Bruny Island battery trial wins Engineering Excellence Award

10 August

The CONSORT Bruny Island Battery Trial has won the Engineers Australia Tasmanian Engineering Excellence Award, held in Hobart, and now reaches the final of the 2018 Australian Engineering Excellence Awards (AEEA), which will be announced in September 2018.

The AEEA awards recognise outstanding achievement in engineering and the invaluable contribution engineering makes to the economy, community and the environment. The project was previously awarded EESA’s Energy Project of the year and the Clean Energy Council’s Business Community Engagement Award in 2018.

The award coincides with the CONSORT project passing another important milestone, in demonstrating how smart coordination of home battery systems can help to support electricity networks, while rewarding battery owners for this support.

The trial, based on Bruny Island, Tasmania, was able to prevent project partner TasNetworks from having to start their backup diesel generator during a major network peak.

This was made possible by the project’s Network Aware Coordination (NAC) software, developed by project partner The Australian National University, which was run continuously over two weeks during the recent Tasmanian July school holidays. The software was able to plan ahead to provide coordinated battery discharges at the exact times when the undersea cable supplying the island was in danger of overloading. Despite there being only 32 participating households, this precisely targeted power injection was enough to prevent a diesel start during at least one major network peak. It was also able to reduce diesel consumption by the maximum possible degree during other peaks.

Trial participants are provided with a subsidy to purchase home energy systems that include solar PV and a battery, and a Reposit Power home energy management system. During normal operation, the Reposit system controls the battery to minimise power bills. During peak periods, the NAC software talks to each Reposit system to incentivise the battery to support the network.

Participants earn extra payments for providing this support. Sydney University is using the trial to study the economics of how battery owners can be fairly rewarded for the fact that their battery is available for providing support, based on the potential usefulness of this availability.

The trial is providing a wealth of data about the attitudes and responses of trial participants to this new and innovative technology. This social research is being carried out by project partner the University of Tasmania, which is also involved in the engineering, strategic vision and project management aspects of the trial.

The Australian National University’s NAC software, which coordinates the batteries, was recently launched following its successful deployment during the Easter long-weekend. Since then, it has helped to support the Bruny Island network during the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and July school holidays.

The Australian Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing $2.9 million towards the CONSORT project under its Research and Development Program. The CONSORT Bruny Island Battery Trial is an ARENA funded project.

Source: Australian National University

 

The National Energy Guarantee is one step closer

10 August

Commonwealth, state and territory energy ministers have moved one step closer to implementing the National Energy Guarantee at a meeting in Sydney today.

Ministers agreed to release the exposure draft of the National Electricity Law amendments that will implement the Guarantee, following a COAG Energy Council teleconference on 14 August and the passage of federal legislation through the Coalition Party Room.

In the words of Energy Security Board Chair, Dr Kerry Schott, today’s agreement is a “great step forward”.

The Guarantee is designed by the experts, backed by industry, business and consumer groups and supported by independent modelling which shows the average household will be $550 a year better off under the National Energy Guarantee and existing policies underway.

The National Energy Guarantee is in the national interest because it will deliver the investment certainty the sector needs, while lowering power bills, enhancing Australia’s economic competitiveness and strengthening the reliability of our energy system.

In addition to the National Energy Guarantee, the COAG Energy Council meeting today advanced important issues around transmission and the integrated system plan, cybersecurity for our energy infrastructure, new hydrogen opportunities and the implementation of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) landmark report into retail electricity pricing.

Today’s meeting was an important step forward in advancing the Turnbull Government’s plan for a more affordable and reliable energy system.

Source: Federal Government

 

COAG Energy Council meeting communique

10 August

The National Energy Guarantee

Dr Kerry Schott AO, and Ms Clare Savage, Chair and Deputy Chair of the Independent Energy Security Board (ESB), presented the ESB’s final detailed design proposal for the National Energy Guarantee (Guarantee).

The Council noted the detailed work the ESB has undertaken on the final design of the Guarantee and appreciate the extensive consultation with, and support from, stakeholders.

Ministers reiterated the importance of effectively integrating energy and climate policy with the Commonwealth, state and territory governments working together to deliver more affordable, reliable and cleaner power.

Ministers agreed to the release of the exposure draft of the National Electricity Law amendments that would implement the Guarantee following confirmation at a Council teleconference on 14 August.

Minsters noted that prior to this teleconference, Ministers will be provided with the draft Commonwealth legislation after it has been endorsed by the Coalition party room.

At the request of the South Australian Minister, Ministers acknowledged the concern that a reliability gap could emerge at any time across the 10 year forecast period. Council asked ESB to consult on legislative options for addressing this issue.

The ESB and Commonwealth papers on the detailed design are available on the COAG Energy Council website.

ACCC’s Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry

Mr Rod Sims, Chair, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, briefed Council on the ACCC’s Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry and updated Council on the ACCC’s Gas Inquiry 2017-2020.

Council welcomed the ACCC’s Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry final report, which was publicly released on 11 July 2018. This report is an important contribution to improving competitive outcomes for households and businesses. It recommends action on a broad range of fronts falling across state and territory, Commonwealth and cross-jurisdictional issues.

Ministers agreed to act quickly by progressing an initial set of 16 cross-jurisdictional recommendations from the Report, including recommendations to reduce the time it takes for consumers to switch retailers, ensure consumers get the information they need before their contract ends and fast tracking consideration of strengthening of penalties and AER’s investigative powers.

Ministers agreed to a program of work to consider the remaining 23 recommendations that are COAG Energy Council’s responsibility. The Council will consult on these recommendations as appropriate to ensure close cooperation on delivering results for consumers.

Transmission Planning and Interconnection

Ms Audrey Zibelman, Chief Executive Officer, AEMO, briefed Ministers on their Integrated System Plan (ISP), a key recommendation of the Finkel Review.

The ISP provides an outlook to 2040 on the future needs of the National Electricity Market (NEM), including recommended transmission investments that will deliver secure, reliable and affordable energy as our generation mix transitions.

Council requested that the ESB report to the December 2018 meeting on how the Group 1 projects identified in the ISP can be implemented and delivered as soon as practicable and with efficient outcomes for customers. The ESB will also report on how the Group 2 projects will be reviewed and progressed. Any modifications that may be needed to existing processes for these projects to be delivered should be clearly identified and a way forward recommended.

Ministers also asked that in addition to the consultation on the current ISP that is underway, the ESB should identify a work program (including possible changes to the RIT-T) and convert the ISP to an actionable strategic plan. The ESB Chair should take the lead on its delivery and report back to the December 2018 meeting. Council notes that all market bodies will be closely involved in this work.

Council will consider all of these matters at the December 2018 meeting.

Hydrogen update

Dr Alan Finkel, AO, Chief Scientist, briefed Council about the potential role of hydrogen in the domestic economy and export markets for Australia. Council noted the investment and job opportunities that hydrogen offers in regions across the country. Council agreed the Chief Scientist, in close consultation with officials, will bring back a proposal for the development of a national hydrogen strategy to the December 2018 meeting.

Cyber security update

Ms Audrey Zibelman provided an update on AEMO’s work, through the cyber security uplift program, to develop a national energy cyber security framework as recommended in the Finkel Review. The cyber security uplift program in an important and timely piece of work given the growing need to defend against evolving cyber threats facing Australia.

Gas Supply

Ministers noted the Gas Supply Strategy (GSS) Review Steering Committee’s report and accepted the recommendations. Ministers have requested officials to refine the GSS Implementation Plan by the end 2018, and agreed that the cross-jurisdictional steering committee continue in order to refine and coordinate implementation of the Plan until the end of 2020. Ministers also agreed to release the fourth GSS Implementation Progress Report which provides an overview of implementation efforts during the period 1 November 2017 to 30 June 2018.

Ministers agreed to publish Noetic Group’s final report on the review of petroleum licensing regulations. The Council will further consider progress of the recommendations in 2019.

Source: COAG

 

$14 million to spark electricity interconnector

11 August

The Marshall Liberal Government will invest up to $14 million to accelerate early works on construction of an interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales that will lower electricity prices in both states.

“An interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales will enable the export of our abundant renewable energy resources across the border whilst delivering more reliable and affordable electricity to both states,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“South Australia has been working closely with both the Federal Government and the New South Wales Government on this nation-building project.

“Recent reports by ElectraNet and the Australian Energy Market Operator have strongly endorsed interconnection between South Australia and New South Wales, putting the annual savings to households at $30 per annum.

“The State Liberal Government wants to kick start this vital infrastructure project to ensure the people of South Australia enjoy the cheaper and more reliable power as soon as possible.”

The early works package could include:

  • Immediate commencement of detailed line route and site selection works;
  • Co-ordinated planning approvals across the nation;
  • Immediate commencement of environmental and social studies required for planning approval; and
  • A community engagement strategy including consultation.

“The Marshall Government proposed an interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales in our comprehensive energy policy released in October last year and endorsed by the voting public at the March election,” said Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“An interconnector to New South Wales closes the loop on South Australia’s connection to the national electricity market bringing cheaper power and greater export opportunities for our renewable energy generators.

“South Australia currently only has interconnection with Victoria which puts us at the end of the line and vulnerable to the type system failure that occurred in the state-wide blackout.”

Source: SA Government

 

Specialist new energy expert to advance V-KOR battery development & commercialisation

13 August

  • Scott Davis to advise Protean on its battery development and commercialisation program
  • Mr Davis led the introduction of a location based renewable energy buyback tariff for regional Western Australia together with the introduction of generation management requirements for solar and batteries – a 1st for Australia
  • Mr Davis led innovation in the design of power purchase agreements to facilitate significant cost reductions, balance sheet benefits, and more effective management of customer demand and renewable energy integration
  • 20+ years’ experience across the electricity and resource sectors in Australia, Canada, Southeast Asia and the Solomon Islands
  • Mr Davis led an innovative project that was awarded joint winner of 2017 Clean Energy Council Innovation Award

Protean Energy Ltd (Protean or the Company) is pleased to advise that Mr Scott Davis has been engaged to help accelerate the Company’s battery development and commercialisation program.

Mr Davis is an energy industry expert with significant experience in product development, sales and marketing and market reform roles in the electricity sector. Mr Davis has a particular depth of expertise in energy systems modelling, electricity pricing and integration of renewable energy into isolated power systems.

While with Horizon Power (Western Australia’s largest regional electricity supplier), Mr Davis led a program of work to respond to the impact of new technology and business models on the electricity value chain. As Project Director, Mr Davis engaged with customers, industry bodies, State Treasury and the Public Utilities Office to provide strategic insights to the Minister for Energy and the Horizon Power Board on a range of significant issues. The project was joint winner of the Clean Energy Council Innovation Award, and winner of the Australian Utility Innovation Awards - Customer Engagement Award.

Mr Davis holds a master’s degree in renewable energy from Murdoch University, an engineering degree from University of NSW, and has been an innovator in the commercialisation of renewable energy technologies and development of new energy products. He has extensive experience in working with industry and key stakeholders in creating projects that integrate renewable energy technologies into power systems and edge of grid environments.

Protean is particularly pleased to have secured Mr Davis’s experience in product development and innovation. His unique skills, experience and professional relationships will add vital impetus, credibility and know-how to the Company’s battery technology commercialisation strategy.

Mr Davis said, “I am delighted to be teaming up with Protean to help drive the development and commercialisation program for the vanadium flow battery technology. I believe that flow batteries will play an important role in the new energy mix, and that Protean have a real opportunity to deliver a unique battery product to the market”.

Source: Protean Energy

 

Collinsville Solar Project starts to power up

13 August

Things are starting to power up at the 42.5 megawatt (MW) Collinsville Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Project.

Ahead of the $100 million project achieving full commercial operation in September, the first batch of solar panels have been switched on as part of a staged testing and commissioning process being conducted by project developers Ratch Australia Corporation.

Ratch EGM Business Development, Mr Anthony Yeates, said the testing announced the “electrification” of the Collinsville project which is located next to the decommissioned Collinsville coal-fired power station. It follows the installation of 164,000 PV solar panels and more than 550km of cabling, the completion of the site’s control room and meteorological station, and the refurbishment of the site’s substation which is now energised and will connect the project’s power to the national electricity grid.

“First generation is a meaningful milestone as we’re now generating and exporting electricity to the grid. We’ll be ramping up the amount of generation as the project reaches completion point next month,” Mr Yeates said.

“The project showcases how old coal-fired generation sites can be repurposed as new renewable energy bases, benefiting from existing infrastructure, while helping to transform Australia’s energy mix.”

A fleet of excavators, bulldozers, graders, cranes, trucks and trenchers have taken just over a year to transform the 80-hectare site.

Mr Yeates said most of the work shirts and heavy machines on site sport the names of local businesses including Beauchamp Excavating from Collinsville, Hillery Group, S&W Crane Hire, and Australian Indigenous Security Services from Bowen, and Pyro Dynamics from Proserpine.

“All eight major contracts listed on the Industry Capability Network were awarded to suppliers in the North Queensland region which is well known for the depth of industrial capabilities and skills,” he said.

“The project’s success has a lot to do with all the hard work invested by local contractors and suppliers, many of whom have been with us from the start,” he said.

Hillery Group General Manager Mr Luke Hillery said he was pleased to have been involved in the project.

“We’ve been responsible for the bulk earthworks and civil construction of the road network as well as the supply of quarry products and sand,” Mr Hillery said.

“During peak times we had up to 15 heavy machines on site with operators. Things had been a little slow up until the start of the project so it’s been a good shot in the arm for the company and the local area.

“To see it all come together has given our team a great sense of achievement,” he said.

The solar farm will deliver in the order of 130,000 MW hours of renewable energy, which is predicted to meet the annual needs of approximately 15,000 Whitsunday homes over a 20-year period.

Ratch owns and operates several renewable energy projects in Australia including the 180 MW Mount Emerald Wind Farm near Mareeba which is due for completion in November.

Source: Ratch Australia

 

Green Investment Group acquires Conergy solar team and portfolio

14 August

  • Acquisition of Conergy portfolio creates a new global solar development platform, complementing GIG’s existing expertise in wind, waste-from-energy and disruptive green energy technologies
  • GIG’s first acquisition in Asia will see 88 solar experts join the team, with a track record of developing over 500MW of solar projects across Asia Pacific

Green Investment Group (GIG), Macquarie Capital’s global green investment platform, today announced the acquisition of a significant solar development portfolio from Conergy Asia & ME (“Conergy”). The portfolio includes solar development assets in the Asia Pacific region, commercial, technical and energy storage capabilities, and an asset monitoring centre.

As part of the acquisition, Conergy employees located in Singapore, Australia, Japan, Germany and the Philippines will join GIG, adding a team of 88 professionals with extensive experience in developing over 500MW of solar energy projects across Asia Pacific, and a total of 2GW globally. The acquisition increases GIG’s global team to over 300 people and reinforces Asia as a centre of excellence for GIG and Macquarie’s global solar platform.

Neil Arora, Head of Macquarie Capital for Asia and the Middle East said: “We are pleased to enhance our solar energy capabilities from development through to design, engineering, procurement and delivery management, to build on Macquarie Capital’s solar energy track record across Asia Pacific. Today’s acquisition will also further strengthen our battery storage expertise and allow us to pursue other investment opportunities in a rapidly-growing region for the renewables sector.”

Daniel Wong, Global Co-Head of Infrastructure and Energy for Macquarie Capital, said: “This acquisition underscores our ambition for the Green Investment Group to advance its position as a world leading developer and investor in green energy projects in Asia and globally - across offshore wind, onshore wind, solar, waste to energy, battery storage and energy efficiency. I’m delighted to welcome the Conergy team to GIG.”

Alexander Lenz, CEO of Conergy, said: “Conergy has had extensive solar experience in the Asia Pacific market and our employees have a strong reputation in the region. Given Macquarie’s green investment credentials and activity in the sector, we are excited to join Macquarie and leverage our capabilities to help accelerate Macquarie’s aspirations in solar.”

Marc Lohoff, COO of Conergy, said, “Conergy has long been viewed as a leader in the development, construction and operation of solar projects and over time our team has been involved in the installation of 2GW of capacity globally. We see our team as a natural fit with Macquarie and its GIG platform.”

As GIG reaches its one year anniversary under Macquarie’s ownership, the business has expanded in scope and scale, and is now one of the world’s leading green energy investors. GIG is a global business with teams located in Asia, Europe and the Americas, specialising in activities ranging from early stage development through to construction, and operations in all major renewable technologies.

Since 2010 the combined Macquarie and GIG businesses have invested or arranged over £15bn in over 200 projects across 20 countries. The team is currently developing a pipeline of over 7GW of renewable energy projects, with a number of projects achieving financial close in recent weeks - including the 128MW Formosa offshore wind farm in Taiwan, the 200MW Canadian Breaks onshore wind farm in Texas and a 235MW onshore wind farm in Vasternorrland, central Sweden.

Source: Macquarie

 

NEW PROJECT

Yanco Solar Farm

Location: Leeton, NSW

Capacity: 60 MW

Developer: ib vogt

LGA: Leeton

Estimated cost: $100mil

Employment: 120 construction & 2 operational jobs

Description: Application made for a solar plant including solar arrays, a substation, an energy storage facility and transmission line occupying around 204 hectares of rural land. The proposal would include single axis solar arrays, inverters, transformers, energy storage units, a substation, underground cabling, a 33kv transmission line to connect to Yanco substation and associated infrastructure.

Contact: Jennifer Walsh

Ib vogt

Email: jenny.walsh@ibvogt.com

 

PROJECT NEWS

Kidston Solar Farm Stage 2

Genex Power’s 270 MW Kidston Solar Farm Stage 2, near Georgetown in northern Queensland, was declared a controlled action by the federal Department of the Environment & Energy and so will need to be assessed under the EPBC Act. The relevant controlling provisions are “listed threatened species and communities”.

 

Infigen invests in Battery Energy Storage System

15 August

Infigen Energy (IFN:ASX) today announces its investment in a 25 MW / 52 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in South Australia, using Tesla Powerpack technology.

Construction activities are expected to commence in the coming weeks. Infigen has entered into funding agreements with the South Australian (SA) Government and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to co-fund the approximately $38 million development. The SA Government and ARENA have each committed $5 million in grant funding ($10 million in total).

The BESS will be located adjacent to the 278.5 MW Lake Bonney Wind Farm and will be connected to the National Electricity Market (NEM) via the Mayurra substation owned by ElectraNet.

The BESS enables Infigen to firm at least an additional 18 MW of power depending on the customer load profile.

Mr Ross Rolfe, Chief Executive Office of Infigen, said, “With the firming capability of the BESS Infigen will be able to expand its supply contracts from the Lake Bonney Wind Farm to additional commercial and industrial customers in South Australia, which is at the heart of our business strategy.”

The operational benefits of the BESS are:

  1. Firming Infigen’s SA portfolio: access to energy storage allows Infigen to enter into additional energy supply contracts with commercial and industrial customers.
  2. System security in the NEM: the BESS can supply ancillary services ensuring increased security and quality of supply and fast response services as required.
  3. Policy considerations: adding battery energy storage capability to the SA market is consistent with the objectives of energy policy, including the proposed National Energy Guarantee.

SA Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan welcomed Infigen’s investment.

“The Marshall Government are strong supporters of increasing battery storage to harness the full potential of South Australia’s abundant renewable energy and the lower prices that will be delivered to households and businesses,” said Mr van Holst Pellekaan.

Mr Ross Rolfe, said, “Infigen’s strategy is to supply clean energy to our customers and participate in growth opportunities in the NEM. Our investment in the BESS demonstrates our continued solid progress in delivering on our strategy. We are delighted to be able to work with global technology leader Tesla, ARENA and the South Australian Government to contribute to improved energy security and reliability of supply for South Australian energy consumers.”

Source: Infigen Energy

 

Infratil and Mercury to make full takeover offer for Tilt Renewables

15 August

Infratil Limited (through its subsidiary Infratil 2018 Limited) ("Infratil") and Mercury NZ Limited ("Mercury") have today announced their intention to make a full takeover offer for Tilt Renewables Limited ("Tilt Renewables"). Infratil and Mercury already respectively hold or control 51.04% and 19.99% of the Tilt Renewables shares.

The offer price of NZ$2.30 represents a 24.3% premium to the closing share price of Tilt Renewables on 11 May 2018, being the last trading day before Mercury acquired a 19.99% stake in Tilt Renewables from TECT Holdings Limited ("TECT"), a company 100% owned by the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust, for NZ$2.30 per share.

Infratil is confident that the Board of Tilt Renewables will support the offer, given the premium it represents for minority shareholders relative to recent trading and comparables in the Australian renewables sector as well as the delivery of certain value to Tilt Renewables minority shareholders.

Tilt Renewables has approximately 11% market share of installed wind capacity in Australasia, with a total installed capacity of 637MW across 8 wind farms. Tilt Renewables is well positioned to contribute to the continued decarbonisation of Australia and New Zealand with a development pipeline of more than 1,600MW of planning approved projects covering wind, solar and storage technologies. Tilt Renewables has recently submitted a bid to sell output from the Dundonnell Wind Farm ("Dundonnell") to the Victorian Government. Dundonnell is a 336MW development project in Western Victoria that will require significant capital investment by Tilt Renewables and its shareholders.

Tilt Renewables has stated that it intends to fund Dundonnell using a combination of new corporate debt and a significant equity raising (representing approximately 45% of Tilt Renewables' current equity value.1

Infratil and Mercury's offer provides shareholders with the opportunity to sell their Tilt Renewables shares at an attractive price. Alternatively, in the event of a successful Dundonnell bid outcome, shareholders will be required to contribute a significant amount of new equity relative to their existing shareholding or be diluted in an equity raising.

Infratil believes Tilt Renewables is well positioned to continue executing on its strong and diverse development pipeline. For Infratil, the offer represents a continuation of its proven approach of investing in businesses with supportive market dynamics that can respond to a disciplined focus on operating performance and capital allocation. Tilt Renewables will become a more meaningful investment for Infratil. Infratil is looking forward to partnering with Mercury and contributing towards the continued decarbonisation of Australasia.

TECT, the third largest shareholder in Tilt Renewables which continues to hold 6.81%, granted Mercury an option over the remainder of its shares in May 2018. Following the offer becoming fully unconditional Mercury has agreed to exercise the option to acquire those shares in a manner which complies with the takeovers code, with Infratil ultimately to become the holder of those shares. The agreement between Infratil and Mercury, combined with the shares covered by the TECT option, aggregates to 77.84% of Tilt Renewables shares.

NZ$208.54m of funding is required to acquire all of the shares that Infratil and Mercury do not currently hold or control at the offer price. Infratil has sufficient funding capacity and intends to fund the takeover offer, and any near-term Tilt Renewables development projects, through the use of existing cash and debt facilities available to it.

The only substantive condition of the offer is approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board ("FIRB"). There is also a 50% acceptance condition that will be satisfied promptly after the offer is launched. There are some other customary restrictive conditions that Infratil and Mercury currently intend to waive or declare as satisfied (to the extent permitted by law) once the FIRB condition is satisfied. Payments would commence within 7 days thereafter.

A copy of the Notice of Intention to make an offer has been sent to the NZX and ASX. The offer is intended to be formally sent to shareholders in early September, and is expected to close in October.

UBS is acting as financial adviser to Infratil. Buddle Findlay is providing legal advice.

1 Based on the closing price of Tilt Renewables shares on the NZX of NZ$2.13 on 14 August 2018, being the last trading day prior to the lodgement of Infratil and Mercury's notice of intention to make a full takeover offer.

Source: Infratil

 

US$1 billion renewable energy program launched in Whyalla, South Australia

15 August

SIMEC ZEN Energy – part of Sanjeev Gupta’s global GFG Alliance – has launched its landmark US$1 billion, one‐gigawatt dispatchable renewable energy program in the Upper Spencer Gulf today, unveiling details of its first project – the exciting Cultana Solar Farm project.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, Whyalla Mayor Lyn Breuer, and SIMEC ZEN Energy Chairman Sanjeev Gupta were on hand to launch the first of many renewable energy projects planned for the region by SIMEC ZEN Energy, including cogeneration at GFG’s Whyalla Primary Steel plant using waste gas; the world’s largest lithium‐ion battery; and trailblazing pumped hydro projects at GFG’s Middleback Ranges mining operations.

Mr Gupta believes there is a great future for energy‐intensive industries in Australia, with this the first step in GFG leading the country’s industrial transition to more competitive energy.

“Today’s event is symbolic of our desire to develop and invest in new‐generation energy assets that will bring down Australia’s electricity prices to competitive levels again, as well as our commitment to local and regional Australia,” he said.

“In particular, this signals the beginning of our journey with a number of stakeholders to not only transform GFG’s operations in Whyalla, but also further enhance the appeal of this great city.”

The project boasts an impressive 600GWh of energy generation per year – enough to power almost 100,000 average homes – drawn from 780,000 solar panels across an area 550 times larger than Adelaide Oval.

Mr Gupta said this project – together with SIMEC ZEN’s second solar project, in development to be built nearby – will make this one of Australia’s largest solar farms, with even larger projects to follow in other states.

“All of these projects will not only improve reliability and greatly reduce the cost of electricity in our own operations, they will also provide competitive sources of power for other industrial and commercial users, while at the same time playing a key role in the market’s transition towards renewables,” he said.

“We have a strong conviction that traditional carbon‐intensive generation sources do not have a long‐term future as the predominant source of power in Australia and globally. We believe the world is undergoing a momentous transition to renewable power as the cost of renewables drops dramatically and quickly.

“It is, however, important that we acknowledge and also support the critical role that coal and other traditional fossil‐fuel‐based power must play in this transition.”

Mr Gupta said he had no doubt that generations to come would be powered mostly by renewable power, however this transition would take time and must be phased in carefully.

“Looking forward, we will therefore continue to invest in renewables, helping drive their market penetration and continual increase in affordability and reliability,” he said.

“At the same time, we will make use of traditional power sources supporting an orderly transition.”

Mayor Breuer commended Mr Gupta for his vision for the region, with council keen to partner with GFG in the rejuvenation of Whyalla over the coming decades, including leasing a portion of the land for the Cultana project.

“We’ve already seen Sanjeev invest tens of millions improving efficiencies and reducing input costs for his Whyalla operations, this now marks the beginning of his long‐term investment program,” Mayor Breuer said.

“Most importantly for Whyalla, this project signals to the nation that Whyalla is open for development, helping attract industries to our great city and further diversify and strengthen our economy.”

SIMEC ZEN Energy has commenced preliminary consultation discussions with the local community regarding the project, and will continue to engage closely with key stakeholders as it progresses through the remaining approval processes. Development approval is currently anticipated within the fourth quarter of this year, with construction commencing in the first quarter of 2019.

SIMEC ZEN Energy will also launch a number of ways to consult with the community on the project, including a 1300 phone number, project website, and consultation events throughout the local area. These events will commence with an information stall at this weekend’s Whyalla Show, and people can also request further information via the project email address CultanaSolarPS@zenenergy.com.au.

Cultana Solar Project – Fast Facts

- 280MW capacity

- 780,000 solar panels

- 1100 hectares in size

- 550 times larger than Adelaide Oval

- 600GWh of energy generation per year

- Enough energy to power over 96,000 homes

- Offsetting 492,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year

- 350 direct jobs during the construction phase; 10 ongoing operation and maintenance positions

- Upskilling of the indigenous and local workforce

- Construction expected to commence in early 2019

Source: ZEN Energy

 

PROJECT NEWS

Bango Wind Farm

CWP Renewables’ up to 75-turbine, 200 MW Bango Wind Farm, approximately 20km north of Yass in NSW, has been approved by the federal government under the EPBC Act with conditions relating to the protection of listed threatened species and communities and listed migratory species, the Golden Sun Moth and Superb Parrot.

 

QRC applauds Sun Metals on its solar power first

16 August

The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed the official opening of Sun Metals’ ground-breaking solar project near Townsville.

“This is yet another case study where Queensland is leading the way in making best use of our rich energy resources,” QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“Sun Metals is the first heavy industrial power user to be investing in its own renewable energy source on a commercial scale.

“Reliability and affordability of energy supply are non-negotiable for industries such as zinc refining.

“Through this investment generating approximately 125 MW, Sun Metals has provided further resilience to the refinery and security for its workers.

“Queensland shows there’s no need to play favourites when it comes to our energy sources.

“Coal, gas and renewables all have their role to play in making the most of our energy mix. This in turn delivers the most affordable and reliable power for homes and businesses.”

Source: Queensland Minerals Council

 

White Rock Wind Farm Community Fund now open

16 August

Applications are invited from community groups and organisations for a share of this year’s White Rock Wind Farm Community Fund. The $175,000 fund will be on offer each year for the entire lifespan of the wind farm.

The aim of the Community Fund is to financially support initiatives and projects that enrich and enhance the local community. Funding applications will be considered from all sectors, including but not limited to community development, the arts, education and training, health and wellbeing, sport, economic development, environment and sustainability.

Applications for funding are open to any not-for-profit or incorporated community-based organisations with projects located up to 50 km from the wind farm. All applications will be assessed on their merits with regard to selection criteria including their benefit to the community and proximity to White Rock Wind Farm.

More information on the selection criteria and details of how to apply can be downloaded from the Glen Innes Severn Council or White Rock Wind Farm website.

The closing date for applications is Friday 14 September 2018.

The Community Fund Committee, consisting of the project owners, local council and community representatives, will review all submissions received by the closing date.

‘We’re very pleased to make these funds available to the local community each year. We’ve worked very closely with the Community Consultative Committee, and Inverell and Glen Innes Severn Councils to get the fund up and running. We look forward to seeing the initiatives put forward for funding this year and in the years to come.’ said Brian Hall, CECEP representative on the Community Fund Committee.

Glen Innes Severn Council is administering the fund, including the application process, on behalf of White Rock Wind Farm.

‘Seeing the local benefits such a fund will provide, Glen Innes Severn Council is donating its services to help roll out this Fund in the local area.’ said Mayor, Cr Steve Toms.

Source: Goldwind Australia

 

Keyneton Wind Farm

Pacific Hydro is proposing to develop a wind farm at Keyneton in South Australia. The site is located 6km west of Sedan and 10km south east of Angaston and runs approximately 15km north to south along the Mount Lofty Ranges.

On 6 December 2013, the South Australian Development Assessment Commission (DAC) approved the project, comprising 42 turbines with a maximum height of 145.5m from the ground to the tip of the blade (when vertical). The project is anticipated to generate over 325 gigawatt-hours per year, enough to power approximately 60,000 households. Local benefits from the project are likely to include job opportunities during construction, increased council revenue through rates from the project, and funding of local community initiatives through our Community Investment Program.

Community Engagement

With the project moving toward construction, Pacific Hydro has begun to re-engage with the Keyneton community. Project representatives would like to meet individually with residents living within a 3km radius of the wind farm. The purpose of these meetings is to enable Pacific Hydro to hear from its neighbours to understand each resident’s specific situation in relation to the wind farm and address any questions.

Upcoming Community Engagement sessions:

Sunday, 19 August 2018

- 10.30am – 12.30pm: Cambrai, Keyneton Open House conversations - Register here

- 2.30pm – 4.30pm: Keyneton Open House Conversations - Register here

If you live in or own a property within a 3km radius, please contact the project team to arrange a meeting time by emailing enquiries@pacifichydro.com.au or by calling 1800 730 734.

Pacific Hydro wants to understand individual circumstances for those living closest to the wind farm, and is committed to engaging with all of its stakeholders both face-to-face and via community information sessions. This page will be updated with the details as they are announced. In response to some questions already raised by the community, Pacific Hydro has prepared detailed answers which can be viewed here.

If you would like to receive project updates please register by emailing enquiries@pacifichydro.com.au or by calling 1800 730 734.

Project Approval

On 14 December 2017 Pacific Hydro received an extension of time from the Government of South Australia to substantially commence development of its Keyneton Wind Farm and associated ancillary infrastructure. Under this new extension, Pacific Hydro is required to have substantially commenced the development by 29 November 2019 and completed by 29 November 2021. An indicative project schedule is available here (PDF).

For any complaints, enquiries, feedback about this project, please contact us at enquiries@pacifichydro.com.au or 1800 730 734.

Source: Pacific Hydro

 

Windlab appoints Infrared Capital Partners as its exclusive equity partner for Lakeland Wind Farm

17 August

Windlab Limited (ASX: WND) today announced that it has executed a non-binding term sheet with InfraRed Capital Partners to provide 100% of the equity required to construct the 104MW Lakeland Wind Farm project.

Lakeland Wind Farm is a fully approved wind farm located 60 km South-west of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula, adjacent to the town of Lakeland.

CEO of Windlab Limited, Roger Price, said: “We are delighted to announce InfraRed Capital Partners as our equity partner in Lakeland Wind Farm. InfraRed have a strong track record in renewable energy investment both in Australia and around the world.”

The proposed investment by InfraRed Capital Partners is subject to the completion of due diligence, execution of definitive documentation, final selection of engineering procurement and construction contractors and financial close of the project.

Source: Windlab

 

NEW PROJECT

Murray Bridge North Solar Farm

Location: Murray Bridge, South Australia

Capacity: 4.9 MW

Developer: Terregra Renewables

LGA: Murray Bridge

Estimated cost: $8.45mil

Employees: Up to 40 during construction & 2 for operations

Description: The development comprises the following elements:

- The installation of 17,472 ground mounted solar panels using a tilt system.

- A control building.

- 2 modular inverters containing inverters, transformers and switchgear.

- Underground cabling linking the solar panels to the “power stations” and the control building.

- Underground HV cabling linking the facility to the existing SAPN grid.

- Security fencing and vehicle access gate.

- Landscaping.

- Vehicle access point to Mannum Road.

- Internal service roadways.

The solar panels will cover an area of approximately 8 to 9 hectares, equating to some 40% of the subject land.

Contact: Grazio Maiorano

Director

URPS (consultant)

Tel: (08) 8333 7999

Email: grazio@urps.com.au

 

Seaford Heights Renewable Energy Facility

Location: McLaren Vale, South Australia

Capacity: 3.18 MW

Developer: LMS Energy

LGA: Onkaparinga Council

Estimated cost: $5.24mil

Description: The proposed development involves the installation of a landfill gas power generation facility at the Southern Region Waste Resource Authority (SRWRA) site in McLaren Vale. The proposed facility will replace existing landfill gas power generation equipment currently installed on the land and consist of:

- 3 x 1.06 MW Jenbacher J320 spark-ignition reciprocating engines

- 2 x gas conditioning skid

- 3 x HV transformer

- 3 x HV reactor

- HV switching unit

- Control room

- Coverage storage bund

- Workshop shed

- 10,000 litre water tank, and

- 2 x 20 metre lightning poles.

Contact: Oliver Scheidegger

LMS Energy

Tel: (08) 8291 9044

Email: compliance@lms.com.au

 

PROJECT NEWS

Generation Licence Applications

Generation licence applications have been submitted for:

- Wircon’s 92.5 MW Clermont Solar Farm located in central Queensland consisting of approximately 275,442 solar panels served by 37 x 2.5 MVA SMA Inverters and connected to Ergon Energy’s distribution network via a new 66kV connection at the Clermont Substation.

- Elliott Green Power’s 75 MW Childers Solar Farm, approximately 15km east of Childers in Queensland, consisting of approximately 123,000 x 330 watt BYD polycrystalline modules and 104,550 x 330W Suntech polycrystalline modules on a single-axis tracking system, with 37 x 1.75MVA inverters and connected to Ergon Energy’s distribution network at the 66 kilovolt (kV) Isis-Howard feeder, via a newly constructed 66/33kV substation.

- Elliott Green Power’s 96 MW Susan River Solar Farm, located approximately 15km north of Maryborough in Queensland, consisting of approximately 104,340 x BYD 330 watt polycrystalline modules and 185,190 x Suntech 330W polycrystalline modules on a single-axis tracking system, with 49 x 1.75MVA inverters and connected to Ergon Energy’s distribution network at the 66 kV Torquay Feeder via a new Ergon 66/33 kV substation.

 

CWP receives approval for Sapphire Renewable Energy Hub

17 August

The company behind the 270 MW Sapphire Wind Farm has today received planning approval from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for a c.200 MW solar + storage project, which will expand the wind farm to a wind, solar and battery hybrid project called the Sapphire Renewable Energy Hub.

The Sapphire Wind Farm commenced construction in January 2017 and is expected to be fully operational in coming months. Construction of the solar and battery infrastructure is anticipated to commence construction in early 2019 and will take approximately 14 months.

CWP’s Head of Development, Mr Ed Mounsey, said that the expanded project will bring next big wave of renewable energy investment to the New England region, together with renewable energy leadership.

“Construction of the wind farm has created 150-200 FTE jobs over an almost two year period. Construction of the solar and battery infrastructure will create a further 150-200 FTE jobs and will extend the benefits for local businesses.”

“The New England region is unique, in that there is a natural correlation between the generation profiles of wind and solar. Combining wind and solar together with battery storage will allow large-scale, dispatchable renewable energy to be exported from the region”, Mr Mounsey said.

“The Sapphire Renewable Energy Hub will be the largest such project in the world. This is the future of energy generation in Australia, being constructed right now.”

Source: CWP Renewables

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