Renewable energy brings heat to manufacturing

10 October

Whether brewing beer, making paper, turning raw minerals into valuable products, or undertaking other common industrial processes, manufacturing relies on heat – and a lot of it.

Since the rise of coal in the industrial revolution, the heat has largely come from fossil fuels. Gas, coal and oil have underpinned much modern manufacturing, but renewable alternatives are emerging – particularly for lower temperature processes.

Now, as part of its newly-announced support for Australian industries to lower emissions, ARENA is providing $460,500 in funding to the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity (A2EP) to help businesses make the switch to renewables.

The funding will support manufacturers to undertake feasibility studies into projects that will reduce emissions, lower energy bills and help to bring down the cost of new technologies.

Ten pre-feasibility studies have already been undertaken, from which five will be chosen to progress to the full feasibility stage.

Three have already been confirmed – McCain’s Ballarat potato processing facility in Victoria, Lion’s Adelaide brewery in South Australia, and Simplot’s food processing plant in Tasmania.

The sites have been selected to trial technologies that aren’t yet widely used in Australia. Applications have been encouraged for projects that electrify processes currently powered by fossil fuels, utilise heat pumps powered by renewables, or produce heat from combustion of renewable resources like biogas.

Feasibility studies and a business case for each of the five sites will be completed by the end of 2019, at which point the projects will be eligible to apply for ARENA funding to implement the plans developed.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said that there is an opportunity to work with industry to grow renewable energy, as well as reduce their costs and emissions.

“A2EP’s project aligns with what ARENA is aiming to achieve through its new investment priority in helping industry to reduce emissions by supplying case studies which can be replicated more widely,” Darren Miller said.

“There is potential to increase the application of renewable energy for process heating in manufacturing. By switching to renewable energy technologies, industries such as food and beverage processing can significantly reduce their reliance on traditional forms of energy and save money on their operating costs,” he said.

Compared to other countries, Australia has been slow to embrace renewable ways of producing heat for industrial processes.

Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity CEO Jonathan Jutsen said there are a range of innovative but proven technologies available that could Australia could embrace.

“There is great potential to be smarter about process heat. We waste a great deal of energy and we don’t take advantage of cost-effective renewables,” Jonathan Jutsen said.

“There are literally thousands of businesses that could benefit from these ideas,” he said.

Source: ARENA


AltEnergy Industry Directory

We have had a fantastic response to the launch of our new product, the AltEnergy Industry Directory (AEID). More and more companies are registering to be in the AEID, which will be launched next month. The AEID gathers together industry contacts in one convenient, searchable online directory for people who are seeking specific suppliers, trades and services, and provides a platform for businesses to connect with other industry participants. Anyone who lists in the AEID will receive 1 month’s free access. More details, including how to make a listing for your company, are provided here on our FAQ webpage


Another big wind farm go-ahead boosts surge in Qld’s wind power generation

13 October

A new $350 million wind farm south-west of Gladstone, given the go-ahead by the Queensland Government and creating up to 150 construction jobs, will add to the big surge in wind power now coming on-line in the state.

And it will produce most of its power overnight from its site on the Banana Range, an area known for its strong overnight winds.

Minister for Planning Cameron Dick said the new wind farm will boost the total capacity of wind generation approved by the Queensland Government to 2240 megawatts, enough to power over one million homes.

“The government strongly supports investment in regional projects and the Banana Range wind farm, located 20 km west of Biloela, will provide a huge boost for the local economy,” Mr Dick said.

“With up to 150 construction jobs and up to 15 ongoing jobs, the Banana Range Wind Farm will not only generate electricity for homes and businesses but will be an economic energy source for the surrounding region.

“Besides the great environmental benefits for Queensland, investment in projects such as this also creates a flow-on economic effect for local businesses and assists in diversifying the town’s economy.

“The Banana Range wind farm will generate around 180 megawatts at capacity, which will power around 120,000 homes, around five times the number of houses in Gladstone.

“The site will be home to 50 turbines, helping us achieve our renewable energy target.”

Currently, the Coopers Gap wind farm (located between Dalby and Kingaroy) – 453 megawatts is operational but still under construction. When completed next year it will produce power for 264,000 homes.

The Mount Emerald Wind farm, near Mareeba is completed and operational producing power for 75,000 homes.

Other wind farm projects include Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden – 43 megawatts and Kaban Green Power Hub in the Tablelands with 130M megawatts capacity.

Minister for Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said this project added to the state’s numerous renewable projects, placing further downward pressure on electricity prices and taking Queensland closer to our renewables target of 50 per cent by 2030.

“Queensland has more than 2370 megawatts of large‑scale renewable energy capacity operating already and another 250 committed or under construction. Around 18,000 megawatts more of large-scale renewable capacity is currently at earlier stages of development,” Dr Lynham said.

“Together, these projects represent more than $5 billion in capital investment and more than 4500 constructions jobs in regional Queensland.”

Lacour Energy director James Townsend said the wind farm is in an area of excellent wind resources with an existing high voltage 132-kilovolt transmission line running through the project site, which will connect the wind farm to the power network.

“The onsite powerline and excellent wind resource mean that the project can supply competitively priced electricity,” Mr Townsend said.

“The area is known for its strong nighttime winds which is when the wind farm will produce the most energy,and this means the project is very complementary to the daytime energy from rooftop solar and the solar farms that have recently been built in Queensland.

“We estimate there will be an injection of $30-40 million into the regional economy during the construction through the employment of local contractors and service providers.

“In addition to the construction of the wind farm, we are also going to provide $100,000 each year to support projects or initiatives in nearby communities through a community benefits fund.”

Construction will begin in 2020 and will take approximately 24 months to complete. The delivery of the Banana Range wind farm will not impact on the lifespan of existing generators.

The project is being undertaken by Orange Creek Energy Pty Ltd, a subsidiary renewable energy company of Lacour Energy based in Brisbane.

Source: Queensland Government



Stringybark Solar Farm

Location: Metz, 14km east of Armidale in northern NSW

Capacity: 29.9 MW

Developer: Infinergy Pacific

LGA: Armidale Regional Council

Status: Referred to Northern Regional Planning Panel

Estimated cost: $29.2mil

Description: The key components of the Project are:

- Installation of photovoltaic panels mounted above the ground on a tracking system with a combined capacity of 29.9MW;

- An on-site operation and maintenance building with parking spaces; and

- An off-site substation including transformer, switchgear, communications equipment and parking spaces which will connect into the 66kV power line that lies adjacent to the substation.

Contact: Jane Ross

Infinergy Pacific



Australia’s Lyon Group and China Huadian sign agreement to bring stable renewable energy to Asia

13 October

Lyon Group today announced that it has signed an agreement with China’s second largest power generation company, China Huadian Corporation, to co-develop and invest in power generation with integrated battery energy storage systems (BESS) in China, Australia and other Asian markets.

The agreement brings together an alliance to co-develop stable renewable energy including Japan’s JERA Co. Inc, with whom Lyon and China Huadian each signed separate agreements in 2018.

Lyon’s agreements with China Huadian and JERA position Lyon at the heart of overcoming the limitations of solar and wind energy so they can become primary power sources for the world.

The new agreement documents Lyon and China Huadian’s current focus on:

  1. specific BESS retrofit opportunities in China and two other Asian countries, based on detailed plant-specific assessments; and
  2. China Huadian’s intention to co-develop, purchase, finance and construct Lyon’s advanced integrated solar battery power stations in Australia, as lead EPC contractor via subsidiary China Huadian Engineering Co. Ltd, one of the world’s leading renewable EPC companies.

The new agreement also covers:

  1. integration of long-duration BESS into new and existing China Huadian projects in China and in other Asian nations, to overcome the unstable power output of renewables, avoid curtailment, increase efficiency of exiting plant and ensure future renewable projects integrate BESS; and
  2. development and acquisition of new and existing renewable power generation, as well as supplementation of existing thermal generation.

China Huadian has total assets of more than 825 billion RMB ($172 billion AUD).

Lyon is assisting two of the world largest utilities to address impediments to the roll out of renewable generation. China Huadian and JERA’s generation portfolios are bigger than 150GW and 74GW respectively.

Lyon Chair David Green said the world’s biggest utilities are awake to the imperative of making solar and wind energy work – for power systems, for investors and for national economies.

“Major global utilities like China Huadian and JERA, and the others who have approached Lyon for assistance, are very focussed on addressing the very real limitations of traditional renewables.

“They understand that just continuing to invest in inflexible traditional solar and wind with uncontrolled, energy that is destabilising and often wasted is not commercially sustainable.’

As China ramps up its huge wind and solar construction plans, reduces subsidies, and moves toward a more competitive market, the value of avoided curtailment will be measurable in billions of RMB.

“China Huadian has big plans for solar and wind development but the significant curtailment and grid disturbance they have experienced to date shows that the volume of renewables they want to build will deliver greater benefit, both technically and commercially, with integrated storage.”

Lyon’s project design philosophy is that all new electricity generation must meet the power system requirements of a modern, stable electricity grid and be capable of providing commercial returns.

“Major global utilities like China Huadian are approaching Lyon to work with and invest alongside us because our project design philosophy leads to flexible, dispatchable power stations that supply valuable clean energy, enhance grid stability, and address connection/curtailment risks.

“Traditional standalone solar and wind projects deliver destabilising energy and waste too much of their output. They impose large expenditure on grid stabilisation, network augmentation and ’firming’. They are less flexible than the thermal generation they are supplanting.

“Lyon’s integration of long-duration battery storage with power generation creates flexible, stable power stations that deliver predictable, dispatchable clean power. This reduces investment risk.”

The way that Lyon integrates BESS and renewable generation addresses many of the key opportunities and risks created by substantial and rapid change across the world’s electricity markets:

- Low and even negative pricing during peak solar and wind production (in markets without competition, this translates as a pattern of new supply variously exceeding and falling short of demand);

- Greater demand for ancillary services at the same time as lower supply of them, reflecting the nature of predominant generation substitution (wind and solar replacing coal);

- Growing curtailment of new generation, due to factors including but not limited to thermal constraints and local voltage and frequency destabilisation, driven by construction of clusters of solar and wind in zones remote from matching grid capacity or load; and

- Adverse loss factor changes, reflecting the same factors as growing curtailment.

“Solving the inflexibility, instability and curtailment of solar and wind is key to lifting and eventually removing the physics, economics and political ceilings on zero emissions power.”

“It’s the big global utilities that understand these challenges and are focussed on overcoming them.”

Source: Lyon Group


Managing the costs and risks of integrating new generation into the power system

14 October

Coordination of generation and transmission investment blueprint – release of discussion papers 

The AEMC has today released proposals to overhaul wholesale pricing and transmission access to lower the costs and risks of getting new generation and battery storage into the grid.

The COGATI (coordination of generation and transmission investment) blueprint redesigns the market to make sure that new generation and storage are connecting to the power system in the right place and at the right time to meet future needs.

AEMC Chairman John Pierce said the increasing growth of dispersed renewable generation and batteries across the national electricity market (NEM) means comprehensive market reform is needed to effectively integrate these new resources.

“At the same time we need to manage the transformation of the power system in ways that stop lower-cost generators being cut off congested networks - that can lead to unnecessary costs for consumers,” Mr Pierce said.

Two AEMC discussion papers were released today:

- Coordination of generation and transmission infrastructure proposed access reform model

- Renewable energy zones.

“The proposals we are releasing today essentially do two things. They create better investment signals for generators to locate in more cost-effective places, and make it possible for them to use the transmission network more efficiently.

“This work underpins our collaboration with the Energy Security Board on its 2025 market design project.

“Regardless of what happens in the future, these reforms need to be in place so new generation can have access to the grid in the cheapest way possible,” Mr Pierce said.

“These structural changes to the market framework are an essential element to deliver on AEMO’s integrated system plan (ISP) to keep the lights on at least cost,” Mr Pierce said.

“The ISP identifies what investment is needed to enable this to happen. COGATI complements this by reducing risk attached to new investment for consumers, generators, transmission networks and financiers.”

Mr Pierce said proposed new rules would be prepared by the end of the year. If the energy ministers agree to proceed with the rule requests, reforms could be implemented without delaying the ISP timeframe for new connections.

In addition to the package of COGATI reforms to be applied across the whole network, today’s announcement includes additional reforms focussed on making renewable energy zones happen faster across the market.

The AEMC is proposing to introduce locational investment signals to the market which would encourage generators and investors who want to build large-scale renewable power stations and storage. Other new tools would deliver assured access to the grid. If the level of generator commitment supports the renewable energy zone, networks would work out the best way of delivering the capacity and the investment would continue to form part of its regulatory asset base.

COGATI reform package at a glance

This market redesign would:

- Lower costs for consumers by generators paying some of the costs of new transmission and ensuring the lowest cost combination of generation is dispatched at any given time

- increase the ability for generators to access the grid at more cost-reflective prices, and give them more control and certainty over how and when they use the network.

- improve locational pricing that reduces likelihood of needing to over-build the transmission network and encourage the right generation to connect to the grid at the right place and the right time.

- help offset the cost to consumers of building extra transmission through the money paid by generators for financial transmission hedges

- Increase reliability through better coordination of generation and transmission investment decisions

- Improve access to the grid for new generation, linked to reforms which are focused on making renewable energy zones happen faster across the whole market.

- Deliver better financial risk management for generators to manage congestion, and marginal loss factors - ultimately reducing their cost of capital.

- Reduce transmission network costs in managing inter-regional settlement residues.

Next steps

The COGATI and REZ discussion papers were released today, at the request of generators and other stakeholders, so further consultation can happen before the review is concluded at the end of the year. The AEMC is collaborating with jurisdictions to deliver the reforms as soon as possible, and working with the Energy Security Board, the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Australian Energy Regulator on to ensure these reforms fully integrate with the Energy Security Board’s post-2025 process.

Submissions on both papers are due by 8 November 2019.

A public workshop on the COGATI reforms will be held on 18 October 2019.

For more information

See updates on our website

This review is part of the AEMC’s strategic priorities action plan to address generation access and transmission pricing, the integration of distributed energy resources, and aligning financial incentives for market participants with physical needs of the power system.

Animated graphics showing the changing generation mix for each Australian state and territory are available on the AEMC’s website.

Source: AEMC


Hydrogen innovation – delivering on the vision

14 October

The latest report from Gas Vision 2050 was released today by Energy Networks Australia and the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) at the 2019 APGA Convention and Exhibition.

The Hydrogen Innovation – Delivering on the Vision report shows the significant progress made since the release of Gas Vision 2050 over two years ago with $180 million committed funding for hydrogen infrastructure projects.

Energy Networks Australia Chief Executive Officer Andrew Dillon said that hydrogen was part of a sustainable energy solution and replacing natural gas with hydrogen would deliver a safe, reliable and zero-emissions fuel for customers.

“This report demonstrates that crucial innovation by networks is already underway to advance a hydrogen future,” Mr Dillon said.

“Networks are looking to renewable hydrogen made from solar and wind power to decarbonise our gas networks.”

APGA Chief Executive Officer Steve Davies said developments in gaseous fuels signalled a promising future for gas as Australia’s energy system moved to a low carbon future.

“Natural gas already provides more energy than electricity, at lower emissions and less cost,” Mr Davies said.

“Gaseous fuels fit well with future energy needs as we decarbonise, providing diversity in energy supply which delivers great benefits for competition, reliability and security now and into the future.”

Trials are already underway, and some networks have made clear plans to blend hydrogen into existing gas infrastructure.

Energy Networks Australia has previously released research confirming that the injection of hydrogen into the gas distribution network can be done under current gas legislation.

There is a global focus on hydrogen as the way forward with 19 separate hydrogen roadmaps underway or completed around the world, including Australia.

Source: Energy Networks Australia


Photon Energy replaces diesel with hybrid solar and storage system on Lord Howe Island

14 October

- The project includes more than 1.2 MWp in solar PV and battery storage with a capacity of over 3.2 megawatt hours

- The installation integrated with the island's microgrid is expected to generate more than two thirds of target reduction in diesel and improve energy security

- Construction on the project will begin early next year and is expected to be completed by June 2020 

Photon Energy Group (WSE: PEN) announces that its subsidiary Photon Energy Engineering Australia will install a hybrid solar and battery storage system on Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, reducing the local community’s reliance on diesel-generated power.

A minimum 1.2 MWp solar PV array and a battery system with over 3.2 MWh capacity will soon be built on the World Heritage-listed remote island, located in the Tasman Sea 700km north-east of Sydney.

The integrated solar and storage system, purposely designed for a small and remote location, will provide more than two thirds of Lord Howe Island’s electricity, currently powered by diesel generation.

“Photon Energy is proud to have been successful in the Lord Howe Island Board’s rigorous tender process and to be given the opportunity to help the island’s community not only massively save on diesel and greenhouse gas emissions but also to prevent spills and pollution in a pristine environment,” said Michael Gartner, Managing Director of Photon Energy Australia.  

Through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the federal government has provided AUD 4.5 million towards this AUD 11.1 million project, with the NSW government also providing a loan facility of AUD 5.9 million to the Lord Howe Island Board, responsible for care, control and management of the island.   

The ground-mounted PV power facility combined with solar battery storage will be integrated with the local microgrid and diesel generators, which currently form the main power source for the island's community.

Construction on the hybrid solar and battery system project will commence early next year and is expected to be completed by June 2020.

Source: Photon Energy


CEFC to support emissions reduction across Mira’s Australian infrastructure platform

15 October

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will work with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), one of the world’s leading alternate asset managers, to pursue emissions reduction and energy efficiency across MIRA’s Australian infrastructure platform.

The CEFC is investing $100 million into MIRA’s Australian infrastructure platform and together with MIRA will target lower carbon emissions and improved energy efficiency at assets in sectors including airports, electricity, port, rail and water.

The emissions reduction standards will focus on identifying global best practice to drive positive change within the assets. Global best practice measures include Science Based Targets (SBT), which work to achieve the Paris Agreement commitment to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said that infrastructure accounted for nearly half of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

“Investors and asset managers are more aware than ever that cutting emissions requires timely action across the economy, especially in a sector as substantial as infrastructure,” Mr Learmonth said.

“There are a range of proven technologies and strategies that can cut emissions in Australia’s diverse transport and energy assets and improve productivity and energy consumption. We recognise that these investments can be significant and need to work for the long term.

“We welcome this exciting emissions reduction focus from a substantial long-term investment manager such as MIRA and look forward to seeing these landmark Australian assets further developed to become an essential part of our sustainable future.”

Technologies and measures that can reduce emissions and energy use in infrastructure assets include:

  • Installation of solar PV and batteries at airports, offices, warehouses and depot facilities
  • Installation of solar PV at wireless communications infrastructure sites, which results in an integrated solar power solution to customers, to cut emissions as well as customer energy costs
  • Building efficiency upgrades, including energy efficient lighting, demand management across heating, ventilation and cooling machinery and the replacement of hot water tanks
  • Upgrades to efficient baggage handling systems and the provision of fixed ground power and pre-conditioned air at airports
  • Replacement of vehicle fleets with electric vehicles at transport, distribution assets and airports
  • Monitoring insulator gas loss to minimise transport and distribution resistance loss
  • Demand management at transport and distribution assets.

MIRA Managing Director, Kieran Zubrinich, said ESG considerations are embedded within MIRA’s

asset management frameworks and the investment from the CEFC will support decarbonisation

strategies across its Australian platform.

“The responsibility we have as custodians of assets Australians use every day is to ensure their long-term sustainability and resilience for the benefit of the communities they serve.

“Our work with the CEFC will assist our assets to identify and achieve meaningful emissions reduction on a day to day basis, as well as improving operational performance and enhancing the services these businesses can provide,” Mr Zubrinich said.

CEFC Infrastructure lead Julia Hinwood said that the CEFC’s commitment to MIRA’s Australian infrastructure platform built on its existing relationship with MIRA. In February 2018 the CEFC committed $100 million to MIRA’s agricultural platform to demonstrate the broad potential of energy efficiency and low emissions technology in Australian farming.

“We look forward to working with MIRA to accelerate changes that will make substantial impacts in emissions reduction in infrastructure,” Ms Hinwood said.

Source: CEFC



Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant Solar Farm

Location: Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) at O'Sullivan Beach, South Australia

Owner/developer: SA Water Corporation

Capacity: Less than 5 MW

Status: Development approval application submitted to state government

Description: The project forms part of SA Water’s broader Zero Cost Energy Future project, which aims to reduce the operating costs of, and improve reliability of energy supplies to, SA Water’s critical water infrastructure. Aurecon Australasia Pty Ltd has been engaged by SA Water to provide planning advice and to assist in obtaining a development approval for the proposed development in accordance with the Development Act 1993. The proposed development of a ground-mounted low-profile PEG solar generation plant involves the below components;

  • Approximately 9,240 individual solar PV cells, each measuring approximately 1960mm long x 991mm wide and 40mm deep;
  • Associated PEG (low-profile) framework for the solar panels
  • Approximately fifteen (15) combiner boxes, installed with appropriate weather-proofing and positioned centrally to solar array ‘blocks’;
  • One (1) Inverter station installed within appropriate weather-proof shelter and located towards the centre of the proposed solar PV arrays
  • Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) equipment (model specifications to be confirmed by construction partner). To be located within existing operations area of the WWTP;
  • Provision of a lay-down area for construction (location to be confirmed);
  • Electrical cabling, installed via underground trenching, with point of connection near to the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP);
  • Creation of a single, gravel surfaced access track to ensure all-weather access to the centrally located inverter station. This will also require the creation of a new point of entry off Marine Drive (details to be confirmed);
  • Installation of 2.4m high chainmesh security fencing around the development footprint

In total, the proposal requires an approximate 3.05 hectares for the installation of solar PV arrays and associated infrastructure on the subject land.


First panels laid for one of Australia’s largest solar arrays

15 October

The installation of one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar arrays is underway at Tonsley Innovation District, to power South Australia’s first district energy scheme.

The project will engage up to 40 installers, electricians, engineers and support staff.

The first rows have been laid on the roof of the Main Assembly Building (MAB) by ZEN Energy, on behalf of Enwave Australia, the owner and operator of the scheme.

Enwave Australia will invest approximately $40 million over a 50-year period for battery storage, photovoltaics, smart technologies and electrical assets.

They are the first of approximately 7,400 panels which are being installed on the five-hectare MAB roof.

Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the array would have a total installed capacity of 2.34MW, providing power for Tonsley businesses, organisations and residents.

“It is the first stage in a plan to increase solar generation capacity to as much as six megawatts, generated by up to 20,000 solar panels, as Tonsley grows over time,” said the Minister.

“The District Energy Scheme demonstrates South Australia’s leadership in the renewable energy sector, and Tonsley is becoming a hub for businesses and innovation in this space.

“The solar energy installation will offset as much as 3,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year over its lifetime, and is part of Tonsley’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, as well as its Six Star Green Star Communities Rating.”

The system will optimise solar energy generation for the energy demands of the entire Tonsley precinct, enhancing security of energy supply and providing competitive energy pricing to all customer classes, including commercial and residential.

Businesses at Tonsley will have the choice to buy their electricity from Enwave Australia at competitive market rates and support the site’s shift to cleaner energy, or buy from the energy retailer of their choice.

The scheme will later expand to include the provision of recycled water for non-drinking purposes and natural gas for residences in Tonsley Village.

Enwave Australia Chief Executive Officer Cameron Evans said the company was excited to be delivering this critical component of an industry shaping scheme.

“The Tonsley District Energy Scheme has been designed to ensure customers within the district benefit from a reliable, cost effective and renewable supply of energy,” said Mr Evans.

“The rooftop solar installation is a key component of this system, which will be integrated into the wider scheme to ensure all customers benefit from the installation.

“We are proud to be part of this scheme as another key step in the establishment of Tonsley as a leading innovation district.”

GFG Alliance Executive Chairman Sanjeev Gupta said the shift towards renewable energy was a crucial part of ensuring a sustainable future for industry and society.

“Building on Australia’s renewable energy capability is a key to GFG Alliance’s mission and strategy to create sustainable industry around the world,” he said.

“We’re excited about the role that ZEN Energy is playing in this for homes, business, and industry across Australia.

“We hope to see more projects like the Tonsley District Energy Scheme in the future as we begin to transition and rely more on renewable energy to power our communities.”

ZEN Energy Chief Executive Officer Marc Barrington said the company was proud to be delivering the Tonsley solar array as part of a national landmark energy project. “We are delighted to start work on this landmark installation and delivering one of Australia’s largest rooftop solar arrays,” he said.

“The array will work hand in hand with a range of other technologies in the Tonsley District Energy Scheme to showcase how the benefits of renewable energy can be integrated across an entire community, which we’re really excited about.”

Source: SA Government


ARENA CETO 6 project funding agreement update

15 October

Carnegie Clean Energy Limited (subject to deed of company arrangement) (ASX:CCE) (Carnegie or the Company) provides the following update with regards to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) CETO 6 Project Funding Agreement (Funding Agreement) which was supporting the Albany Wave Energy Project alongside the WA State Government.

Having regard to the new digital development approach outlined in the prospectus dated 31 July 2019 (which differs from the milestones and outcomes previously agreed for the Albany Wave Energy Project) and on the basis that the Albany Wave Energy Project will not be proceeding as previously planned, Carnegie and ARENA have mutually agreed to terminate the existing CETO 6 Project Funding Agreement. As disclosed in the prospectus dated 31 July 2019, Carnegie had anticipated that the Funding Agreement would be terminated by mutual agreement and the Company would not be entitled to ongoing funding support.

In recognition of the work Carnegie completed on the CETO 6 Project and the knowledge being shared from the CETO 6 Project, ARENA has agreed to pay a partial milestone payment of $865,493 (ex GST) to the Company. These funds will remain with Carnegie going forward, post effectuation of the deed of company arrangement, and the Company intends to utilise these funds to support the ongoing development of the CETO technology.

Carnegie would like to thank ARENA for their vision, leadership and support for Australia’s renewable energy future. Particularly, Carnegie thanks ARENA for their ongoing support for the emerging ocean energy sector in Australia including supporting key research, collaboration and demonstration projects which will enable Australia to participate in and benefit from the global growth of the ocean energy sector.

Source: Carnegie Clean Energy


New deal supports solar project to get on the grid

15 October

An innovative network support agreement between Stanwell Corporation Limited (Stanwell) and Pacific Hydro’s Haughton Solar Farm will see Kareeya Hydro Power Station support the 100 MW North Queensland solar project.

Through the operation of Kareeya Hydro Power Station, Stanwell is providing network support services which add strength to the grid and enable the Haughton Solar Farm to generate in compliance with generator performance standards.

Stanwell Chief Executive Officer Richard Van Breda said the agreement could set the scene for more renewable energy projects to connect to the grid and provide clean and green energy to Queensland.

“Stanwell is exploring opportunities to evolve and renew our energy generation portfolio in response to the market and to support the Queensland Government’s 50 per cent renewable energy target,” Mr Van Breda said.

“This includes exploring opportunities to provide network services that enable renewable energy projects to generate while also safeguarding security of supply to Queenslanders,” Mr Van Breda said.

“Our agreement with Pacific Hydro sees Kareeya Hydro Power Station in North Queensland providing Haughton Solar Farm the necessary network support to manage the operational obligations it faces to get up and running.

“The arrangement provides stability to the project and allows Haughton Solar Farm to generate in a region which is subject to lower system strength levels.”

The ownership of Kareeya Power Station will transfer to CleanCo Queensland from 31 October 2019.

“Regardless of the assets within our portfolio, we will continue to use our flexible energy generation assets throughout the state to maintain a reliable, affordable and secure supply of electricity for Queenslanders while also facilitating the introduction of renewables to the grid and supporting Queensland’s transition to a lower carbon future,” Mr Van Breda said.

Pacific Hydro Chief Executive Officer Rachel Watson said the innovation in grid support would provide many benefits to ensure the project’s ongoing success.

“The agreement with Stanwell will make it easier for the solar farm to operate, which in turn improves the commerciality of the project,” Ms Watson said.

“The agreement with Stanwell really is a win-win. It improves the commerciality of the solar farm and minimises energy system constraints. It’s also exciting we can achieve these benefits by harnessing the water and the sun,” Ms Watson said.

Source: Stanwell


AEMO publishes 2018/2019 Annual Report

15 October

AEMO is pleased to publish our Annual Report for the 2018-19 financial year. It outlines AEMO’s performance and strategic priorities for the year ahead, and coincides with our 10-year anniversary.

The year was one of collaboration, working closely with industry and governments to operate a power system in transition. This close collaboration delivered tangible improvements to system security, design and operation, as well as market enhancements and delivery. It also enabled us to become closer to Australian energy consumers, working with a range of entities to deliver tangible improvements to facilitate consumer engagement. 

AEMO has also embarked on our largest digital replacement program to reduce operating costs for both AEMO and the industry to provide services that support the transition to a new energy environment. At the core of our digital strategy is a commitment to deliver measurable benefits coupled with a frictionless, secure and scalable digital experience for our people, members, market participants and all energy consumers.

As previously shared, AEMO released its Corporate Plan 2020-23, identifying the specific challenges and outcomes that AEMO will pursue over the defined planning horizon. Next year’s Annual Report, and subsequent Annual Reports henceforth, will outline progress made and report the outcomes of the corporate plan.

AEMO looks forward to collaborating with member organisation, market participants, governments and consumer representatives on this journey.

You can read the AEMO Annual Report 2018/2019 here.

Source: AEMO


Does Snowy 2.0 ‘stack up’?

15 October

In a word – NO!

The National Parks Association of NSW today released a comprehensive research paper which demonstrates that the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro storage project does not stack up on either environmental or financial grounds and its benefits are overstated.

In releasing the Paper, the Executive Officer of NPA, Gary Dunnett, stated that “for the past 2½ years since the March 2017 announcement of Snowy 2.0 there has been a steady stream of alarming information revealing from every angle that Snowy 2.0 just doesn’t stack up.”

“When announced, Snowy 2.0 was to cost $2 billion, take 4 years to construct (2021), and be fully funded by Snowy Hydro – none of which has turned out to be anywhere near correct.  The cost has soared to $10 billion, the construction time has more than doubled to 2027 and the Commonwealth Government has kicked in $1.4 billion (with more likely to be needed).”

“Snowy 2.0 should not have been contemplated in the first place, due to its substantial, permanent environmental damage to Kosciuszko National Park.”

“Sticking a hip 2.0 moniker on it and invoking the nation-building romance of the original Snowy Scheme cannot change the fact that this is environmental vandalism and economic folly … carried out in the name of pretending it’s a silver bullet for an energy policy.”

“There’s literally hundreds of alternative opportunities for energy storage – pumped hydro, batteries, demand response etc – but Snowy 2.0 is one of the most destructive and expensive.”

“The fact that Snowy 2.0 has been approved, contracts awarded ($5.1 billion) and construction commenced well before the environmental impacts have assessed defies belief and the law of the land” Mr Dunnett said.

“And this is even more reprehensible as the project will substantially and permanently damage Kosciuszko – one of Australia’s iconic natural places”.

“The Commonwealth Shareholding Ministers should revoke the approval of the Business Case on the grounds of inadequate estimation of the costs and projected returns of the project to the Australian public.  And the NSW Minister for Planning should refuse approval for the EIS on the grounds of inconsistency between the enormous scale of the project and the National Park status of the proposed development site” Mr Dunnett said.

“Ultimately it will be the Australian public that bears the costs and Kosciuszko National Park that bears the scars”.

Mr Dunnett emphasised “NPA is not opposed to pumped hydro storage schemes as such – additional electricity storage, including pumped hydro, is definitely needed as renewable generation expands.”

“But Snowy 2.0 doesn’t stack up environmentally or economically – there are far better alternatives.  Snowy 2.0 is the wrong project in the wrong place”, he concluded.

Source: National Parks Association of NSW


September Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data now available

16 October

The Clean Energy Regulator has released the September 2019 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target market data.

September highlights

- 22 power stations were accredited with a combined capacity of 610 megawatts. The total capacity of accredited power stations in 2019 is now 2712 megawatts.

- Two utility-scale projects were accredited with a combined capacity of 601 megawatts. This includes Coopers Gap Wind Farm in QLD with an accredited capacity of 452.89 megawatts, the second largest project tracked though the large-scale renewable energy project pipeline.

- 20 mid-scale solar power stations were accredited with a combined capacity of 9 megawatts.

Source: Clean Energy Regulator


Mojo secures cleaner, cheaper power with Suntech: Groundbreaking of Robinvale Solar Farm

16 October

  • Commencement of construction of a new solar farm in Robinvale Victoria
  • Solar Farm is 7.4MWAC in size
  • All electricity is purchased by Mojo Power

Mojo Power is pleased to announce the commencement of a 9.4 MWDC / 7.4 MWAC solar farm in Robinvale, Victoria.

The Project has been developed by Suntech Power Development Australia Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Suntech Power Japan. Suntech are a member of one of the World’s leading solar panel companies and solar farm developers.

The solar farm is located on Pethard Road, Robinvale, Victoria. Robinvale is 92 km SE of Mildura and 469km NW of Melbourne.

Suntech own 100 percent of the solar farm and all of the electricity produced from it is to be purchased by Mojo Power under a long-term agreement with the developers.

The solar farm is expected to be in service by April 2020.

This milestone is a major move for Mojo Power as it seeks to provide fair, clean, and lower cost energy for its customers. Mojo Power Managing Director, Warren Murphy, commented, “We are delighted to be able to announce the first of what we hope to be many solar farms in partnership with Suntech. Delivering renewable energy to our customers is our passion and we are delighted to partner with Suntech in Australia”.

The Robinvale Solar Farm is one of a number of renewable energy power plants we intend to source for wholesale power. It is part of a broader plan to source renewables across the eastern states allowing customers to take charge of their energy costs.

Mojo Power provides customers with knowledge, accessibility and smart technologies so that they can control usage and save money and the planet.

Source: Mojo Power



Record breaking module efficiency

17 October

Canadian Solar sets a 22.80% conversion efficiency world record for P-Type large area multi-crystalline silicon solar cells.

The record-setting P5 (casted mono) cell conversion efficiency was tested and certified by Germany's Institute für Solarenergieforschung GmbH (ISFH) in September 2019. It surpasses the previous multi-crystalline cell efficiency world record of 22.28% which was also set by Canadian Solar in April 2019.

Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar said, "I am very pleased to announce that we broke the world record yet again. This is a milestone for our P5 technology development. It proves that our multi-crystalline silicon technology can achieve efficiencies very close to mono while still enjoying the cost advantage of multi. We remain focused on expanding our technology pipeline to provide our customers with the most LCOE-competitive products."

Canadian Solar has been developing and is commercially launching its P5 cell technology and solar module products, bringing this world record breaking module efficiency to customers. Our industry leading technology team is one way Canadian Solar makes the difference in the solar industry, constantly developing cutting edge technology. 

Source: Canadian Solar


Vales Point solar project

17 October

Distributed energy resources and investment company Enernet Global and Delta Electricity are pleased to announce the signing of a power purchase agreement for the sale of 87GWh of energy from a 62MW solar farm at Vales Point, NSW. The DA approved project will see construction start in the second quarter of 2020 and be commissioned by the end of the year.

The solar farm, located on approximately 80 hectares of rehabilitated area at the Vales Point Power Station ash dam, will produce enough renewable energy each year to power approximately 20,000 homes.

The innovative project will pioneer in Australia a fully-ballasted system tailored to optimize delivery on land where traditional driven or screw piles are not possible, enabling efficient delivery of the utility scale system on the rehabilitated ash dam surface. Delta Electricity will use power from the site in its retail business ensuring a significant contribution to state and federal government renewable energy targets.

Delivery of the Vales Point project will pave the way for Enernet Global to deliver similar plants in other challenging sites across Australia, including other ash dam sites, mining tailings dams and municipal landfills.

Other advantages for establishing a solar farm at Vales Point include the proximity to existing grid connection infrastructure as well as being within the existing land-use zoning for power generation. The project will deliver renewable energy over a 25-year+ timeframe from otherwise unproductive rehabilitated land.

Delta Electricity CEO Greg Everett commented “The partnership with Enernet recognises that both dispatchable power and low emission technologies have a role to play in supporting an affordable, reliable and sustainable national electricity grid” adding ”the Vales Point site is an example of how both technologies can be co-located and integrated into the grid”.

Paul Matthews, Enernet Global’s President added “We are excited to enter into this agreement with Delta Electricity, supporting its transition. Enernet Global’s mission is to drive the adoption of clean energy in industry via on-site and distributed energy asset deployment and Australia is a core market in our global endeavor. This project will lead to many others that can similarly help unlock the potential in such sites to generate sustainable energy and support humanity’s climate change response”.

Source: Delta Electricity/Enernet Global


Solar energy to power Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mines in landmark renewables agreement

18 October

In a landmark agreement with Alinta Energy announced today, up to 100 per cent of daytime stationary energy requirements at Fortescue Metals Group’s (ASX: FMG, Fortescue) Chichester Hub iron ore operations will be powered by renewable energy.

The Chichester Solar Gas Hybrid project will see the construction of a 60MW solar photovoltaic generation facility at the Chichester Hub, comprising Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations. In addition, an approximately 60-kilometre transmission line linking the Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations with Alinta Energy’s Newman gas-fired power station and a 35MW battery facility will be constructed, with completion due mid-2021.

Once completed, up to 100 per cent of daytime stationary energy requirements at the Chichester Hub will be provided by solar generation, with the remaining power requirements to be met through the integrated battery storage and gas power station facilities. The project is expected to displace around 100 million litres annually of diesel used in the existing Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak power stations.

Fortescue Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines said, “Reliable and competitive energy generation remains an important consideration for the mining sector in Western Australia and as a significant consumer of energy, we continue to identify opportunities that have the potential to lower our costs while also improving our carbon footprint.

“This landmark project is a first on this scale for the Pilbara and will reduce carbon emissions from stationary generation by around 40 per cent at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak mining operations, while driving long-term sustainable cost reductions to maintain Fortescue’s global cost leadership position.

“The agreement with Alinta Energy marks a significant milestone in Fortescue’s energy strategy and represents a further step in the creation of Fortescue’s Pilbara Energy Connect project. In addition, Fortescue will invest an estimated US$250m in energy transmission infrastructure, which will complete the integration of Fortescue’s iron ore operations in the Pilbara into an efficient energy network.

“The Pilbara Energy Connect project builds on our previous energy initiatives, including the construction of the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline, the conversion of the Solomon Power Station from diesel to gas generation, as well as a partnership agreement with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to develop and commercialise hydrogen technologies.”

Alinta Energy Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Dimery said, “We’d like to thank Fortescue and our Chichester Hub project partners for helping to make the company’s long-held vision for a cleaner and more connected energy supply for the Pilbara a reality.

“There’s a lot to be proud of in this project. Working together, we are on the cusp of demonstrating that renewables can drive Australia’s economic powerhouses forward – even for remote and complex industrial applications.”

Alinta Energy will receive Federal funding of A$24.2 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and A$90 million from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), upon satisfaction of standard conditions. The NAIF loan remains subject to ratification from the Western Australian Government.

NAIF Chief Executive Officer, Laurie Walker said, “NAIF’s A$90 million loan for this project will help provide low emission renewable energy generation for large off grid customers and paves the way towards the creation of a more interconnected regional energy grid in the Pilbara.

“The project innovatively combines solar and gas fired power to compensate for the variability of solar sourced energy. This investment by NAIF offers the opportunity to make a long-term difference to the Pilbara.”

ARENA Chief Executive Officer, Darren Miller said “The project could unlock further investment in renewable energy in the mining sector and other remote and energy intensive operations.

“Alinta’s project will demonstrate how renewable energy solutions can deliver critical energy requirements for major mining operations and help reduce emissions. This will also show how interconnection of loads and different generation and storage - including solar, gas and battery storage - can provide secure and reliable electricity,” he said.

Additional quotes from Alinta Energy MD & CEO Jeff Dimery:

Alinta Energy’s MD and CEO, Jeff Dimery, said the project would give the region a better chance of displacing diesel generation with a cleaner, affordable, and more connected energy supply in the future.

“Fortescue have demonstrated terrific leadership by supporting this project and recognise that this predominantly sunshine-powered mining solution is good for their business and the planet.

“By extending transmission lines in the Pilbara, displacing diesel, and backing solar up with gas-fired generation and our innovative big battery at the Newman power station, we will deliver a cleaner, affordable and more connected supply to our customers.

“The Chichester project alone is expected to displace 100 million litres of diesel generation annually from the Pilbara, and we hope that can be increased as others in the region see what we can achieve with Fortescue.

“The project has also been made possible thanks to a funding commitment from the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility and Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

“Working together, we are on the cusp of demonstrating that renewables can drive Australia’s economic powerhouses forward – even for remote and complex industrial applications,” said Mr Dimery.

Source: Fortescue Metals and Alinta Energy

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