“States and Territories are already leading the charge when it comes to Australia’s transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technology. Now, the Federal Government must get on with the job of driving investment in a modern and secure 21st Century energy grid.”

Source: Climate Council

 

ReNu Energy signs solar PV PPA term sheet and extends bioenergy PPA

15 February

ReNu Energy Limited (ASX: RNE) has signed two agreements with A.J. Bush & Sons (Manufactures) Pty Ltd (AJ Bush).

Highlights

  • Solar PV Power Purchase Agreement (Solar PV PPA) term sheet providing exclusivity for the development of an 850 kW DC solar PV project (Solar Project).
  • Ten year extension to existing Bioenergy Power Purchase Agreement (Bioenergy PPA) for the 1.1 MW operational bioenergy project (Bioenergy Project).
  • Supports ReNu Energy’s strategic objective to develop the pipeline with 14.9 MW of projects either in operation, construction or under term sheet.

ReNu Energy is pleased to announce the signing of a term sheet for a new Solar PV PPA and extension of its existing Bioenergy PPA with AJ Bush, a leader in the utilisation of renewable energy and a long standing customer of ReNu Energy. The projects are located at AJ Bush’s rendering facility near Beaudesert, Queensland.

Commenting on the agreements, ReNu Energy Chief Executive Officer Mr Chris Murray said, “It is a pleasure to be extending our relationship with AJ Bush, a leader in the utilisation of renewable energy and a long term customer. We are also delighted at the opportunity to develop the Solar Project at AJ Bush’s facility. The combination of solar PV and bioenergy is a great solution for the facility and its load requirements.

These agreements build on an already great start to 2018 for ReNu Energy, having recently announced the commencement of commercial operations at the Goulburn Bioenergy Project and the settlement of the Amaroo Solar PV Project acquisition. Securing the revenue stream from the Bioenergy PPA for a further 10 years and adding to our pipeline of solar PV projects under term sheet has increased our portfolio of renewable energy projects to 14.9 MW DC, which includes 3.3 MW of operational assets. With a further strong pipeline of opportunities under review, we look forward to increasing our portfolio significantly this year”.

Solar PV PPA term sheet

ReNu Energy and AJ Bush have entered into a term sheet that provides ReNu Energy with exclusivity until 31 March 2018 to execute a Power Purchase Agreement for an 850 kW DC solar PV project with a 25 year term. The capital cost of the Solar Project is approximately $1.5 million.

Forward-looking Statements: This ASX-announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on an assessment of present economic, market and operating conditions, and on a number of assumptions regarding future events and actions that are expected to take place that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of future performance actual results, performance or achievements of ReNu Energy may be materially different from the statements in this announcement. ReNu Energy does not undertake to update or revise forward-looking statements.

The solar PV equipment will be ground mounted on AJ Bush’s land adjacent to the rendering facility. The Solar Project will provide approximately 1,330 MWh per year of renewable energy which will be used exclusively behind the meter by AJ Bush and will generate approximately 1,330 Large Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) per year which are to ReNu Energy’s account.

Execution of the PPA is subject to customary conditions including due diligence, relevant approvals and finance.

On completion of the Solar Project, ReNu Energy can supply up to half of the rendering facility’s energy demand, providing significant electricity cost savings and decreasing the site’s emissions by approximately 3,700 tonnes of CO2e per annum.

Bioenergy PPA Extension

The 1.1 MW bioenergy project at AJ Bush commenced operation in 2011 and was acquired by ReNu Energy in 2015. The Bioenergy Project underwent a major upgrade in late 2016 which included the replacement of one generator and installation of gas conditioning equipment.

The Bioenergy Project receives biogas from AJ Bush’s facility and generates approximately 3,360 MWh per year of renewable energy which is utilised behind the meter at the facility. It also generates approximately 3,360 LGCs per year.

The extension, which is on the same terms as the existing PPA, extends the term of the agreement for a further 10 years to January 2031.

Source: ReNu Energy

 

International review of Australia's energy policies backs Turnbull Government plan

15 February

An In-Depth Review of Australia’s Energy Policies by the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found the National Electricity Market (NEM) is “world leading” while also identifying a number of key challenges facing Australia’s energy markets.

The Review’s recommendations align with reforms already under way as the Turnbull Government works to deliver an affordable and reliable energy system that will also meet Australia’s international commitments.

These include the responses to the Finkel Review into the National Electricity Market, gas market reforms and the National Energy Guarantee.

In particular, the National Energy Guarantee goes towards the Review’s overarching recommendation – for a stable, enduring policy response so that Australia can manage the energy transition already taking place. As the IEA Review highlights, the creation of the Guarantee is a welcome development in this regard, describing it as a “promising opportunity” to integrate energy and climate policies.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol has further said that “the government’s efforts to ensure energy security and move ahead with market reforms have been impressive”.

The Government’s National Energy Guarantee will ensure Australians will be $300 a year better off than they would be under Labor cutting electricity prices by:

  • ending subsidies for energy, which are passed on to all customers;
  • creating a level playing field that ensures all types of energy are part of Australia’s mix;
  • providing certainty for investors – more certainty will mean more supply and, in turn, lower prices; and
  • reducing volatility, by ensuring reliable energy sources which provide power when it’s needed.

The In-Depth Review also identified the threat to affordable and reliable energy due to the bans put in place by the Victorian and Northern Territory Labor governments on the development of gas.

The IEA found “there are significant concerns about the price and the availability of natural gas amid moratoriums on gas production in the eastern market”.

The Review of Australia’s Energy Policies was undertaken in March 2017 and is undertaken approximately every four years. The expert panel met with over 100 companies, industry associations and government representatives in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.

The In-Depth Review of Australia’s Energy Policies is available via: www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/energy-policies-of-iea-countries---australia-2018-review.html

Source: Federal Government

 

Transformation underway at North Queensland solar farms

16 February

Two 70-tonne transformers are being installed at the Strathmore Substation near Collinsville as two new North Queensland solar farms prepare to join the electricity transmission network.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the transformers were the most significant pieces of equipment needed to complete the connection of the Whitsunday and Hamilton projects to the transmission network. The projects are being developed by Australian renewable energy company Edify Energy and its German investor WIRSOL.

“These solar farms will generate 115 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, enough to power the equivalent of 62,000 average Queensland homes after they join the grid in March,” Dr Lynham said.

“They are among the first of 23 large-scale renewable generation projects in the pipeline in Queensland, including 13 in North Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.

Construction started at the $122 million Whitsunday and $138 million Hamilton projects in June 2017, and they will create more than 200 construction jobs at their peak.

The Whitsunday Solar Farm is one of the four projects successful in receiving Palaszczuk Government support through the Solar 150 initiative.

The revenue certainty provided through Solar 150 has helped make Queensland an attractive location for renewable projects, and spurred unprecedented growth in investment in the state.

The transformers arrived at the Port of Brisbane in mid-January, were transported more than 1250 km by road, and are currently being installed.

Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York said transporting the massive pieces of equipment had been a major logistical exercise.

“It took several days for the transformers to be transported on two long-load platform trailers and when fully assembled, they will each weigh close to 110-tonnes and stand six metres tall,” she said.

Powerlink is scheduled to start commissioning connections for the solar farms next month.

WIRSOL managing director Mark Hogan said construction at the solar farms was on schedule to meet their proposed commissioning date and they would soon be producing a significant volume of clean energy for the region.

“With our project partners Edify, we are proud to be owners of these ground-breaking projects and we look forward to exporting electricity to the Powerlink network.”

Another three solar farms are underway in the Collinsville area - Daydream, Hayman and the Collinsville Solar PV project and are due to be completed later this year.

Source: Powerlink

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